Injuries to the neck and back are extremely common after a car crash, but they are also very hard to prove. Insurance companies will typically try to show that you are faking the injury or that you had a pre-existing injury to that area.
The insurance companies don’t believe that your injury is real, which in turn makes it a struggle to collect the compensation that you need and deserve. A battle usually ensues and these can be drawn out for many months or even years. At The Clark Law Office, our experienced car accident lawyers will help you get a fair settlement or verdict for your back and neck injuries. We have a successful track record of getting our clients compensation for both back injuries and neck injuries. This compensation will include the costs you have endured for medical treatment and lost wages from the inability to work.
National Statistics on Neck and Back Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
Surprisingly, back and neck injuries have been trending downwards over the last few years. In 2019, over 2,000,000 people were hurt or injured in car accidents in the U.S. Of those accidents, roughly twenty percent suffered either a back or neck injury. In 2017, the NHTSA claims there were over 6,000,000 car accidents and roughly 25% suffered back and neck injuries. Based upon these statistics, the average settlement for a car accident back and neck injury was between $19,000 and $51,000.
Types of Neck and Back Injuries You Can Include in Your Claim
Most people take their health, especially their back and neck for granted. Pain to these susceptible body parts can be extremely debilitating and cause great deals of pain. A traumatic event such as a car, motorcycle, or truck accident can result in severe injuries to the lower back, thoracic spine, cervical spine, and the neck. The sudden jerking or impact to some part of the vehicle can cause life-long pain and suffering.
Of all the different types of neck injuries after an accident, a whiplash is the most common. This injury occurs when the head and neck is violently jerked forward and back or vice versa. Whiplash injuries can cause pain, muscle stiffness, and headaches that can be very painful.
Herniation of a Disc
A herniated disc can be a lifelong injury that is difficult to treat. A herniated disc happens when the fluid center of a spinal disc ruptures. Mild to extreme pain is common in the neck and/or the back.
Muscle Sprain or Muscle Strain
Typically, this type of muscle injury is caused by overuse but it can also be caused by a traumatic event such as a car accident. While many people think a strain or sprain is not all that serious, they can take a long time to resolve and cause pain, stiffness, numbness, and even tingling for a long time until the injury resolves.
Injuries To The Spinal Cord
Spinal cord injuries are extremely devastating. When there is damage to the vertebrae of the spine or the spinal ligaments, it can cause a significantly reduced range of motion as well loss of feeling altogether.
The spinal cord is very fragile and is crucial not only to your back, but your entire body and central nervous system. This injury can cause a major negative impact on your life. If you suspect you may have suffered a spinal cord injury, you should seek immediate medical attention and get the testing necessary for a proper diagnosis. X-Rays, ultrasounds, and MRI’s are usually the diagnostic test performed to determine if you have an injury to your spinal cord.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissues are considered to be an injury that is not related to bones or discs. This includes all the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Insurance companies will downplay injuries that are “only soft tissues”, but they should not be overlooked. This type of injury will sometimes require surgery but will almost always include pain medication and physical therapy.
Treatment for Car Accident-Related Neck and Back Injury
The type of recommended treatment for a back and neck injury will depend mainly on the severity and type of injury that you have incurred as a result of the car accident. Here are some of the most common treatments.
Whiplash is usually treated with OTC pain medication, strategic placement of heat using a pad, icing the area soon after the initial injury, and even chiropractic adjustments.
Disc injuries or herniations are typically treated with stronger pain medication, physical therapy, and massage therapy. Surgery is the best option but can be used in extreme cases.
Injuries to the soft tissues will often require deployment of many different types of treatments including massage, chiropractic care, physical therapy, muscle relaxants, and also anti-inflammatory medications.
Why Does The Average Settlement For a Car Accident Vary So Much?
The main reason that settlement amounts vary so much is that no injury or car accident case is the same. There is no such thing as an average back injury settlement. The value of the case will depend on the details leading up to the accident, the severity of your injuries, and even your ability to lead a normal or happy life.
Even though the injuries affect the same area and might be similar, the medical bills and treatments will differ greatly. Some injuries also cause more pain and suffering than others and are very individual specific.
Another differential factor is in regards to wage loss. Everyone makes different amounts of money and how long they were unable to work for plays a large factor. Someone that has a high paying job and loses a significant amount of time at work will be compensated more than someone who is unemployed for example.
What Is An Average Settlement Amount For These Minor Injuries?
It’s very difficult to put an average amount for a settlement regarding back and neck injuries, but minor injuries to the back and neck are a bit easier to account for. For this example, we will assume that these minor injuries will get worse as time goes on. This type of injury will generally receive a modest settlement amount between $10,000-$50,000. This information can be a letdown, but you should not get discouraged. You should always try to recover as much as possible as any amount of financial compensation can help your situation.
What Are Some Examples of Severe Back and Neck Injuries?
Severe back and neck injuries that are severe in nature cause chronic pain or lead to disabilities that can last a lifetime. In some instances, the pain or disability can resolve but typically you will reach a stage where no more improvement occurs. Some examples of severe back and neck injuries include:
- Fracture or broken spinal cord
- Herniated discs
- Slipped or fractured vertebrae
- Broken neck
- Whiplash that is severe
- Soft tissue injuries that don’t heal
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Pinched or severed nerves
- Internal bleeding
Serious injuries such as these can have life-long effects. Not only are they extremely painful at the time, but they have a tendency of never going away and turning chronic or even causing paralysis. This type of injury is most common in truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, high speed rear end crashes, and head on collisions.
How We Handle the Insurance Companies
Unfortunately, insurance companies are a business and they are motivated by financial gain. They don’t make money by paying out large settlements. They make money by paying the lowest possible amount for accident claims. They will claim that you aren’t as injured as you say you are. They will also try to say that you had pre-existing injuries that weren’t caused by the accident or crash.
When you hire us, we do not let them push you around. We fight back aggressively for injured clients the moment that you hire us.
Why Pursue an Injury Settlement After a Neck or Back Injury?
Back and neck injuries have a tendency of getting worse over time. The insurance company will most likely offer a settlement which may seem like a fair settlement at the time, but in reality it is not. If you are in pain and on medications, you are not thinking clearly and the insurance company knows this. It is certainly not the time to be signing releases for car accident claims and making huge life decisions.
Many people also underestimate the cost of medical treatment, especially if the condition worsens over time. Medications, imaging, injections, and even surgeries can bring astronomical prices that many people are not prepared for.
When you hire us, we utilize a contingency fee agreement where you do not pay unless you win. Essentially, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Pursuing a settlement for your car accident injuries is your only chance to seek legal action against the negligent individual.
Factors that Affect Your Neck or Back Injury Settlement
There are numerous factors that will determine the amount of your back and neck injury settlement. Your settlement will most likely be very different than the average car accident settlement. Your main concern and focus should be how much YOUR settlement is worth. Some of the major factors that will effect your back or neck injury settlement include:
- The severity of your injuries
- Who was at fault for the car accident
- The policy limits of your insurance policy and the policy limits of the other driver
- The skill of your attorney
Seek an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
Focusing on your recovery and health should be your #1 priority after a motor vehicle accident. An experienced car accident lawyer can relieve you of the burden when finding/interviewing witnesses, negotiating with the insurance company, and litigating your case. The Clark Law Office has a proven track record recovering compensation for car accident victims suffering from back and neck injuries.
Call us today at (517) 347-6900 for a free consultation. We charge no fees unless you win and will fight for you the moment you hire us.