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  1. #1
    jpnguyen21 is offline Junior Member
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    Herniated Disc settlement

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA

    I was involved in a car accident in January of 2009. Of that I suffered whiplash, back pain, and recently discovered 8 months ago, a herniated disc at c5-6. I did not have any pre-existing conditions.

    My treat is roughly as follows:
    1. Physical Therapy & Chiropractic - $4000
    2. MRI - $4200
    3. Consult with plastic surgeon regarding small scar on hand - $900
    4. Consult with Orthopedic doctor - $980
    5. 3 Steroid Injections - $30000
    6. Final evaluation with Orthopedic doctor stating that I must have surgery to correct the herniated disc - $1000
    7. Some vicodin and oxycotin prescriptions - $1000

    The driver has $250k of coverage. And was 100% at fault as she was the driver that hit a parked car and I was a passenger in her vehicle.

    How much of a settlement offer is reasonable? Should I accept the insurance company's offer as a partial settlement and pursue her in court?
  2. #2
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    You should talk to a lawyer. You may have trouble relating a herniated disc in November to an accident that happened in January. And you can't get compensation for surgery that you have not had yet.
  3. #3
    jpnguyen21 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    You should talk to a lawyer. You may have trouble relating a herniated disc in November to an accident that happened in January. And you can't get compensation for surgery that you have not had yet.
    I went through 4 months of chiropractic care and I got noticeably better but still had pains in my lower back and neck. My chiropractor diagnosed me with chronic pain. And advised me to stop chiropractic work since it would not do anything for me. So, I stopped.

    Anyway, I had an attorney at the time, he advised me to close the case. I told him, I wasn't 100% recovered and wanted to seek additional medical help. He keep persisting and threatened to raise his rate to 45%. So, I fired him.

    My new attorney scheduled an MRI and Orthopedic consult. I eventually got the MRI around October and it showed a herniated disc at C5-6. I got the shots and feel a little better but I don't think I have time to get surgery done before my 2 year statute of limitations is up. So, I was hoping that my attorney could try and negotiate a settlement for surgery.

    I should also note the car accident was at extremely high speeds. The driver was going in excess of 100mph. We clipped the corner of a parked car and rammed into a middle divider, witnesses say we jumped up in the air.

    As of today, I am unable to do anything strenuous. Before the accident, I worked out often, 3-4 times a week. Now when I work out, I receive a sharp pain in my shoulder blade. My ortho said its due to the herniated disc.

    So my question is;
    1. What do you think is a reasonable settlement given the situation?
    2. Should I negotiate for a partial settlement and then have the surgery and go to court or the insurance company for more damages? Is that even possible?
    3. If I sue and the defendant does not have any assets, will the defendant have to make payments over time?
    Last edited by jpnguyen21; 06-22-2010 at 08:22 PM.
  4. #4
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    That's not how it works. Your attorney will file suit before the SOL expires, to stop the clock. Then you can continue treatment/recovery until it is complete.

    If the defendent has no assets, it would be foolish to seek a judgement greater then the policy limits. At this point, your case is not worth even the full limits of the policy since you have not had surgery. Impossible to say what the final value will be since it will largely depend on the degree of permanent disability you have when your treatment is complete.
  5. #5
    jpnguyen21 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the replies.

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