Value of My Back Injury Lawsuit
The average settlement for a back injury accident ranges from $10,000 to $100,000. Settlements can also be lower or higher than these averages, with some cases settling in the millions of dollars. This wide value range results because back trauma is a complex injury with a broad range of severity.
Cases involving back injuries deal with everything from soft tissue injuries to spinal cord damage; estimating a back injury accident settlement presents many challenges.
To better help you understand what this means for your back injury case, our personal injury lawyers prepared the following blog to discuss what you should know about back injury accidents, the legal remedies available to you, and how a skilled back injury attorney can help you fight for the maximum financial recovery.
Common Back Injuries That Develop Following an Accident
Back injuries occur for many reasons. Following an accident, such as a car wreck or a slip and fall, certain back injuries result more frequently than others.
Take, for example:
- Soft Tissue Injuries: These injuries include sprains, strains, and tears to the tendons, muscles, and ligaments in the back. These injuries can result in significant pain, stiffness, tenderness, and muscle spasms.
- Herniated Disc: A herniated disc, also referred to as a ruptured disc, tends to result when an extreme force causes the discs in the spine to slip out of place, crack, or rupture. Although a herniated disc is usually painless, it can lead to significant pain if it compresses a nerve in the lumbar or cervical spine.
- Fractures: Following an accident, the vertebrae in the spine may fracture. One of the most common spinal fractures that can develop is a compression fracture, which results from significant pressure or stress on the spine that can cause small cracks or fissures in the bone. However, if the fracture is more severe, it may damage the spinal cord and the surrounding nerves and require immediate medical attention.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: During an accident, you can lacerate, bruise, or damage your spinal cord from extreme pressure, leading to permanent nerve damage or paralysis. These injuries often require immediate medical attention.
Although these are some of the more common back injuries resulting from an accident, they are not the only ones. If you’re in an accident and sustained a back injury, even if it is not on the above list, reach out to an experienced back injury attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can review your case, determine if you have a viable claim, and help you pursue the compensation you need to ensure you get the necessary medical treatment.
Obtaining Compensation Following a Back Injury Accident
If the wrongful actions of another individual injured you, there are two ways to obtain compensation for your injuries and associated losses: an out-of-court settlement or a verdict awarded by the court. In general, settlements are more common than verdicts, as many parties prefer to settle outside the courtroom instead of dealing with the expensive and lengthy litigation process.
During the settlement negotiations, attorneys for both sides will attempt to work out a mutually acceptable sum of money. A settlement needs to address the victim’s current expenses and future costs from a victim’s perspective. If these negotiations work, the settlement negotiations usually resolve in advance of a scheduled court date. However, if it becomes impossible to reach an agreement, a trial may be necessary to resolve the issue.
Once the injured party accepts a settlement offer, they cannot ask for more money down the road, even if additional expenses arise from the original accident. For this reason, following your back injury accident, work with an experienced back injury lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you fight for the settlement offer you need, making sure it covers all your current and future expenses related to the accident. If they cannot reach a just settlement outcome, they can take your case to trial and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Specific Factors That Can Affect Your Back Injury Settlement
No attorney can tell you exactly how much your back injury case is worth, primarily because too many factors can affect your case and the amount of money you can receive.
Some of these factors include:
- The severity and the extent of your back injuries
- The types of medical treatments required now and in the future
- The length of these medical treatments
- Whether the back injury resulted in a permanent disability
- The ability to work following the accident
- If the crash resulted in lost wages
- The ability to take part in normal daily activities following the accident
- The certainty of the defendant’s liability
- The credibility of the evidence presented
- The need for replacement services following the accident
- The extent of the pain and suffering that resulted from the incident
Even though an attorney cannot tell you exactly how much money to expect following a back injury accident, they can review these factors, prepare a strong case, and help you go after the maximum financial recovery.
Damages You Can Pursue in a Back Injury Accident Lawsuit
If negotiations go south and you cannot reach a settlement agreement following a back injury accident, you may pursue the compensation you need by filing a lawsuit. This compensation breaks down into the following types of damages:
These damages refer to the actual and easily quantifiable losses that result from an accident.
- Past and current medical bills related to doctor visits, hospital stays, ambulance services, emergency room visits, surgeries, prescription medications, and other medical treatments
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Personal property damages, including replacement services and repair costs
- At-home nursing care
- Domestic replacement services such as grocery shopping or child care services
- Rehabilitative therapy (occupational and physical therapy)
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
These damages refer to the subjective losses that result from an accident. However, because these losses are not easy to quantify, they are also harder to prove.
Some of the more common non-economic damages that tend to arise following a back injury accident include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life
- Reputation loss
Unlike other damages, which compensate the victim for their losses following an accident, punitive damages punish or penalize the wrongful party for their egregious actions and deter other parties from committing these acts in the future.
However, due to the nature of these damages, they are not awarded in every personal injury case. Rather, for a victim to obtain punitive damages, their attorney must show through clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent or the defendant acted purposely and maliciously.
Learn more about your potential compensation by CONTACTING an experienced personal injury lawyer today. They can navigate you through the legal process and let you focus on your Recovery.
Settling With the Insurance Company—What to Watch out For
Depending on the accident that led to your back injury, the insurance company may offer you a settlement amount. Although this may sound like great news, it is not always in your best interest to accept this offer.
Insurance companies may offer you money quickly after an accident when you are most vulnerable. They hope you will not think twice before accepting their offer or try to retain a lawyer to verify whether the amount is acceptable.
This offer may barely cover your current costs, let alone any future expenses that arise from the accident, such as ongoing medical treatments or assistive medical devices. If you accept this settlement amount, you cannot return to the insurance company and ask for more money later.
Before you accept anything from the insurance company following your back injury accident, reach out to an experienced back injury lawyer as soon as you can. These knowledgeable legal professionals can review your settlement offer and determine if it is fair. If it is not, they can renegotiate to fight for an amount that is.
Work With a Skilled Back Injury Attorney and Fight for the Money You Need Following a Back Injury Accident
Following a back injury accident, the last thing you want to worry about is gathering evidence to prepare legal arguments to prove what happened so that you can collect the money you need. Fortunately, with a skilled back injury lawyer fighting on your behalf, you don’t have to take on this legal fight alone.
Instead, after retaining a lawyer, they can:
- Go over your back injury accident with you in detail, figure out if you have a viable case, and help you determine your legal options.
- Answer the questions you have and provide you with the legal support you need during this difficult time.
- Thoroughly investigate the incident and obtain the evidence needed to show fault and damages.
- Make sure to hold all parties responsible for the accident accountable for your injuries and losses.
- Hire experts, such as accident reconstructionists, doctors, and financial specialists, to substantiate your claim.
- Handle all negotiations and discussions with the insurance company and the other side to fight for a fair settlement offer.
- Proceed to trial if the other side is unwilling to negotiate fairly and pursue a successful resolution.
If an accident left you with a significant back injury, do not wait to retain legal help. Instead, reach out to an experienced back injury lawyer today for a free case consultation. Let your lawyer help you fight for your rights and the financial damages and justice you deserve.