Bulging Disc

Spinal discs are cushions made of a tough outer layer of cartilage and a soft inner layer called the nucleus pulposus. Whether due to the passage of time or because of an acute trauma, such as a car accident, the spinal discs can lose their shape, causing them to protrude. In many instances, the change in shape can cause pressure, or pinching, of the nerves that are exiting the spinal cord. This can result in back pain and pain that travels to your extremities, such as your arms and legs. 

While age and degeneration are frequent contributing factors, a bulging — or slipped — disc can be aggravated by trauma from a car accident, causing new symptoms or a worsening of existing symptoms. Like any other spinal injury caused by a car accident, a bulging disc can range broadly in severity. While spinal injuries such as bulging discs are not always as visible to the outside world as a broken limb, their effects can be just as long-lasting, even permanent. 

If an injury requires medical treatment, results in lost earnings, or disrupts your life, you have a right to seek compensation from the accident’s at-fault party as recovery for your losses. Read on to learn more about bulging and herniated discs caused by car accidents in Orlando.

Damages in Bulging Disc Settlements

Some people with bulging discs may live with no symptoms for long periods. But when a forceful injury such as a car accident occurs, there is a possibility of severe pain. Symptoms of bulging discs may include:

  • Back pain that worsens with movement, such as sneezes
  • Spasms in the back muscles
  • Weakness and numbness in the legs and feet
  • Reduced mobility in the legs, knees, and ankles
  • Decreased bladder and bowel control
  • Difficulty walking
  • Sciatica (pain that radiates down one side of your lower body)
  • Reduced coordination

Many people who suffer from a bulging disc make a full recovery, while others may experience lasting pain and other consequences. The costs of medical care, both short-term and long-term, differ widely in bulging disc cases. In order to pursue appropriate damages, you will need to know how the injury will continue to impact your life.

Assessing the long-term impact of your bulging disc injury starts with an accurate medical diagnosis and treatment. If conservative treatments such as physical therapy and chiropractic care are not effective, your health care providers may prescribe oral or epidural steroids. If you find these provide only temporary relief, your injury may be severe enough to require surgical intervention.

When calculating the damages you may be eligible for in a bulging disc car accident claim, you may include future medical costs as well as reimbursement for your lost earnings and future lost earning capacity. Even if you have not been devastatingly impacted yet by your injury, it’s important to consider the future economic impact an injury like this can have.

An Orlando accident claim lawyer can help you determine the settlement value of your case and work with your medical providers to prove that the car accident either worsened or caused your spinal injury. Establishing future costs will put you in the best position to understand what kind of financial recovery you should expect.

What Factors Can Affect Your Bulging Disc Settlement?

Predicting the expected amount of damages awarded in a car accident-related bulging disc case is difficult without considering the unique circumstances surrounding your injury. The major factors that can affect the amount of your settlement include the following.

  • The severity and permanence of your injuries. Damages are higher in cases where the injury is considered severe and long-lasting. While money is hardly a substitute for a pain-free life, the increased damages help account for the extensive medical treatment you are likely to need in a severe injury case.
  • How your injuries impact your ability to work. Reduced mobility and increased pain can greatly decrease your ability to perform professionally. If your injury is preventing you from working to the degree you would without the injury, you may be eligible for lost earnings compensation.
  • The cause of the accident. Part of the task of your injury lawyer is to gather the appropriate evidence to demonstrate another party’s negligence or misconduct. If you are also partially at fault, it is unlikely that you will receive a damages amount that covers all your losses.
  • Insurance payout limitations. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can help you explore other options, but it is not common to receive damages beyond what the insurance company is obligated to pay. In the event that you have suffered severe losses, your attorney will help you explore alternative methods of compensation if any are available.

How Long Do Bulging Disc Car Accident Settlements Take?

Just as it is difficult to predict how much money to expect in a car accident settlement, it is difficult to predict how long it will take to recover damages. Sometimes, it may take only a few months from the time of the accident, while other cases may extend well beyond a year. The variables that will determine how long your bulging disc case takes to close are:

  • The severity of your injuries. In some cases, it may be that a bulging disc existed before the accident, which aggravated it or even caused the disc to herniate (or tear) — generally a more significant injury. Cases with larger compensation amounts at stake often take longer to resolve because the other parties will seek to reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
  • The cooperativeness of the other parties. When there are fewer people involved and they are easy to communicate with, the legal process is much simpler. This is not always the case, however, especially in cases with larger recovery amounts at stake, in which case the other parties are less likely to be cooperative.
  • The litigation process and conclusion. Negotiating a fair settlement is usually a smoother, faster process. However, if FVF cannot negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf, we will take your case to trial. When this is necessary, the timeline will be much longer. 
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Why Hire a Lawyer to Help with Your Car Accident Settlement?

Bulging disc car accident cases can be quite complicated. The extent of the injury, the difficulty of determining fault for the accident, the presence of preexisting conditions, and the number of parties involved can all impact the intricacy of the case. For instance, if you were struck by a commercial driver, you may be eligible for more in damages, which can complicate and extend the proces. 

Your Orlando accident claim lawyer can help you navigate these complex factors and work closely with your medical providers, who will help you — and a jury, if needed — understand your injury and what kind of treatment you’ll need in the future. These factors will help your lawyer determine the medical and economic consequences of your injury and fight to obtain the financial recovery you deserve.

At FVF, we are committed to helping you understand your options in car accident injury cases. Because we accept only cases we believe we can add substantial value to — enough to pay for the cost of fighting for your case, and then some — we are always transparent about next steps.

We work on a contingency fee basis, so you always know what to expect from your Orlando bulging disc case. Our free, no-commitment case consultations are intended to help you feel informed enough to make decisions about your situation that are in your best interest. Contact us today to arrange your free consultation with FVF’s Orlando law offices.

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