Degenerative disc disease is a generic term often used by doctors to describe the condition of an unhealthy spine. This diagnosis can refer to all sorts of degeneration or injuries such as a bulging disc, annular tear, bone spurs, disc herniation, or disc protrusion. Due to the broadness of the term and its association with gradual wear-and-tear, a degenerative disc disease diagnosis can dramatically change the dynamic of a personal injury case for someone who has suffered a traumatic spine injury in a car accident.
Unfortunately, many physicians carelessly diagnose disc injuries as degenerative disc disease without identifying evidence of trauma or referring to a specialist for evaluation. That diagnosis becomes a red flag to insurance providers when you file a claim against the party that is liable for the accident. It gives the insurance company an alleged basis to claim that the disc injury was preexisting and not directly related to the accident, which the insurance company will use to try to get you to accept a lower settlement for your case. In reality, degenerative disc issues are extremely common and frequently have no symptoms at all until disturbed by some trauma like a car accident.
If you have sustained a spine injury in a car accident and received a degenerative disc disease diagnosis, it is important to take steps to protect your case. Contact a personal injury lawyer, who will work to prove that the accident either caused your injury or aggravated a previously asymptomatic condition, then obtain financial recovery commensurate to your losses.
The law likely entitles you to recover medical expenses, lost earnings, losses due to a reduced capacity to work, and other losses relating to changes in your quality of life. However, before you can truly understand what type of recovery you should expect, it is your burden to prove the full extent of your injury as well as the future implications. Because a degenerative disc disease diagnosis is pretty generic, that diagnosis alone should not be used as a basis for determining what kind of recovery you should expect.
The following factors can give you an idea of the amount of damages you may be able to reasonably expect:
Available recovery sources. If the amount of your losses surpasses the maximum payout amount of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, your lawyer will help you identify other sources of recovery. Options may include the insurance policy of the driver’s employer if the driver was working at the time of the accident, the personal assets of the driver, or your own uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
It’s very difficult to give a precise time frame for any type of accident settlement because the length of your case depends on your specific circumstances. However, there are a few factors that can affect your case’s timeline, such as the ones described below.
A degenerative disc disease diagnosis can be the death knell of a personal injury case if you do not have a car accident lawyer to strategize and advocate on your behalf. In order to help you maximize your claim, a lawyer will research your prior medical history and imaging, network with reputable spine specialists, communicate with insurance providers, and prove that you were hurt in the accident. They will also help you estimate any future medical costs that could arise.
At FVF, our experienced car accident lawyers want to equip you with the resources you need to file a successful claim and move on with your life. We provide free, informative, no-commitment consultations so that you can get your bearings and know what steps to take, whether or not you ultimately choose to hire us.
If you do hire us, we will use our extensive resources and knowledge to make sure you are receiving quality care and positioning yourself for the best outcome. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
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