How to Prove the Seriousness of an Injury in a Personal Injury Case | Personal Injury Herniated Disc
As a personal injury lawyer in Florida since 1989, many clients have asked me over the years how I go about proving the seriousness of an injury in a typical automobile accident or slip and fall injury claim.
A common injury in these types of personal injury cases involves a herniated disc in the neck, mid-back or lower back area of the spine. Many times, an insurance adjuster for the large insurance companies, Allstate, Geico, State Farm, Farmers, Nationwide and U.S.A.A., just to name a few that I deal with regularly, will try to downplay a spinal injury as just being “whiplash” or a “soft tissue” injury only and therefore, nothing serious.
Your lawyer needs to be well versed in the tools that can be used to persuade an insurance adjuster of the seriousness of your injuries, thus increasing significantly the value of your case. One of these tools is the use of diagnostic testing to objectively prove an injury. That way, an insurance adjuster does not have to rely solely on the truthfulness of the injured person but instead can see, if presented properly by the lawyer, how the objective diagnostic testing corroborates the patient’s subjective complaints of pain. When the science matches up perfectly with the complaints of the injured party, it is like two pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly together.
A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine is basically a group of large powerful magnets, radio waves and a computer that create images by evaluating, slice by slice, how much light passes through your body one thin layer at a time. The image created from this technology is much more reliable and in depth than a regular x-ray. A regular x-ray, by the way, is the typical diagnostic test performed in an emergency room after a crash or injury. The x-ray shows broken bones but cannot diagnose things such as disc injuries and other injuries to the spine.
One of the things that we look for on an MRI, as a typical result of many collisions or falls, is the effect on these discs that make up the space between the vertebra in your spine. They are in your body to act as a “shock absorber” between the bones and on heavy impact they sometimes rupture, causing the material inside the disc to migrate to the adjoining tissues and nerves. When this extruded disc material touches or impinges upon the nerves in the spine, it could cause numbness, tingling or pain in the area of the rupture as well as possibly radiating into the extremities. Typically, if a disc is ruptured, also known as a herniated disc, it would cause symptoms following a particular nerve distribution pattern.
As a lawyer, if I can “put the pieces of the puzzle” together for the insurance adjuster, I make their job easier and it results in the client obtaining a larger settlement. If I can show that the complaints are consistent with the same nerve distribution pattern as would be expected from a disc that herniates in a particular level of the spine, correlate that with the other medical testing, along with evidence of the extent of the impact on the vehicle, these are the pieces of the puzzle necessary to show an insurance adjuster why my client is entitled to a larger recovery. Using this approach, I just turned a very minimal Geico offer into a $100,000.00 settlement, by showing the adjuster how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
In conclusion, I would say, after 32 years of settling cases with insurance companies, that every case is a puzzle waiting for an experienced lawyer to put the pieces together. If you have any questions about your situation or how to prove the seriousness of an injury in a personal injury case, call me any time to discuss it. I look forward to speaking with you.
If you need immediate assistance from a lawyer that you can reach 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call the Law Office of Robert E Gluck, P.A. right now. All of Robert’s clients receive his cell phone number so that they can reach him when they need him. Call or Contact our office with any questions you may have now at 954.583.8999. I am currently accepting cases throughout the State of Florida.
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