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Does a Steroid Injection Increase Settlement?
(Herniated Disc Injury)

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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Sustaining an injury from a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence is frustrating. Even a seemingly minor accident can leave you with neck or back pain that takes months to subside.

Your doctor may recommend steroid injections to help resolve the issue. But are they worth it? How much will a steroid injection increase your eventual settlement amount? It is common for potential clients to wonder how an epidural steroid injection will affect their car accident settlement.

As a personal injury attorney, I am here to tell you everything you need to know about steroid injections and their effect on your settlement.

Quick Summary

  • If you’ve gotten into a car accident and are feeling pain, you likely have a disc herniation.
  • Epidural Steroid Injections (ESIs) have been shown to lead to higher settlement values for claims than other therapy options.
  • Although no two herniated disc injuries are alike, it can be tricky to determine a settlement value for the case without considering all related information.

What Is Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)? 

A doctor injecting steroids on a patientEpidural Steroid Injection (ESI) is a treatment used to minimize inflammation in the affected area [1].

This injection has a corticosteroid-based drug, which reduces swelling and discomfort at the site of injury from herniated discs. The epidural space contains blood vessels, nerves, and fat surrounding it.

The steroid injection is injected into the peridural space. This painless process minimizes discomfort from a back injury and helps you recover more quickly from disc injuries by:

  • Reducing the swelling of an injured disc
  • The prevention of inflammatory cells through the control of the immune system response

How Does Epidural Injection Work?

The epidural steroid injections work by administering steroids into the spine’s epidural space. The anti-inflammatory effect of steroids helps to reduce symptoms associated with herniated disc injuries.

After ESI administration, which lasts only 30 minutes, the patient can resume normal activities a day later. In general, relief from this procedure may last anywhere from a few days up until years after administering epidural steroid injections.

When Will My Doctor Prescribe Steroid Injections?

Your doctor will prescribe steroid injections based on your case. The doctor will evaluate the patient’s age, medications, and physical activities before prescribing steroid injections.

Doctors sometimes prescribe steroid injections if other treatments haven’t effectively reduced disc herniation symptoms.

Herniated Disc and Its Medical Treatment

A person suffering from a herniated discThe spine is composed of a series of bones that run from the skull to the tailbone. In between these bones are cushions called discs. These discs act as buffers between the bones, allowing people to move freely and without pain.

Disc herniations occur when the discs between your vertebrae tear or leak, causing severe pain.

A car accident can cause the bones in your spine to press into the spinal canal. This is called disc herniation.

A disc herniation happens when the sudden impact of the crash puts too much pressure on the disc. This pressure irritates the spinal cord, which can cause pain and discomfort.

Related Article: Hernia Mesh Patch Lawsuit Update 

What Are Other Herniated Disc Treatments?

A person in pain from herniated disc injury

Herniated disc treatments depend on one patient to another. Herniated disc symptoms differ from person to person, some don’t experience any. In some cases, you may require medication if you suffer from a severe injury.

Most spinal disc injuries do not require surgery but can be resolved with conservative treatment methods that your doctor will recommend.

Such treatments may include:

  • Medication: Many people injured in car accidents suffer from herniated disc pain and discomfort. Some may find relief by taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • Physical therapy: A physical therapy program to relieve herniated disc pain can benefit patients suffering from a herniated disc injury.
  • Chiropractic care: If you were injured in a car accident, chiropractic care might help. If not, your doctor will likely recommend epidural steroid injections to ease the discomfort caused by disc herniation.
  • Spinal injections: If a patient’s discomfort from a disc herniation does not improve with medication or physical therapy, doctors usually recommend a steroid injection to the spine.

The steroid injection treatment for disc herniation helps reduce the nerve’s inflammation. If the patient responds well to the initial steroid injection, more injections can be given when symptoms from a herniated disc return.

If the initial relief from the steroid injection is not achieved, physicians do not believe they should give additional injections.

Is It Common to Use Steroid Injections for Herniated Disc Injury?

Yes, it is common to use steroid injections for herniated disc injuries. Doctors usually administer steroid injections to help relieve symptoms for people with herniated disc injuries [2]. With these types of shots, patients experience less pain, swelling, and inflammation. They can get them three to six times within 12 months.

For a newer disc herniation diagnosis, doctors space out the steroid injections given every few weeks so they can resolve symptoms quickly. They work on the spinal nerves by clearing away the proteins that cause discs to swell up in the first place.

Steroid injections are pain management medications lasting from a few days to years. They give patients suffering from spinal cord injuries an opportunity to improve their condition with other drugs, therapy, and programs.

Trigger Point Injections and Car Accident Settlement Negotiations

A doctor holding a steroid injectionTrigger points are small knots that develop in your fascia tissue or muscles and can cause chronic pain or tenderness. Epidural steroid injections and trigger point injections relieve inflammation and muscle pain.

Myofascial pain is often the result of a car accident or other trauma to the neck area. Doctors can inject medication directly into your trigger point to relieve this pain [3].

Epidural steroid injections and trigger point injections can help manage neck and back pain while your spine heals. More drastic measures, such as surgery, are often only necessary if injections don’t relieve your pain and swelling.

If they help you feel better, you’ll be able to avoid procedures that require more recovery time and cost more money.

Epidural Injection and Car Accident Settlements

Epidural injections might appear to be daunting, and they are not cheap. On the other hand, Steroid injections are minimally invasive but come with certain risks.

Some of them are:

  • Feeling flushed
  • Developing an allergy to the medication
  • Pain at the injection site
  • Increased blood sugar levels
  • Developing an infection in the injection area
  • Anticoagulation or bleeding disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Problems with the local anesthetic used

Injections may improve your settlement amount, but there is no determined dollar value. Some people feel better after one injection, while others might require multiple epidural injections over one or more years.

Additionally, developing side effects could influence how much you receive from a lawsuit settlement.

Steroid injections can also lead to increased pain and suffering, as they often are painful. If you’re wondering about steroid injections’ impact on your case, consult with an experienced car accident attorney.

How Much Is the Settlement Amount for a Herniated Disc Injury Resulting From Car Accidents?

A lawyer holding a settlement from herniated disc injuryThe settlement amount for a herniated disc injury resulting from a car accident may even be six-figure, although the average settlement value for these cases is approximately $360,000.

Even though each herniated disc injury is one-of-a-kind, it can be complicated to come up with a particular settlement value without considering the related information of the case.

Most attorneys who manage herniated disc injury lawsuits analyze how severe the injuries are, the issue of liability, and the defendant’s insurance company policy to compute the settlement value.

Will Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI) Increase Herniated Disc Injury Settlement?

Yes, epidural steroid injections (ESI) may increase herniated disc injury settlements. Victims of car accidents who suffer from a herniated disc often require ESI to manage their back injury.

Administering ESIs has been shown to increase the settlement value for these types of claims compared to other therapy options. 

It is important to note that ESIs may not necessarily be sufficient to bring a patient’s pain levels down or fully heal the injury.

However, they can provide relief and allow the victim to begin physical therapy or other treatment plans with less discomfort. This could result in a higher settlement value for the case.

Insurance companies also consider the cost of ESIs when calculating settlements in herniated disc injury cases, so getting one may be beneficial for your case.

It is important to remember that epidural injections are not a cure-all and may not be necessary for all herniated disc injury cases.

Talk to your doctor about the potential benefits and risks of ESIs and whether they are right for you. Always consult a medical professional when considering an epidural steroid injection after a herniated disc injury.

Factors to Consider When Computing the Amount of Herniated Disc Injuries with Steroid Injections

A doctor explaining herniated disc injuries to a patient

Any lawyer must consider various factors to determine how much a herniated disc injury is worth.

These factors include:

  • Treatments for a herniated disc include medications and steroid injections.
  • The patient’s age and medical history.
  • The doctors’ predictions for the patient’s future condition.
  • The physical and emotional anguish;
  • The policy limits are available from the insurance company.

In addition to the settlement amount, other factors such as lost wages, medical expenses, and the severity of the injuries may be affected. The amount could also differ if it is decided that the other motorist was at fault for causing the accident.

Call a car accident attorney if you’re receiving epidural steroid injections for a disc herniation following an auto accident.

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FAQs

Why Are Epidural Steroid Injections Legally Relevant?

Epidural steroid injections are legally relevant because they can effectively reduce inflammation and pain, allowing a herniated disc injury victim to manage their condition with less discomfort. This could lead to a higher settlement for the case since ESIs may help strengthen other treatments, such as physical therapy.

How Much Do Epidural Steroid Injections Cost?

Epidural steroid injections cost between $1,027 to $1,487. If you have a high-deductible health plan or no insurance at all, you can still purchase your procedure upfront through other options such as MDsave.

What Is the Risk of Epidural Steroid Injections?

The risk of epidural steroid injections that come with needle insertion in epidural areas includes bleeding, allergic reaction, nerve damage, infection, and paralysis. Insomnia, weight gain, water retention, hot flashes, and mood swings are possible side effects of the steroid injection. 

What to Expect During the Epidural Steroid Injection?

During the epidural steroid injection, you may expect to feel some pressure. The injection might cause some stinging or burning.

Should I Get Epidural Steroid Injections After My Herniated Discs Injury?

Yes, you should get epidural steroid injections (ESI) after your herniated discs injury. However, only if your doctor recommends it. ESIs may help to reduce the pain and make physical therapy easier for you.

Is Herniated Disc Considered a Severe Injury?

No, a herniated disc is not considered a severe injury. For some people, a herniated disc gets better over time. Others may find that their condition improves with minimal medication. However, when symptoms of a herniated disc interfere with normal day-to-day activities, the injury is considered severe.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

If you believe your herniated disc injury case was caused by a car accident, it is essential to seek legal help.

An experienced car accident lawyer can assess the specifics of your case and determine the best course of action for you. Contact Schmidt & Clark, LLP for a free consultation session with experienced car accident lawyers.

We will help you understand how epidural steroid injections affect your settlement value and explain any other related legal options available. With our experience, you can get the most out of your herniated disc injury settlement.


References:

  1. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007485.htm#:~:text=An%20epidural%20steroid%20injection%20(ESI,or%20certain%20types%20of%20surgery.
  2. https://mayfieldclinic.com/pe-esi.htm
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/myofascial-pain-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20375444

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