Rear ended with a bulging disk...

by Alesia

I was rear-ended and the other driver's insurance accepted fault. Prior to the wreck, I had been suffering from a bulging disk in my neck but had gotten the pain to a manageable level. The wreck aggravated the condition, causing the pain to be much worse than prior to the wreck.

I had a CT scan, x-rays, pain block, and missed 5 days of work. In addition, I have been driving a rental car for a month now, while waiting on my car to be repaired. I'm not sure what the medical bills are at this time, and I have a follow-up appt with my doctor tomorrow. Any idea what amount is reasonable to ask for pain & suffering in a case like this? How will my prior injury affect this case? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Rear ended with a bulging disk...":

Alesia (Alabama):

If you aren't represented by an attorney you should give serious thought to retaining one now. Your injuries are serious, and because of your "pre-existing" condition, the percentage of your damages, or degree of injury will be controverted. If you are represented by an attorney you should listen to his or her advice.

Pre-existing conditions which become aggravated pose a challenge. The insurance company will almost always take the position that the degree of pain and resulting medical bills was minimally caused by their insured. It's up to you or your attorney to convince the insurance company otherwise.

In a perfect world, a good way to estimate your settlement would be to take the total amount of your medical bills and multiply them by 3-4x or higher. Such a multiple is meant to take into account your medical bills, out of pocket expenses for medical bills, medications, costs of transportation to and from treatment, and lost wages. Unfortunately in your case negotiating this multiple will be difficult.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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