A neck injury, whether from a slip and fall or a car accident, can leave you with serious, debilitating pain. You might be unable to work, your quality of life could suffer, you may even have difficulty just living your life. The pain management, surgeries, specialists, and medications you take cost money. And when you cannot work, that neck injury becomes a massive financial burden on you and your loved ones.
When a neck injury is caused by someone’s negligence, you may wonder what your options are for compensation. You might also wonder how much your neck injury is worth. Unfortunately, there is no set amount or magic calculator. Instead, the compensation you receive for your neck injury claim has numerous factors that increase or decrease the value. By understanding these factors, you can better understand how your settlement is calculated. If you want a more exact amount, you can meet with an attorney to get an idea of the compensation you would receive if you were to pursue a claim in court.
How the Insurance Companies Value Your Injury Claim
Unfortunately, a dollar amount is placed on your injury. And while no amount of money can help you overcome chronic pain issues, the only way the courts can make things right is through financial compensation. When the insurance company values your injury, they are coming up with an amount that they feel is acceptable for your medical costs, but also one they consider “safe” for protecting their revenue.
Insurance companies never offer the highest possible settlement, especially to victims who are working without an attorney. They may let you think they are on your side, and that they understand what you are going through. But an insurance claims adjuster’s job is to look for holes that allow them to offer less compensation because they want to minimize their losses. You should never negotiate with the insurance company alone. Instead, you need an attorney who has evaluated your case, looked at past settlements, and can argue on your behalf for the compensation you need.
How an Attorney Reviews and Values Your Injury
Unlike insurance companies who often work off algorithms and bottom lines, your injury attorney evaluates your neck settlement differently. They review all the factors, including those considered by the insurance company, to help decide how much your settlement should be.
Some of those factors include:
The Severity, Nature, and Duration of Your Injury
This is one of the largest factors in determining case value. Your attorney would need to determine if you have a major or minor injury, how long that injury will affect you, and what caused it. For example, whiplash, which is painful, is an injury that eventually resolves itself and doesn’t leave a person permanently disabled. Therefore, you would not receive as high of a settlement as someone with permanent pain or even paralysis after their neck injury.
Hard injuries also yield a higher settlement amount, such as a fractured spine vertebra, versus soft injuries that include the tissue or muscle sprains.
The Types of Medical Treatments Required and Total Cost of Treatments
The total cost of medical expenses from your injury plays a role in the settlement amount as well. The more serious your injury, the more likely you are to have extensive medical costs, including future medical expenses. If you have a minor neck injury, you may not have the same amount of medical expenses, which means your settlement would be lower.
For example, a neck injury that requires a spinal fusion to repair the damage or another specialized surgery would obviously result in a higher settlement than one that only required physical therapy.
The Role You Played in Your Neck Injury
Your role in the neck injury will also play a part in determining the value of your case. If you are partially at fault, your settlement amount will be reduced. For example, if the court finds you are 20 percent at fault for the accident, then your settlement amount would be reduced by 20 percent.
One factor you must consider is your role in the neck injury specifically. Perhaps you were in a car accident, and while you didn’t cause it, you also didn’t wear a seatbelt. Because you didn’t wear one, you suffered a more catastrophic neck injury than you would have if you wore the seatbelt. In this case, the court may not grant you the full compensation, because you were at fault for your neck injury becoming so severe.
Past Settlements for Similar Cases
Another thing your attorney considers is past jury awards for similar injury cases just like yours. They consider the cause of the neck injury, the severity, and what juries awarded in the past. Insurance companies are considering these factors too because they know if the case goes to trial, they may end up paying closer to the past settlement amounts than what they could negotiate privately.
Want to Know How Much Your Neck Injury Case Is Worth? Contact an Attorney
If you have suffered a serious neck injury and now you find yourself struggling to pay your bills, cover medical costs, and you cannot return to work, you need an advocate who will fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact the attorneys at The Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A., today. Our team knows how debilitating a neck injury can be, and we don’t think you should have to fight insurance companies alone. We have helped numerous clients just like you receive compensation for their neck injuries. Whether you are permanently disabled or you suffered a serious neck injury in a car accident, let our team help.
Schedule a free case evaluation with our attorneys to see if you have a potential case. We can also discuss potential settlement amounts at your appointment.
To get started, call our office now. You can also contact us online with your questions.