What Is The Average Settlement For A Herniated Disc Injury?

The average payout for a herniated disc injury claim in the United States is $220,066 and the median settlement amount is $35,000, which is a better representation of the typical settlement amount. Factors that affect how much a herniated disc injury is worth includes total medical expenses, lost wages, and claims of pain and suffering. Settlement data is based on 305 auto accident cases that include a herniated disc injury recorded by Thomson Reuters in the last 5 years (between 2019 and 2024).

Table of Contents
Average herniated disc settlement chart (2024)
Average herniated disc settlement chart (2024)

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Note: Average settlement data should not be interpreted as a guaranteed settlement amount for your herniated disc injury. Data and settlement examples provided are intended to be used for informational purposes.

  • Median settlement = $35,000: The median more accurately reflects a typical herniated disc injury settlement because the calculation is less subject to being skewed by extremely high or low settlement amounts.
  • Average settlement = $220,066: The average settlement amount is the sum of all settlements that include a herniated disc injury, which is then divided by the total number of settlements (305).
  • Highest settlement = $3,650,000: In an accident involving a vehicle collision in slow-moving traffic, an individual sustained a disc herniation at C6-C7, leading to cervical discectomy and fusion surgery. The individual also received a spinal cord stimulator due to ongoing neck pain and underwent additional surgeries for knee and shoulder injuries. The case involved claims against the driver and associated companies, highlighting the severe impact and complex medical outcomes stemming from the accident.
  • Lowest settlement = $7,500: In an accident involving a rear-end collision, a minor sustained a bulging disc at L5-S1 along with mild spinal cord narrowing and a facial contusion. The vehicle the minor was riding in was operated by their parent and was struck by another vehicle. The minor fully recovered from the injuries, and a claim for damages was filed on their behalf by the parent. The parties responsible for the accident denied liability.

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Herniated Disc Injury Settlement Examples

Settlement examples under $100K

  • $30K settlement: In a legal case involving a traffic collision, an individual sustained a disc protrusion at L4-L5 along with neck and lower back pain, and severe headaches as a result of being a passenger in a vehicle involved in an accident. The vehicle was struck by another vehicle that turned into its path at an intersection. Legal actions were taken against the driver and the company associated with the vehicle for negligence and improper hiring and training practices.
  • $75K settlement: In an accident where a vehicle was rear-ended, a 13-year-old individual experienced a concussion and spine injuries, specifically herniations at C3-C6. The collision occurred on a local route, and the vehicle involved was insured by a particular insurance company. A claim was made for the damages, and a settlement was successfully negotiated on behalf of the minor to cover the injuries sustained.
  • $90K settlement: In an off-road vehicle accident, an individual suffered multiple injuries after the vehicle, driven too fast for conditions by a friend, failed to navigate a turn and rolled down an embankment. The individual sustained a concussion with ongoing post-concussive symptoms, significant dental injuries, and both scalp and facial lacerations resulting in scarring. Additionally, the individual experienced severe emotional distress after witnessing the death of the friend. Spinal injuries, including cervical disc disorders and severe headaches, were also reported. Medical treatment was sought, including chiropractic and dental care, but further treatment was limited due to lack of health insurance.

Settlement examples between $100K and $500K

  • $150K settlement: An individual claimed they were injured in a vehicle accident while working, resulting in permanent disabilities. They suffered from head, lower back, neck, and arm injuries, diagnosed with cervical degenerative disc disease and a herniated disc at L4-5. Ongoing symptoms included headaches, dizziness, and depression, leading to severe work restrictions, including limits on lifting, driving, and sitting or standing duration. The individual contended that these restrictions prevented a return to any gainful employment.
  • $300K settlement: In a vehicle accident where one vehicle was traveling too quickly for conditions and couldn’t stop, resulting in it rear-ending another vehicle that was pulling a trailer, causing the trailer to jackknife. The individuals in the struck vehicle sustained significant injuries. One individual experienced a right shoulder injury requiring multiple surgeries and additional treatments such as physical therapy and steroid injections. They also had a spine injury involving multiple disc bulges. Another individual suffered from back and neck injuries, treated as whiplash, and also received physical therapy. Medical evaluations noted pre-existing conditions which influenced the assessment of injuries directly caused by the accident.
  • $400K settlement: In an accident at an intersection, an individual was struck by another vehicle whose driver allegedly ran a stop sign. The individual suffered extensive injuries including herniated discs, shoulder and knee strains, and required bilateral hip replacements. Despite claims of negligence, the opposing driver contested involvement and the severity of the impact, citing lack of property damage and pre-existing conditions. The case went through arbitration and later trial, resulting in significant damage awards, though liability was contested, ending with a mixed liability finding and a final settlement under a pre-agreed arrangement.

Settlement examples between $500K and $1M

  • $550K settlement: In an accident at an intersection, an individual suffered cervical radiculopathy and neck pain, necessitating total disc arthroplasty and discectomy with fusion. The individual’s vehicle was struck by another exiting a parking lot, leading to claims of negligence due to the opposing driver’s failure to yield and maintain a proper lookout. Liability and the extent of the damages were disputed by the defendant.
  • $700K settlement: In a significant impact collision, an individual suffered a neck injury with disc protrusions and bilateral stenosis requiring surgical intervention, as well as a fractured rib. Initially, only the rib fracture was diagnosed and treated; neck symptoms developed later, leading to a diagnosis of disc pathology after an MRI. Despite initial conservative treatments including chiropractic care and spinal injections, the individual eventually underwent a cervical fusion surgery, which resolved some symptoms but left residual issues. The defendant argued the delay in reporting neck injuries suggested they were unrelated to the accident, but the individual countered that the initial focus was on the more immediate rib pain.
  • $900K settlement: In a multi-vehicle collision involving a loss of vehicle control due to insufficient tire traction and subsequent rear-ending by a semi-truck, an individual sustained significant injuries to the cervical spine, specifically herniated discs. The case involved multiple defendants including the drivers directly involved in the accident, the truck driver’s employer, and the truck’s insurer, alongside the vehicle owner for inadequate vehicle maintenance and the individual’s own uninsured motorist carrier. Claims of negligence were made against the drivers for excessive speed and inattention. The lawsuit was settled for $900,000, with the majority covered by the truck’s associated parties and a portion by the individual’s uninsured motorist insurance.

Settlement examples over $1M

  • $1.5M settlement: In an accident involving a school bus and a vibration engineer on his way to work, the individual’s vehicle was rear-ended when the bus driver, distracted and looking backwards, failed to stop. The individual sustained serious neck and back injuries, including herniated discs requiring surgery, and developed post-concussive syndrome leading to cognitive and personality changes. Despite multiple surgeries, he continued to experience chronic pain and cognitive impairments, necessitating ongoing treatment with various specialists to manage his conditions.
  • $2.5M settlement: In a traffic-related accident, an individual stopped due to traffic was rear-ended by a vehicle whose driver, employed by a company, failed to stop in time. The individual, diagnosed with cervical strain, underwent multiple surgeries for shoulder, knee, and spine injuries including a disc protrusion and laminectomy, attributed to the collision. The defendants acknowledged liability but cited minor property damage and pre-existing conditions related to the individual’s health before the accident. Claims included compensation for over $350,000 for lost wages and another $660,000 for medical expenses.
  • $3.25M settlement: In an accident, an individual on a motorcycle was struck by a highway patrol vehicle making a U-turn, leading to serious injuries including hip fractures requiring multiple surgeries, a lumbar disc bulge, knee injuries, and emotional distress. The highway patrol was found at fault for making an unsafe turn. The motorcyclist, who suffered significant physical trauma and underwent extensive medical treatments, contended negligence, while the defense argued comparative fault. The incident resulted in both physical and emotional consequences for the motorcyclist. Medical specialists totaled approx. $150,000 in addition to $500,000 in surgery and medical treatment costs.

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Factors That Affect Herniated Disc Injury Settlement Amounts

Severity of the Injury: More severe injuries that require extensive medical treatment or result in long-term disability typically lead to higher settlements.

🛈 Example: A herniated disc requiring multiple surgeries, including a discectomy and spinal fusion, can result in higher settlements due to increased medical needs. For instance, surgery costs might total $150,000, rehabilitation at $30,000, and required future treatments adding an additional $50,000.

Medical Expenses: The total cost of medical treatments already incurred and projected future treatments.

🛈 Example: If total medical bills reach $230,000 for surgeries, physical therapy, and pain management, the settlement would need to cover these costs fully to compensate the injured party adequately.

Impact on Quality of Life: If the injury leads to chronic pain, limitations on activities, or affects mental health.

🛈 Example: Chronic pain and inability to engage in hobbies like biking or hiking might increase non-economic damages, potentially adding $100,000 for pain and suffering based on the severity and permanent limitations.

Loss of Earnings: Current and future lost wages due to the inability to work.

🛈 Example: If the injured individual earns $50,000 annually and cannot work for a year, then loses the capacity to perform the same job, resulting in a 50% reduction in earning capability, the loss of income claim might amount to $500,000 (10 years of reduced capacity).

Liability and Fault: Clear liability on the part of the other party can increase the settlement amount.

🛈 Example: Clear evidence that the other driver ran a red light and caused the accident might lead to a quicker and higher settlement offer from the insurance company, perhaps one that closely matches or maxes out the policy limits of $500,000.

Insurance Policy Limits: The limits of the at-fault party’s insurance can also affect the settlement amount, as it caps what can be paid out.

🛈 Example: If the at-fault party’s insurance covers up to $300,000 but damages exceed this, the settlement might be capped at $300,000 unless additional coverage or assets can be pursued.

Legal Representation: The skill and experience of the attorney can significantly influence the outcome of the settlement negotiations.

🛈 Example: An experienced attorney might negotiate a settlement that not only covers all medical expenses but also maximizes compensation for pain and suffering and lost earnings, potentially increasing the final settlement amount by 30-40% compared to handling the case without legal expertise.

Each auto accident case is unique, and settlement amounts for individuals who have suffered a herniated disc injury will vary based on many factors. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure that you receive fair compensation.

Getting started with your injury claim is easy. Just request a free case evaluation online, and a legal team in our network will reach out to you regarding your case. Our network of attorneys includes a team of over 250+ legal professionals throughout the United States with over $1 billion recovered for clients, including those who have suffered herniated disc injuries.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How are herniated disc injury settlements calculated?

Herniated disc injury settlements are calculated based on medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Factors such as the severity of the injury, the impact on daily life, and the clarity of fault in the accident also play significant roles. How auto accident settlements are calculated varies greatly depending on the specifics of the case and the limits of applicable insurance coverage.

How long will my herniated disc injury claim take to finalize?

The average length of a car accident case is approximately 6 to 12 months. However, with more complex injuries like herniated or bulging discs that require surgery and/or physical therapy, it will likely take 1-2 years to settle due to the length of medical recovery. The duration to finalize a herniated disc injury claim can vary widely based on factors such as the complexity of the case, the extent of the injuries, the clarity of fault, and whether the case is settled out of court or goes to trial.

How long do I have to file a herniated disc injury claim?

The time limit to file a herniated disc injury claim, known as the statute of limitations, varies depending on the jurisdiction. Generally, you may have anywhere from 1 to 3 years from the date of the injury to file a claim. It’s important to check the specific laws in your state or consult with a personal injury attorney to ensure you meet the required deadlines.


We use settlement calculators to help individuals estimate how much compensation they may receive from their personal injury claim. We partner with law firms throughout the United States to help produce the most accurate results. Our content and calculators are created with the help of top-rated attorneys and legal professionals.

Accident type Avg. Settlement
Drunk driver $262,479
Uninsured driver $128,129
Hit-and-run $87,233
Rear-end $181,309
Injury type Avg. Settlement
Back & neck $263,030
Herniated disc $220,066
Concussion $347,046
Whiplash $121,542
PTSD $762,436

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