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If you have been in a car accident and have tried the conventional ways to treat your injuries but have not received the results you want, your doctor may recommend a spinal cord stimulator.

What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation?

Spinal cord stimulator implantation or SCS is the most commonly used implantable neurostimulation technology for the management of pain syndromes. This is an option for patients who have found that conventional treatments to be unsuccessful. SCS is a pain-relief technique that delivers a low-voltage electrical current to the spinal cord to block or mask pain signals before they reach the brain. A small device that is similar to a pacemaker is implanted in the patient during surgery, thin wires carry a pulse from the device to nerve fibers in the spinal cord.

Do You Need an Attorney?

In our experience, we have found that spinal cord stimulators are challenging cases and will require legal representation. The challenging point comes with proving that your condition was caused solely by the accident and not by an underlying degenerative condition.

The difficulty arises because spinal cord stimulators are used to mask pain by sending electrical signals, not solve the problem, this points to the fact that the condition being treated is an underlying degenerative condition that has been aggravated 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 place blame degenerative conditions for your treatment, even if you have never been seen before by a medical professional about this condition.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

Your honesty is essential when you are talking with your auto accident attorney about any prior medical history or treatments. Medical history will have a significant impact on the value of your case.  Simply put, a spinal cord stimulator case with a client that has never been seen by a doctor for lower back, neck or spine injuries will have a higher case value than a client who has been constantly seen by doctors for these problems.

Another reason that spinal cord stimulator cases are hard to evaluate: the procedure is used to mask the pain signals that are sent to the brain and allow the patient to be pain-free, but it does not cure the problem. Because of this, it is 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 concrete way to calculate a settlement for auto accident cases. If you’ve been in an automobile accident and have had a spinal cord stimulator implanted because of your injuries, you are probably in the process of figuring out your next steps. In our opinion, you will need to hire a lawyer to settle your spinal cord stimulator case. It can be near impossible for a person with no legal experience to be able to obtain the proper narrative report from their doctor to get the money that they need the insurance company. These cases are very complicated from both a medical and legal perspective, do yourself a favor and hire an attorney.

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