ClickCease How Much Is the Average Settlement for a Back Injury?

How Much is the Average Settlement for a Back Injury?

Back Injury Settlement

Suffering a back injury can be life-altering, leaving you with chronic pain and unsure of how to move forward. Medical bills pile up, and daily tasks become difficult. If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through a back injury settlement. But navigating the legal system and determining a fair settlement amount on your own can be overwhelming.

We are going to take a close look at the factors that influence a back injury settlement, including the potential impact on your future earning capacity and your quality of life. We’ll also explore the possibility of a back injury settlement without surgery, and how medical expenses play a role.

If you’re facing a back injury and considering legal action, the Regan Zambri Long personal injury lawyers can help. Contact us today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case and get the legal guidance you need to win a fair settlement.

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How Much Compensation Will I Get for a Back Injury Settlement?

Back injury settlements can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the circumstances and injury severity. The median settlement for a back injury in Washington, DC is about $14,000, while the nationwide average was $45,753 in 2002.

Workplace back injuries settle for a higher amount on average. According to Forbes, the average settlement amount for a back injury is between $20,000 and $25,000 in workers’ compensation.

Personal injury lawsuits do not have a guaranteed outcome

It’s important for the injured individual to know that in any personal injury case, there is never any set amount of damages a victim may receive. The amount awarded depends on several factors: the severity of the injuries, personal property damage, the cause of the accident, liability, and the ongoing effect on the victim’s life.

Working with a personal injury attorney will increase your chances of a higher settlement

Regan Zambri Long attorneys group photoIf you are looking to recover maximum compensation for your injury case, the most important step you can take is hiring an experienced personal injury attorney. A study done by the Insurance Research Council suggests that individuals with lawyers receive settlements about 3.5 times higher than those without legal advocates.

Due to the higher overall settlement amount, victims take home higher compensation even after paying a lawyer’s fee, which is typically around 30-40% of the settlement. Let’s take a closer look at what damages you’ll seek in your personal injury lawsuit.

Damages Awarded in Back Injury Lawsuits

In civil lawsuits, including back injury cases, “damages” are monetary compensation awarded to the plaintiff (the injury victim who filed the suit) to make up for what they lost due to someone else’s (the defendant) negligence.

There are three main types of damages you can recover in a back injury settlement:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are compensation for tangible losses – think about anything that has a physical receipt attached to it. They include:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Property Damage

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are intangible, meaning their value is subjective. These types of damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional Distress
  • Post traumatic stress disorder

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are awarded to the victim on top of economic and non-economic damages, but only in rare cases. While economic and non-economic damages are meant to award the victim, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant. The goal is to punish willfully negligent behavior and deter the defendant from repeating it.

Wrongful Death Damages

Wrongful death cases are similar to other injury cases. However, the plaintiff may be awarded additional economic and non-economic damages:

  • Past medical expenses
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of consortium, which is the loss of benefits from a close relationship.

When Should I File I Back Injury Claim?

Back injury lawsuits should be filed when your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. A claim should not be filed when your back injury was your own fault or when the injury was caused by an accident that could not be avoided.

Let’s take a look at two examples of when filing a back injury case is appropriate:

  • Example: You’re in a car accident caused by a drunk driver driver. You severely injured your back in the collision and are facing extensive medical treatment, property damage, and physical life changes. The other driver’s negligence was clearly getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, which could easily be avoided. You should file a claim against the drunk driver.
  • Example: The stairs in your apartment building are not up to code and you’ve complained about their danger to your landlord multiple times. However, the landlord continues to ignore the problem and refuses to fix the stairs. You fall down the stairs and injure your back. The injury sustained requires surgery and rehabilitation. You should sue your landlord for the medical bills incurred and for any ongoing back pain you experience.

Now, let’s look at one example of when filing a back injury lawsuit is inappropriate:

  • Example: You voluntarily sign up to exercise at your local gym. A trainer takes you around and properly shows you how to use the functioning equipment. However, you do not pay attention to his instructions and you misuse the machines, causing an injury. Due to your own negligence, you suffer from back pain and can no longer work out. In this situation, the gym, its trainers, and its staff followed proper protocol and it was your negligence that caused your injury.

When you speak with a Regan Zambri Long personal injury attorney during your initial, free consultation, you will be offered a reasonable assessment of your case. If your back injury was caused by another party’s negligent behavior, we will pursue a fair back injury settlement on your behalf.

What Types of Accidents Cause Back Injuries?

What Accidents Could Result in a Spinal Cord Injury?Any type of accident can cause a serious back injury. However, the most common back injury accidents the Regan Zambri Long attorneys handle are:

  • Car accidents: A National Library of Medicine study showed that 29% of all spinal injuries resulted from a car accident. The majority of spinal fractures were found in the lumbar region (lower region) of the back.
  • Slip and Fall Accidents: Slip and fall accidents account for 8 million hospital emergency room visits each year. They are the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries among people over the age of 65.
  • Workplace injuries: The Bureau of Labor Statistics sites that back injuries make up 1 in every 5 workplace injuries. Nursing assistants are among the most common workers to suffer from a back injury.
  • Sports injuries: Sports, especially high contact sports, can lead to significant back injuries among the players. The National Library of Medicine estimates that there were 7,076 back injuries over a five-year period. 82% of those injuries were new back injuries, while the remaining 18% were athletes who were re-injured.
  • Medical malpractice: A medical malpractice case can involve different kinds of physicians, including chiropractors. Fortunately, the rates of back injuries from chiropractic care remain statistically low. However, they are not impossible.

What Are Common Back Injuries Caused by an Accident?

Auto accidents, workplace accidents, and sports accidents can lead to a back injury so severe that it results in chronic pain or leaves the victim with a permanent disability. The most common back injuries are:

  • Herniated disc injuries: Spinal discs sit between the vertebrae in your back. Each disc is comprised of two substances: a soft, jellylike center called a nucleus and a rubbery exterior called the annulus. A herniated disc is when some of the nucleus pushes through a tear in the annulus. Herniated discs are also known as slipped discs or ruptured discs.
  • Spinal fracture: A dislocation or fracture of the vertebrae, which can happen anywhere along the backbone.
  • Injury to the thoracic or lumbar spine: Back injuries to the mid-back and lower back.
  • Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries are injuries to the ligaments, muscles, and tendons along the spine.
  • Spinal cord injuries: A spinal cord injury is damage to the bundle of nerves that sends signals from the brain to the spine.

A Closer Look at Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis. There are four main sections of the spine that can result in different severe spinal cord injuries:

  • Cervical Spine: These are injuries in the neck vertebrae that can lead to quadriplegia or paraplegia.
  • Thoracic: This type of spinal cord injury, with injuries to the chest vertebrae, often results in paraplegia.
  • Lumbar: Spinal cord injuries to the lower back, resulting in paraplegia.
  • Sacral: A spinal injury to the tailbone area, which affects the victim’s legs, bowels, and bladder control.

What services will I need after a severe back injury?

A back injury victim may require ongoing medical treatment following a traumatic injury. Treatment may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation, multiple surgeries, extensive hospital stays, injections, chiropractic care, and pain management.

For the most severe injury, additional interventions may be needed such as assistive devices like wheelchairs, canes, and braces. If the accident results in paralysis, the victim’s home may need to be updated to accommodate various medical equipment.

How Much Does it Cost to Live with a Serious Back Injury?

It’s no secret that severe injuries not only affect the victim’s day-to-day routines, but they also impact their financial security. The cost of living with a spinal cord injury and other serious back injuries is astronomical.

According to the Christopher Reeve Foundation, tetraplegia (paralysis to the upper and lower regions of the body) can cost the victim over $1 million in the first year, and $184,000 each subsequent year. Paraplegia (paralysis of the lower body only) costs over $500,000 the first year and $68,000 each subsequent year.

When paying out of pocket, a single physical therapy session in the DC Metro area can cost around $100 on average.

The Average Back Injury Settlement Can Help Offset the Medical Bills

As you can see, caring for yourself or a loved one with a spinal cord injury is extremely expensive. Very few people prepare for that kind of financial setback, which is why so many victims fall into massive debt after a back injury accident.

An experienced personal injury attorney will help you recover a fair back injury settlement that will help offset all new costs resulting from your accident. Our personal injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long practice throughout Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. We’ve recovered millions for our back injury clients and are confident we can do the same for you.

What Factors Can Affect How Much I’ll Make in a Back Injury Settlement?

The average settlement you’ll receive personal injury lawsuits greatly depends five different factors. Although we briefly touched on them before, let’s take a deeper dive into the factors that will influence the average settlement value for your back injury:

Severity of Injuries

It makes sense: the more severe the back injury, the more the average settlement amount will be. If your back injury requires multiple surgeries, extensive hospital stays, and ongoing treatment, the economic damages you will recover will be higher.

Financial Impact of Back Injuries

As we previously touched on, the cost of living with back injuries can cause crippling financial distress to an individual and their family. Your back injury attorney will add up the costs of your current medical bills plus the sum total of all future medical care you may need.

Liable Parties

Back injury cases can get complicated depending on the number of liable parties. For example, in a typical auto accident, there is likely one driver at fault and one victim. However, let’s say you’ve been in a car accident with a commercial tractor trailer. In those situations, the potential liable parties may increase.

In addition to the truck driver being held responsible, you may bring about an auto accident lawsuit against the trucking company, the manufacturer, and the loading company. Determining all liable parties and holding them all accountable for your back injuries is essential to recovering fair injury settlements.

Contributory Negligence

Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia all practice the laws of contributory negligence. Contributory negligence laws state that if you are found to be liable for your back injury – even just 10% – you lose all rights to compensation.

In order to maximize your compensation in these jurisdictions, your personal injury attorney must prove you bear zero responsibility in the accident and in your back injury.

Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Working with the leading personal injury lawyers in your area can be the difference in back injury lawsuits. The Regan Zambri Long personal injury lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience and have successfully litigated hundreds of back injury claims.

Our mission is to build a strong case that results in a favorable settlement or verdict. We work tirelessly to exceed the average settlement of a personal injury lawsuit to secure your financial future as you recover from your back injury.

How Long Do Back Injury Lawsuits take to Settle?

Just like average back injury settlements, the average length of a back injury lawsuit is not exact. At Regan Zambri Long, our back injury attorneys deeply understand the overwhelming stress you and your family are under. You never expected this to happen and you’re eager to get back to your normal life. We work around the clock to litigate injury claims in a timely manner.

Depending on the complexities of the back injury case, we often tell our clients to prepare for several months to a few years to work out the proper back injury settlement. During that time, your lawyer will be available to you at all times to answer your questions, address your concerns, and update you on your claim.

How Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Maximize my Back Injury Settlement?

There are several key components to a personal injury lawsuit that will maximize the plaintiff’s benefits. Your personal injury lawyer will make sure each element is included in your injury claim:

Personal Injury Law Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for both Washington DC and Maryland is three years from the date of the accident. Virginia’s statute of limitations is two years. If the personal injury lawsuit is not filed within that timeframe, you will forfeit all your rights any injury settlements. Your attorney will make sure the paperwork for your claim is filed correctly and on time.

Elements of Negligence

The next step is to establish the four elements of negligence: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Your lawyer will investigate your accident to determine the parties responsible for your accident and the exact negligent actions they committed.

Accident Scene Investigation

Next, your back injury lawyer will assemble a legal team consisting of medical consultants, accident reconstruction specialists, expert witnesses, and other legal minds to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident that caused your back injuries. With this evidence, they will build a compelling case that proves you were not responsible for the accident and deserve maximum compensation for your injuries.

Negotiations with the Insurance Company

Once a case is built, the negotiations begin. If the insurance company agrees to a fair settlement, your lawyer will accept. If, however, they fight your claim and deny a settlement, your lawyer will take your personal injury lawsuit to court.

Should I Accept the First Settlement for a Back Injury?

No, you should never accept the first settlement offer from an insurance company. Insurance adjusters are known to manipulate the facts of the accident and even corner you into admitting fault. Their job is to save money for the insurance company, not to make sure you are properly compensated for your losses.

Our advice? Do not speak to the insurance company without talking to an experienced personal injury attorney first. Once you hire a lawyer, all correspondence with the insurance company will go through him. At Regan Zambri Long, our attorneys know the tricks the insurance company plays on victims in their most vulnerable moments. We won’t let that happen to you.

What Should I Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer?

A severe back injury accident requires the best legal representation available. Here is what you should look for when hiring a personal injury lawyer:

  • Success: Make sure the law firm you work with has a record of success. Specifically ask them about their experience with accidents that cause back injuries including car accidents, workplace accidents, and slip and fall accidents.
  • Financial Resources: As we mentioned before, lawsuit may require extensive resources in order to build a winning case. Smaller firms in the DC Metro area do not have the financial resources to work with different professionals. Make sure you’re working with back injury accident attorneys who can take on the financial burden of your case and see it through until the end.
  • Trial Lawyers: If your case does not end in a settlement, you will want to work with an attorney who is an experienced trial lawyer. Ask about their record of successful verdicts and how they plan to win your case in court.
  • Contingency Fee: You’re dealing with enough financial distress – you don’t need a lawsuit on top of it. Work with a law firm that works on a contingency fee basis, meaning, you don’t pay your lawyer unless he or she wins a settlement or verdict in your favor.
  • Care and Compassion: Finally, work with personal injury attorneys who treat you like a human being, not a case number. When you meet your lawyer for the first time, it’s likely that you and your family are facing the most difficult moment in your lives. Work with someone who understands that and does everything he or she can to alleviate the pressure, anxiety, and stress.

What Regan Zambri Long Clients Say About our Personal Injury Attorneys

Imagine getting the amazing outcome you deserve after a life-altering back injury. That’s what countless clients have experienced with Regan Zambri Long. Our clients rave about our team’s dedication, professionalism, and results:

“I truly cannot express the gratitude I have for this law firm and its employees, especially Salvatore Zambri. … He had confidence in my case and got me an amazing outcome. … Everyone on that team is amazing at their job and they work together very well. I hope to never need their services again, but if I do, it is no question that I will go right back to Zambri and his team.” – Former Client

“If you’re looking for a firm that will 1000% fight for you and your family…look no further!! … From the very first phone call to discuss our case, we could feel the compassion and willingness to fight. They listened, guided, explained, listened more, asked thoughtful questions, … and never let the foot of the gas as we progressed through the different phases of the case. … We feel tremendously blessed to have the team fight so hard for us every step of the way, and are forever grateful to them. … Choose Regan Zambri Long!!” – Former Client

Our partners and attorneys at Regan Zambri Long exemplify everything you need in a personal injury attorney: trustworthiness, confidence, ability, and results. We aren’t just another law firm – we are your neighbors in the DC Metro area, fighting tirelessly to protect your rights.

Work with a Leading Personal Injury Lawyer on a Contingency Fee Basis

At Regan Zambri Long, we believe everyone should have access to the best legal representation possible, regardless of their income. That’s why we work on a contingency fee basis. You only pay if we win. Our fee will never be greater than the settlement awarded for your case.

Call the Regan Zambri Long Law Firm Today

The Regan Zambri Long personal injury lawsuit success stories include a $14 million settlement for a car accident, a $10 million settlement for a premises liability case, and $7.5 million for a spinal cord injury accident.

Our lawyers are regularly featured in Best Lawyers and Lawdragon, as well as consistently listed in Super Lawyers. One of our founding partners, Patrick Regan, was named “the go-to-personal injury lawyer in the DC Metro area.” We are dedicated culture changers, with many of our settlements affecting local and state laws in the area.

At Regan Zambri Long, we understand we are meeting you and your family at the worst moment in your lives. Our mission is to make an extremely stressful situation bearable and to settle your case as quickly as possible.

A legal case for a back injury is an uphill battle. When you partner with a Regan Zambri Long personal injury attorney, you have an expert legal advocate in your corner, fighting for you every step of the way. Call today for a free consultation. We’re waiting to take on your case and help you get back on your feet.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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