There is no meaningful average settlement amount for a car accident back and neck injury. Yes, somewhere out there is a number representing this average, whether anybody has ever calculated it or not.
That number, however, will not give you much of a clue as to how much you are likely to receive in compensation.
To calculate a reasonable settlement amount in your case, you need to dig deeper into the facts. What we provide here is the means of calculating your personal expectation, so you will know how much to ask for.
Components of Your Settlement
What did you lose in the accident? You need to consider the value of both your monetary losses (economic damages) and your physical and emotional damages (noneconomic damages).
Following are some common components of damages for car accident back and neck injuries.
A car accident serious enough to trigger a lawsuit was probably enough to total your car. You are entitled to compensation for the value of your property damage.
You are entitled to reimbursement for all medical expenses you incur as a result of an accident caused by another, as well as expenses you expect to incur in the future.
In a car accident back or neck injury, settlement amounts tend to increase if you need physical therapy, injections, or other medical procedures.
You can anticipate that your insurance adjuster will question the insurance payout for a neck injury or a back injury.
In any case, current medical expenses are relatively easy to calculate. What is difficult is estimating future medical expenses in case you have not made a full recovery by the time you reach a settlement.
If you underestimate these expenses, you could end up unable to pay your medical bills at some point in the future. A skilled back and neck injury lawyer can help you estimate your actual expenses.
Back and neck injuries frequently cause chronic pain. If this happens to you, you might not be able to return to your previous job or to any job at all.
The amount of lost earnings you would suffer in this type of scenario could be astronomical if you are young.
Pain and Suffering
It can be difficult to estimate pain and suffering damages in a car accident neck and back injury case. Some neck and back injuries, such as whiplash, do not readily show up in medical scans but cause you pain nonetheless.
The following factors are important in calculating pain and suffering:
- The seriousness of your injuries. If they are permanent, you may face a lifetime of chronic pain.
- The amount of disruption that you must suffer. Can you play basketball with your children, for example? Can you still enjoy intimacy with your spouse? Do your doctors expect this situation to change any time soon?
You might also demand other forms of non-economic damages. If you suffer paralysis, for example, you could suffer great mental anguish on that account in the form of humiliation, isolation, or depression.
More visible injuries might also bias a jury in your favor, whether fairly or unfairly. In any case, in many cases, non-economic damages end up amounting to far more than 50% of your total award.
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