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If I get the cortisone shot that the Dr is recommending in my lower back will it take away from settlement amount?

Encino, CA |

I was rear ended at a red light. I have been doing chiropractor for about 3 months with no relief. Finally had MRI done on lower back because of the pain. They found 4 bulging disks and decided to do an MRI n my neck. They found 3 bulging disks there. Recommendation is the cortisone then surgery if it doesn't help. To make matters worse I was "let go" from a brand new job (I am a single mother) due to the Dr. appts etc... Said I was a liability. I live in Encino/Tarzana. I have an attorney. I am curious to know what kind of figures they give for something like this?

Attorney Answers 13


  1. This is a conversation that you should be having with your attorney, not with the attorneys on this site. If you are not confidant in your attorney after speaking with him/her then you should seek an attorney that are are confidant in.


  2. I can't hazard a guess as to what the value of your cases is but you should not decide your medical care based on its effect on the value of your case - you need to get relief to stay employed and provide for your child. That said, getting treatment will only help the value of your case by showing you truly are hurting.

    You also should know that if your employer let you go because of your medical condition it may have violated state law: you should talk about this with an employment lawyer in your area.


  3. Talk to your attorney, anything you get here is mere speculation.

    Every legal matter is fact specific, and there are often nuances in every case. This is intended for comment only, and does not create an attorney client relationship.


  4. Please refer to your counsel with this question. None of us know enough about your case to give you any real guidance as to these issues.

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.


  5. FIRST OF ALL YOU SHOULD GET THE TREATMENT YOU GNEED REWGARDLESS OF THE SETTLEMENT VALUE OF YOUR CASE. YOUR HEALTH SHOULD BE YOUR OVERIDING CONCERN. NOW, THE VALUE OF YOUR CASE DEPENDS ON MANY FACTORS, THE FACTS YOU HAVE PROVIDED WOULD INFLUENCE THE VALUE OF YOUR CASE, HOWEVER, THE VALUE WOULD BE AFFECTED BY THE POLICY OF THE DEFENDANT. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU INCUR $20K OF MEDICALS AND THE DEFENDANT'S POLICY IS ONLY $15K. THE MOST YOU WOULD GET IS THE $15K. SO THAT WILL OFTEN BE YOUR HIGHEST LIMIT UNLESS THE DEFENDANT HAS A HIGHER POLICY OR VALUABLE ASSETS WHICH YOUR LAWYER MAY WISH TO PURSUE. TALK TO YOUR LAWYER. THAT IS WHAT HE GETS PAID FOR. BEST OF LUCK.

    This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. Abogado de Lesiones de Accidentes de Autos, provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. Oakland Abogado Accidentes Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Accidentes de carros, Abogado de accidentes de Peatones, practices in Antioch, Berkeley, Concord, Oakland, Hayward, Martinez, Newark, Richmond, San Francisco and San Rafael. El abogado de lesiones y heridos en accidentes de autos, is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Heridos en Accidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Abogado de Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, Abogado de Accidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.


  6. Good question. There is a recent CA case that says if you fail to follow the advice of your doctor, you may be considered partially at fault which lowers the value of your case! So be careful. You should schedule a meeting with your lawyer to discuss this issue and the issue of case value. If you want a second opinion, you should request a complete copy of your file, including the medical records, and set up a meeting with another lawyer. I meet with potential clients in your situation and do not charge for a consultation. In fact, most of the lawyers I know will do the same thing. We are lucky since there are many good lawyers in the Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley area.


  7. You do not state the severity of the impact, which is an important factor. You do not state your age which is also an important factor. Depending upon your age, the degree of bulging, whether is any active impingement and neurological symptoms, the findings may or may not be significant. You do not state where the cortisone injections are going to be given? cervical or lumbar? Whether your loss of job is due to your missing work that would need to be verified by your employer. Since you have any attorney you should address your questions to him.

    The factors which need to be considered in my opinion are 1) severity of the collision 2) the relationship between the accident and your bulging disks - sometimes referred to as causation. 3) Symptoms, neuroglogical findings that are consistent with the disk bulges versus general "pain" 4) job related questions 5) the policy limits of the defendant.

    Make an appointment with your attorney and get answers to your questions.

    Good Luck

    The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the State of California and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


  8. You should either be speaking to your own attorney or have an attorney review YOUR FILE. Just general advice won't help for such big steps that need to be taken in this case because its possible that there are causation, comparative fault or other issues. We all give free consultations

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


  9. Your attorney should be able to provide a ball park estimate of what you case is worth. With that said, there are many factors including age, amount of past medical bills, the anticipated future cost of treatment, loss of earnings and effect on you and your family that come into consideration. All of these factors are case specific. Your attorney or a second opinion should point you in the right direction.


  10. The best thing to do is take this question to your lawyer and ask what he thinks the effect of further treatment will have on your case. If you need injections or a surgery, the decision to get them should be based on whether your quality of life will improve, not whether you'll get more money.

    That said: I've tried two cases similar to yours since summer 2012 and the answer is that it varies widely, case by case, as you can imagine.

    Generally, more medical bills increases the value of the case unless the defense proves at trial that you overtreated. Insurance companies and their lawyers love to bandy that term about (as well as "SOFT TISSUE!" which to them means "We won't pay anything!") but I find it's meaningless in front of a jury if the doctors you're using are reputable and you're really hurt.


  11. As suggested, you should certainly be speaking to your own attorney for the best answers to your questions. Generally, in accidents where you are NOT found to be at fault, the more medical treatment you've had, the more compensation you receive. However, you must remember that a significant portion of any monetary recovery you receive will also go to actually pay for those medical bills incurred. I always urge my clients to decide what treatment to receive not based on the settlement award they hope to receive, but rather, what procedures they and their doctors believe will help them get better.


  12. More medical treatment typically adds to the value


  13. Under the law, a person bringing a personal injury action, you have a duty to mitigate your damages, so if getting the shots reduces or eliminates the level of pain and suffering you experience, defense may make this argument. If you have a fear of shots, or some other reason why you are against this type of treatment, that might excuse a failure to mitigate. I have had a lot of these cases over the years, and In my experience, epidural shots usually gives the patient temporary relief. The fact that you get this treatment, does not hurt your claim, as it shows you are trying to get better, and more importantly, it helps establish that your pain is real, so much so, that you are receiving this type of treatment, which carries its own set of risks.

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