Frequently Asked Questions - Average Neck And Back Injury Settlements From Car Accidents
Each case is different and just because one person has the same injuries as you, does not mean your cases will settle for the exact same amount. Even people involved in the same auto accident with the same injuries settle for very different amounts. The amount your claim settles for depends on several different factors which can include the injuries you sustained in the accident and whether or not you underwent surgical intervention, the amount of your medical bills, your treatment, the amount of damage to your vehicle, whether you have been involved in prior accidents with injuries or any pre-existing health conditions, to name a few. Typically, the worse your injuries are, the more extensive your medical treatment will be. Medical treatment can range from a series of physical therapy treatments to multiple surgeries.
Many people believe that if your vehicle is totaled in an auto accident, your injuries will be more extensive. This is not always the case. Some people can be involved in an accident where their vehicle is totaled and walk away with no injuries and another person can be involved in an accident with minor vehicle damage and require numerous surgeries. There is no way to tell how extensive someone’s injuries are just based on the amount of property damage their vehicle sustained.
Personal injury settlements vary from case to case and even from adjuster to adjuster. One adjuster can look at a claim and value it at a certain amount, but another adjuster can look at the same claim and have a totally different value for it. Not all cases are evaluated fairly, and some people believe their claim is worth much more than the adjuster has offered. If you hire an experienced personal injury attorney to fight the insurance company on your behalf, you will be able to rest assured that your claim will be handled to the best of the attorney’s ability. Attorneys do not get paid for their work on a personal injury claim until you settle the claim and they will do everything possible for their client to maximize their settlement in order to put the most amount of money into their client’s pockets. If you are unsure of how to handle your personal injury claim or if you think the insurance company is trying to settle your claim for much less than it is worth, you should always consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury claims as they know what to do and say to get the insurance adjuster to pay out the most amount of money possible. Attorneys also can quickly and easily file a lawsuit against the insurance company if they still refuse to make a fair offer on the claim.
The majority of personal injury claims are neck and back injury claims. This is the most common injury sustained in an automobile or slip and fall accident. When you are rear-ended in an auto accident, your neck can suffer serious injury called whiplash. Whiplash is where your head is pushed forward in a whipping motion and then backwards very quickly, usually striking the headrest. This type of injury can result in disc bulges or even disc herniations. When you are involved in a slip and fall accident, a lot of people fall backwards, landing on their tailbone and then hitting their head on the floor causing serious injuries. If your treating medical provider suspects you have a serious neck or back injury, they will refer you for MRIs to rule out any abnormal disc pathology. If the MRI reveals any abnormalities, your doctor will then refer you to a specialist, usually an orthopedic doctor or neurosurgeon. If you are referred to a specialist and they opine that you will require surgery for your injuries, you case could be very valuable if you decide to undergo the surgery. Not only are you receiving the necessary surgical intervention that you require, but once you settle your surgical claim, you will be compensated for your pain and suffering. Surgical claims tend to settle for much higher amounts than non-surgical claims, depending on what the bodily injury coverage amount is for the policy you are suing the insurance company for. In the State of Florida, bodily injury coverage is not mandatory in order for you to have a valid auto insurance policy; however, if you are hit by a vehicle with a very high bodily injury policy, you can have as much medical treatment as you need. These cases tend to settle for higher amounts due to the injuries you have sustained, your pain and suffering, any surgical intervention you may have had to undergo, your high outstanding medical bills and your future medical needs.
If your injuries do not warrant surgical intervention or there is not a very high bodily injury policy in your claim, your medical treatment will be limited to physical therapy, MRIs and maybe a series of epidural steroid injections. This is considered a soft tissue claim and these types of claims tend to settle for much less than a surgical claim since there was no surgical intervention. Soft tissue claims typically settle anywhere from a few hundred dollars to usually less than around $10,000.00 - $25,000.000 or so, depending on the extent of your injuries and medical treatment. Keep in mind that all claims are different, and your claim could be evaluated at more or less, depending on the circumstances surrounding your claim. If you only need physical therapy treatment and MRIs, these cases typically settle for less than $10,000.00. If you have been recommended for surgical intervention and you choose not to undergo the surgery, the insurance company will not take that into consideration when evaluating your claim. The adjuster will only consider a surgery that has already taken place, not a surgery that may or may not take place in the future so they will evaluate your claim as a soft tissue claim only. If you have been recommended for surgery, it is highly recommended that you think long and hard about having the surgery as not only will it put extra value and weight behind your claim, you will also be getting the surgery you need to hopefully get back to your pre-accident condition, but you will also be compensated for your pain and suffering and lost wages if you need to take time off for surgery.