Degenerative Disc Disease After Car Accident Settlement in Nevada

degenerative disc disease after car accident settlement

Car accidents can be life-changing, leading to many physical and emotional challenges. One lesser-known but impactful consequence that may arise after a car accident is degenerative disc disease (DDD). If you or a loved one has experienced a car accident resulting in DDD, understanding your rights and potential compensation is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the nuances of DDD, its connection to car accidents, legal considerations, and the average degenerative disc disease settlement in Nevada.

What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease is characterized by the deterioration of the intervertebral discs in the spine. While it is commonly associated with natural aging, the body may develop bone spurs that compress the spinal cord. Traumatic events such as car accidents can accelerate their onset or exacerbate existing conditions. The intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, and when they degenerate, it can lead to chronic pain, reduced mobility, and other debilitating symptoms.

Can Degenerative Disc Disease Be Aggravated by a Car Accident?

Yes, degenerative disc disease can be aggravated or accelerated by a car accident. The impact of a collision can cause the discs to compress, tear, or herniate, leading to increased severe pain and functional limitations. This complicating factor is crucial in personal injury cases, as it may impact the determination of liability and the extent of compensation owed to the injured party.

Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease

Recognizing the symptoms of degenerative disc disease is essential for seeking timely medical attention and legal guidance. Common symptoms include:

  • Chronic back pain

  • Radiating pain in the legs or arms

  • Numbness or tingling

  • Muscle weakness

  • Difficulty standing or sitting for extended periods

Understanding these symptoms is crucial for your health and building a solid case if you pursue a personal injury claim.              

What Is an Eggshell Plaintiff?

In legal terms, an “eggshell plaintiff” refers to a person who is more susceptible to injuries due to a preexisting condition. If you had degenerative disc disease before the auto accident, and the accident exacerbated or worsened your situation, you are considered an eggshell plaintiff. This legal concept underscores the responsibility of the at-fault party to compensate for the full extent of the harm caused, even if the injured person had a preexisting degenerative disc disease condition.    

Examples of Degenerative Disc Disease Settlements

The settlements for a herniated disc or bone spurs resulting from a car accident can vary widely based on factors such as the severity of the injury, the impact on daily life, and the effectiveness of medical treatment. Here are a few hypothetical examples to illustrate potential settlement amounts:

  1. Mild Disc Herniation:

    • Medical expenses: $10,000

    • Lost wages: $5,000

    • Pain and suffering: $20,000

    • Total settlement: $35,000

  2. Moderate Disc Herniation:

    • Medical expenses: $20,000

    • Lost wages: $10,000

    • Pain and suffering: $40,000

    • Total settlement: $70,000

  3. Severe Disc Herniation:

    • Medical expenses: $50,000

    • Lost wages: $20,000

    • Pain and suffering: $100,000

    • Total settlement: $170,000      

These are hypothetical figures, and the actual settlement amount can vary based on the unique circumstances of each case.    

Potential Compensation in a Degenerative Disc Disease Aggravated by a Car Accident

If you are pursuing a personal injury claim for degenerative disc disease aggravated by a car accident in Nevada, potential compensation may include:

  1. Medical Expenses: Costs related to diagnosis, treatment, surgery, physical therapy, and ongoing medical care.

  2. Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to the inability to work during recovery.

  3. Pain and Suffering: Damages for the physical and emotional distress caused by the accident and resulting injuries.

  4. Non-Economic Damages: Compensation for intangible losses such as emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish.

  5. Punitive Damages: In cases of gross negligence or willful misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded to deter similar behavior.

Does Degenerative Disc Disease Affect a Personal Injury Case?

Yes, degenerative disc disease (DDD) can significantly impact a personal injury case, especially if it is claimed to have been aggravated or accelerated by a car accident. Understanding how DDD affects a personal injury case is crucial for individuals seeking compensation and the legal professionals involved. Here are key considerations:

  1. Establishing Causation: In personal injury cases involving degenerative disc disease (DDD), proving a direct link between the car accident and the worsening of the preexisting condition is crucial. This requires thorough medical evidence, including diagnostic tests and expert opinions.

  2. Eggshell Plaintiff Doctrine: Recognizing individuals with preexisting conditions, like DDD, as “eggshell plaintiffs”, means holding the at-fault party accountable for the total harm caused, regardless of the preexisting condition. Courts acknowledge individuals as they are, including their health history.

  3. Impact on Damages: DDD significantly influences the calculation of damages in personal injury cases. Damages cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and non-economic damages. The severity of the preexisting condition and its aggravation by the accident determine the extent of these damages.

  4. Insurance Company Challenges: Insurance companies often challenge personal injury claims involving preexisting conditions to minimize compensation. Skilled legal representation is crucial in countering these challenges and ensuring a fair assessment of damages.

  5. Treatment and Prognosis: The nature of post-accident treatment, whether physical therapy, medication, or surgeries like spinal fusion, plays a crucial role in determining compensation. Long-term effects on the individual’s ability to work and lead an everyday life are also considered.

Essential Considerations for Your Case

Preexisting Condition

A preexisting condition, such as degenerative disc disease, does not preclude you from seeking compensation. If the car accident aggravated or worsened your pre-existing condition, you may be entitled to additional compensation as an eggshell plaintiff.

Medical Records

Thorough documentation of your medical condition is essential. Ensure you keep all medical records related to diagnosing, treating, and managing your degenerative disc disease. These records will serve as crucial evidence in establishing the connection between the car accident and your current condition.

At-Fault Driver

Determining liability is a crucial aspect of any personal injury case. If another driver’s negligence or recklessness caused the car accident, they may be held responsible for the resulting injuries and damages.

Spinal Fusion

In severe cases of degenerative disc disease, spinal fusion surgery may be recommended. Suppose you undergo spinal fusion as a result of a car accident. In that case, the associated medical expenses and the impact on your daily life can contribute to the overall compensation you may be entitled to.

How Can an Attorney Help?

Navigating the legal landscape after a car accident and subsequent degenerative disc disease diagnosis can be challenging. An experienced personal injury lawyer specializing in car accidents and spinal injuries can be a crucial ally. Here’s how:

  1. Understanding the Legal Process: A seasoned attorney can guide you through the intricate legal process, ensuring you know your rights and the steps in pursuing a claim.

  2. Building a Strong Case: Collecting evidence is paramount in personal injury cases. Your attorney will help gather medical records, accident reports, and other relevant documents to strengthen your case.

  3. Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Dealing with insurance companies can be overwhelming. An attorney will skillfully negotiate on your behalf, aiming for a fair settlement considering all aspects of your situation.

  4. Preparing for Trial: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your attorney will be ready to take your case to trial. This involves presenting a compelling case in court to secure the compensation you deserve.

  5. Ensuring Fair Compensation: An experienced lawyer understands the intricacies of personal injury law and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive fair compensation for your car accident injuries, pain, and suffering.

degenerative disc disease after car accident settlement

Get Help from a Practiced Personal Injury Attorney at BLG

Experiencing a car accident and subsequently dealing with degenerative disc disease can be a challenging journey. However, understanding your rights, seeking prompt medical attention, and enlisting the support of an experienced car accident lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Remember, you deserve fair compensation for the pain, suffering, and disruptions caused by someone else’s negligence.

If you or a loved one is grappling with degenerative disc disease after a car accident in Nevada, the dedicated team at BLG is here to guide you through the legal process. Our experienced personal injury lawyers specialize in car accident cases, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today for a free consultation.


How much is the payout for degenerative disc disease?

Using various averages in our estimations, we project that the typical settlement for workers’ compensation related to degenerative disc disease is approximately $120,000. The payout for degenerative disc disease can vary widely and depends on various factors, including the severity of the condition, the impact on daily life, and the jurisdiction’s legal and insurance regulations.

Can whiplash worsen degenerative disc disease?

Yes, whiplash can potentially worsen degenerative disc disease. Whiplash is a sudden and forceful back-and-forth movement of the neck, often associated with car accidents. This motion can exacerbate existing conditions, including degenerative disc disease, by causing additional stress and strain on the spinal discs. Individuals with preexisting degenerative disc disease may experience increased pain and a faster progression of the condition due to the trauma from whiplash.

Can you get degenerative disc disease from a car accident?

While a car accident itself may not directly cause degenerative disc disease, it can contribute to the acceleration or exacerbation of existing disc degeneration. The forces involved in a motor vehicle accident, especially traumatic events like whiplash, can put additional stress on the spine and accelerate the degenerative process. Factors such as age, genetics, and lifestyle also play a role in the development of degenerative disc disease.

What is the recovery time for degenerative disc disease?

The recovery time for degenerative disc disease varies widely. It is influenced by factors such as the severity of the condition, the effectiveness of treatment, and individual factors like age and overall health. Degenerative disc disease is a chronic condition, and complete recovery may not be possible.

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