It’s extremely common for a person to sustain a back injury in a car accident. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries — approximately 16,500 each year.
These back injuries can range from mild inconveniences to severe, life-changing debilitations. Some people may only experience a few days of discomfort, while others may require surgery and long-term care.
Have you suffered a back injury in a car crash? Do you need legal representation to help aid you in the recovery process? We’ll unpack all of that here, but first, let’s discuss the types of back injuries that are likely to occur in an accident.
Common Back Injuries That Develop Following an Accident
Back injuries are unfortunately common in car accidents due to the forces at play and the fact that the back is relatively unprotected in most vehicles. Some serious injuries that can occur include:
- Soft Tissue Damage. Soft tissue injuries stemming from an auto accident can include torn tendons, neck and back sprains, strains, and tears to muscles and ligaments in the back. These types of injuries can result in serious pain, with prolonged stiffness, tenderness, and muscle spasms.
- Herniated Discs. Ruptured, slipped, or herniated discs are common back injuries that result from the extreme forces suffered in an auto accident. This direct force can cause discs in the spine to slip out of place, crack, or rupture. Depending on the severity of the injury, a herniated disc can lead to agonizing pain if it compresses a nerve in the lumbar region or cervical spine.
- If the accident is severe enough, it can cause the spine to snap. Also, if the person is hit from behind, their back can absorb much of the impact, causing a compression fracture.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. The spinal cord is a vital part of the nervous system, and when it is damaged, the victim may suffer paralysis, loss of sensation, and other serious problems. In some cases, the victim may even die.
How to Secure Compensation Following a Back Injury
Victims of auto accidents often ask how much is the average settlement of a back injury. The first step is to seek medical attention. Your doctor will be able to provide you with a diagnosis and a treatment plan. If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
To file a personal injury claim, you will need to prove that the other party was at fault. This can be done by showing that they were careless or reckless. You will also need to show that you have suffered damage because of the accident. These damages can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you are successful in your personal injury claim, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages. This compensation can help you pay for your medical bills and make up for the wages you lost. It can also help you cover the cost of any future medical treatment you may need.
Average Back Injury Settlements
What is the average settlement for a back injury? For back surgery cases stemming from a motor vehicle accident, the average settlement is over $200,000. In the Phoenix area, the average settlement for a lower back motorcycle injury claim requiring surgery is over $300,000.
For lower back injury settlements like sprains and strains, the average settlement is between $10,000 and $50,000. Our personal injury attorneys have access to a nationwide database that helps them place a value on your case. Keep in mind that to fully understand the value of your settlement, we recommend speaking with an attorney about what damages you can expect.
Factors That Can Affect Your Back Injury Settlement
In any personal injury case, the amount of the settlement is based on many factors. Some of these include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The cost of your medical bills
- The amount of lost wages
- The impact your injuries have had on your life
- The insurance policy limits of the at-fault driver
- The at-fault driver’s assets
- The strength of your case
- The skill of your attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident, the best way to learn how much your case is worth is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Damages You Can Pursue in a Back Injury Accident Lawsuit
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be wondering what types of damages you can pursue in a back injury settlement. Here, we give you a rundown of the most common damages that are awarded in these cases.
- Lost wages: If your injuries have prevented you from working, you can recover the wages you would have earned had you been able to work. This can be calculated by looking at your past earnings and projecting them into the future.
- Medical expenses: You can also recover the cost of any medical treatment you’ve received as a result of your injuries. This can include hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, and medication.
- Pain and suffering: This is the most common type of damage awarded in a back injury settlement. It compensates you for the physical pain and emotional suffering that you’ve endured as a result of your injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: This damage award compensates you for the ways in which your injuries have impacted your ability to enjoy life. For example, if you can no longer participate in the activities you used to enjoy, you may be able to recover damages for that loss.
Compensatory damages are intended to punish the at-fault party for their negligence and to deter them from engaging in similar conduct in the future. In a back injury settlement, punitive damages may be available if the at-fault party acted with gross negligence or with intentional malice.
How to Settle with the Insurance Company
If you have suffered a back injury that has led to chronic pain, missed work, and mounting medical bills, you may be wondering how to get the best possible settlement from your insurance company. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Gather all of your medical records and documentation related to your injury. This will be crucial in proving the extent of your injuries and how they have affected your life.
- Document medical advice. Get a written statement from your doctor detailing your injuries and prognosis.
- Be prepared to negotiate. Insurance companies will often offer far too low of an initial settlement, so be prepared to counter with a fair figure that you are willing to accept.
- Don’t be afraid to consult with a lawyer. If you feel like you are not getting a fair settlement offer, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Here at Torgenson Law, we understand that this can be a frustrating and challenging time for you and your family. We put all of the legal resources at our disposal to work on your case because we care about your claim and will work tirelessly to provide the best settlement for your back injury settlement. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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