A herniated disc injury has the potential to be one of the most debilitating and painful spinal injuries. To make it even worse, they are also a relatively common injury. If you have sustained a disc herniation, then it is likely that you will be suffering from intense pain in your neck and back, numbness, and/or tingling sensations in your arms and legs. In the worst cases, herniated discs can also lead to a permanent disability. If you are suffering from a disc herniation that was caused by somebody else’s negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation. You should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to see what you could be owed.
The Law Place is a law firm made up of dedicated St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys, many of which are AVVO 10.0 rated and can boast 75 years of combined experience. Our law firm can offer a free case evaluation, whereby you will be given a chance to ask any questions you may have, and we will review your case to determine its strength. Insurance companies can be a scary prospect, so do not hesitate to call our office to schedule a free consultation with our injury lawyers to learn more about how we can help.
Call The Law Place today at (941) 444-4444. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
What Is a Herniated Disc Injury?
Your spinal cord is one of the most intricate systems in your body. It is made up of several bones, each with its own disc. The purpose of a disc is to both protect the spine and to allow humans to bounce, twist, and bend without issue. Sadly, as humans get older, our spines and joints become steadily weaker and weaker. Because of the decline in strength, if any sudden movements are made, then this can possibly cause a herniated disc, the likelihood of this occurring increases with age. A herniated disc can also be caused by a traumatic accident, but a car accident does not discriminate with age, and even younger people could sustain such an injury in an accident.
A herniated disc is when the solid disc surrounding your spine protrudes outwards or tears. This will then cause the gel-like liquid within your spine to steadily leak out. If the disc is sticking out, then it could push against your nerve roots or the spine itself. This is what will cause any severe back pain. Unfortunately, a herniated disc can also cause pain throughout the rest of your body because of the fact your spine is linked with the nerves in other parts of the body. If left untreated, then this back injury can worsen, causing more pain or other more severe injuries. An example of this would be radiculopathy – this occurs when the pressure on the spine builds up, eventually causing pain or numbness in the arms, legs, and back.
Due to how life-altering a herniated disc can be then it is highly recommended you act quickly and hire a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer to help you with your case. If you have sustained a herniated disc in an accident that was not your fault (e.g., a motor vehicle accident), then personal injury attorneys from The Law Place could be your best bet at getting you the settlement you deserve. Contact our St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys today to organize a free consultation.
What Can Cause a Herniated Disc Injury in St. Petersburg, FL?
As previously mentioned, the elderly will be more at risk of sustaining a herniated disc. However, some common examples of accidents in which any person could sustain a herniated disc include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A physical assault, e.g., a fight.
- Sporting accidents.
- A car accident.
- A truck accident.
- Slip and fall.
- Workplace accidents.
No matter the specific cause of your herniated disc, if it was not your fault, then you may be entitled to compensation and thus should call The Law Place to organize your free case evaluation.
What If I Had a Pre-Existing Neck or Back Injury at the Time of My Accident?
Your St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers must be able to prove that you sustained a herniated disc in an accident and that it was not a pre-existing condition in order to receive a solid settlement figure. If you already had a neck or back injury at the time of your car accident, then this becomes a lot harder. Therefore, it is best to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side. Our injury lawyers have years of experience in dealing with insurance claims such as your own, so they will best know how to put forward your case details to the relevant insurance companies.
The injury lawyers here at The Law Place will put in the necessary work to help prove at least a portion of your injury, and resulting pain was caused by your auto accident/slip and fall. An attorney from our St. Petersburg office will gather all of the evidence to prove your pre-existing injury and the related pain has been worsened by your accident. This will involve using testimonies from family and friends, medical records, a medical professional’s opinion, and you keep a daily journal of your pain/discomfort.
What Are Some Common Symptoms of Herniated Disc Injuries?
Back injuries of any kind can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. Some common symptoms, specific to a herniated disc, include (but are not limited to):
- Pain, numbness, or/and tingling in different parts of the body – The area that experiences pain and discomfort will depend on the specific disc that has been damaged. For instance, if the disc in your lower spine has been herniated, then this will more than likely lead to discomfort in your legs. On the other hand, a disc herniation in your neck will be more likely to affect your shoulders or arms.
- Muscle weakness – Herniated discs can cause notable loss of balance or weakness in your limbs. The nerves the disc presses against may not be able to communicate with the relevant muscles. This lapse in communication can make even simple motor tasks significantly difficult to complete. If the disc is pressing against the nerve linked with the lower half of the body, then any nerve damage could become permanent or long-lasting.
- Shooting pains – If your herniation is bad enough, then you may be experiencing severe shooting pains originating from your back that then travel across the body. This pain could occur very quickly when you make a sudden movement (e.g., when sneezing), or it could be lasting for hours or even days.
The Most Common Damages Available After a Herniated Disc Injury in St. Petersburg, FL.
If your disc herniation was caused by something that was not your fault (e.g., a car crash), then you could be owed damages. Examples of the possible damages that could be included in your settlement include:
- Lost wages – A herniated disc can make even the smallest of movements painful in some cases, so it is likely that you have had to have some time off from work because of it. For any lost wages from this time period, you will be able to claim these back in your final settlement. Similarly, if you have had to change career because of this injury (e.g., from manual labor to an office job), then you could claim for a loss of earning potential if you have had to take a pay cut.
- Medical bills – If you have sustained a herniated disc, it is likely you have received some medical bills for the necessary treatment/diagnosis. These medical expenses can be covered in your settlement as long as you keep any evidence of these bills. If your injuries have meant you have had to hire a career or receive specialist treatment (e.g., physio), then these expenses can also be accounted for.
- Pain and suffering – Pain and suffering are non-economical damages. They compensate for any mental or/and physical suffering caused by your accident as well as loss of enjoyment in life. Pain and suffering damages are, however, hard to prove, so it is best to have an injury lawyer to help you with this.
If you believe you could be owed any of the aforementioned damages, then call The Law Place today to schedule a meeting whereby we can evaluate your case and answer any questions you may have.
How Is Liability Determined in a Herniated Disc Injury Case in Florida?
The process of suing an individual for your injuries can be a complicated one. There are four main requirements in all personal injury lawsuits. These have to be met in order to receive a full payout from your insurance company. Your attorney will have to prove the following:
- Was there a duty of care? – In any personal injury claim, it must be proven that somebody owed you a duty of care. This is more often than not quite easy to prove as, in many scenarios, most people owe those around them a duty of care to behave as reasonable people so to keep them safe. For example, in the case of a car accident, all drivers owe a duty of care to make sure their driving is safe doesn’t endanger anybody.
- Was there a breach of this duty of care? – An accident lawyer must be able to prove that the duty of care was breached. This is achieved by further proving that the defendant was acting to a level of negligence that can be recognized as unreasonable. Using the example of a car accident, a breach could be established if the driver was proven to be speeding, drunk driving, ignoring stop signs, etc., at the time of the accident.
- Were the injuries caused by this breach? – This is a bit harder to prove; any injuries you are claiming for had to have been a direct result of the breach (i.e., the accident). It is advisable to hire a personal injury attorney to help you prove this.
- Did these injuries result in damages? – The damages you could be owed were mentioned earlier. The proof required for these will vary, but for many, it is as easy as making sure you keep any physical medical bills and payment records.
What About the Comparative Negligence Laws in St. Petersburg?
If you sustained your herniated disc in a car accident, then it is important to remember Florida Statute 768.81. The Judge will assign liability on who they believe primarily caused the car accident, and your compensation value will then reflect the laws of comparative negligence. In other words, your settlement will be deducted to punish the percentage of fault that was proven to be your own, if any. For instance, if your car crash was caused by a drunk driver, but you were also slightly speeding, then your settlement could receive a 10% deduction. This deduction fairly reflects your own liability and is reduced by 10% as Florida considers drunk driving to be more severe than traveling over the speed limit by 5-10 miles per hour.
Because of this, it is best to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. Our lawyers would prove where the liability is owed and ensure you receive a fair reduction if you had any fault. Contact The Law Place today to organize a free consultation to learn more about the rules of comparative negligence.
Is There a Time Limit on St. Petersburg Personal Injury Cases?
If you or somebody you know have recently received a disc herniation because of an accident that was not your fault, then it is very important you begin to consider your legal options and hire a lawyer as soon as possible. Florida Statute 95.11 explains clearly that there is a very strict time limit against all personal injury lawsuits. This statute of limitations means that you will have four years from the date of your accident to claim for damages. If these four years pass by then, you will be unable to ever receive the payout you could be owed. In the unfortunate case that a loved one has died, this claim will have a two-year limit.
As well as this, Florida Statute 627.736 makes clear that you are legally required to seek medical treatment within two weeks of your disc herniation. Not only will this increase your chance of recovery, but it is also so that an insurance company can’t use the fact you didn’t seek medical attention against you. If you fail to do this, then you risk your settlement being noticeably reduced or denied.
Contact a St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyer at The Law Place Today!
If you or a loved one have sustained a herniated disc in an accident that was not your fault, then contact The Law Place today! Our law firm boasts 75 years of combined experience in dealing with cases similar to your own, and many of our attorneys are AVVO 10.0 rated. We can sympathize with how life-changing your injury is and the mental, physical, and financial impact it can have on a family. Therefore, we are more than ready to stand up for our clients and put in the work to ensure you get the compensation you are rightfully owed.
Contact the office today for a free consultation with one of our dedicated personal injury lawyers in St. Petersburg, FL! Call The Law Place on our toll-free number, (941) 444-4444. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for your convenience!