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What is My Back Injury Claim Worth?

Determining the worth of a back injury settlement can be a complex process, as it depends on various factors such as the severity of the injury, long-term impact on the individual's life, and the circumstances surrounding the incident. Back injuries are common in various situations, including car accidents, where the lower back is particularly susceptible to trauma due to the force and impact involved.

About 20 times a day a conversation takes place between a nearby personal injury lawyer of Rosensteel and Fleishman and a client regarding the value of their injury claim. This conversation will take place multiple times throughout the life of a claim. However, it is after the initial offer is made and settlement is being discussed that the value of their injury is dissected in minute detail.

Back Injury Settlement Examples

While it is not possible to predict specific settlement outcomes, examples from past cases suggest that compensation for back injuries in various contexts, such as car accidents, may vary based on factors such as the severity of the injury, medical expenses, and other individual circumstances. Here are a few case results of back injury settlements:

$100,000 Facts: Our client, a driver, was hit from behind while on the job. Initially injured his back. After more than a month, the notes reflect hand and wrist complaints. The insurance company did not want to pay for any medical treatment related to the client’s hand and wrist treatment, which consisted of physical therapy and medication.

$100,000 Facts: The client was injured in a car accident in Charlotte. She had an extensive medical history including prior back problems for which she had received significant treatment.

Here's How to Determine What a Back Injury Claim is Worth

After an accident people are entitled to be compensated for their injuries. In those general statements, personal injury lawyers and insurance companies agree that the law is clear. Where the disagreements begin is dealing with the value of those injuries (or if the person was injured at all).

One of the most common injuries following a car accident is an injury to your back. Neck injuries are covered under a different article. The injury to your back occurs not because of the impact of one car hitting another but because of the moving inside the vehicle after the impact. In other words, if the person inside the vehicle doesn't move following an impact it is unlikely that they will be injured. Most of the injuries result from strain and sprains of the soft tissue in the back from the twisting and turning that takes place following an impact.

In the context of a car accident settlement, the value of a back injury claim is often influenced by the extent of lower back pain and the associated medical expenses. The settlement may encompass compensation for medical treatments, rehabilitation, and any ongoing healthcare needs arising from the back injury. Additionally, consideration is given to the pain and suffering experienced by the individual, as well as potential impacts on their ability to work and enjoy daily activities.

6 Key Factors Influencing the Value of Your Back Injury Claim in Car Accidents

Insurance companies and legal professionals typically assess the economic and non-economic damages when determining the worth of a back injury claim. Economic damages may include medical bills, lost wages, and future medical expenses, while non-economic damages account for intangible factors like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life. Expert opinions, medical documentation, and legal expertise are crucial in establishing the value of a back injury settlement, ensuring that the injured party receives fair compensation for the damages incurred.

Here are a few things insurance companies look at in determining the value of a back injury claim.

  1. Vehicle Damage. One of the first things insurance companies look at in determining value is how much damage was done to the vehicles involved. The idea is that the more damage inflicted on the vehicles the higher the probability that the person inside the vehicle would be twisted and turned. This is a very important factor in determining the value of your back injury. Certainly, the lower the property damage the harder your case becomes to prove your back injury was caused by the accident.
  2. Injured at the scene. The second thing insurance companies look at is whether the client complained about an injury at the scene of the accident. North Carolina police are required to ask people involved in an accident whether they are injured and if they need an ambulance. The police are required to record the answer in the police report. If the client stated they were not injured that may result in the insurance company reducing the value they have on the claim. Certainly, there are other factors for example the type of collision (rear impact, head-on, t-bone, sideswipe, etc), the amount of property damage, and whether anyone else complained of injury at the scene which will affect how much weight the insurance company puts on this one factor.
  3. Type of treatment you had following the car accident: For example, did you go to your primary care physician followed by an orthopedic and physical therapist or did you go straight to a chiropractor and no one else? The number of doctors can affect the value of your case because it is also the number of potential experts who could testify in a court of law and give opinions regarding your injury. If you just went to a chiropractor and nothing else you would only have one expert who could testify (the chiropractor). If you went to a primary care physician, an orthopedic, and a physical therapist you would have three potential experts.
  4. Timeline of your treatment. There are numerous variables in this factor and no two cases are the same. For example, did you not complain of injury at the scene but go to the ER one hour after the accident v. complaining about injury at the scene of the accident and going to the ER by EMS? In the eyes of most insurance companies going to the ER by EMS is more valuable than going to the ER one hour after the MVA. Following the ER the question is how long does it take to begin further treatment? This is one of the most heavily weighted factors in determining value. The longer the gap between the date of the trauma (the accident) and receiving treatment the less valuable the claim becomes. Further, the insurance companies are looking at how long your treatment lasts. Clearly, if your treatment is only one week you are sending the message that your injury is not very severe.
  5. Pre-existing condition before the car accident. Insurance companies are also looking at your pre-existing condition prior to the accident to see if the injuries are aggravations of old injuries or new injuries. Depending on the severity of the pre-existing condition that may or may not affect the value of the claim. For example, if the client was suffering from back pain prior to the accident and was treated once a week with a chiropractor it will be very difficult to prove that the car accident changed the condition of the client. This differs of course, if the client had a back injury a year or two prior to the accident and had stopped treating with all medical providers prior to the accident. While in the latter example, the accident may aggravate the back injury it will be much easier to prove medical causation because of the limited treatment prior to the accident.
  6. Medical Documentation. One of the most important variables in determining the value of your back injury is controlled by the client, it is what you say to your medical providers. When I first meet with a client I explain to them that the insurance company will read through all of their medical records. They will be looking for things you say that will help or hurt your case. Clearly, if the records reflect that something other than the car accident caused the injury to your back the insurance company will not pay for the claim. Further, if your records reflect new or different trauma (slipping in the shower, falling down the stairs, picking up a baby) the insurance company will look to blame that trauma on the need for continuing care on your back.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today!

Ultimately, the worth of a back injury settlement varies from case to case, and it is crucial for individuals seeking compensation to consult with experienced legal professionals who can navigate the intricacies of personal injury claims and negotiate a settlement that reflects the true impact of the back injury on their lives. Choosing the right car accident lawyer to represent you plays a crucial role in determining the value of your back injury. Insurance companies know which lawyers will file a lawsuit and try their client's cases if the settlement offer is not adequate. At Rosensteel Fleishman, we never force our clients to settle a claim. We give them multiple options including filing a lawsuit and letting a jury decide the value of their claim. Our car accident lawyers near you are in court every day fighting for our clients. If you're wondering what the value of your back injury is, or have questions regarding your personal injury claim in general, please contact us. There is no fee for the initial consultation.

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