What Is the Average Settlement for a Back Injury in a Car Accident?
It’s difficult to put an exact dollar amount on a car accident case that causes a back injury since each case involves unique factors that will influence the settlement amount. Of course, every car crash victim wants the most amount of money possible for their injury, especially since back injuries can lead to chronic pain and permanent disability. Your best course of action is to consult a car accident lawyer about your case. Your attorney will evaluate the individual factors at play in order to determine a likely ballpark figure for the settlement.
The factors involved with determining the amount of a settlement
Accident victims often confuse settlements and verdicts as being the same thing. However, this isn’t the case. A verdict is delivered by a jury, whereas a settlement is an agreement between the parties to resolve the case for a sum of money. A settlement may be arranged after a lawsuit is filed, or a settlement offer may be extended by an insurance company without a lawsuit being filed. One major factor in determining the amount of the settlement is the negotiating skills of both parties, which is one reason why it’s essential to work with car accident lawyers who have particular skills and experience with these types of cases.
It’s customary for insurance carriers and defendants to extend a very low initial settlement offer. Your attorney will make a counteroffer, which will be higher. There may be some back and forth before a final sum is reached. Note that if you feel that the settlement offer for your back injury is too low, you are not required to accept it. You may decide to take your case to court instead.
Another major factor in determining the amount of your settlement is the extent and severity of your injuries. In general, the more severe your back injury is, the higher the settlement will be. This is because more severe injuries are expected to require more medical treatment, ongoing care, longer recovery time, and more pain and suffering. Furthermore, catastrophic back injuries can be permanent. One example is a spinal cord injury that results in paralysis. Your attorney will assess your expected lifetime care expenses in order to negotiate an appropriate settlement for you.
Calculating the economic damages
Before extending a settlement counteroffer, your lawyer will assess the value of your back injury claim. Compensation is divided into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are calculable losses. For example, your hospital bills, pharmacy co-pays, expenses for durable medical equipment, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and similar expenses are included in this category.
Other economic damages include your lost wages. It’s common for severe back injuries to keep people out of work for a while, especially if you had surgery or were hospitalized. You will need to keep track of the wages you lost due to missed work time that occurred as a direct result of your injury. If you are expected to have a long-term disability, your attorney will also consider the loss of your future earnings and perhaps the cost of vocational retraining.
Estimating the non-economic damages
In addition to your economic damages, your settlement amount may include compensation for non-economic damages. Since back injuries can be particularly painful, you may receive compensation for your pain and suffering. You might also receive compensation for mental anguish, disfigurement, and reduced quality of life.
Calculating non-economic damages can be difficult since they do not have established, uniform value. Generally, law firms will apply a multiplier to the total for the economic damages to arrive at a ballpark figure for the non-economic damages. These sums are then added together, forming the amount for the settlement demand or counteroffer.
How Ellis Law can help you with your car accident case
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you need trusted counsel you can rely on to help you secure maximum compensation on your behalf. At Ellis Injury Law in Los Angeles, CA, our car accident attorneys have been winning car crash cases for our clients for more than 25 years. During that time, we’ve secured more than $350 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients in Southern California.
Our focus is on getting you the highest settlement possible to enable you to move forward with your recovery. Don’t delay contacting us today. Call for your free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.