Often times, when a person sustains a spinal cord injury in an accident, it starts out as one thing and evolves into another. Soft tissue injuries to the muscles and tissues that align with the spine are generally susceptible to physical therapy. However, proper diagnostic testing is important, in the event the symptoms do not resolve. Sometimes, in addition to the soft tissues being injured, there is a spinal injury-sometimes a herniated cervical or lumbar disc. That is only properly diagnosed with specialized testing, such as a MRI or CT scan. If indeed there is such an injury, it will be resolve with physical therapy. Orthopedists and neurologists often recommend pain management (cortisone or epidural injections). If pain management does not alleviate the pain (and often radiating symptoms down the arm or leg), then surgery may be recommended. It is essential to fully recognize all the problems and the degree of the problems before considering settlement. Once a case is settled, it is over forever and the client cannot go back for more, even if the symptoms get worse and even if the person’s health subsequently deteriorates. For that reason, clients often receive the full benefit of medical care (including surgery) before considering settlement. When there is a fully diagnosed spinal injury (as mentioned as examples) then the case is worth much more than if the injuries were only of a soft tissue nature. Nobody knows how spinal cord surgery will turn out and while we all hope for the best, it is essential to know if the client will be left with residual disabilities following surgery or if surgery will have been the complete fix.