Average Settlements For Car Accident Back and Neck Injuries

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Average Settlements For Car Accident Back and Neck Injuries

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

A car accident can change your world in an instant resulting in painful injuries with expensive medical bills that quickly add up. Some of the most common damages that people experience in a car accident are neck and back injuries. For this reason, in the event of a car accident, one of the first questions the victim will have is – how much is the average settlement for someone who has suffered this type of injury? The answer to this question varies from case to case.

There are a few different factors that come into play and will influence the settlement amount for a neck or back injury sustained in a car accident. Your car accident attorney can help to outline an estimated settlement amount based on the details of your accident and injury. This amount typically depends on the severity of your neck and back injury, the injured party’s insurance policy coverage, and the insurance coverage limits of any liable parties involved.

By understanding these different factors, your Chicago car accident attorney can be prepared to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf in order to receive just compensation.

How Much Is The Average Back Injury Settlement Without Surgery?

When it comes to back injury settlements, the amount can vary widely depending on the unique details of your case. Personal injury lawsuits do not have a guaranteed amount of damages victims may obtain.

Although non-surgical back injuries may not be so serious, they may involve prolonged physical therapy, pain management treatments, and possibly chiropractic care. All these treatments and interventions will contribute to your settlement amount.

Types of Back Injuries

Back injuries come in many forms, with varying symptoms and severity levels. This affects how they’re treated and the resulting settlement amounts.

Herniated Discs

This occurs when the soft surface of a spinal disc squeezes through a crack in the tougher outer shell. Symptoms can include intense pain, numbness, and tingling, often radiating down the legs.

Herniated discs are serious and may require more aggressive treatment. These include injections or even minimal surgical intervention if other treatments fail.

Fractured Vertebrae

A fracture in one of the spinal vertebrae can be extremely painful and debilitating. Symptoms of fractured vertebrae include:

  • Severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Possible deformity at the injury site

The severity of a fractured vertebra can vary from a simple compression fracture to more complex cases involving multiple fractures. Treatment might involve immobilization with a brace and significant rest, and in some cases, minimally invasive procedures to stabilize the fracture.

Spinal Cord Injuries

These are the most severe types of back injuries. They can potentially lead to partial or complete paralysis.The symptoms of spinal cord injuries vary based on the location and severity of the injury. They include the following:

  • Loss of motor function
  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of control over bodily functions

Spinal cord injuries need quick and thorough medical care right away. Additionally, these injuries often result in lifelong care needs.

Most Common Causes of Back Injuries

Understanding the common causes of back injuries can help in both prevention and the legal process of seeking compensation.

Factors Affecting Average Settlement for a Car Accident Back and Neck Injury

The compensation for an average workers’ comp settlement for a back injury may vary from the amount you ultimately receive, as the specific details of your claim majorly determine its value. Several key factors help determine the final settlement, including.:

Severity of the Injury

More severe injuries generally lead to higher settlements. If an injury requires long-term pain management, medical equipment, or requires extensive treatment, the compensation will reflect these factors.

Impact on Daily Life

How the injury affects your ability to work and perform daily activities plays a major role in determining settlement amounts. Loss of income, inability to participate in hobbies, and other lifestyle changes are taken into account.

Pain and Suffering

This is a more subjective factor but is critical in calculating settlements. The physical pain and emotional distress due to the injury can lead to higher compensation, especially if the injury has long-term effects.

Fault and Liability

If the other party’s liability is clear and well-documented, it can lead to a quicker and possibly larger settlement. However, if fault is contested, this can complicate the process and affect the final amount.

Additionally, Illinois uses the modified comparative negligence system. This means you will only be able to obtain compensation if you are 50% or less at fault. Your compensation amount will decrease in proportion to your degree of fault.

Calculating Losses and Compensation

When working with an experienced personal injury attorney after your accident, there are many different expenses that will be factored into the total damages due. Some of the key points that will impact your compensation include:

The severity of your injury

Establishing how severe your neck and back injuries are after an accident is essential in order to determine the cost of both your past medical expenses and predicted future medical expenses. Soft tissue injuries like whiplash or other muscle strains and sprains may require less rigorous treatment. You might spend just a few hours at the hospital and leave with a brace, ice pack, or other methods of treating your injuries at home.

More critical injuries to the neck, back, and spinal cord require intensive treatment and care, such as surgery and extended time in the hospital.

Lost wages and unpaid time off work

The number of days that you stay in the hospital and are unable to work can impact the amount of your loss of income due to time off work. For a car accident victim with a spinal cord injury, the estimated hospital stay is about ten days, but this will vary depending on the age of the victim, the health, and the severity of the injuries.

The claim settlement that you receive should include both your loss of income during the time that you are unable to work and the loss of future wages. These future wages reflect the potential loss of earnings if you are unable to go back to work in the near or extended future.

Pain and suffering

Pain and suffering refers to the non-economic damages that are incurred by a serious neck or back injury. Suddenly losing a large range of movement and experiencing debilitating pain can result in decreased mobility. Spiral cord injuries often lead to serious anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other concerning mental health issues. After an accident that affects your quality of life, pain and suffering damages are meant to compensate for the distress caused by your injuries.

Calculating a value for pain and suffering compensation varies depending on the severity of your injury. Often, this is calculated by using a multiplier that ranges between 1.5 to five times the total cost of your injury.

Protect Yourself in The Event of an Accident – Steps to Take

Taking the right steps and immediately establishing the severity of your injuries can have a large impact on the compensation you receive in the event of an accident.

First, go to see your doctor and ask for an assessment after your accident. Common injuries and symptoms after an accident include severe back pain, sharp neck pain, headaches, nausea, and more. It is important to visit your doctor even if you are not experiencing these immediately after your accident because some injuries take longer to present symptoms.

Next, contact a skilled injury lawyer who can help guide you through the claims process. Insurance companies will work to minimize the value of your claim, so working with an experienced car accident lawyer can help to maximize your compensation.

Your attorney can work directly with the insurance companies so that you can focus on resting and recovering from your injuries without the additional daily stress of dealing with your claim.

Once you start working with your attorney, they can help to collect and organize all of your medical bills and records in order to support your claim. This documentation will support the diagnosis of the injuries that you have suffered and will also show that you sought treatment for these injuries. These medical records often include the following:

  • Medical imaging, including X-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs
  • Hospital stays and meals at the hospital
  • Emergency room records
  • Referrals to specialists, such as psychologists
  • Physical therapy appointments
  • Other expenses, such as gas and parking costs for traveling to and from medical appointments
  • Home modifications to accommodate your injury
  • Assistive devices like neck braces and wheelchairs
  • Medical prescription records

Additionally, your medical records will often contain notes and comments from your doctors with details about the psychological impact of the injuries in your everyday life. This can help to show examples of your mental health pain and suffering from your injuries and demonstrate that you reached out for help to deal with these additional challenges.

Speak with an Experienced Chicago Car Accident Attorney

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is challenging, especially if you have suffered injuries. Working with insurance companies and navigating through the claims process can be confusing and stressful.

At Malman Law, we are here to support our clients through this difficult time and to advocate for your maximum compensation in the event of a car accident injury. To speak with an experienced attorney,  contact Malman Law for a free consultation to determine what rights you may have under the law.


Other Blogs Related to Average Settlements:

Average Settlement for a Traumatic Brain Injury

Average Nursing Home Neglect Settlement

Average Settlement Hit by Drunk Driver

Settlements for Passengers in Car Accidents

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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