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How Much Is a Back Injury Worth in an Accident?

by John Gomez | Last Updated: January 13, 2022

A Back Injury Worth In An Accident

Several factors affect the value of an accident injury claim. The extent of your back injury, how much economic loss you’ve incurred, and your long-term prognosis determine how much you could receive in an insurance settlement or court-awarded damages. Insurance carriers and courts also look at insurance policy limits and whether you contributed to the accident that led to your injury.

Your accident injury lawyer will use various tools to value your claim, including medical bills, pay stubs, and reviewing similar cases. Additionally, your lawyer might consult with medical experts and life-care planners who can assess future expenses and intangible losses related to your back injury.

Take note that the value of a back injury claim and what someone receives in a settlement or jury award typically differ. Regardless of the value of your back injury claim, it doesn’t guarantee a specific financial outcome. Depending on your back injury and the accident that led to it, your compensation could vary from a few hundred dollars to more than a million.

An experienced accident injury lawyer will advocate for you and aggressively pursue the maximum compensation for your back injury. Below, we take a closer look at the factors that could affect the value of your back injury claim.

How Severe Is Your Back Injury?

Although exceptions exist, those with the most severe back injuries typically have higher value claims and are more likely to receive higher settlements or jury awards. If your back injury led to a lengthy hospitalization or you had surgery, the value of your claim will likely increase to account for your larger financial burden. If you suffered from a sprain, strain, or minor back injury, the value of your claim will likely be less.

Do You Have a Permanent Back Injury?

If you suffer a permanent back injury from an accident, the value of your claim is far greater than if you can completely recover, even if it takes months or years. Permanent injuries often require ongoing care and treatment and sometimes prevent people from working or force them to change jobs. Claims involving a permanent back injury typically include damages for future medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses to quality of life.

How Much Economic Loss Have You Incurred From Your Back Injury?

Severe accidents that cause back injuries cause various expenses and financial loss. After suffering an injury, accident victims lose income as medical bills pile up. A severe back injury that requires hospitalization and corrective surgeries can lead to medical expenses totaling six figures. The more economic loss a back injury causes a victim, the higher the value of their accident injury claim.

Common economic losses often associated with back injury claims include:

  • Medical treatment costs. Accidents typically include ambulance service, emergency room treatment, and diagnostic imaging, but those who suffer back injuries can face additional medical expenses. Back injury victims need additional doctor visits, pain medication, or pain intervention techniques, such as cortisone shots. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for patients to undergo one or more surgeries after a back injury.
  • Lost wages. Back injuries can prevent accident victims from working, causing additional financial loss. Once victims use paid time off, they may need more time off without pay. The worst back injuries prevent people from returning to their job or seeking future employment, adding to the value of a claim.
  • Rehabilitation expenses. Most back injuries require extensive healing time to recover fully or to the maximum extent possible. Those immobilized for weeks or months experience weakened muscles throughout the body, so they need aggressive physical therapy to rehabilitate their bodies. Occupational therapy, wheelchairs, canes, and crutches are other examples of rehabilitation expenses that can increase the value of a back injury claim.
  • Home modification costs. Back injuries sometimes force people to use a wheelchair, walker, or cane, requiring modifications to make someone’s home more accessible. Constructing a wheelchair ramp, installing handrails in the bathroom, and creating a first-floor living space can increase the value of your injury claim.
  • Replacement service expenses. Severe back injuries require accident victims to hire help to maintain their homes. Examples of services that could increase the value of your claim include housekeeping, shopping, lawn care, landscaping, and pool service.

How Has Your Back Injury Impacted Your Life in Non-Economic Ways?

The financial burden of a back injury after an accident is only a portion of the challenges accident victims will face. Your lawyer will review your case and examine other ways your injury has impacted your life.

Examples of non-economic struggles that back injury victims face:

Do You Qualify for Punitive Damages?

Under California law, if your back injury occurred due to intentional harm or extreme recklessness, you could seek exemplary damages, more commonly referred to as punitive damages. Courts award punitive damages to punish defendants for their behavior and deter them from negligent and reckless behavior. While punitive damages are not common in traffic accident injury claims, other situations that lead to back injury claims may warrant punitive damages.

Your accident injury lawyer can review your case, help you determine a fair settlement for your back injury, and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

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