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Car Accident Back Injury Settlement

Back Pain After a Car Accident?

Back injuries caused by a car accident are often extremely painful and very expensive, but they are also more common than most people think. According to statistics compiled by the prestigious Mayo Clinic, around 40 percent of all spinal injuries in a given year are the result of car accidents. That’s one reason why the car accident lawyers at FVF have become so experienced when it comes to these types of cases.

A recent study found that the total cost of lower back pain treatment for all Americans is upwards of $100 billion, which is substantial. Back pain after a car accident can often be recurring, which means you may suffer for many years, perhaps even the rest of your life. Because of the extensive cost and the recurring nature of this type of injury, a lower back pain car accident settlement should be sufficiently large to cover almost any eventuality. You should know about the various types of back pain and their longevity and you should have an idea how much your pain and suffering may be worth. FVF has highly experienced attorneys, as well as access to experts who can assess the details of your car accident and come up with a realistic car accident settlement amount that will help you recover from your losses.

Factors that Affect Your Lower Back Pain Car Accident Settlement

You should not let an insurance company tell you what settlement you should expect for your lower back pain. Instead, you should take the time to fully understand the extent of your harms and losses, and evaluate the important factors that come into play when considering a settlement:

  1.  Prove the other driver was at fault. You will not maximize your back injury settlement if the insurance company thinks you are partially to blame for causing the car accident. Instead, it is important to investigate how the crash occurred as thoroughly as possible to prove how the crash happened, and prove someone else was at fault. This often requires extensive research such as Open Records Requests, interviewing witnesses, evaluating recorded statements and videos, sometimes filing a lawsuit.
  2. Prove your back injury is serious. To get the best back pain car accident settlement, it is your responsibility to prove how badly you were hurt. The insurance company will not just take your word for it. This means you need to be proactive with your medical treatment until you have a clear understanding of what is wrong and how it will impact your life in the future. It is your job to show the financial losses, like lost wages and medical bills, that will likely stem from your back injury. It is also your responsibility to prove how your quality of life has changed because of the injuries.
  3. Find all the resources. If your back injury is serious, and will have long-term consequences, then you have to dig to make sure you have found all the different resources from which you can secure a recovery. This often requires you to interview the at fault driver and find out whether they were on the job, or whether they are covered by multiple insurance policies. Further, if there are not enough insurance proceeds available, you can find out whether the person who caused your injury has any assets you could go after to protect yourself from your losses.

What Are the Most Common Back Injuries from Car Accidents?

Because the spine is very complex and very delicate, the impact from even the mildest car accident can strain the ligaments and the muscles in the back, which can lead to several types of spinal injuries. Based on the experience of FVF car accident attorneys, common back injuries include the following:

Bulging and/or Herniated Discs

There are 23 discs in the human spine. These discs serve as the cushions that separate the vertebrae and protect the spinal cord. The sudden impact from an auto accident can cause trauma to one or more discs, which can cause them to bulge or herniate. A herniated disc is one that is displaced, and the herniated disc tends to place pressure on the spinal cord or the nerves that surround it. The most commonly reported symptoms are sudden and intense pain in the lower back and/or numbness in the legs.

Compression Fractures

In the wake of a car accident, compression fractures are quite common in the lower and middle back, also known as the lumbar and thoracic regions of the spine. These occur because the upper body is often thrown forward as the lower body is held in place by the seat belt. This action can often pull the vertebrae apart, which can result in a spinal fracture. The most common symptoms of a compression fracture are severe back pain that gets worse when you move around. If the spinal cord is injured, you may also experience numbness in the limbs and the back, as well as a loss of bladder and bowel control.

Spondylolisthesis

This is a condition that happens when a vertebra is shifted out of place due to a stress fracture. The resultant bone displacement presses on the nerves and can cause pain, weakness, or even numbness in the legs. Often, the symptoms of spondylolisthesis don’t show up for weeks, months or even years after the accident. That is why it is essential to see a doctor immediately after the accident, even if you don’t feel like there is anything wrong.

Soft Tissue Damage

Among the most common back injuries stemming from auto accidents is damage to soft tissue ligaments and tendons in the muscles surrounding the vertebrae. The impact from the car accident can cause them to stretch or tear, which can lead to damaged nerve endings. Common symptoms of soft tissue damage include back pain that can range from mild to severe.

Spinal Cord Injuries

By far, the most severe back injuries caused by an auto accident involve the spinal cord. Injuries to the spinal cord can range from bruising or excessive pressure to permanent damage to the spinal cord and the nerves surrounding it. The latter injuries often result in life-changing, permanent disability. This can include either total or partial paralysis, loss of feeling in certain areas of the body, and loss of reflex function. Victims of spinal cord injuries also often find themselves at risk for secondary medical problems. These can include infection due to surgery, blood clots, excessive bleeding, pneumonia, and spinal fluid leaks.

What Are Economic Compensatory Damages?

Economic compensatory damages, which are often referred to as “special damages,” are actual financial losses due to actual expenses and money you are unable to earn due to the injuries suffered as a result of the accident. Damages in this category can include:

  • Medical bills, past and future – These will always vary, based on the severity of your back injury. Treatment for back injuries can range from a few thousand dollars, while a serious back injury like a spinal cord injury that leaves you paralyzed can run into the millions for past, present and future care, including physical therapy and rehabilitation.
  • Lost wages or other income – When you make a back-injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation for any lost income, but also any anticipated future reduction in earning capacity. Lost future income is calculated using a complex formula that includes an assessment of projected earnings and the impact your back injuries will have on your ability to do any type of work.

What Are Non-Economic Compensatory Damages?

Non-economic compensatory damages, which are often referred to as “general damages” refer to the compensation you may be entitled to for non-monetary losses related to the effects of your back injuries. These are losses that are often difficult to assign a monetary value to. Non-economic compensatory damages often include:

  • Pain and suffering – Pain and suffering can be difficult to calculate. Proving pain and suffering can usually be done with your testimony and the testimony of those who are close to you. Also, your medical records will reflect your pain levels throughout your treatment, which can be very helpful to show an insurance company or jury how much pain you have endured because of your back injury.
  • Emotional distress – In cases where it is applicable, you may be assessed and awarded emotional distress damages, either separately or as a portion of your pain and suffering award. This can help offset losses caused by severe anxiety and depression that can be attributable to the accident and the injuries you suffered as a result.
  • Loss of consortium – Sometimes, when the back injuries so severe, such as when you’re left paralyzed, that your spouse and your children have been deprived of a normal loving relationship and companionship, including marital relations on the part of your spouse, you may be awarded loss of consortium damages.

Always Get Medical Help and Legal Assistance

Because back pain is not always immediate and because post-accident endorphins can often mask pain, back injuries don’t always show up right away. That is why FVF emphasizes the importance of undergoing a thorough medical exam immediately after any car accident, even if you feel little or no pain, and continuing to receive medical care as long as your symptoms continue. This becomes essential when assessing the source of your back injury and in assessing the impact of your back injury on your life going forward.

If you have been suffering back pain after a car accident caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for everything noted above. The experienced car accident lawyers at FVF can educate you about your rights and options, help you get the medical care you need, and put together a strategy that will ensure you maximize your lower back injury car accident settlement. At FVF, we have access to significant resources, including physicians, medical experts and investigators, to get to the bottom of what caused your accident and to help you get the best possible settlement for your car accident back and neck injury. We can help your get on the road to recovery for your back-injury lawsuit.

If you are concerned about cost, don’t be. Your initial consultation will be very informative and cost you nothing. In fact, we only get paid if and when we win your case. Once you hire us, we conduct thorough investigations, contact experts and get you the medical care you need as soon as possible. It is worth taking the time to speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer at FVF, and making educated decisions can increase your settlement.

Our Process and What You Can Expect

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2
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3
Relax

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4
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