Back and neck injuries in car accidents are all too common. When one car rear ends another, the force often sends the head whipping back and forth violently, and the force can cause the vertebrae in the spinal column to jolt out of place .These are known as bulging or herniated disc injuries, and this article will example the average settlement amount for herniated discs after a car accident, which vertebrae are most likely to be damaged in a car accident, and how to maximize the car accident settlement you receive for your herniated disc injury.

The most commonly injured vertebrae in auto accidents are C4-C5 and C5-C6. A C4-C5 injury is higher up on the spinal cord, and usually leads to pain and weakness in the shoulders. A herniated disc in this part of the neck can lead to nerve root impingement. When those nerves are pressed, muscles may weaken. 

That weakness does not usually lead to numbness and tingling, however. A C4-C5 case often has more value if the patient has a job that is physically demanding. An excellent personal injury attorney should be able to obtain substantial compensation for a muscle weakness injury. 

A C5-C6 injury is slightly lower on the spinal cord than a C4-C5 bulging or herniated disc injury. These disc injuries may cause tingling, numbness, and pain down to the victim’s thumb. Other signs can be bicep weakness. With this injury, the insurance company may try to minimize injuries by talking about the range of motion or Spurling tests.  

Also, know that your MRI results are vital to the value of your herniated disc claim after a car accident. Your attorney and the insurance company will probably spend hours debating about your MRI. If the MRI indicates a pre-existing injury, the insurance company will argue your neck pain after a car accident is unrelated to the crash. 

However, a crash victim can have a pre-existing herniated disc with no pain that becomes painful after a car accident. If you, your doctor, and attorney can prove you had no pain before and have pain now, you are in a strong position in a neck injury settlement after a car accident

Herniated Disc Car Accident Settlement

Actual Bulging Disc and Herniated Disc Car Settlements 

If you are wondering what your bulging or herniated disc injury might be worth, here are some real-world settlements below. 

$100,000 Herniated Disc Settlement 

A driver ran his car into a tractor-trailer. The big rig cut him off and caused the wreck. The truck had $750,000 of liability coverage. 

The personal injury attorney argued the trucker caused the crash because he did not yield right of way when making a left turn. The client also had the green light, and a witness signed an affidavit that the trucker caused the wreck. 

The client’s car was totaled. It is easier to convince an insurance company that a car wreck caused a herniated disc if the car damage is terrible. This is even more true when the injured party is 40-years old and claims the accident caused his herniated disc. In general, truck accident settlements involving commercial vehicles tend to have higher payouts, so this herniated disc settlement may be higher than it would have been if the victim had been struck by another car. 

$100,000 Herniated Disc Settlement

A driver in Florida hit the accident victim from behind. He did not go to the hospital. After the accident, he complained of back and neck pain to his doctor.

His brother told him to talk to a car accident attorney. After a few days, the back and neck pain got better, so he did not file a car accident lawsuit.

However, the lower back pain recurred a few months later. An MRI revealed a herniated disc in his lumbar spine (L5-S1). He needed a hemilaminectomy, medial facetectomy, and microdiscectomy. These are microsurgery operations.

He needed anesthesia for the surgery. State Farm was the insurer for the liable driver with $100,000 in bodily injury coverage. They offer a policy limit of $100,000 for the herniated disc settlement.

$57,000 Bulging Disc Settlement

A man from New York traveled to Florida. A car hit his vehicle from behind in Miami. The liable driver received a ticket for not maintaining a proper distance. The man said the accident aggravated a previous injury – a bulging disc in the lower back.

A physician gave him steroid injections in the lumbar part of his back. The doctor said he might need a lumbar laminectomy. He elected not to have surgery.

State Farm insured the other driver. They settled the case for $10,000. Travelers insured the injured man’s vehicle with uninsured driver coverage. The insurance company paid $47,000 in a car accident back injury settlement for a total of $57,000.

How Much Is Your Herniated Disc Car Accident Settlement Worth?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and need to find out how much your herniated disc settlement is worth, you have a few options:

  1. Try an online car accident settlement calculator – this isn’t super accurate, but can give you a good rough estimate
  2. Speak to a qualified personal injury attorney in your state – most offer free consultations and can give you an idea how much your bulging disc settlement may be.
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