It is estimated from the NIH that 869,000 neck and back injuries come from car accidents annually in the United States.
Dependent on the situation, a neck and back injury from a car accident can change your life. If you or a loved one have suffered such injuries, you might be curious about what the average settlement is from these accidents.
Well, it depends. There are a number of factors that can influence the settlement amount, as each case may have minor or major injuries involved.
Fortunately, this article will discuss the types of neck and back injuries, the elements that contribute to the settlement amount, factors affecting these injuries, and the various insurance limitations.
Types of Neck and Back Injuries
So what are the types of neck and back injuries that can come with a car accident?
- Whiplash: This is the most common injury from car accidents that consists of soft tissue injury and sudden extension and bending in the neck.
- Herniated Disc:A condition in which part of the disk in your body is forced through a weakened part of the spine.
- Spinal Fractures: These fractures consist of a dislocation of the vertebrae anywhere along the spine. Some common symptoms include tingling, numbness, or the weakness of your limbs.
- Sprains and Strains: Sprains and strains consist of pain and muscle spasms in the back of the neck. The pain can peak a day after the injury, and be prolonged, depending upon the severity.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: These happen when there is damage at the end of the spinal cord, which can result in a loss of bodily function below the site or affected area of injury.
Elements That Contribute to the Settlement Amount
Determining the average settlement for neck and back injuries after a car accident can be challenging, as each case is unique and influenced by various factors. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential elements that contribute to the settlement amount, which include:
- Medical Expenses: The costs associated after a neck and back injury, such as going to the doctor, getting surgery, or physical therapy.
- Lost Wages and Income Loss: If your injuries have caused you to miss work or have reduced your earning capacity, the amount of lost wages and potential future income loss.
- Property Damage: Chances are, if you suffered a neck and back injury during a car accident, your car might be severely damaged.
- Comparative Negligence: If you are partially at fault for the accident, the settlement amount may be reduced based on the concept of comparative negligence. Therefore, the extent of your contribution to the accident will be assessed.
Factors Affecting Neck and Back Injuries From a Car Accident
The factors that affect neck and back injuries from a car accident comprise of:
- The severity of the injury: The extent of your injuries, the need for medical treatment, and the duration of recovery can all impact the settlement amount. Generally, severe and long-lasting injuries generally result in higher settlements.
- Pre-existing Conditions: Pre-existing neck or back conditions may complicate your case. These could have a large impact on the amount of your settlement, if you can prove these conditions in court.
- Medical Documentation: Having proper medical documentation is crucial for providing evidence and showing connection to the car accident. Medical records, diagnostic tests, expert opinions, and treatment plans will contribute to the strength of your case.
- Comparative Fault: If the other party involved in the accident can prove that you were partially at fault, it may affect the settlement amount. In states with comparative negligence laws, your compensation may be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
- Insurance Coverage:The insurance policy limits of the at-fault party play a significant role in determining the maximum settlement amount. If the responsible party’s insurance coverage is insufficient, it may limit the overall settlement.
When seeking compensation for a neck and back injury after a car accident, it’s important to be aware of potential insurance limitations, which can include:
Your Policy Coverage Limits
Every insurance policy has coverage limits. If the at-fault party’s policy coverage is not good enough to cover your damages fully, you might need to explore other options, which can vary depending on your case.
It is important to know what your insurance policy coverage limits are before filing a lawsuit, so here are some common car insurance policy coverage limits per state.
Common Insurance Company Tactics
Insurance companies are still profit-driven companies that attempt to minimize their financial liability at any time they can. These organizations may use specific tactics to protect their interests such as:
- Downplaying the severity of your injuries
- Shifting blame onto you if the car accident wasn’t your fault
- Lowballing your settlement offer
It is important to be aware of the tactics insurance companies use after you get into a car accident, which is why it might be best to seek the advice of a lawyer.
How An Attorney Can Help You After a Car Accident
Navigating the complex legal process of a car accident claim can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with neck and back injuries. Hiring a lawyer who specializes in car accidents and personal injury claims can provide valuable support. A skilled car accident attorney can:
- Evaluate your case
- Handle negotiations
- Gather evidence
- Provide proper legal representation
With the help of a lawyer, it is important to remember that after a car accident, the average settlement for a neck and back injury can vary significantly. There are many different factors in play which include the types of injuries you sustained, how much help you need, and the insurance company limitations.
Understanding these elements when attempting to settle this type of lawsuit is crucial for obtaining a fair settlement from all parties involved.