The American chiropractic association estimate back and neck injuries cost Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year.
If you sustained car accident-related injuries caused by another driver’s negligence, you can file a claim for the damages you suffered. However, you should keep in mind that many factors influence the settlement amount you receive. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What is the Average Settlement for Car Accident Back and Neck Injuries?
Injuries sustained during a car accident vary greatly from one person to another, which means there is no true average for all the settlements or judgments. The key factors that determine the amount of settlement you will receive include the severity of your injuries, the medical treatment you need to recover, the amount lost in wages resulting in a higher settlement offer, and other factors. However, based on past settlements, the following is a simple guide on what you should expect:
- For injuries involving soft tissue back and neck injury(whiplash), you may expect to receive anything from $2,500 to $10,000
- For injuries that may need injections and physical therapy, you may expect anything from $10,000 to $30,000.
- For injuries that need surgeries and other complex treatments, you may expect anything from $100,000
Common Neck and Back Injuries Suffered in a Motor Vehicle Collision
Whiplash is the single most common injury sustained by victims of motor vehicle crashes. A whiplash injury occurs due to forceful, rapid back and forth movement of the neck. Signs and symptoms of whiplash can develop within hours or days of the injury and may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Headaches that start at the base of the skull
- A lessened range of motion in the neck
- Worsening of pain with neck movement
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
- Dizziness and fatigue
After sustaining back and neck injuries, you may also experience blurred vision, ringing in the ears, sleep disturbances, irritability, memory problems, and depression.
Soft tissue damage
Car accidents can strain, sprain, or tear muscle ligaments and neck tendons. Symptoms of soft tissue damage include pain, tenderness, and stiffness in the neck and shoulder. You may also experience reduced movements of the neck and muscle spasms.
Slipped or herniated disc injury
A high-impact crash may cause intervertebral discs in your cervical spine to move out of position between the vertebra. A slipped disc may cause pain, weakness, and numbness in the neck, shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers.
Cuts and lacerations
During a collision, glass, objects, and debris may fly up and hit your neck, causing abrasions, cuts, bruising, and lacerations. Deep cuts can damage ligaments and muscles in the neck.
How to Prove Back and Neck Injuries after an Accident
After an accident, there will always be some degree of liability for you to prove. In some car accident lawsuits, it can be challenging to prove that you suffered a damaging back or neck injury, such as whiplash. Typically, soft tissue injuries such as whiplash can be more challenging to prove because they are not always seen on imaging and diagnostic tests such as MRIs and X-rays.
The insurance companies can always argue that the back and neck injuries were preexisting to minimize the claim. It would help if you worked with your attorney to prove pain and suffering from your injuries. Some of the documents you may need to prove that your injuries exist include:
- Medical bills
- Medical records
- Expert testimony
- Pictures of your injuries
- Medical prognosis
- Psychiatric records
It is also advisable to work with medical professionals to determine the compensation amount that your injuries claim warrants.
How Settlement Values are Calculated
Calculating settlements for back and neck injuries depend on the extent of your injuries and other damages.
When calculating the value of your claim, other key factors that come into play may include:
The nature, severity, and duration of the neck injury
Neck and back injuries can range from minor strains and sprains to serious cervical fractures and spinal disk damage. The general rule of thumb is that the more serious the injury, the more the insurance settlement or jury verdict
Type of medical treatment
Some insurance companies can also use the nature and cost of medical treatment to determine the severity of the accidents and their compensation. For example, a neck injury that requires spinal fusion may attract higher settlement than a strained neck that typically requires just a few weeks in a brace. Additionally, injuries that need treatments by specialist physicians are given more weight than those that need chiropractors or even physical therapists.
Insurance Limits Coverage Limits
Before deciding whether to accept or reject an insurance settlement offer, it is essential to understand how the insurance representative arrived at their numbers. An insurance policy details specific coverage options and their limits. A car insurance policy that comes with liability coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage is said to have three separate limits. Usually, an insurance coverage limit is used to determine the maximum compensation an insurance company pays for a covered claim. The higher the limit of the at-fault driver’s policy during the time of an accident, the higher amount you should demand.
An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer can Negotiate Full Compensation
If you sustained back and neck injuries due to a car accident, it is advisable to seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney. Our highly experienced personal injury and car accident lawyers can handle all the legal aspects of your neck and back injury claim so that you focus on recovery.
We will leave no stone unturned when investigating the cause of the accident and determining if you are eligible to file a claim. Our highly experienced car accident lawyers have the skills, knowledge, and resources to help you get a just settlement for the injuries and damages suffered.