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On the page:

  • Extreme car accidents can be cases for spinal surgery
  • Back surgery: Car accident victims,medical choice, legal battle
  • Dangers of car accidents
  • Identifying back injury
  • Back surgery and personal injury cases

Extreme car accidents can be cases for spinal surgery

Recently at McMinn Law Firm, attorneys Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn closed a case for a client who was forced to undergo a spinal discectomy surgery following a truck accident. McMinn Law Firm settled the case in fall of 2016 for $475,000.

In the case a Pflugerville woman was struck by a commercial truck that made an unsafe lane change. The commercial truck’s operator had multiple previous traffic violations. The Pflugerville crash victim suffered a back injury that forced her to have a spinal discectomy surgery. McMinn Law team secured $306,344 to the client. Just as this client experienced, car crashes can cause significant damage to the spine. Read on to find our more about spinal surgery cases and how that may affect a legal case.

Back surgery: Car accident victims faced with serious medical choice and legal battle

Serious car accident victims often can experience severe symptoms after a crash. These may include lower back pain, whiplash, herniated disc, bulging disc, dull pain or a combination of symptoms. Whiplash and other injuries can have an unpredictable recovery time and will not be the same for all patients. The decision to have back surgery can be a challenging choice that faces many car accident personal injury victims.

Why are car accidents so dangerous?

Auto accidents can be very dangerous for the spine. Spines are a delicate and complex structure of the body. It is not built to withstand the harsh impact of an auto accident.

Car crashes often strain the structures of the neck and back. Ligaments, muscles, and facet joints bear the full force in a collision. Don’t forget that not all back injuries are the same. Whiplash, disc herniation, compression fracture and spondylolisthesis include some of the severe injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash. Someone who has experienced a severe car crash will have to talk with their provider about moving forward with surgery or physical therapy.

How to Identify A Back Injury:

Depending upon the wreck, type of vehicle, and size and age of a person, back injury following a motor vehicle accident can come in many forms.

We’ve taken the time to answer some of the most common questions, but your best course of action is to contact an experienced health professional or ask your lawyer to refer you to a provider.

Car Accidents and Types of Back Pain

  • Can whiplash cause back pain?
    Yes. Whiplash may cause pain in the upper or lower back. It may cause dull pain, neck pain, headaches, or cause a person to feel tired. Neck pain is the most common affect from whiplash trauma.
  • What is a dull pain?
    Dull pain most often refers to a mild discomfort that may be “difficult to describe” by the person experiencing it. It may not have an impact on a person’s daily activities. The feeling is typically spread out over large areas of the body or the whole body. Oftentimes the pain will occur for long period of time.
  • How do you know if you have whiplash?
    Typically symptoms of whiplash will appear within 24 hours of the accident. They may include pain and stiffness in the neck. Headaches or dizziness may appear. Usually they begin at the base of the skull. A person with whiplash may experience difficulty concentrating, memory problems, ringing in the ears, getting to sleep or become more irritable.

Getting treatment for your back pain

As a patient, it is important to understand that a discectomy procedure should never be the first choice when choosing how to treat back pain. A discectomy procedure should only occur after all other options for treatment have been explored.

Typically, a doctor will only recommend spinal surgery if it will alleviate extreme back pain. Physical therapy and practicing spinal exercises are also common treatments for back injury.

Back Injury Spotlight: Disc Herniation

  • What is a herniated disc?

    A herniated disc occurs when the outer fibers of the intervertebral disc are damaged and the soft inner material of the nucleus pulposus ruptures out of its normal space. When a herniated disc occurs in the mid back it can be extremely serious. Herniation can occur due to aging or even a small amount of force.

  • What is a bulging disc in the back?

    A bulging disc bulges outside the space it usually occupies between the vertebrae, but it doesn’t rupture. A bulging disc injury can also be called a herniated disc or pinched nerve. Even though the words are sometimes used interchangeably they are not the same thing. In a herniated disc a crack occurs in the outer layer of the disc (which is called the annulus.) A bulging disc is more common, and less likely to be painful. It is possible for someone to have a bulging disc without feeling any pain at all.

  • What is the difference between a ruptured disc and a herniated disc?

    It can be said that a “ruptured disc” has broken open. A herniated disc bulges out of place. Either one may occur from injury, disease, or normal wear and tear seen in aging.

spinal cord injury infographic preview

Infographic: Are You at Risk for a Spinal Cord Injury?

Car crashes are the leading cause of spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injury can be devastating for those that are affecting - reducing capacity to work, play, and cost of medical bills. Some parts of the population are more likely to be affected than others - can you guess who is most likely to experience SCI? Find out in this infographic.

How to Calculate a Spinal Cord Surgery Case

Surgery may be necessary after a serious car crash. Though surgery doesn’t have to happen before settlement proceedings complete, a qualified doctor may make the recommendation for what can be a costly endeavor.

    Cost of Back Surgery: Discectomy Procedure Fees

    On average, the cost of a discectomy can range from $15,000 to $75,000 for the procedure alone. Typically, this cost does not include anesthesia bills, or hospital fees. In total, a discectomy procedure can cost as much as $100,000 or more. You may have heard it before – but it’s still true. Health care costs are rising.

    Why does it cost so much? Back surgery can be risky. Only very specialized providers practice back surgery. Another thing to keep in mind are the additional costs of very prestigious surgeons. Cost for high quality medical care comes at a premium.

    Choosing the spinal surgeon for a procedure should not be a cost factor within a personal injury case. Experience and a proven track record should be considered above the costs of the surgery. A failed back surgery could leave someone in extreme pain, cause them to have corrective surgery, or in extreme cases paralysis.

    Microdiscectomy Cost

    A microdiscectomy is a more specialized form of spinal surgery than a discectomy procedure. One reason why patients prefer this procedure is because it does not come with the added risks and costs of spinal fusion (in most cases). Costs typically range from $30,000 to $60,000. Bear in mind the rising costs of healthcare when choosing any procedure.

    Micro Endoscopic Discectomy Cost

    Even though this procedure requires a very experienced surgeon, the actual cost can be lower. A micro-endoscopic discectomy is typically less invasive and the cost is usually significantly lower. A typical cost for an endoscopic discectomy may total between $20,000 and $35,000.

How Does Back Surgery Affect Personal Injury Case?

Treating a spinal injury often requires extensive treatment and time away from work. In a personal injury case, a lawyer will advocate on your behalf to recover, in a monetary way, the value of time lost from work as well as the cost of the medical care. These costs can include the lost wages from missing work for doctors appointments, time at home spent recovering, compensation for pain and suffering. Medical costs are also an important aspect of a personal injury case. Hospital visits to the ER, consultations with a specialist, back surgery costs, anesthesia, and doctors visits are all part of a back surgery. Your lawyer may pay your medical costs up front and subtract the payments later in from the retainer of the settlement. The case may warrant punitive damages in which the attorney will demonstrate negligent actions that put you and the community at risk for injury.


It is in your best interest to contact a car accident lawyer near you to handle your case. They will be able to help ensure that the compensation you receive will cover your medical expenses. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car crash, don’t hesitate. Learn more about your legal right to compensation.

Call Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn at (512) 474-0222, fill out a form on our website, or send an email to info@mcminnlaw.com.

The legal team at McMinn Law firm will evaluate your back injury or back surgery case for free with no obligations. Our staff is experienced and knowledgable about back injury cases. Read more about past settlements and verdicts.