While searching terms like “herniated disc from a car accident settlement in Georgia,” you may come across sites claiming to know the average.
However, these estimates aren’t that accurate and ignore several aspects of your case. Our Georgia auto accident lawyers explain why settlement averages on the internet won’t give you the full picture.
The Truth About Herniated Disc Settlements in Georgia
There are a few issues with looking for an average settlement for a herniated disc from a car accident. Settlement amounts, in many cases, are confidential.
This means that any average you find on the internet likely doesn’t include those unpublished amounts, making them misleading.
Another issue with online settlement estimates is that they don’t take into account the unique aspects of your case.
Not everyone who gets into an accident receives the same injuries, so their damages usually differ greatly.
Factors That Influence Settlement Amounts
To know how much of a settlement to expect for a herniated disc, there are three important factors you must take into account.
Since every case has unique circumstances, it’s always best to estimate your settlement based on the facts surrounding your claim.
This includes total damages, applicable fault or negligence laws, and the insurance policy limits of the defendant.
The core of every accident settlement is the extent of the victim’s damages. In Georgia, these damages fall into one of three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
The first two play significant roles in the overall value of a settlement.
In contrast, punitive damages are awarded only in rare situations where the defendant acted maliciously or recklessly. For now, we’ll focus on economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are basically any financial losses you incur due to the accident.
However, they don’t just include past losses. If your herniated disc causes long term issues, you may seek future costs related to it as well.
This usually includes:
- Physical therapy,
- Steroid injections, and
Herniated disc injury settlements with steroid injections in Georgia may involve significant economic damages. However, your attorney may need to consult with medical experts to determine what treatments are expected in the future.
Non-economic damages are the exact opposite of economic damages. Instead of providing compensation for financial losses, they reimburse the victim for intangible losses.
In other words, these damages are for the physical and mental toll of the injury.
These losses often include:
- Mental anguish,
- Reduced quality of life,
- Permanent disability,
- Severe disfigurement,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Pain and suffering.
When it comes to settlements, non-economic damages vary greatly. That’s because these losses aren’t clear cut and don’t affect everyone in the same way.
For this reason, attorneys have special calculations for non-economic damages. In some situations, they may even create a calculation for just one case.
Not all states interpret negligence the same exact way. As a result, they each have different laws regarding when a victim may seek compensation.
Currently, the state of Georgia follows a modified contributory negligence rule. Essentially, this means that victims may recover damages as long as their share of fault is less than 50%.
In addition, the court reduces the victim’s total damages by that proportion of fault. For example, if a victim has $100,000 in damages and the court finds them 30% at fault, they may receive only $70,000.
Insurance Policy Limits
Another thing to keep in mind when determining a settlement amount is the insurance policy of the defendant.
In Georgia, the minimum coverage for regular motorists is:
- $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person,
- $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, and
- $25,000 of property damage liability per accident.
Unfortunately, if the defendant has no insurance and you lack uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the recovery may be smaller than expected. We urge you to contact an attorney if the defendant has little or no coverage.
Common Complications with a Herniated Disc from a Car Accident Settlement in Georgia
Cases involving a herniated disc are sometimes complex due to a number of factors. Since herniated discs may occur in other circumstances, it can be difficult to tie them to the crash specifically.
Here are some of the most common complications in herniated disc cases and how they affect litigation.
Herniated discs are common in those over the age of 40. In addition, those with an age-related herniated disc may be asymptomatic.
Any twist, bend, or lift may lead to a herniated disc, which is why many insurance adjusters dismiss them in a car accident case. They may even claim that you’re seeking compensation for a pre-existing condition.
Speaking of pre-existing conditions, there are other illnesses that may lead to herniated discs over time. As such, many adjusters look through your medical history to look for any signs of potential degeneration.
In this case, you need strong evidence showing that no other health issues known for causing herniated discs predated your accident injury.
Although herniated discs are serious injuries, they don’t always cause immediate pain. In fact, some symptoms may not appear until several weeks after the accident.
Unfortunately, this makes it more difficult to tie the injury to the accident, especially if you don’t seek treatment soon after the crash.
This is why it’s essential you seek medical attention following an accident, even if you don’t believe you’re injured.
The Attorneys of MG Law Are Here to Help You
At MG Law, we understand how difficult the recovery is from a herniated disc from a car accident. Settlement in Georgia or any other state is a tough process, especially when the injury doesn’t present immediately.
Our attorneys know this and understand what’s at risk for their clients. If you suffer a herniated disc in a car accident due to a negligent driver, we’ll fight tirelessly for your recovery.