There is no average settlement for back and neck injuries suffered in a car accident because every case is unique. Each personal injury victim will have different damages, but you can generally recover a settlement to compensate for your losses related to the accident.
What You Are Entitled to After a Car Accident
Our firm can give you a more accurate estimate of what you are entitled to in a settlement, but generally, here is what you can recover:
Your medical costs after a back and neck injury could be expensive, and we can help you get compensation for these expenses and the ones you will have in the future.
Medical expenses can include:
- Hospital stays
- Emergency transportation costs
- Prescription medications
- Medical devices
- Physical therapy visits
- Ongoing doctor visits
- Lost Wages
We can also help you recover compensation for your lost wages if you missed work for your back and neck injury. If you cannot return to your job or a similar paying job, we can recover your lost future earning capacity from your injury.
You might also be entitled to compensation for your lost benefits, including savings and your employer’s retirement matching. We can include what you lost from being out of work in your claim or case.
When an accident damages your car, we can seek compensation for its repair or replacement.
The most elusive—and perhaps most damaging—types of compensation following a neck and back injury are non-economic losses. These are the ways your injury impacts your life. These non-economic losses include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
This list is not exhaustive, and you could be entitled to recover compensation for other damages after your car accident.
For a free legal consultation, call 412-661-1400
Factors that Can Affect Your Financial Recovery in a Settlement
While there is no average settlement for a car accident back and neck injury, some common factors can determine how much you can recover.
The Evidence Available
How much evidence we can collect after your accident will indicate how much compensation you may be entitled to. Generally, we have to collect forms of evidence such as:
- Police reports
- Dash and traffic camera footage
- Witness testimony
- Medical records
- Driving records
We can use the evidence we collect to prove the at-fault party’s liability, including:
- Duty: The at-fault party should have taken measures to keep you safe. For example, they should have driven at the proper speed to avoid an accident.
- Breach of duty: The at-fault party did not take the appropriate measures to keep you safe.
- Causation: Their negligent action or inaction directly caused the accident
- Damages: You suffered injuries and losses as a result of the accident.
If we cannot collect the evidence necessary to prove the above criteria, it could affect your right to compensation.
How Much You Contributed to the Car Accident
Another factor that could affect how much of your losses you can recover is your own degree of fault. Some states allow you to recover compensation following an accident even if you contributed to it. Still, your award will be reduced by your percentage of fault, as affirmed by the Legal Information Institute (LII).
For example, if the other driver ran a red light and blind-sided you, but you were speeding at the time, you could have been 30% at fault for the accident. If your damages amounted to $10,000, your recoverable compensation would be 30% less than that, or $7,000.
However, other states could bar you from seeking financial recovery if you contributed to the accident. An attorney from our team can explain the laws in your state.
Car Insurance Policy Limits
While attorneys will usually aim for your total compensation, it is always possible that you may not receive it. One reason for this is that every insurance policy has a limit. Insurance adjusters will never offer you a settlement beyond the limits of the applicable insurance policy. In many cases, they won’t even offer you compensation up to policy limits, but they have the ability to.
If your economic and non-economic losses exceed the insurance policy limits, you will lose the difference, assuming the insurer pays out the entire policy.
A car accident attorney can help you pursue the remaining damages through other avenues, such as a lawsuit against the at-fault party or a claim against any additional liable parties.
Calculating Your Damages to Determine a Fair Settlement Amount
Your personal injury lawyer will calculate your total damages to arrive at an appropriate compensation amount. To create a full picture of the losses you’ve suffered, your attorney will request and retrieve documentation that indicates the value of those losses. This is important for not only tabulating a fair monetary award but also validating the amount you are demanding of the insurance company. The insurer will want to see proof of damages.
Evidence of Economic Loss
Economic losses are generally easy to track and measure. An injury lawyer will collect evidence of financial losses, such as:
- Medical care bills
- Mental health counseling bills
- Receipts or invoices for injury-related purchases, like prescription medications, back or neck braces, or a wheelchair
- Bills and receipts for other required expenses due to your back or neck injury
- Check stubs, timesheets, and work schedules to indicate lost wages
- Bank statements
- Business financial statements indicating loss of sales or profits
- Project estimates and payment invoices for independent contractors
- Vehicle repair, replacement, or diminished value estimates
It’s a good idea to gather any of this documentation ahead of time to facilitate the investigation process and help your accident injury lawyer value your case.
Calculating Non-economic Damages
Though non-economic damages may have a larger impact on your financial settlement, they are not easily calculated. As pain and suffering is not tangible. Instead, your back and neck injury attorney will need to designate a financial value to it.
- Health status prior to the back or neck injuries
- The severity of your injuries
- Prognosis for recovery
- Life expectancy
- Effect on your ability to perform tasks
- Testimony of economic, healthcare, and/or life care experts
A neck and back injury lawyer with our law firm will work diligently to provide an accurate evaluation of your physical, emotional, and financial losses. It’s our priority to see you made whole.
The Statute of Limitations
Each state has different laws setting the deadline by which you must file a lawsuit for your personal injury case, as the American Bar Association (ABA) notes. They can range from one to six years after the accident, and there are usually tolling exceptions that we can explain during a consultation. Pennsylvania law provides less time to file a car accident lawsuit than many other states; therefore, it is important that you begin the claims process immediately.
If you miss this filing deadline, a judge could bar you from collecting compensation.
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A Personal Injury Lawyer From Our Firm Can Help You
A car accident attorney from our team can tell you what you can recover in your settlement for your neck and back injury. They can help gather the evidence, prove your damages and the other party’s fault, negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company and legal team, and recover a settlement for you.
If they do not think the settlement adequately covers your damages, we have no problem filing a lawsuit against the negligent party. We want to handle your case while you focus on recovering.
Call Us Today for a Free Consultation
Berger and Green helps car accident injury victims seek settlements for their expenses and losses. We can help you with your personal injury case, taking care of all aspects while seeking a fair financial recovery.
Call us today!