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Herniated Disc Car Accident Lawsuit
Being injured in a car accident is a traumatic experience. A common injury sustained by car accident victims is a disc herniation, or a herniated disc. This kind of injury commonly causes back and neck pain, as well as pain, numbness and tingling into the arms and legs. A herniated disc injury is considered a permanent injury. This means that you may be looking at lifelong medical care related to your car accident disc herniation. For this reason, many car accident victims consider bringing a disc herniation lawsuit. As car accident lawyers who regularly handle herniated disc injury claims, we can bring you up to speed on what to expect:
The Lawsuit Process
It is important that your auto accident attorney obtains the applicable insurance policies before bringing the lawsuit. Specifically, your lawyer will need to look at the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits. If those limits are too low to cover your disc herniation injury, your lawyer will need to determine if you have UM insurance. This stands for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage and can apply to your herniated disc injury.
Presuit Demand for Settlement
Your lawyer will then likely make a demand for settlement, depending on what the insurance policy limits are. Assuming liability is clear, the insurance company will probably offer economic damages to resolve the case. This means they will offer to pay to fix your car and pay for your past medical bills. This is insufficient, however, because they typically do not consider the injured party’s non-economic losses.
Non-economic damages include:
- Loss of Consortium;
- Pain, Suffering and Distress
- Mental and Physical Anguish
If your herniated disc car accident claim does not settle in presuit, your attorney will then file the lawsuit. Make sure your attorney claims both economic and non-economic damages in your herniated disc lawsuit.
The Catalyzing Document in a Car Accident Lawsuit
A car accident disc herniation lawsuit begins like all other personal injury cases; with a Complaint filed in the courthouse. Your lawyer will file the Complaint in the appropriate County of venue. This is usually the County where the Defendant resides and/or where the car accident took place. The Complaint will name the Defendant, or Defendants, who are financially responsible for your injuries. The car accident Complaint will also detail your injuries, how they occurred and demand a trial.
Statute of Limitations:
A Hard Deadline to File
Every state has a statute of limitations on car accident lawsuits. This means if your lawyer does not file the Complaint in court by a certain time, you have forever waived your claim. For example, if your state has a 1 year statute of limitations period, and you get hurt in a crash on August 10, 2016, you have until August 10, 2017 to file your Complaint. Delay is nobody’s friend in car accident disc herniation cases. If you suspect you have a claim, speak with a car accident attorney today.
Defendant's Response to the Complaint
The named Defendant(s) have a specified amount of time to respond to your Complaint. Typically, the Defendant must file a responsive pleading within twenty (20) days. The responsive pleading could be:
- An Answer,
- This is when the Defendant will admit or deny the allegations you’ve made against him.
- A Motion to Dismiss,
- This is when the Defendant is contesting your Complaint’s validity.
- Or a Counter-Claim.
- This is when the Defendant brings claims against you, such as comparative negligence or that you were at fault for the crash.
Written discovery, consisting of Requests for Production and Interrogatories, is usually the first stage of discovery in car accident lawsuits. Written discovery is court mandated document exchange, so that each party has the information it needs to move forward and take depositions (oral examinations under oath). Typically discovery sent to a Plaintiff (the injured party) may be questions about how the accident occurred, what doctors you are treating with for your injuries and whether you were in any prior accidents.
After the written discovery has laid out the basics of the case, the lawyers will move into the deposition phase. This is when lawyers ask questions of parties and witnesses under oath in front of a court reporter. You, as the injured party, will likely be required to sit for a deposition. This is not a troubling experience. All you can do is tell the truth and answer the questions that you have knowledge about. Your lawyer will likely depose the at fault driver and any witnesses to the car crash.
The depositions and the written discovery can and will be used in trial, if the matter does not resolve beforehand.
Mediation of a Herniated Disc Car Accident Lawsuit
Before you go to trial, you will likely be compelled to mediate your herniated disc lawsuit. Mediation is an informal gathering of the parties and their lawyers in an attempt to settle the case. Mediation is where you will likely be offered money to resolve your herniated disc injury case. To learn more about what your herniated disc settlement could be worth, view past car accident disc injuries verdicts and settlements.
Trial in a Car Accident Disc Herniation Lawsuit
Assuming your case does not resolve (settle) before trial (and most do settle), you will then go before a judge and jury to have your dispute heard. Your lawyer will put on evidence which shows the accident was the fault of the Defendant and that your herniation injuries are real and lifelong. The Defense lawyer will dispute liability for the crash and probably claim your disc herniation is related to something else. Each side will put on evidence, call witnesses and make arugments. From there a jury will decide:
- Who was at fault for the accident, and,
- If the Defendant was at fault, how much your damages are worth.
Will I Have to go to Trial?
Probably not. Very little herniated disc lawsuits get tried in court. Due to the rising costs associated with litigating the matter for a lengthy period of time, most car accident herniated disc lawsuits settle.
Speak With a Lawyer Now
For a Free Disc Herniation Lawsuit Evaluation, Call Us Now at 561-316-7207.-