As South Florida car accident attorneys we know that herniated discs are a common injury resulting from vehicular collisions. Spinal discs act like pillows or cushions between the vertebrae of the spinal column. The spinal column is made up of the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), and lumbar (lower back) regions. The actual discs are made of a gelatinous substance that may leak if sufficient trauma is exerted onto it. At times this leaking or extrusion may impact a nerve root. This pressure on the nerve root can provoke substantial pain and discomfort.
The location of the pain depends on where the disc herniation(s) occurred. For example, if the herniation occurred in the cervical areas, then it will likely be felt or radiated in the arm area. If the herniation occurred in the lumbar region, then the pain is likely to radiate or be felt in the legs. It should be note that these injuries are rarely diagnosed in the emergency room. This is an important point to keep in mind in Florida.
The new PIP law in Florida requires that an emergency medical condition (“EMC”) exist in order to have full access to $10,000 in benefits. Otherwise, the insured will only have access to $2,500 worth of medical treatment. It should be noted that the new PIP statute is in flux now as it is being challenged in Florida Courts. However, at this time the new PIP statute still has the EMC prerequisite for full access to $10,000. Also of note, the Florida legislature considered repealing this recently passed law altogether and make it a requirement for drivers to carry bodily injury coverage instead. This idea seems to have been scrapped for now. This is probably because insurance companies still desire to sell PIP coverage as it remains a profitable market for them.
The problem is that herniated discs are not commonly diagnosed in emergency rooms. Most emergency rooms take x-rays which are ineffective in detecting herniated discs. As Miami personal injury attorneys we know that the most effective mechanism to detect herniated discs are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) , discography, myelography, and electromyography. However, none of these named diagnostic mechanisms has the capacity to measure pain. This is ultimately a subjective matter. There is no nexus between the gravity of herniation and the pain that it causes.
Of course, clients always ask about the degree of compensation when it comes to herniated disc injuries. The compensation is contingent on factors such as the nature and extent of the injury, wage loss, medical expenses (future and present), pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc. Insurance companies always look to argue points on degenerative issues, preexisting conditions, previous accidents (if any), and force of impact. They often argue that small impacts are unable to cause acute herniated discs.
If you have any questions concerning your herniated disc injuries due to car accident in Miami, please call us. Miami-Dade accident attorneys are here to assist you 24/7. We can be reached at 305.764.9907 or 1.888.413.8353.