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Average Settlements for Car Accidents With Back Injuries

  1. The Severity of Back Injuries
  2. The Monetary Amount of the Medical Bills for the Treatment of Your Wounds
  3. The Cost of Ongoing Care After a Car Accident
  4. Lost Income
  5. Monetary Damages for Pain and Suffering
  6. Other Intangible Losses After a Back Injury From a Car Accident
  7. How to Determine Fault in a Car Accident in Washington

There is no such thing as an average settlement for car accidents with back injuries. Every case is different, and unlike court cases, settlement amounts are seldom shared with the public. Since every personal injury case is unique, your situation’s specific facts and circumstances will determine the compensation you could pursue and the amount you could recover from the at-fault party.

A whiplash injury from a car accident could be worth thousands of dollars. At the other end of the injury severity spectrum, a catastrophic spinal cord or vertebrae injury could result in a settlement of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. 

This blog will discuss the various factors that can determine the settlement amount a person could receive.

The Severity of Back Injuries

Auto Accident Involving Two Cars

Back injuries from a car accident can range in severity from whiplash or muscle strain to catastrophic damage like a severed spinal cord. Spinal cord damage can cause paralysis, loss of consciousness, and death. The more serious the back injury, the greater the settlement an injured person will likely receive.

Auto Accident Involving Two Cars

The Monetary Amount of the Medical Bills for the Treatment of Your Wounds

Monetary amount of the medical bills for treatment

Usually, a person who suffers a back or spinal injury from a car accident has other wounds requiring medical attention. The monetary amount of your healthcare expenses will include the costs to treat all your injuries from the collision, not just the back injury.

A person with a less severe back or neck injury might seek treatment from their regular physician or an urgent care center for an initial evaluation of their wounds. A devastating spinal injury, on the other hand, might require a long stay in the intensive care unit, multiple surgeries, and other expensive interventions.

Monetary amount of the medical bills for treatment
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The Cost of Ongoing Care After a Car Accident

Two Cars Have Crashed on the Road

A person might need extended treatment in a specialized health care facility after a significant back injury from a car collision. It can take weeks or months of rehabilitation to regain some functions after this injury. Some people never recover 100 percent after a severe spinal injury. 

People left with life-changing spinal wounds might need long-term care because of ongoing problems after initial medical treatment. The Mayo Clinic says people might have to deal with secondary problems after their condition stabilizes. Their ongoing care might focus on preventing complications of spinal injuries such as:

  • Respiratory infections
  • Muscle contractures
  • Deconditioning
  • Pressure ulcers or bedsores
  • Blood clots
  • Bowel and bladder problems

Because they need help with their medical treatments and personal care daily, some people must live in a nursing home after suffering a back injury in a car crash. These expenses can be a part of the injury claim.

Two Cars Have Crashed on the Road

Income lost in the past reflects the amount of income the injured person missed when they could not work while recuperating from their wounds. 

Future lost income can be appropriate if long-term impairment from their back injury affects the plaintiff’s ability to earn a living. Chronic pain, weakness, and loss of mobility can make it necessary for a person to decrease their working hours or obtain a lower-paying position.

Lost income due to to injury caused by car accident

Monetary Damages for Pain and Suffering

When a person suffers injuries from a car accident, they can experience physical discomfort and emotional distress. They might worry about losing their job while away from work recuperating. They might wonder if they will ever walk again or live as long as they had expected before the car crash. They could experience extreme pain from their wounds.

Getting their out-of-pocket losses like medical bills and lost wages paid does not compensate the injured person for their pain and suffering, which is why this category of monetary damages developed.

Other Intangible Losses After a Back Injury From a Car Accident

Car accident on the road

These are a few losses a person might experience after a car accident that involves neck or back injuries:

  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic or worsened depression or anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Disfigurement from amputations or significant scars
  • Loss of enjoyment of life from being unable to engage in activities they used to perform before their spinal injury, like walking without assistance

You might have additional losses you could include in your back injury claim.

Wrongful Death

Some spinal cord damage is fatal. If your loved one died from injuries after a car accident, your family might be able to pursue additional compensation for your losses, such as funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses, and lost income.

Car accident on the road

How to Determine Fault in a Car Accident in Washington

Before holding someone accountable for a back injury from a car accident, you must prove they were at fault. No matter how severe your injuries are, you cannot force someone to compensate you for your losses if they are not liable.

You will have to present evidence that shows all four of these factors before you can qualify for a back injury settlement:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care. All motorists in the state have a legal duty to drive safely and obey traffic laws.
  • The defendant breached their duty of care. When the defendant’s conduct fails to live up to the legal standard of care, they are negligent. Let’s say the defendant was speeding at the time of the crash. Speeding is a careless act. Negligence alone, however, is not sufficient to impose liability on the defendant.
  • The defendant’s negligence caused the accident. Continuing with our hypothetical situation, the defendant crashed into your car at a red light because their driving too fast made them unable to stop to avoid a collision with your vehicle. These facts satisfy the required element of causation.
  • You suffered quantifiable losses in the accident the defendant caused. Physical injuries satisfy the requirement of measurable damages for a personal injury case.

If you can prove all these elements, you can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver for your losses.

Herschensohn Law can talk to you at no charge about your personal injury or wrongful death case. You can reach out to us today for your free initial consultation. Call (206) 588-4344 to get started.

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