back injury from car accident settlement

Back Injury From Car Accident Settlement: Protecting Your Future and How to Secure It

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 11 minutes

Back Injury From Car Accident Settlement: Protecting Your Future and How to Secure It

If you’ve sustained an injury in a car accident, understanding the settlement for car accident claims can be overwhelming and confusing, especially if you’ve experienced a serious back injury. From injury settlement to trial litigation, you have options. Understanding the average injury settlement for back injuries in car accidents can help you gauge what to expect in terms of compensation. These options aren’t always straightforward, however, particularly for a first-time plaintiff who has never navigated a legal dispute before.

Dealing with a back injury (from car accident settlement to litigation) isn’t easy, but it can be very rewarding. So don’t treat your case as a throwaway. Get the help and understanding you deserve as you explore your options.

Let’s take a closer look at the basics behind getting the right injury settlement for a back injury from a car accident. Read on to learn more!

Why do most personal injury lawsuits end in a settlement?

Many people don’t realize that the large majority of injury disputes (in fact, more than 95 percent!) are resolved through a negotiated injury settlement compromise — not a courtroom trial proceeding.

Understanding the average settlement for car accident injuries can help you gauge what to expect and why many choose to settle rather than go to trial.

Negotiating with the insurance company is a crucial part of the settlement process, and having experienced legal representation can significantly impact the outcome.


Simply put, trial litigation has a lot of negative aspects. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go through trial if necessary — if it’s the only way forward to secure compensation, it’s still a good idea in many cases. But, very often, it’s best avoided if possible.

Here’s the problem. Trial litigation is:

  • Uncertain
  • Resource-intensive
  • Public
  • And more

Consider the uncertainty of the trial. See, even if you have a “strong” and persuasive argument for compensation, there’s always a chance that the court will interpret things differently and the outcome will proceed in an unexpected manner — or that the court will give you the “win” but will award a lower amount of damages than you would have ideally preferred. This uncertainty is inherent to litigation. Skilled attorneys do everything possible to minimize uncertainty and maximize your compensation.

That being said, because uncertainty always exists, many parties prefer to negotiate around that uncertainty by agreeing to a settlement compromise beforehand. That way, they avoid the resource-intensive and public aspects of litigation, while also choosing a fair settlement amount that accounts for the uncertainty.

How much are most back injury settlements?

The “average settlement” does not exist. In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for a neck injury settlement or a back injury settlement.

The supposed average settlement for car accident back and neck injuries depends on various factors, such as the severity of the injuries, the impact on the victim’s life, and the process of seeking compensation with the help of a car accident lawyer. Personal injury settlements — like the overall damages/compensation — vary considerably from case-to-case. Numerous factors can influence how your settlement turns out, changing what you might consider to be the average settlement amount for a case like yours. As a general rule, the more you can persuasively show the opposing party that you are likely to secure the compensation you’re attempting to claim, the closer your settlement offers are going to be to the “ideal” average settlement.

Factors influencing a settlement offer include:

  • The hostility of the defendant to a potential settlement
  • The potential damage to the defendant’s reputation or brand should the case be reported on to the general public
  • How strong the evidence is in support of your claim
  • How sympathetic and relatable you are as an injury victim
  • How persuasive your expert testimony is
  • Public sentiment regarding cases like yours
  • And more

For example, after the #metoo movement, sexual harassment claims became much more public and garnered extensive media attention. This empowered victimized employees to sue their employer and put an immense amount of pressure on their employer to settle early and favorably — after all, if word got out that the employer fostered a hostile work environment in which an employee was sexually harassed, then their reputation/brand could be irreparably damaged.

How much can I get for a spinal cord injury?

Compensation in a spinal cord injury or general back injury lawsuit is linked to losses you suffered — the damages resulting from the defendant’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct. The losses may vary quite a bit, depending on the circumstances of the case, and the ways in which the injury impacted your life. Settlements for back and neck injuries can be influenced by factors such as the severity of the injury, insurance coverage limitations, and the impact on the victim’s life, making it crucial to understand the settlement for car accident claims.

Claimable losses include:

  • Wage loss
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Medical expenses (i.e., medical bills)
  • Property loss
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • And more

Seeking immediate medical treatment and documenting symptoms are crucial for securing fair compensation for serious injuries, such as back and neck injuries – whether through a lawsuit or a back injury settlement.

To understand how damages can vary from case-to-case, consider a car accident in which you sustain a back injury. In one alternative scenario, you’re forced to take a year off from work, and so with a yearly salary of $60,000, you have $60,000 in lost wages to claim as additional compensation. In another alternative scenario, you only need to take a half year off from work, for a total of $30,000 in lost wages. That’s a pretty significant difference in compensation!

Are back injuries hard to prove?

It depends. While many back injuries are obvious and well-supported by initial diagnostic tests, in some cases, back injuries develop slowly due to degenerative conditions that aren’t as obviously symptomatic and aren’t as easy to diagnose.

Similarly, proving a neck injury, such as whiplash or muscle strain from a car accident, can be challenging in legal cases due to the need for expert medical testimony and thorough documentation of costs (i.e., medical bills for your back or neck injury, physical therapy, etc.).

That’s where an experienced personal injury attorney comes in — they will help you access medical professionals who can conduct the necessary tests to identify your back injury and monitor it over time so that you have strong enough evidence to support your claims. After all, issues like chronic pain can be a function of severe injuries but may be difficult to establish. A successful injury claim and personal injury case is not just reliant on establishing the reality of past medical expenses and future medical expenses — it’s also about showing that there are ongoing issues, like a permanent disability, that could complicate your life.

Bear in mind that back injuries sustained in an accident can develop over time (or even get much worse over time). As such, it’s critical that you monitor the injury and go in for routine check-ups to ensure that there is a documentary record of your injury over the course of time. This will ensure that you can support any claims that you have regarding your injury’s long-term impacts on your career and lifestyle, as well as any other costs it might demand, such as physical therapy.

Back injury severity and its impact on your case strategy

Generally speaking, juries are more sympathetic to certain types of plaintiffs and certain types of injuries. Back injuries tend to be more “relatable” to juries, as many people have experienced at least temporary back problems and understand just how impactful it can be on a person’s ability to function normally. Thus, a severe back injury — and the losses associated with it (i.e., extensive time off from work, lifestyle changes, etc.) — is much more likely to play well in front of a jury than a rare, less relatable injury.

Soft tissue injuries, such as those affecting the back, neck, and spine, can also significantly impact case strategy and jury sympathy due to the associated medical expenses and the potential for substantial settlements and verdicts.

Making you into a sympathetic plaintiff is a key part of case strategy. In fact, the opposing counsel will be made well aware of this before any sort of trial litigation begins — this will factor into their willingness to offer a favorable settlement early on, as they may worry that you will outperform expectations should the case proceed to trial.

Who can you sue for a back injury resulting from a car accident?

Car accidents are not always as straightforward as they seem on the surface. There are a number of unique circumstances and complications that can change the way in which you litigate your dispute. For example, a car accident involving a delivery driver could lead to a lawsuit against the other driver’s employer — thus opening up an entirely new legal option in litigation.

Spinal cord injuries can result from different types of car accidents, leading to severe consequences such as paralysis, sensory issues, and permanent nerve damage. Potential defendants in such cases may include (but are not limited to):

  • The other driver(s) involved in the accident
  • The other driver’s employer, who could be potentially held vicariously liable
  • The other driver’s employer, who could be potentially held independently liable
  • The auto manufacturer, if some defect in design or manufacturing contributed to the occurrence of the accident
  • The City, if some defect in the design or maintenance of the roadway contributed to the occurrence of the accident
  • Other property owners, if they improperly maintained their property in such a way that it contributed to the occurrence of the accident
  • Medical professionals, if they engaged in malpractice and exacerbated or caused a back injury as a result of said negligence
  • And more

Strategically, it can be very useful to sue multiple defendants. That’s because each defendant has a different tolerance for litigation, and has different resources at their disposal. If you have significant damages, for example, then the other driver’s personal insurance coverage might not pay out enough to cover all your losses.

Their employer may have substantial liability coverage that would pay out for all your losses, however. This is known as a “deep pockets” defendant. Further, the employer might have business-related brand reasons for avoiding litigation — this means that you can possibly pressure them into an early and favorable settlement compromise.

It costs nothing to get started with a qualified car accident lawyer

Most personal injury lawyers who represent plaintiffs (i.e., the injury victim) work on a contingency basis.  What this means is that you don’t pay anything upfront or out-of-pocket to get started on working with the attorney.  Instead, you give them a percentage cut of whatever compensation they’re able to secure on your behalf — this can be as little as 25 percent, or as much as 40 percent (or more).

In other words: your attorney only gets paid if you get paid.  You don’t pay anything if you don’t get paid.

Contingency fee arrangements have a number of advantages.  Quite obviously, they make it easier for the average person to afford litigation — after all, there isn’t any financial barrier to you getting started with a lawsuit.  This “no upfront cost” arrangement is further exemplified by the fact that most lawyers offering a contingency fee provide free initial consultations, too.

Most importantly, however, contingency fees link your success to your attorney’s eventual payout. This incentivizes your attorney to work efficiently and effectively to maximize compensation on your behalf.

Ultimately, it’s a win-win situation.

If you’ve sustained back injuries in a car accident, then you could be entitled to significant compensation under the law — depending on the circumstances of your case.  However, back injury (from car accident settlement to trial litigation) disputes can be rather complex. Navigating the unique challenges and opportunities of a back injury dispute can be overwhelming for the first-time plaintiff.  That’s where we come in.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free legal consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney or car accident lawyer in our network.  During this initial consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the details of your case, understand your legal options, and identify the next steps so that you can move forward.  If you decide that you’d rather not move forward with the consulting attorney, that’s okay too — there’s no obligation for you to continue.  So pick up the phone and get started with a free consultation today.

We look forward to assisting you.

Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can assist you no matter when your accident occurs.

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