An accident can ne terrifying. And like any accident victim, you likely have many concerns on your mind following a crash. Particularly one which leaves you with an injury as painful, and often debilitating, as a herniated disc. Getting the medical treatment you require to make a full recovery is at the top of your concerns.
Of course, getting treatment is one thing, but paying for the medical expenses is a different matter. And if you were involved in an Atlanta car accident in which you were not at fault, you are certainly due compensation for your injuries. You can recover compensation for a herniated disc after a car accident, but there are a few things you must do first.
Step 1: Establish the Source of Your Herniated Disc
Proving that your herniated disc is the result of your car accident is the first thing you must do. The other party’s insurer will deny your claim for your herniated disc if you cannot prove it is a direct result of the accident.
Hopefully, you have visited the hospital right after your car accident. Whether it was via ambulance or you drove yourself, this is important in establishing the severity of your injuries.
Visiting the emergency room or a doctor right after an accident establishes your diagnosis and begins your record of care early on. Once a doctor diagnoses you with a herniated disc, you can begin the treatments to jumpstart your recovery.
Establishing that you have a herniated disc begins with identifying the symptoms. The following are common herniated disc symptoms:
- Pain and/or numbness on one side of your body
- Pain which extends through your arms and legs
- Sudden muscle weakness
- Standing and sitting too long causing you pain
- Difficulty completing routine tasks and movements
However, simply proving these symptoms does not mean the opposing insurance company will agree to pay for your expenses. The insurance company will do what it can to avoid paying you the compensation you deserve. This means they may claim your injuries were pre-existing, or that they are not as severe as you claim.
This is especially true if you did not receive immediate medical attention or if the symptoms did not appear for a few days or weeks. If this is the case with your herniated disc, we can work with medical experts to establish how the accident was the direct cause of your herniated disc.
Step 2: Prove Your Case’s Value
Demonstrating the extent of your injuries is just the first piece of the puzzle when collecting damages. The second is proving the value of your case. You cannot simply demand money for an injury; we must establish a value and then show how we came to that number.
With a herniated disc, you may be entitled to both economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages might include:
- Medical expenses: This can include any bills related to your medical care.
- Lost wages: If your herniated disc required you to take time off work, you can recover compensation for any days you missed. Proving lost wages might require your W-2s, pay stubs, or other documentation from your employer.
- Lost earning capacity: If your herniated disc will affect your ability to make a living in the future, you are entitled to compensation for that loss. To determine the value of your lost earning capacity, we can work with economic and vocational experts.
Noneconomic damages can include:
- Pain and suffering: A herniated disc can cause sufferers a lot of pain and make it difficult to sit or stand comfortably. You are entitled to the physical and emotional pain and suffering you endured due to your herniated disc. To establish a value for your pain and suffering, we can discuss how your herniated has affected you with your family and friends and coworkers.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: A herniated disc can keep you from doing many of your favorite activities. If your herniated disc forced you to quit your soccer league or miss your daughter’s dance recital, you deserve compensation for that. A pain journal is a great way to establish the negative effects of your herniated disc on your enjoyment of life.
Once we have established the value of your injury, we must prove the other party’s liability. While you can still recover compensation if you were partially at-fault, your percentage of fault will decrease your settlement value.
Say another driver rear-ended your vehicle. The investigation found him to be 90 percent at-fault for the accident. Your medical costs totaled $10,000.
In this case, you would be due $9,000 for your medical expenses, under Georgia’s comparative negligence laws. You would have to pay the remaining $1,000 because you were 10 percent at fault for the accident.
Call an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney to Discuss Your Case Today
Recovering compensation after an accident is often more difficult than it should be. However, you do not need to go it alone.
S. Burke Law has spent the last 20 years helping Atlanta car accident victims collect the settlements they deserve. We offer compassionate service which begins with our free consultations. Call us now at 404-842-7838 to discuss your case with an Atlanta car accident lawyer.