While back injury lawsuits may not be the type of personal injury lawsuits that make headlines, these cases are more common than you might imagine. Back injury lawsuits can occur for a variety of reasons and in a variety of settings. If you are suffering from a back injury because of the negligence of another individual or entity’s actions, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering and recovery.
Back injuries can occur in a workplace setting, a commercial area, or even as the result of medical malpractice in a healthcare setting. No matter where a back injury takes place, if you’ve suffered an injury at the hands of another, you may be eligible to move forward with a personal injury lawsuit.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Back Injury
According to the latest data, about 95% of personal injury lawsuits are resolved via a settlement, with roughly 5% actually ever going to trial. If you’ve suffered a back injury, you may be curious about the average settlement for a back injury. The short answer is that it depends on the extent of your injuries and even the type of negligence that caused the injury in the first place.
Research, including data compiled by After Car Accidents, highlights just how diverse back injury personal injury settlements can be. Average back injury settlements can range anywhere from $20,000 – $50,000; however, in severe cases, it is not uncommon for settlements to be within the $100,000 – $500,000 range, especially if spinal cord injuries were sustained.
Car accidents can be a common culprit for back injuries. According to a study from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, however, car accident personal injury cases are settled within 14 months, with $834,686 being the national average car accident settlement and the median being $285,000 for car accident victims.
Today, we will take a look at all the details of a back injury lawsuit, what goes into a settlement, and what you need to know in order to best prepare yourself for a personal injury lawsuit.
When To File a Back Injury Lawsuit
Back injury lawsuits can stem from a variety of situations and can target defendants who were either intentionally or unintentionally negligent in their behavior or actions. Because personal injury lawsuits are civil claims, they can be directed at specific individuals or companies. Let’s go over some of the more common reasons back injury lawsuits can arise.
Back injury lawsuits are one of the more common reasons for lawsuits against workplaces. Certain industries, including the construction industry, are more prone to workers who suffer back injuries because of slip and fall accidents, falls off of ladders, and even injuries that result from repetitive movements that affect the back muscles.
If you suffered a back injury in the workplace, you may be eligible to move forward with a personal injury lawsuit against your employer and other liable parties.
Injuries in Public Spaces
Back injury accidents that take place in commercial settings, including restaurants, shopping facilities, and other public spaces, could also result in a personal injury lawsuit. If your back injury occurs because a city or personal property owner failed to keep a public space free and clear of obstructions or safety hazards, you may be able to move forward with a lawsuit.
Medical Malpractice Back Injury Lawsuits
According to data compiled by the medical magazine, Just Point, medical malpractice lawsuits account for a very small percentage of personal injury lawsuits, roughly 5%. Despite this, however, back injuries can occur if medical malpractice takes place.
Receiving the wrong medical diagnosis, the wrong medication, or the wrong treatment can cause you to suffer back pain that is severe enough to impact your everyday actions. Medical malpractice can occur in a hospital setting, an outpatient clinic, or even in a chiropractic office.
Whether you are suing your chiropractor for your back injury or a hospital for a misdiagnosis or treatment, it can prove invaluable to work with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine whether a medical malpractice lawsuit may be your best course of action, and they can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove your claim.
Common Back Injuries Following an Accident
Back injury can take on several forms and range in severity. Typically, however, you’ll find certain kinds of back injuries are more common than others. Common injuries you might experience after an accident include the following:
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries might not sound harmful, but they can cause excruciating pain if not properly treated. Soft tissue injuries are related to any injuries on the outer skin, the tendons, muscles, and ligaments in your back. These injuries can occur from sprains after a fall, strains from constant bending, and tears when there’s an undue amount of stress on your back’s soft tissue.
A herniated disc, sometimes called a ruptured disc, occurs when an extreme amount of force is put on the discs in your spine, causing the disc to either slip out of place, rupture, or crack. A herniated disc in itself is not a painful experience; however, if the disc pushes up against sensitive nerves, you can find yourself in excruciating pain. If not treated properly, this can lead to other complications.
A fracture can occur on the vertebrae along your spine. One of the more common spinal fractures is compression fractures. Compression fractures occur when a significant amount of pressure is placed on the spine, which causes small cracks to occur.
Spinal Cord Injuries
In extreme circumstances, you may find yourself facing a spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries occur when you bruise, damage, or even lacerate your spinal cord. Spinal cord fractures can impact nerves, damage your spinal cord, impact your motor function, and much more. Spinal fractures require immediate attention and can be life-threatening.
What Damages Can You Seek in a Back Injury Accident Lawsuit
After sustaining a back injury, reaching out to an experienced personal injury lawyer can be a helpful step forward in allowing you to recover the compensation you deserve. Determining the amount of your back injury settlement largely depends on the damages you are eligible to seek.
When seeking compensation, depending on the accident you experienced, you may be eligible for economic damages, non-economic damages, and in certain circumstances, punitive damages.
Economic damages refer to tangible, calculable, and monetary losses related to your back injury accident. These damages are intended to compensate you and return you to the state you were in before the accident. Examples of economic damages include but are not limited to the following:
- Cost and future medical expenses
- Bills and other costs related to your medical treatment
- Lost wages and loss of income
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate an individual following a personal injury. The compensation is not meant to restore them to their original state but to compensate them for any pain and suffering they may have endured because of the accident. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are often intangible and difficult to calculate. While there’s typically no cap on economic damages in most states, there is a cap on non-economic damages. In the state of Florida, non-economic damages cannot exceed $500,000.
Examples of non-economic damages can include but are not limited to the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Mental anguish
- Mental trauma
In certain circumstances, a plaintiff may seek punitive damages in their personal injury lawsuit. Unlike economic or non-economic damages, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for their negligent behavior or actions. Punitive damages are meant to serve as a warning to the defendant and others who might engage in such behavior.
Factors That Can Affect Your Back Injury Settlement
As with any personal injury lawsuit, there are factors that can impact a back injury settlement. After proving negligence, the unique circumstances of an individual’s back injury will be carefully scrutinized to determine how much a settlement should be.
Having an experienced personal injury lawyer who can argue on your behalf is one of the best ways to secure the settlement you deserve. Typically, the following factors will be considered in your back injury settlement:
- The extent of your injuries
- The impact the back injury has had on your life
- Medical bill payments you’ve made for treatment related to your back injury
- The loss in wages or earning capacity because of your injury
- Whether or not an insurance company is involved in the settlement and how much that insurance company will cover expenses you incurred
Settling a Back Injury Accident? Here’s What To Know
After sustaining a back injury, it’s important to understand how to move forward so that you can get the compensation you deserve. Keep the following in mind as you consider your back injury case.
Collect Evidence to Support Your Claim
Your first step will be to gather the necessary evidence that shows your claim against a named defendant. Evidence can take the form of surveillance footage, witness statements, or other documentation that shows the defendant was at fault for your back injury. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can prove invaluable as they will have the expertise and knowledge to navigate the collection of evidence.
Understand Insurance Company Settlements
If your back injury was the result of an auto accident or a workplace accident, an insurance company may be involved as part of the settlement negotiations. If you are not working with a lawyer, an insurance company may try to settle your claim with a lump sum payment. It’s important to scrutinize the compensation offered by an insurance company as it will likely be less than you deserve.
Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can be critical to helping you gather the necessary evidence to prove your claim. Having a strong case built against the defendant can encourage an insurance company to increase its settlement payout.
As a general rule of thumb, never accept an insurance company settlement without having legal counsel from an experienced personal injury attorney beforehand. The team at Jack Bernstein can help you assess if your insurance settlement is a fair one.
Statute of Limitations
Finally, it’s also important to understand the statute of limitations as they relate to your circumstances. In the state of Florida, plaintiffs have a four-year window to file a personal injury lawsuit that is found on negligence. Civil cases that are not based on negligence are minimized to a 2-year window. If you suffered an accident that resulted in a back injury, it’s essential to act quickly so that you can file your claim in a timely manner.
Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Back Injury.
If you have suffered a back injury because of the negligence of another individual, working with a personal injury attorney can be one of the best ways to recover the compensation you deserve. Knowing your rights and options will allow you to move forward with confidence in your case.
Bureau of Justice Statistics. (1995).