A car accident, especially a serious wreck, can lead to myriad injuries, particularly neck and back injuries.
Neck and back injuries are typically soft tissue injuries, but this type of injury can be remarkably painful, often requiring ongoing treatment to correct. If you have surgery as a result of your injuries, this could dramatically impact the value of your settlement (assuming there is enough insurance coverage).
In the worst scenario, a neck or back injury sustained in a car accident could trigger a lifetime of pain and suffering, as well as a great deal of inconvenience.
Whether you were the driver or the passenger in a vehicle impacted by a negligent driver, you can file a claim to compensate you for the injuries sustained, as well as for the pain and suffering involved.
Hire an experienced car accident attorney and they can guide you through your obligations and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Even if you hire a good attorney and have a clear-cut case, accident claims can take a long time to resolve. In the meantime, a pre-settlement car accident loan can help. Call Uplift Legal Funding today for details.
Standard Signs of Neck or Back Whiplash Injuries Sustained in Motor Vehicle Collisions
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries people sustain in motor vehicle crashes. This usually occurs when the person’s neck is forced back and forward in a very rapid motion, often the result of a rear-end accident and a sharp, sudden impact. The harder and the more forceful the rear-end collision, the higher the chance of the vehicle’s occupants sustaining whiplash injuries to the neck and back.
Whiplash is classified as a soft tissue injury because it affects the muscles of the upper back and neck rather than the bones breaking or fracturing.
You should always seek medical attention as soon as possible after an auto accident, even if you don’t suspect you have sustained whiplash injuries. Symptoms of whiplash can be delayed in onset.
The most common whiplash symptoms include:
- Pain and stiffness (neck, shoulders, upper back)
- Burning pain (neck, shoulders)
- Problems sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Short-term memory loss
Problems with sleep, concentration, and short-term memory loss characterize serious whiplash injuries.
Minor whiplash injuries can heal within a few days.
How Much Is the Typical Neck and Back Injury Settlement?
The settlement value for neck and back injuries will vary on a case-by-case basis. As with all accidents, the more serious the injuries suffered, the higher the likely settlement offer. The same applies with medical treatment and physical therapy.
For the average car accident case involving relatively minor soft tissue injuries to the neck or back, the victim can expect to obtain from $2,500 to $10,000 from the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
When the injured person needs injections, physical therapy, and other procedures, compensation can often reach $30,000.
When back and neck injuries involve broken bones and other serious trauma, settlement values are often more than $100,000. These cases are in the minority, with most neck and back injury claims settling for much lower amounts.
Neck and Back Injuries: Damages
These are the most common types of damages available to victims of car accidents suffering neck and back injuries:
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Payment of medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries
- Compensation for lost income as a result of injuries and also for loss of earning capacity
- Payment for permanent neck or back injury
If the insurance company of the at-fault driver does not offer you a fair settlement value, you can instruct your attorney to litigate your case, taking it to jury trial if necessary.
How to Prove Neck and Back Injury Damages
Some whiplash injuries can be challenging to prove. These injuries cannot always be detected with MRIs and X-rays.
You may find the insurer argues either of the following:
- The victim has pre-existing pain and symptoms
- The victim is exaggerating the scope of the symptoms
To prove eligibility for damages in a neck or back injury case involving an auto accident, you must show it is probable that:
- The at-fault driver was in violation of their duty of care – by driving under the influence or by violating a traffic law, for instance – and this dereliction of care caused the accident
- The accident was caused by the negligence and carelessness of the at-fault driver
- You suffered neck and back injuries as direct result of this accident
When you are seeking a causal connection, the accident only needs to be one potential cause of your injuries rather than the only cause.
Determining the Extent of Neck and Back Injuries
Retaining an experienced car accident lawyer will streamline the process of proving the severity of your neck and back injuries. The more evidence your lawyer can assemble and submit, the more chance you have of boosting the settlement value of your auto accident case.
These are the most important types of evidence in neck and back injury claims:
- Testimony from medical experts: A medical expert can testify before trial or at trial to help you prove the causal relation between your injuries and the accident. This expert can be a doctor or healthcare professional involved in examining you following the accident
- Medical documentation: Your lawyer should obtain copies of all medical bills and records from the healthcare professionals delivering treatment. This can help to prove the financial costs as well as playing a role in diagnosis
- Journal of medical treatment: Chart all the medical treatment as well as the effects it has on the symptoms of your back and neck injuries. This can help you to prove the severity of your injuries, valuable if you are claiming pain and suffering damages
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