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Car Accident Herniated Disc Jury Verdicts and Settlement Values
How Much is My Herniated Disc Car Accident Case Worth?
Disc herniations are permanent injuries that require a substantial settlement value, due to the seriousness of the injury. That being said, coming up with a case evaluation is difficult. No one knows what a jury would do with a herniated disc case. However, in our experience as car accident lawyers, we can help you understand a reasonable range of settlement for your disc herniation case.
The Pain and Suffering Formula
Medical Bills x 3 = Your Pain and Suffering
I have spoken with a lot of insurance company adjusters who use this formula (Your Medical Bills x 3 = Your Pain and Suffering Damages). In reality, it is bogus. If you have a disc herniation surgery which costs $150,000 and are completely healed, it is unlikely that a jury will award you upwards of $500,000 in pain and suffering. Likewise, if your disc herniation is inoperable, and you only have $50,000 in medical bills, but are looking at a lifetime of pain, I think it is reasonable that a jury would award you more than $150,000 in pain and suffering.
What I Do
I bring a blank jury verdict form to mediation. I then ask the Defense attorney and adjuster to fill out the verdict form, as if they were jurors. It makes them face reality. Juries do not use a mathematical damages formula. They look at each case differently and base their decision off the facts. That, in our opinion, is the only indication of a reasonable settlement sum.
Disc Herniation Jury Verdict Averages
Jury verdicts in disc herniation car crash lawsuits average $350,000. This number sounds good to many clients, but it is important to note that the median jury verdict for a disc herniation case is only $75,000. This means that a few herniated disc injury cases are getting very high jury verdicts, but most are in the 5 figures, under $100,000. A small amount of disc herniation jury verdicts (about 5%) were above $1 million.
Bulging Disc Jury Verdicts Versus Herniated Disc Jury Verdicts
To a radiologist, a bulging disc is very different than a herniated disc. A herniated disc means that the outside of the disc (the annulus) is cracked which allows the inner part of the disc (the nucleus pulposus) to spew out of the disc. A bulging disc is just a portion of the disc that extends beyond where it should be. The difference is that herniated discs are usually associated with trauma, like a car accident, while bulging discs are often associated with aging. Herniated discs are more likely to cause pain too.
For that reason, the average bulging disc jury verdict is $125,000, with a median of only $30,000. This means that juries respect disc herniation injuries much more than disc bulge injuries.
Average Settlements for Herniated Disc Injuries
Average settlement figures for disc herniation cases are more difficult to determine. This is because most settlements are confidential, so the data is not readily available. As car accident attorneys who regularly handle herniated disc cases, if liability is not an issue, most cases with surgeries settle above $50,000. Some even resolve north of $100,000. Most herniated disc settlements where the plaintiff did not have surgery do not reach the $50,000 mark. Another major consideration is the amount of insurance that covers the injury. For example, if the at fault driver only has $10,000 in insurance coverage, and the plaintiff does not have uninsured motorist coverage, the recovery may be limited.
Herniated disc claims can resolve as high as $1,000,000 or as low as $1,000, it really all depends on the facts and the plaintiff’s medical treatment.
The Good News: Lawyers Offer Free Case Evaluations
As you can guess from the above, there is no ‘magic formula’ to determine what your car accident case is worth. The best option is to discuss the issue with a lawyer, who can give you an idea of what your herniated disc case is worth, based on the facts of your claim. If you’d like a free case evaluation, call us now at 561-316-7207 or fill out the case evaluator below.