Herniated Disc from Auto Accident

We represented a 66-year old woman who was rear-ended while traveling south on Cave Creek Road near Cactus Road in Phoenix, Arizona. She was not transported to the hospital following the accident, but she began suffering from sustained severe lower back pain shortly afterward. She went to her family doctor several days later, and he referred her to physical therapy for treatment of her lower back pain. After several visits, our client quit therapy because of the intense pain she was experiencing from the treatments. She later tried chiropractic treatments, but they provided only temporary relief from her symptoms.

Nine months after the accident, our client’s family doctor ordered an MRI evaluation of her lumbar spine. The MRI revealed a large disc herniation at the L5-S1 level. She subsequently consulted with a neurosurgeon who suggested that she undergo spinal surgery to remove the herniated disc and to fuse remaining surrounding discs.

Because of the significant risks associated with such surgery, she declined to have it. We filed a lawsuit on our client’s behalf to recover her damages. Although our client’s medical bills were less than $10,000, she nonetheless had a serious injury and a significant claim. Only days after filing the lawsuit, the responsible party’s insurance company offered their insured’s full policy limits of $50,000 in exchange for dismissing the lawsuit against their insured. Shortly thereafter, we submitted a demand to our own client’s insurance company for payment under the underinsured motorist coverage of her policy. The insurance company offered the full policy limits. We recovered $100,000 for our client in this case.

The information contained in this article should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any matter discussed. The contents are intended for general information purposes only. Always consult a qualified attorney for legal advice on a specific matter.