Average Settlement for Herniated Discs in Kansas City
As Kansas City spine injury lawyers, we know how difficult it is to predict how an insurance company or jury will value a herniated disc claim. Each herniated disc injury claim is unique, regardless of whether it occurred in Missouri or Kansas. Some estimates place the average jury verdict in these types of personal injury cases at $360,000 with a median (middle number) of about $80,000.
There is no way to know for sure how much your claim is worth because there are many factors that must be considered when calculating the value of a herniated disc settlement. Your claim could involve several factors that increase the value of your claim, but there could also be factors that decrease the value of your claim.
Our experienced Kansas City personal injury attorney evaluates each factor in your case when calculating how much your herniated disc injury claim is worth. Below are some of the factors that could impact the value of your herniated disc injury claim.
Seven Factors That Affect the Value of a Herniated Disc Injury Claim
1. The Seriousness of the Accident
Herniated discs are common in car accidents. Of course, some car accidents are more serious than others. For example, a car accident involving two passenger vehicles traveling at slow rates of speed is less likely to produce traumatic injuries compared to an accident involving vehicles traveling at high rates of speed. Accidents involving commercial vehicles are also more likely to result in catastrophic injuries because of the size and weight of the truck. However, because minor car crashes can result in severe injuries, this factor can be misleading.
Insurance companies often use this factor to argue that a victim’s injuries are not severe because the crash was not serious. In these cases, it is imperative to seek help from an experienced Kansas City car accident attorney to protect your rights.
2. The Type and Severity of the Injury
The type and severity of the injury are important factors in the value of an injury claim. Injuries that are more severe and result in intensive treatment, longer recovery periods, and permanent disabilities are typically worth more than claims involving minor injuries that heal within a few weeks and have no lasting impairments.
3. The Type of Herniated Disc Treatment Required
The medical procedures required to treat a herniated disc are also factors in the value of a claim. The more invasive and extensive the treatment, the greater the value of the claim for two reasons.
Invasive and extensive treatment, such as herniated disc surgery (i.e. a cervical spine fusion), cervical epidural steroid injections, nerve root injections, and physical therapy increase the total medical costs associated with the claim. Additionally, the patient tends to suffer additional pain and discomfort with more invasive and extensive treatments.
4. Age and Medical History
The age of the victim is another factor that can influence the value of a claim. Older individuals may be more susceptible to herniated discs, but they also might not have significant loss of income if they are retired. Younger individuals may experience a greater loss of income, which increases the value of an injury claim. A person’s salary and wages, education, job, and future earning potential greatly impact a herniated disc injury claim that involves permanent impairment or disability.
A pre-existing condition in a person’s medical history, such as degenerative disc disease or a spinal injury, could have made the person more susceptible to a herniated disc injury in a car crash. Insurance companies try to use pre-existing conditions to undervalue injury claims.
Our Kansas City personal injury lawyer understands how to fight this insurance tactic. Even with a prior medical condition or injury, an accident victim deserves to be compensated for any worsening of a pre-existing herniated disc injury. If you have a pre-existing condition, you should contact our attorney immediately to begin preparing a strong case in favor of full compensation for all damages caused by the at-fault driver, regardless of your medical history before the accident.
5. Prognosis of the Spine Injury
The prognosis for a patient is another important factor used to calculate the value of a herniated disc settlement. If a person is expected to experience permanent impairment or disability, the value of the claim increases. A prognosis that includes limited mobility, chronic pain, ongoing medical care, and loss of earning potential can be a major factor in the value of a claim.
6. Economic & Non-Economic Damages
A car accident victim with a herniated disc can receive compensation for “pain and suffering” or noneconomic damages. These damages are subjective because each person experiences an injury differently. In general, a victim may receive compensation for physical pain, emotional suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring, disfigurement, permanent impairments, and loss of quality of life. Typically, more severe herniated disc injuries qualify for higher values for pain and suffering damages.
Similarly, a claim with substantial economic damages (lost wages/earnings and large medical bills) will be valued quite differently than one with no lost wages and relatively minor bills.
7. Fault and Amount of Insurance Coverage
If the other driver is completely at fault for the accident, the victim should be entitled to full compensation for all damages associated with the accident and injury. However, if the victim is partially at fault for causing the car accident, the victim’s compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the victim. As a result, who is at fault for the accident will affect the value of a herniated disc claim.
Additionally, the amount of insurance coverage available is another factor. Even though a driver is completely responsible for the cause of the crash, the victim may not receive full compensation for the claim if the driver has minimum car insurance coverage. The insurance company for the at-fault driver is only responsible for a claim up to the policy limits for the driver’s insurance contract.
A victim who carries underinsured motorist insurance could receive additional compensation by filing a claim against his or her insurance coverage. Our Kansas City injury attorneys investigate all available insurance coverage to maximize the amount a person might receive for a herniated disc claim.
Contact our Kansas City Spine Injury Attorney
At the Law Office of Kevin J. McManus, our Kansas City spine injury attorney handles all types of car accident claims, including herniated disc claims in Missouri and Kansas. We work diligently to document all damages and losses, investigate fault, and search for sources of compensation that increase the chance our client receives full compensation for all injuries, losses, and damages.
If you would like more information about injury claims, download a free PDF copy of my book, Crash Course: An Insider's Guide to Accident & Injury Law in Missouri & Kansas. This guide is packed with helpful tips on how to maximize your injury settlement, including the 9 mistakes that will wreck your claim.
For assistance or questions, please call 816-203-0143 for a free, no obligation consultation with our Kansas City personal injury lawyer to learn more about how we can help you seek compensation for your herniated disc injury.