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If you have been in a car accident and experienced back pain from the accident, your treating physician could recommend facet joint injections as a diagnostic and to, if needed, target a possible problem and provide therapeutic help.

What Are Facet Joint Injections?

Facet joints are the small joints located between each vertebra, they provide the spine with both stability and flexibility. Nerves also exit your spinal cord through these joints. Healthy facet joints have cartilage, this allows your vertebrae to freely move against each other. Facet joint syndrome is when that cartilage surrounding the facet joint is worn down and the joints start to rub against each other causing immense pain.

Facet joint injections are a precise diagnostic tool that also provides excellent therapeutic results. It involves injecting a small amount of local anesthetic, which will anesthetize the facet joints and help block the pain that comes from the pinched nerves and bone on bone grinding.

Do You Need an Attorney?

In our experience, we have found that facet joint injections are challenging cases and will require legal representation. The challenging point comes with proving your condition was caused solely by the accident and not by a degenerative condition.

The difficulty arises because facet joint injections are used to relieve pain by anesthetizing the joints, the injections do not solve the problem. This is the case with most injections and frequently points to the fact that the condition being treated is an underlying degenerative that has been intensified by the car accident. The fight with the insurance company occurs over the argument of whether the treatment would have been needed anyway, regardless of the accident.

Adjusters love to put forward the degenerative conditions argument for the cause of your injuries and ensuing treatment, even if you have never been seen before by a doctor about this condition. In our experience, a facet joint injection case will almost always require representation for this reason. The reason adjusters fight so hard is because if you prove that the injections are related to the car accident, the insurance company is responsible for paying for any lost wages; your past and future medical bills; suffering, pain, and inconvenience.

Evaluating Your Claim

Being straightforward about any past medical history is essential when talking with your auto accident attorney. A facet joint injection case with a client who has no prior medical history involving spinal or facet joint complications will be a higher value case than a client who has been frequently seen by a doctor for these problems. Medical history will have a huge impact on the value of your case.

Obtaining written documents from your doctor can be vital in your case. Injection cases are tough because they are used to remedy pain, they do not solve the underlying problem. This is where it becomes important that you obtain in writing from your treating doctor:

  1. A medical opinion that your current medical condition is a result of your auto accident
  2. The prognosis is your condition is likely to be permanent
  3. An estimation of future cost that includes: costs of injections, physical therapy, and other medical costs

There is no routine way to calculate a settlement for auto accident cases. If you’ve been in an automobile accident and received facet joint injections, you might be debating on whether or not you need to hire a lawyer. In our opinion, you will need a lawyer to settle your facet joint injection case. It can be very arduous for a person with absolutely no legal experience to attain the proper narrative report from their doctor to get the maximum amount from the insurance company as these cases are intricate from both a medical and legal perspective.

Brian Glass
Virginia personal injury lawyer selected to SuperLawyers Rising Stars List and the NTLA's Top 40 Under 40.