What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident Back Injury
The law mandates that insurance companies must cover all injuries resulting from any car accident, regardless of their severity, as part of their liability coverage. However, disputes can arise when an injury is not immediately visible or deemed severe by the insurance company, leading to potential denial of claims. Therefore, it is crucial to seek immediate medical help and treatment from a doctor after an accident, even if there are no apparent injuries. Pain and injuries may surface days, weeks, or even months later, and delaying treatment could jeopardize your claim's chances of being accepted. Today, we will delve deeper into the common occurrences of neck and back injuries caused by car accidents. Let's explore what you need to know about these types of injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, compiles statistics on all injuries and death caused by car accidents. It's essential to know the statistics for neck and back injuries to protect your claim. According to them, approximately 869,000 traffic crash-related cervical spine injuries occur in a year in the US. That includes 841,000 sprain or strain injuries, 2,800 spinal disk injuries, 23,500 fractures, 2800 spinal cord injuries, and 1500 dislocations.
This is in the context that neck and back injuries sustained from car accidents have decreased in the past few years. Although the numbers are still high, things are changing. But the reality is still that millions of people get into car accidents, and about 20% of the injuries they sustain are to the neck and back.
Over the years, car accident-related neck and back injuries have decreased. In 2019, an estimated 2.5 million people were injured in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Approximately 20 percent (500,000) suffered a neck and back injury.
In the aftermath of car accidents, the human back often bears the brunt of the impact, leading to a variety of common injuries. Whiplash is a prevalent back injury, resulting from the sudden jerking motion of the head, causing strain on the neck and upper back muscles and ligaments. Herniated discs, another frequently observed injury, occur when the soft center of spinal discs protrudes, compressing nearby nerves and causing pain and discomfort in the back or extremities. Compression fractures are particularly concerning, as the vertebrae can fracture and collapse under intense pressure, potentially leading to spinal cord damage. Lumbar sprains and strains are also commonplace, affecting the lower back muscles and ligaments and leading to pain and reduced mobility. Moreover, car accidents can exacerbate pre-existing back conditions like degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis, adding further complications to the recovery process. Understanding these common back injuries is crucial, as timely medical attention and appropriate treatment can significantly impact the overall healing and long-term well-being of accident victims.
List of Most Common Back Injuries from Car Accidents:
Remember that any suspicion of a back injury after a car accident warrants immediate medical evaluation and appropriate treatment. Early intervention can significantly improve the chances of a full recovery and prevent long-term complications.
The NHTSA has helpful data regarding actual settlements for cervical spine injuries. In 2014, the average amount paid for cervical spine injuries was $10,484. The lowest amount paid for cervical spine injuries was $0, the highest was $350,000, and the most common amount was between $10,000 to $100,000.
Today, in average car accidents involving relatively minor neck or back injuries, the injured individual may anticipate a settlement ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, which is typically paid by the at-fault driver's insurance company. These minor injuries often involve soft tissue damage, affecting ligaments, muscles, or tendons. While such settlements may help cover medical expenses and compensate for pain and suffering, they might not significantly impact a person's life in the long run.
However, it is crucial to recognize that severe back injuries can lead to a drastically different scenario. In cases where the spinal cord is damaged, causing paralysis or other life-altering conditions, the potential payout can be substantially higher. These injuries can profoundly impact a person's quality of life, resulting in significant medical expenses, long-term care needs, and loss of earning capacity. As a consequence, settlements for severe back injuries can reach far beyond the amounts seen in minor cases.
In the event of a car accident, seeking immediate medical attention is of utmost importance to protect your health and well-being. Even if you don't feel any immediate pain or discomfort, some injuries may not manifest until days or weeks after the incident. By promptly visiting the emergency room, medical professionals can conduct a thorough examination and perform diagnostic tests to detect any hidden injuries that might otherwise go unnoticed. This proactive approach not only ensures your health is safeguarded but also strengthens your case if you need to pursue legal action or file an insurance claim.
Proving the extent and cause of your injuries can be vital in legal proceedings or insurance negotiations. Medical records and reports from the emergency room serve as crucial evidence to support your claim. They can demonstrate the link between the accident and your injuries, establishing causation.
In cases involving back or neck injuries, various imaging scans are commonly used to detect and diagnose potential issues. X-rays are frequently employed to visualize bones, checking for fractures or other skeletal abnormalities. CT scans (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans are valuable tools to assess soft tissues like muscles, ligaments, and discs in the back and neck regions. CT scans provide detailed cross-sectional images, while MRI scans offer high-resolution images of soft tissue structures. These scans can reveal herniated discs, spinal cord compression, and other back or neck injuries that may not be visible through traditional X-rays.
If your claim for a back injury after a car accident is denied by the insurance company, it can be disheartening, but there are steps you can take to challenge the denial and pursue the compensation you deserve. First and foremost, review the denial letter carefully to understand the specific reasons for the rejection. Common denial claims from insurance companies may include arguing that the injury was pre-existing, not caused by the accident, or not severe enough to warrant compensation.
To counter these denial claims, gather and organize all relevant evidence and documentation. This may include medical records, doctor's reports, diagnostic imaging results, and any documentation related to the accident itself. Photographic evidence of vehicle damage and the accident scene can also be valuable.
If you believe the denial is unjustified, consider contacting the insurance company and providing additional evidence to support your claim. Be prepared to explain how the accident caused or worsened your back injury and how it has affected your daily life and ability to work.
If dealing with the insurance company directly proves challenging, enlisting the help of a personal injury attorney can be beneficial. An experienced attorney can review your case, assess the validity of the denial, and negotiate on your behalf to pursue a fair settlement.
In some cases, alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, may be used to resolve the claim dispute. If these efforts fail, a lawsuit may be necessary to seek compensation through the court system.
Handling these cases can be complex, particularly when dealing with insurance companies equipped with strong legal teams aiming to minimize their payouts. Let's explore the various ways an attorney can specifically help you with your back injury case:
If you have been injured in a car accident, you should immediately seek medical attention, and you should also file a claim with the insurance company as soon as possible. This can help you get fair compensation for your injury.
Negotiating with insurance companies is not easy, but it is necessary. The claim process for a car accident injury can be frustrating and intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. If your injury claim is denied, you should contact a lawyer to help guide you through the process.
If you are looking for an accident lawyer in Los Angeles, we can help you. Here at Mendez and Sanchez Law, you will only find the best. Our attorneys and team members are here to help you through the difficult legal landscape as we pursue the compensation you deserve. Please contact us for your injury, auto accident, workers' compensation, and other legal needs today!
Yes, insurance companies are mandated to cover all injuries resulting from car accidents, regardless of their severity, as part of their liability coverage.
Delaying medical treatment can jeopardize your claim's chances of being accepted, as pain and injuries may surface days, weeks, or months later. Seeking immediate medical attention ensures early detection and proper documentation of injuries.
Common back injuries in car accidents include whiplash (strain on neck and upper back muscles), herniated discs (protrusion causing nerve compression), compression fractures (vertebrae damage), lumbar sprains and strains (lower back injuries), and exacerbation of pre-existing back conditions.
For relatively minor neck or back injuries, the average settlement ranges from $2,500 to $10,000. However, severe back injuries resulting in spinal cord damage can lead to substantially higher payouts due to the significant impact on the individual's quality of life and long-term expenses.
If your claim is denied, review the denial letter to understand the specific reasons. Gather relevant evidence, including medical records and documentation related to the accident. Consider contacting the insurance company with additional evidence or seek assistance from a personal injury attorney to challenge the denial and pursue fair compensation.