When you’re involved in a car accident in Florida that resulted in back and neck injuries, you’re likely concerned about who will pay your medical expenses.
Prospective clients typically want to know the average settlement for a car accident back and neck injury. Unfortunately, there is no accurate average amount. A neck and back injury settlement depends on multiple factors, such as injury severity, liability, damages, and insurance coverage.
Why the Range Varies for Neck and Back Injury Settlements
Hundreds of thousands of neck and back injuries from car accidents occur yearly. It’s estimated that hospitals see around 869,000 cervical spine injuries from traffic incidents each year.
Most (841,000) are whiplash or strain/sprain injuries, while 23,500 involve fractures. Spinal cord and spinal disk injuries are some of the most severe, with an estimated 2,800 cases of each per year. Dislocations round out the list at 1,500 each year.
Based on these stats, calculating average cervical spine settlement amounts would result in skewed figures rather than a helpful settlement range.
Factors Influencing Your Settlement Amount
Learning how the various factors impact your case can help you understand how to calculate the value of your claim. Below is more information on how the main factors impact your potential settlement amount.
Severity and Nature of the Injury
The extent of your back and neck injuries plays a pivotal role in calculating the settlement amount.
If you sustain a severe cervical spine injury requiring acute care, you may incur medical bills ranging from a few hundred dollars to over $600,000. Soft tissue injuries, on the other hand, often come with lower medical bills but can still affect your life and work.
Ongoing Medical Care
Living with a back or neck injury often involves long-term treatment. For example, rehabilitation and physical therapy for a severe back injury might range from $20,000 to over $400,000.
These costs must be integrated into your back injury from a car accident settlement to ensure you’re compensated for future medical needs.
Lost Wages and Future Earnings
The time you miss from work, whether it be from the injury or your medical appointments, can impact your settlement amount.
Compensation should cover both your lost wages and any decline in your future earning capacity, especially if your back or neck injury renders you unable to return to your previous occupation.
Pain and Suffering
Psychological distress, such as anxiety or depression, can accompany physical injury pain and suffering.
These non-economic factors also have a bearing on your back and neck injury settlement amounts. You’ll need to prove this emotional toll, often through expert testimony and personal accounts.
Insurance Policy Limitations
Florida mandates that drivers carry a minimum of $10,000 each in personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL).
For severe injuries, you may have the right to sue the other driver for compensation. However, your ability to collect may depend on whether the driver carries additional liability coverage and how much.
Florida follows the comparative negligence rule, so any fault attributed to you could lower your settlement amount. Under the recently modified law, you must be 50% or less at fault to recover any compensation.
Your percentage of liability will reduce your settlement amount. For example, if you’re 20% at fault, you’ll receive only 80% of your damages. If you’re 51% at fault, you will receive nothing.
With different liability scenarios, two similar neck injuries could resolve for vastly different amounts. That’s one reason why calculating the average settlement for a car accident back and neck injury is impossible.
Proving the Severity of Your Injuries
To achieve a fair settlement, collecting ample evidence is vital. Examples include:
- Medical records. Collect all medical invoices, reports, and other documents to establish the link between the accident and your injuries.
- Expert testimony. Expert medical witnesses can substantiate your claims by testifying about the severity of your condition and the required ongoing medical treatment.
- Witness statements. You want statements of any witnesses because their testimony may become important evidence in determining who is at fault.
Keep a detailed account of your medical treatments and how the injuries have affected your daily life, both physically and emotionally. This information is excellent to review because it can help you prepare for a deposition or court testimony.
Examples of Recent Settlements
It’s easy to talk about hypotheticals, but looking at real-life settlement examples to understand how different back and neck injury settlement amounts can be is better. Here are some examples of actual cases Nonni Homola handled:
- $110,000 settlement (maximum amount of insurance) for a client who needed spinal surgery after a car accident;
- $705,000 settlement for a client involved in a rear-end collision that required two surgeries to fix spinal injuries; and
- $11,000,000 settlement for a bad faith insurance claim involving a car accident and severe spinal cord injuries that rendered our client quadriplegic.
You can see more case results on our website to understand how vastly different settlements can be.
Consult a Florida Car Accident Lawyer
If you need assistance with a neck and back injury from a Florida car accident, please contact Nonni Homola to learn how we can help.
Our legal team has decades of combined experience and has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. We know how to build a strong case for neck and back injuries. We’ll work tirelessly to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a consultation today, so we can review your case and help you better understand your potential settlement value.