lower back pain car accident settlement

Lower Back Pain Car Accident Settlement: How to Secure a Fair Deal

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 9 minutes

Lower Back Pain Car Accident Settlement: How to Secure a Fair Deal

Have you suffered a back injury in a car accident that was not your fault? Understanding the average settlement for lower back pain injuries from car accidents can provide insight into what you might expect from your case. Under the law, you could be entitled to compensation. Back and neck injuries, including lower back pain injuries, can lead to several unique challenges and opportunities, so we do encourage you to seek out an experienced personal injury attorney or personal injury law firm that can help you navigate the legal process more effectively. Car accidents are the most common cause of back and neck injuries that lead to settlements.

Of course, if you’d like to learn more about these types of injury claims, read on! We’ll begin by exploring some of the basics.

Damages in a car accident dispute involving a lower back and spinal cord injury

In the grand scheme of accident-related issues, serious neck and back injuries are among the worst. A lower back injury has the power to stall your life completely, preventing you from working properly, preventing you from engaging in social activities, and may even limit your personal life with your partner. On top of that, the pain can be excruciating and constant in some cases. Understanding the complexities of a back and neck injury settlement amount can be crucial, as it highlights the potential financial compensation for such injuries, including the average and median settlement amounts in various states, and the impact these injuries can have on one’s quality of life.

It’s not hard to see that a lower back pain injury can lead to substantial damages, as damages are a reflection of the losses sustained due to the accident. Claimable losses may include the following:

  • Lost wages (due to time taken off from work)
  • Loss of earning capacity (i.e., reduced future pay/career potential)
  • Medical expenses and medical treatment (may include diagnostics, treatment, rehabilitative care, and more, emphasizing the importance of medical care in the context of back and neck injuries)
  • Property loss (i.e., the damage done to your car and personal effects)
  • Pain and suffering (which includes physical and mental pain in the wake of the accident)
  • Loss of enjoyment of life (i.e., negative lifestyle impacts, such as the inability to engage in recreational activities due to injury)
  • Loss of companionship (i.e., personal relational issues, such as spousal problems resulting from the injury)
  • And more

Suing multiple defendants in a car accident dispute

Lower back injuries are often severe and may have widespread negative impacts on the neck and back injury victim’s life.  As such, the damages are likely to be high — perhaps too high for the at-fault driver to pay, if they have inadequate insurance coverage.  That’s why it’s important to work with your attorney to identify other potentially liable defendants who may have contributed to the accident.

These defendants may have more extensive insurance coverage, giving you “deeper pockets” to go after when it comes to securing compensation.  That’s a strategic advantage worth considering as you move forward with your case.

Potential defendants may include:

  • Any other driver or (multiple) other drivers who contributed to the accident
  • The employers of said drivers, if the drivers were working at the time of the accident
  • Auto manufacturers, if your accident was in any way caused by defects in the manufacture or design of a vehicle
  • Auto repair shops, if your accident was in any way caused by improper inspections or maintenance of a vehicle
  • The City, if the roadway was in an unreasonably dangerous condition (i.e., poor visibility on a turn, inadequate lighting, broken traffic signals, etc.)
  • Other property owners, if their property conditions contributed in any way to your accident
  • Medical professionals, if they were negligent in treating you and exacerbated your condition
  • And more

Phew!  That’s a lot.  Given the complexity, you’ll want to discuss these possibilities (and more) with an attorney who can take you through the legal strategy process step by step.

Car accident lawsuit deadlines are strict and could have consequences for your case

In car accident litigation, as in other types of personal injury disputes, there is a deadline period for your claims known as the “statute of limitations.”  This deadline varies from state to state and even based on the type of claim — most often, however, a standard negligence-based motor vehicle accident claim will have a deadline period that lasts for two to three years, starting from the date of injury.

The stakes are incredibly high.  If you do not file your claims before the applicable deadline period ends, then courts will automatically dismiss your claims — you will have relinquished your claims under the law.  This can prevent you from recovering any compensation for the injuries you suffered in injury accident.

To ensure that your claims are pursued promptly, it’s worth consulting an experienced local attorney who can evaluate and prepare your case before the deadline passes.  Attorneys have a legal obligation to handle litigation promptly for their clients, so you can rest assured that you will not miss your deadline if you work with an attorney early on.

When should I start worrying about lower back pain?

Even if you don’t have lower back pain in the aftermath of the accident, you should still seek medical attention for back and neck injury as soon as possible — and you should continue to check in with medical professionals in the months and years after your accident to ensure that there are no underlying, difficult-to-diagnose injuries. It’s particularly important to diagnose soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains to tendons, muscles, and ligaments, which can result from car accidents and lead to symptoms like pain, stiffness, and muscle spasms.

And if you have minimal lower back pain, don’t assume that “you’re fine.”  Very often, minor injuries can be exacerbated over time and lead to more serious dysfunctions. That’s why it’s crucial to get the medical care you need — for example, what you think is a minor back or neck injury could be linked to a major spinal degenerative condition or spinal cord injuries, which can cause permanent nerve damage and paralysis, necessitating immediate and comprehensive medical evaluation.

How do I know if my back injury is permanent?

Though there are some back injuries, like a spinal cord injury resulting from car accidents, that are known to be permanent, many back injuries may at least have the “potential” to be corrected over time — assuming that proper medical care and rehabilitative care are sought, and consistently engaged. Spinal cord injuries, in particular, require immediate medical attention to assess the severity and to rule out further damage. These injuries can have a profound impact on an individual’s life, leading to significant changes in lifestyle and the need for ongoing physical therapy and support.

You can and should claim (for your losses) permanent back injury in your lawsuit, including spinal cord injury due to its severe and potentially permanent nature. That being said, the defense will attempt to argue that the losses are not permanent and that there’s a likelihood of you recovering function (and the pain reducing) without permanent disability over time. Whether the court believes your narrative or the defense narrative will depend on the strength of your medical evidence and expert testimony.

Careful: defense attorneys hire investigators to observe your life after the accident

No, it’s not a myth — defense attorneys do hire private investigators to track your social media profiles, even follow you around, and take photos/videos to collect evidence on your physical capabilities.  If they see you acting in ways that don’t match your claimed injuries, then they will use that evidence to undermine your case.

This investigative behavior is extremely common in the personal injury space.  Numerous cases are prematurely collapsed by the injury victim going to engage in recreational sports or some other strenuous activity, despite claiming major neck or back injury problems that prevent them from working.

Of course, the truth is that injuries aren’t always “straightforward.”  It’s possible to have systemic back pain five out of seven days of the week — some days, the pain simply is enough to bear and engage in light physical activity.  Back pain is often like that.  But the defense attorney is fighting to undermine your case in whatever way they can.  Even if there is nuance to your back injury accident, they will take the opportunity to paint you negatively (i.e., as a liar).  Don’t let them do that.

Your attorney will work with you to identify what sort of content you cannot post on social media, and what sort of public activities you should avoid until your case has been properly resolved.

If you’ve sustained a lower back or neck injury while in a traffic accident, then you could be entitled to significant compensation depending on how much the injury has impacted your life.  That being said, severe injuries are not always straightforward to litigate, as the stakes are particularly high.  That’s why it’s important to work with experienced personal injury attorneys who understand how to navigate the unique complexities and challenges of these sorts of disputes.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with a qualified lawyer in our network.  During this initial legal consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your case in further detail and receive professional guidance on the next steps (and what your potential strategic options are).  There’s no downside, as calling in for a consultation comes with no obligation to work with that attorney or to move forward — so call in and get started!

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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