Visitor Question

Compensation for a herniated disc?

Submitted By: Jessica (Chicago, IL)

I was rear ended last Saturday 3/28. I went to the ER as I was having pain down my legs afterwards. They took an x-ray and said I did not break my back, but stated I needed to follow up with a doctor.

This week I went and saw a neurologist, who said I probably have a herniated disc, as I have sciatica. I just got an MRI last night and I’m waiting on the results. The doctor has given me a few pain medications in the meantime.

I work from home and I’m required to travel occasionally. This past week I was at home working from my home office, and next week I go to Houston. I am in severe pain when I walk, can’t workout, and can’t walk my dog, but I can sit at a desk and work. It is uncomfortable, but I have been pushing through.

Is the act of getting on a plane going to effect my case? What should I be doing to make sure I get full compensation for my injuries and medical bills? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Jessica,

Before going much farther, you must be able to connect your injury directly to the collision. From the facts you present, your back injury may have been an exacerbation of a preexisting medical condition – your sciatica. However, sciatica may also be the result of a traumatic event, including a rear-end collision.

You really can’t “manipulate” your injury claim by deciding whether or not to get on a plane. It boils down to whether or not you can get on the plane with an amount of pain and discomfort which is tolerable. If the pain and discomfort you are experiencing is such that it makes it physically impossible to board and remain on a plane, than do not get on a plane.

If though, the pain and discomfort is tolerable, then get on the plane and pursue your work activities.

Insurance companies will only pay for those injuries which are directly related to a collision. Your medical records will be scrutinized to determine whether or not your work-related actions and resulting loss of income are compensable.

If your doctor says, and commits to writing, you are not to get in a plane, as doing so could aggravate your injury, or that the pain would be intolerable, than the insurance company will likely rely on that information and compensate you accordingly.

Alternatively, if your doctor does not state you can’t get on a plane, or that getting on a plane will not otherwise aggravate your injury or cause you a high amount of pain, then you probably won’t be able to get the insurance company to pay you more (based by your decision not to board the plane).

Learn more here: Illinois Car Accident Guide

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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