How Much is My Back Injury Worth in a Lawsuit?

March 12, 2024 | By Francis Firm Injury Attorneys
How Much is My Back Injury Worth in a Lawsuit?
How Much is My Back Injury Worth in Lawsuit

When you have suffered a back injury in an accident, you may have a lingering and debilitating condition that leaves you in constant pain. You will need extensive medical intervention, which may not even be effective. You are entitled to substantial financial compensation when someone else was to blame for your back injury. First, you need to succeed in the liability phase of your case, where you prove that someone else was to blame for the accident.

Getting a settlement check is not a win for you on its own. The real win comes when the check covers the total amount of your damages, and this may only come after a lengthy process where you negotiate with the insurance company. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Fort Worth can deal with the insurance company on your behalf throughout the claims process, file a claim or lawsuit, and negotiate actual compensation.

If you still need an injury lawyer representing you, it is time to call one now. Hiring an attorney can lead to more money in your pocket, even after you pay them their share of your settlement or jury award.

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Common Examples of Back Injuries

Common Examples of Back Injuries

You can suffer a back injury in an accident due to trauma to your body or unnatural motion.

Common back injuries that you can suffer in an accident include:

  • Lumbar or thoracic vertebrae fractures - There are 33 vertebrae surrounding your spine, and one may break. The vertebrae can damage the spinal cord, causing a permanent injury. Vertebrae fractures are otherwise known as a "broken back."
  • Herniated discs - Injuring one or more of your vertebrae can cause the jelly-like substance separating the bones to protrude from the disc. A herniated disc can place pressure on the spinal cord, causing pain to the lower half of your body and your extremities. 
  • Spinal stenosis - Structural injuries to the spine can lead to a narrowing of the spinal column. The pressure on your spinal cord can cause numbness, pain, and even paralysis. 
  • Sciatica - The herniated disc in your spine can pinch the sciatic nerve, causing immense leg pain and possibly keeping you from walking. 
  • Facet joint injuries - Trauma to the spine can cause damage to the facet joints. The roots of the nerves that run to various parts of your body are in the facet joints. 

There are numerous other types of back injuries that you can suffer in an accident; these injuries can be painful and debilitating.

Back Injuries Can Linger and Change Your Life

As many have learned, back injuries do not always go away with time and rest and may not heal with rehabilitation and surgery. In the meantime, the injury can be debilitating and cause constant pain. A victim may be unable to work or do what they once enjoyed before the accident, including exercise, sports, gardening, household chores, playing with children, and much more.

Many people try multiple courses of treatment, including injections, physical therapy, and more before doctors recommend surgery. By the time they have back surgery, it might have been months or years since the initial injury. Then, they have months of recovery time and physical therapy ahead of them post-operation. They might have to go through multiple procedures to fix the problem.

A back injury that happened in a moment can plague you for a long time. You might not ever be completely the same as you were before the accident. You deserve compensation for all the ways the injury affected you in the short and long term, both financially and intangibly.

Always hire a personal injury lawyer who understands the extent of your back injury and fights for full compensation for your losses.

How Accidental Back Injuries Happen

How Accidental Back Injuries Happen I Car Crash

Accidents and falls often cause severe back injuries. Whether you are in a slip and fall accident or a car crash, the impact can jolt your spine and cause pain and discomfort. See a doctor to have your back injury diagnosed right away if you feel anything out of the ordinary.

If you have a back injury and you think someone else is to blame, they should pay for your expenses and losses. This is when you might file a back injury lawsuit. You should talk to an injury lawyer about the process and they can review what happened and tell you who you can sue for damages.

Principles That Affect Your Back Injury Damages

The party responsible for your injury must pay for all the harm they have caused you. Determining the value of your back injury settlement involves returning to your situation before the accident. The responsible party must restore you to that spot, using money to compensate you for what you cannot physically get back.

Your back injury costs you money, and it also takes away from your quality of life. Both of these are compensable in a settlement or jury verdict.

Economic Damages for Your Back Injury

The first major category of damages that you may receive is economic. You may have had to pay out of pocket for medical care because of your injury. At the same time, you may not have taken advantage of money-earning opportunities that you may otherwise have had if you were fully healthy.

Non-Economic Damages for Your Back Injury

Many people are not even aware of the fact that they can get non-economic damages for a back injury. You suffer far more than just financial damages and must live with the pain of a back injury for as long as you are experiencing symptoms. The physical pain you must endure is a back injury's first and most obvious effect.

Living with physical pain also has an impact on your psyche. The constant physical discomfort can leave you experiencing depression and anxiety, and you may be unable to keep the hobbies that you had. For example, if you swam or ran before the injury, you cannot do it now that you are hurt.

Non-economic damages are a vast class of harms that encompass many things. Your attorney will ask you questions to learn how the injury has affected your life to determine your damages.

Non-Economic Damages Are Subjective in Nature

Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, depend on your unique experience. You are reporting what you go through daily because your pain does not always show up on an MRI exam. Instead, you are describing what you are feeling.

Insurance companies have a final incentive to disregard you and what you say. They will likely have to pay you more if they listen to you. Your challenge is presenting your side of the story to an unreceptive insurance company, and your attorney will work to break through the logjam.

You Can Receive Compensation for Both Past and Future Damages

Your settlement check will cover all the damages you have sustained from your back injury and pay for future expenses. You will get paid for both of these in one check.

You may wonder how you can know now what the future may hold for you, which is a valid question in a personal injury case and undoubtedly a challenge. If you get the calculation of your damages wrong right now, you cannot undo that mistake in the future.

Your lawyer will study your medical records and your prognosis. These should hold the key to knowing your future economic and non-economic damages.

You Must Clearly Know Much Your Case Is Worth

Back Injury Case Worth

You can be sure that the insurance companies know exactly how much you should get for your back injury. They have been in the business for far too long not to have extensive data about your claim. They will certainly not share this information with you, leaving you at a disadvantage unless you get your own legal help.

You need to know how much you deserve in compensation to avoid settling your case for less than you should otherwise get. The last thing you should ever do is trust the insurance companies to be fair because they will understate and undervalue your case at every turn possible.

You can only operate with the same information as the information company when you hire an experienced attorney to handle your case. Then, you will start with a level playing field, where you negotiate the best possible settlement for your back injury.

Expert Witnesses Can Help Establish the Value of Your Damages

You must back up and prove your damages to receive compensation for them. Insurance companies will not trust your word and need additional proof of your injuries.

Your attorney will work with expert witnesses to determine your case's value. Medical experts will be crucial in supporting your pain and suffering damages claim. In addition, vocational experts will also give their opinion about what type of work you can do, if you can even work at all.

Negotiating Your Case vs. Litigating in Court

If you have suffered an injury in an accident, you can vindicate your legal rights at a time and place of your choosing, so long as you are within the statute of limitations. You decide whether you reach a settlement agreement or take your case to a jury. Much depends on how the insurance company acts, but you can do what works best for you.

There are reasons why you want to reach a negotiated settlement for your back injury. First, you will not risk getting nothing if the jury were not to find in your favor. Second, you can reach a negotiated settlement quicker in an insurance claim.

However, you may have no choice but to litigate your case. The insurance companies may not even be willing to settle your claim in the first place if they say that you have not proven that their policyholder should be liable. Then, they may not be willing to pay you even close to what they owe you or do it within a reasonable amount of time.

The prospect of a trial often keeps insurance companies on the straight and narrow. They want to avoid ending up in court so they may act more reasonably in settlement negotiations. They know they can fare far worse in front of a jury, so they do not want to take the chance. Otherwise, your attorney may file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Why You Need an Injury Attorney for Your Back Injury Case

There is no chance that the insurance companies will offer you a settlement for anywhere close to the value of your claim. They only pay up when they feel threatened; they may fear what your attorney can do to them.

When you hire an attorney for your back injury claim or lawsuit, they will do the following for your case:

  • Counsel you on your legal options and guide you toward the most effective path forward for you to obtain financial compensation
  • Investigate what happened to cause the accident, gathering evidence to prove liability
  • Work with experts and review your case to determine the value of your damages
  • File a claim or a lawsuit on your behalf
  • Negotiate compensation with the insurance company during the settlement process, advising you to reject offers that do not fully pay you for your damages
  • Take your case to court and let the jury decide the matter if the insurance company does not pay up during settlement negotiations

You Only Pay an Injury Lawyer if You Win Your Case

Michael Francis, Personal Injury Attorney

The only financial commitment you make when you hire a lawyer is that they receive payment from your settlement or award. You do not write a check and owe nothing unless you win your case. You do not have to fear legal bills and whether you will have the money to pay them because there will be no bills for your lawyer's time. The most significant financial risk is not getting a lawyer for your case. Then, you will run out of money without any ability to return to the insurance company for additional settlement funds. Once you sign a settlement agreement, it is final.