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Disc Injuries: Settlement and Trial Value Aid

We have fought and won at settlement or trial scores of serious herniated disc cases. We know the science and we know how to present these cases to the insurance companies and, if necessary, to juries. Call 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

Jury Verdict Research provides some incredibly interesting data this month on a topic of great interest to accident lawyers: disc injuries. Eighty percent of disc injuries that go to trial are from injuries suffered in motor vehicle accident cases. The median verdict in a disc injury case is $50,000. The average disc injury verdict is $340,328, which includes the 7% of disc injury cases where the award exceeded $1 million.

Many disc injury cases are complicated by either a preexisting injury or because of degenerative disc disease. (Defense lawyers blame spondylosis for just about everything, even if the plaintiff had never had so much as a back ache prior to the accident.) For degenerative disc disease injury, the average jury award is $51,678 ($11,482 median). For aggravation of preexisting disc injuries, the average award is $152,932 ($29,379 median). Obviously, you can drive a Mack truck through the differences in the value of disc cases on this single issue. Too often, plaintiffs’ lawyers allow defense lawyers to frame the issue this way. How you explain these cases to a jury really matters.

The one thing unclear is how the study determined between whether the disc injury was a preexisting injury. The victim’s treating doctor and insurance company’s doctor frequently disagree on this point, particularly when the patient is over 40 years-old. There are some defense doctors who remain convinced that every injury you get after high school has to be an exacerbation of a preexisting injury.

Disc Injury Verdicts

Disc Injury Verdicts

The difference in the values between bulging/protruding disc versus a herniated or ruptured disc was rather pronounced. For bulging/protruding discs, the average jury award was $140,311 ($31,000 median). The average jury award for herniated or ruptured discs was $413,917 ($60,000 median).


Obviously, you cannot extrapolate from this data the settlement or trial value of an individual accident case. But seeing relative data for different types of disc injury cases does provide at least a small piece of the complex puzzle of valuing disc injury cases claims.

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  • http://www.NYInjuryLawBlog.com Jim Reed

    Ron:

    Just curious– from what jurisdiction were these #’s compiled?

    Jim

  • SDH

    Is there available information like this for the state of NJ?

  • Ron Miller

    This is national data. Thanks.

  • Gillis M.

    I was rearended in Feb of this year. The guys brakes failed and he hit me at about 10-12 miles an hour. I do have hardware fusion on c-1,c-2
    And blood bone fusion on c-4 through 6.

    I’ve had 2 mri’s and the Dr did say that I have some damage to my shoulder and c spine and thorastic #8. I have been given the option to have surgery and since I’ve already had 3 surgeries to my neck I’m Not. going to have any more surgeries period.

    The next step is to get some injections to my neck to see if they can kill some nerves to get some relief of the major pain relief. My lifestyle has been completely changed.

    And the way of life isn’t goingto be the same…

    I do have a lawyer. So I am wondering what are the average settlement for this kind of injury.

    I’m in Washington state.

  • Gillis M.

    I was rearended in Feb of this year. The guys brakes failed and he hit me at about 10-12 miles an hour. I do have hardware fusion on c-1,c-2
    And blood bone fusion on c-4 through 6.

    I’ve had 2 mri’s and the Dr did say that I have some damage to my shoulder and c spine and thorastic #8. I have been given the option to have surgery and since I’ve already had 3 surgeries to my neck I’m Not. going to have any more surgeries period.

    The next step is to get some injections to my neck to see if they can kill some nerves to get some relief of the major pain relief. My lifestyle has been completely changed.

    And the way of life isn’t goingto be the same…

    I do have a lawyer. So I am wondering what are the average settlement for this kind of injury.

    I’m in Washington state.

  • Ron Miller

    Gillis, if you already have a lawyer, that would be the best person to ask.