Average Settlements for Car Accidents With Back and Neck Injuries

Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.


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Car accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, but back and neck injuries are among the most common. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it is natural to wonder how you will pay for medical bills and other expenses. You may also be wondering just how much your back and neck injury is worth.

The average car accident settlement amount in recent years was $35,500. However, every case is unique. In this article, we’ll look at what back and neck injury cases are commonly worth. We’ll also go over the factors that influence settlement values and discuss where to find help valuing your own case.

How Much is a Car Accident Back and Neck Injury Case Worth?

The potential value of a back and neck personal injury lawsuit spans from under $2,000 to well into the millions. Several factors impact the final value of your case, but back and neck injury cases nationwide settle for a median amount of $316,000 according to a recent study by The Miley Legal Group.

Factors That Impact Back and Neck Injury Case Values

Every case is unique, but these factors have the largest impact on case value:

  • Injury severity. In general, more severe injuries lead to higher case settlements. Severe injury cases are more likely to require extensive treatment and time off from work, while causing greater pain and suffering.
  • Medical treatment. Medical bills are a significant component of case values. The more initial treatment and ongoing rehabilitation therapies are required, the higher the case value.
  • Temporary vs. permanent impairment. Some back and neck injuries can have a profound impact on your life. If your injury is deemed to be permanent, meaning it is irreversible, then the case value should reflect this impact.

Types Of Damages Awarded in Back and Neck Injury Cases

Damages refer to the compensation owed in a personal injury case. In a car accident case, the at-fault driver may pay damages to people injured due to their negligence. This is often handled through the driver’s insurance. Damages in car accident cases are typically broken into these categories:

  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses. This includes all of your medical bills for treatments directly related to injuries from the car accident. It also includes ongoing or future medical expenses, such as for physical therapy or specialized care.
  • Lost wages. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work or continuing your profession, then the income you have lost may be included in your case value. This applies to income you have already missed, as well as estimated future income.
  • Pain and suffering. While more difficult to quantify than other damages, pain and suffering is often calculated by attorneys and insurance companies by multiplying other damages by a number between 1.5 and 5. The multiplier depends on the severity of injuries suffered.

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Evidence of Back and Neck Injuries

Seeking prompt medical examination is the most important step you can take to establish the extent of your injuries. Even if you did not see a medical professional on the day of the accident, it is helpful to undergo an examination as soon as possible.

Carefully maintain any records given to you by your doctor and save receipts for any medical expenses. A car accident lawyer can help you identify important documents and make sure records are preserved appropriately for a lawsuit. Fill out the form on this page to get your case reviewed for free.

Common Car Accident Back and Neck Injuries

Severe back and neck injuries are generally obvious at the scene of the car accident due to significant pain or inability to move. Paramedics will examine you on site, but will likely transport you to a hospital for treatment of major injuries.

Other injuries to the back and neck are less apparent right after an accident. It is important to be examined by a medical professional if you develop new or worsening pain after an accident. Neck and lower back injuries are some of the common car crash injuries that you may not recognize immediately.

These are some of the most common back and neck injuries from car accidents:

  • Whiplash (neck strain). Whiplash occurs when your neck and spine move forcefully during a car crash. It can often be treated without long-term care, although some people experience chronic effects after whiplash.
  • Spinal fracture. Spinal fractures can occur from trauma to the body during a car accident. Minor fractures may heal with limited treatment, but severe fractures often require surgery to correct or mitigate the damage.
  • Herniated disk. Spinal disks are natural cushions between vertebrae in the spine. A herniated disk is often felt as pain in the lower back or neck, but they can occur anywhere along the spine.
  • Spinal cord damage. Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. These can be devastating injuries that may impact your ability to walk, move, or even breathe on your own.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident Injury Settlement?

After a car accident, settlement offers are usually extended through insurance companies. You can negotiate a settlement without a lawyer, but keep in mind that insurance companies are not incentivized to give you the best offer.

If you’ve received an offer that doesn’t seem fair, a lawyer can help you accurately estimate your damages and negotiate on your behalf. Settlements negotiated by a lawyer are often higher than those without a lawyer’s input. If the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement, a lawyer will already be prepared to file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Get help with your car accident injury case today. Fill out the form on this page to get your case evaluated for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Settlements for back injuries are subject to many influencing factors. Lawyers agree that minor back injuries often result in settlements at or near $10,000. Meanwhile, the median award for back injury regardless of severity is $212,500. The median includes severe and traumatic injuries that can result in settlements running into the millions.

  • Nationwide, the median settlement for whiplash injuries is $7,500. Whiplash can range in severity and may occur alongside other car accident injuries. Your case is unique and may qualify for more or less compensation than the median suggests. Fill out the form on this page to connect with a lawyer for a free case evaluation.

  • Lower back pain may be a symptom of injury caused by a car accident. The average car accident back injury claim settles for between $10,000 and $100,000. It is important that you are examined by a medical professional soon after your car accident or as soon as you become aware of lower back pain. This will help determine whether the car accident is the likely cause of your pain and provide medical documentation of your condition and treatment needs.

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