Herniated Disc from Car Accident in Florida: How Can I Get a Large Settlement?

Trusted Content

Legally reviewed by:

Erik Abrahamson, J.D. May 24, 2021

What is the Average Settlement for a Herniated Disc From a Car Accident?

If you’ve suffered a serious herniated disc injury from a car accident in Florida, it’s your right to pursue the largest monetary settlement possible. At fault parties must be held accountable for their actions.

For many victims who experienced a herniated disc from a car accident, settlement values can be substantial. Severe spine injuries typically require extensive treatment and rehabilitation, potentially affecting every aspect of the victim’s life.

Recovering fair financial compensation for your damages will help ensure you get the treatment you need and provide peace of mind for the future. 

herniated disc car accident settlement florida

To explore your options for filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, talk to a Florida car accident attorney.



Understanding Herniated Disc Injuries Resulting from Florida Car Accidents

Spinal disc herniation refers to a condition that affects the rubbery cushions that separate the vertebrae.

Discs (or disks) have a jelly-like center called the nucleus. When the rubbery covering (called the annulus) of the disc ruptures, some of the nucleus can ooze out, creating a herniation.

In some cases, herniation causes no harm or notable symptoms. More often, however, the herniation pushes on one of the delicate and highly sensitive nerves of the spinal cord. The results can range from mild pain to lifelong debilitating symptoms.

Car accidents are one of the most common causes of disc herniation and other spinal injuries.

The force of a car crash—even a seemingly minor collision—exerts excessive and unusual force on the spine.

In addition to car accidents, some of the most common incidents leading to disc herniation injuries include motorcycle crashes, truck accidents, and incidents involving specialty vehicles such as tractor-trailers, busses, commercial trucks, and construction vehicles.

If you or a loved one sustained this type of injury in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may have the right to pursue legal action.



Common Symptoms of Herniated Discs

The symptoms of a serious disc herniation can be overwhelming. The type of symptoms you experience can vary depending on which part and how much of the spine was affected. Common symptoms include:

  • Neck pain,
  • Back pain,
  • Arm or leg pain,
  • Numbness, and
  • Weakness.

The extent of disc-related injuries can be significant.

Many spinal injury victims suffer significant neurological damage as a result of their accident, ranging from partial paraplegia to full paralysis, or tetraplegia. Many of these victims never recover fully, requiring a lifetime of pain management, treatment, and personal care.

Spine injuries can also lead to complications that further degrade your health and quality of life. If a herniated disc compresses the nerve bundle at the base of the spine, you could experience truly debilitating pain, numbness or weakness.

Other potential complications include:

  • Bladder dysfunction,
  • Bowel dysfunction, and
  • Saddle anesthesia.

Saddle anesthesia is the loss of sensation on the backs of the legs, the inner thighs, lower buttocks, genital and rectal areas—all the parts of the body that would come into contact with a saddle if you sat on one.

Patients who experience these complications may require emergency surgery to avoid permanent damage.



How Are Spinal Disc Herniation Injuries Treated?

Spinal injuries require advanced treatment from qualified medical practitioners and specialists. To determine the appropriate treatment regimen, your doctor will perform a comprehensive exam to diagnose the nature and extent of your injury.

This might require medical testing such as:

  • X-rays,
  • CT scan,
  • MRI,
  • Myelogram,
  • Nerve conduction testing, or
  • Electromyography (EMG).

Based on the outcome of your testing, the doctor will recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Pain management is typically necessary to help victims cope with their symptoms. This could include prescription pain medication (opioids), muscle relaxers, and steroid injections administered directly into the spine.

Unfortunately, pain management does nothing to improve the disc herniation itself. Even physical therapy cannot reverse the damage to the spine in most cases. For many back-injury victims, the only way to repair a damaged disc is through surgery.

Herniated disc surgery takes many forms. The surgeon may remove some or all of the damaged disc. If the disc requires full removal, the surgeon may fuse the vertebrae together using metal rods for stability and bone grafting.



What Is the Average Herniated Disc Settlement Amount in Florida?

No two accidents or victims are alike. Consequently, every spine injury settlement is unique in nature and amount. Settlement values range from modest to substantial, based on the victim’s economic and non-economic damages.

When choosing a car accident lawyer to represent you, ask potential attorneys about their experience with herniated disc injury settlements.

Ask about the value of settlements and jury awards they obtained for past clients. This will help you determine if a particular attorney has the knowledge and experience to get the job done for you.



Can a Herniated Disc Settlement Calculator Estimate Your Settlement Value?

Do not trust these calculators. Without considering all the details of your case, no individual or automated injury settlement calculator can accurately estimate what your case might be worth.

Once a personal injury attorney has the opportunity to evaluate your case and review the details of your injuries, you can get a better estimate of your claim’s potential value.



What Factors Affect the Value of a Herniated Disc Florida Car Accident Settlement?

Every car accident is unique and there are a number of factors that can affect the value of your herniated disc accident settlement. These are generally not within your control and may require an investigation to gather evidence and achieve maximum compensation. Some of these factors include:

  • Medical history and pre-existing conditions;
  • Age at the time of injury;
  • Lost wages;
  • The prognosis of your herniated disc;
  • How much pain and suffering you have endured because of the injury; and
  • Who was at fault for the accident.

Pre-Existing Conditions

A pre-existing condition does not necessarily bar you from a herniated disc car accident settlement in Florida. Though your medical records may indicate that the condition existed before the accident, you may still be entitled to a settlement if the car accident aggravated the injury.

Age at the Time of Injury

The spinal cord naturally weakens with age. Because of this, an older person may be more susceptible to spinal injury. Age may also impact working status. So a retired person may receive a lower settlement because there is no loss of wages component. 

Lost Wages

If you are partially or fully unable to work because of a herniated disc, you may receive compensation for your lost wages during the time you cannot work. And of course, the higher your salary is, the larger your settlement should be. 

Injury Prognosis

The injury prognosis takes into consideration the outlook for recovery as determined by a medical professional. Your herniated disc could be uncomfortable but repairable, or it could be severely debilitating for life. The severity of the prognosis will impact your herniated disc accident settlement. 

Pain and Suffering

The circumstances surrounding your injury could result in recovering more than just monetary losses. A herniated disc is a painful injury.

The court will take this into consideration along with emotional factors such as mental anguish, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Accident Fault

Florida follows the system of comparative fault. If the court finds you to be partially at fault for the accident, you may still file a lawsuit for damages. A judge will then reduce your settlement amount by the percentage of fault you carry. 

What Does Compensation Cover in Your Herniated Disc Settlement?

The value of your settlement will depend on your physical, emotional, and financial damages.

You may have the right to recover compensation for some or all of the following:

  • Doctor and hospital bills,
  • Other medical care costs,
  • Rehabilitation and therapy costs,
  • Lost wages to date,
  • Future medical and care costs,
  • Loss of future earnings,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Diminished quality of life, and
  • Diminished earning capacity.

You may also be entitled to compensation for any permanent injuries or disability you experienced.



Do Steroid Injections Affect the Value of a Herniated Disc Settlement in Florida?

When initial conservative treatment such as physical therapy and chiropractic care is unsuccessful, steroid injections or nerve root blocks could be the next option. Herniated disc injury settlements with steroid injections in Florida are not uncommon.

Interlaminar injections are the most common procedure for this type of treatment. This procedure involves epidural steroids that are injected into the spine to reduce swelling and pressure on nerves.

In more severe cases, nerve blocks or caudal injections may be required. All of these options are expensive and should be calculated into the vault of your herniated disc settlement. 

If you require steroid injections as a part of your treatment, you may be able to recover more compensation for your injury. Having injections directly into the spine can be painful and traumatic for the injury victim.

Your attorney may advise you to have someone film the injections to demonstrate the stress and discomfort you experience during your treatment.



Does Spinal Fusion Surgery Affect the Value of a Herniated Disc Settlement?

Any injury that requires surgery can result in an increased settlement for the victim.

Spine surgery is complex, expensive, and often requires extensive recovery and rehabilitation. It also involves increased medical costs and can justify a claim for pain and suffering. Spinal fusion surgery works by decreasing the movement between two vertebrae in a location of chronic pain.

Most doctors consider spinal fusion a major surgery that is reserved for severe situations when more conservative treatment does not work. Many back-injury victims require multiple surgeries over time.

One of the personal injury attorneys of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk can tell you how these factors might affect the value of your claim.



Examples of Herniated Disc Settlements in Florida That Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Has Achieved

Although past case outcomes might not influence your results, these are two examples of our past achievements for herniated disc car accident victims:

  • $1,575,000 settlement for a Hillsborough County, Florida, rear-end car accident victim.
  • $1,074,169 settlement for a Hillsborough County, Florida, sideswipe car accident victim

Featured case result: $300,000.00 / Motor Vehicle Accident / Neck and Back Injuries / Highway 301

The defendant in this case was traveling north on Highway 301 when he hydroplaned on the wet roadway and lost control.

He skidded northeasterly across two lanes of an intersecting road and jumped the raised median before broadsiding our client who was stopped in the left turn lane facing west.

The defendant was cited by the police for failure to use due care.

Our client was taken to the emergency room for initial treatment. Following discharge, she saw her primary treating physician for, among other injuries, pain in her neck, low back and jaw.

An MRI scan of the neck revealed a herniated disc at C4-5, and she was referred to an orthopedic surgeon who recommended an operation to remove the herniated disc. Our client had the surgery a few months after the accident.

The insurance company for the negligent driver initially only offered $150,000.00 and argued that the herniated disc was pre-existing, and age-related.

We hired an expert radiologist to bolster our claim that the disc herniation was actually caused by the accident.

We negotiated hard with the insurance company, and we were eventually able to persuade them to double their offer, and the case settled for $300,000.00.

For more than 30 years, Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has provided aggressive, compassionate representation for car accident victims. We have assisted more than 20,000 clients during that time and recovered more than $300 million in compensation for our clients.


Talk to a Herniated Disc Car Accident Attorney for Help

After a serious back-injury, your future may depend on your ability to obtain comprehensive medical treatment. If you can’t work, you need resources to get you through your treatment and recovery. Don’t try to face these challenges alone.

The personal injury lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk offer a free consultation and case analysis for car accident victims. To learn more about how much of a settlement to expect for a herniated disc, contact us today.

We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, and we never collect any legal fees until we recover a settlement in your case. If you would like to learn more about what you should expect from the car accident settlement process with GEICO, contact us now. We’ve helped clients with car accident injuries throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota, and Hernando County.

Cities We Commonly Serve

  • Tampa
  • Clearwater
  • St Petersburg
  • Spring Hill
  • Lakeland
  • New Port Richey
  • Pinellas Park
  • Sarasota