If you have suffered back and neck injuries in a car accident in Wisconsin, you may be wondering what the average settlement amount is for these types of injuries. Back and neck injuries are some of the most common injuries resulting from car accidents.
According to recent data, the average settlement for a car accident back and neck injury in Wisconsin is around $179,267. However, each case is unique, so it’s important to understand what factors affect the settlement amount.
Understanding Car Accident Settlements: An Overview
A car accident settlement is a resolution between the injured party and the responsible party’s insurance company, where the injured receive compensation for their damages. Settlements vary widely based on the severity of the injury, the impact on the victim’s life, and the negotiation skills of the involved parties.
Most Common Neck and Back Injuries From Car Accidents
Some of the most common neck injuries caused by car crashes include:
- Whiplash – Strain or sprain of the neck muscles and ligaments. Symptoms encompass discomfort, rigidity, and a diminished range of motion. One of the most common car accident injuries.
- Herniated disc – Disk material presses on nerve roots. Causes numbness, weakness, and radiating pain in the arms. Requires extensive treatment.
- Cervical sprain or strain – Overstretching of soft tissues and ligaments. Causes neck pain, muscle spasms, and headaches.
- Cervical fracture – Break in one of the cervical vertebrae. Often requires surgery and rehabilitation.
Common back injuries from car accidents include:
- Lumbar sprain or strain – Muscle, tendon, or ligament damage. Causes lower back pain and stiffness.
- Herniated disc – As above, it affects nerves exiting the lumbar spine. Causes sciatica symptoms.
- Compression fracture – Break or collapse of the vertebral body. Causes severe localized back pain.
- Spinal cord injury – Damage to spinal cord tissue. It can cause paralysis below the level of injury.
- Cauda equina syndrome – Compression of nerve roots in the lower spine. Causes loss of bladder control and leg weakness.
Factors That Determine Settlement Amounts
The settlement amount for a back and neck injury car accident will depend on several factors, including:
- Type and severity of injury – More severe injuries like fractures and herniated discs result in higher payouts than soft tissue strains. Injuries requiring surgery also increase settlement amounts.
- Necessary treatment – The cost of medical care like diagnostic tests, surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, and medications impact the settlement.
- Lost income – Settlement will cover any lost wages if the injury caused you to miss work for a period of time.
- Long-term effects – Permanent impairments or disabilities resulting from the injury warrant larger settlements.
- Pain and suffering – Compensation for physical pain and mental/emotional distress suffered. A major component of most injury settlements.
- Insurance coverage – Settlements are limited by the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits. Uninsured or underinsured drivers reduce potential settlement amounts.
- Comparative negligence laws – If you were partially responsible for the accident, your settlement would be diminished by the percentage of fault attributed to you.
- Wisconsin follows “modified comparative negligence law.” This means that if you were less than 51% at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages reduced by your degree of fault. If you were 51% or more at fault, you cannot recover any damages.
Average Settlement Amounts in Wisconsin
According to Wisconsin car accident attorneys, recent settlements for back and neck injuries fall within the following ranges:
- Minor soft tissue injuries like whiplash: $10,000 – $50,000
- Lumbar or cervical strain requiring physical therapy: $50,000 – $100,000
- Herniated disc requiring epidural injections: $100,000 – $250,000
- Herniated disc requiring surgery: $250,000 – $500,000
- Fractured vertebrae requiring surgery: $500,000 – $1,000,000
- Spinal cord injuries resulting in partial disability: $1,000,000 – $2,000,000
The most severe spinal cord injuries involving paraplegia or quadriplegia can result in settlements above $2 million. However, most car accident cases settle for far less than these maximum amounts.
According to Wisconsin car accident data, the average car accident settlement for a back and neck injury is around $179,267, while the median settlement is $100,000. However, each case depends on the specific injuries involved and settlement influencing factors. Discussing your case with an experienced Wisconsin car accident attorney is the best way to determine the potential value of your injury claim.
Key Steps to Receive a Fair Settlement for Your Back or Neck Injury
If you suffered back or neck injuries in an auto accident, here are some tips to help secure a full, fair settlement:
- Get prompt medical care – Seek emergency treatment after the crash, follow up with your doctor, attend physical therapy, and document all treatment related to the injury. The more evidence of injury, the higher the damages.
- Speak to a Knowledgeable personal injury attorney – An attorney understands how to calculate damages, negotiate strategically with insurers, and take your case to trial if needed. They can often recover substantially more compensation.
- Compile evidence – Gather police reports, medical records, bills, lost wage documentation, accident photos, and witness statements to support and quantify your losses.
- Assess liability and insurance coverage – Your attorney will investigate the fault and confirm all available insurance coverage from the at-fault driver’s policy. Higher coverage caps mean a bigger potential payout.
- Understand injury laws in your state – Local injury laws affect car accident settlements, so learn your legal options and rights. An attorney can explain how state laws apply to your case.
- Be patient through the process – It can take many months to receive your full settlement as your attorney negotiates and collects documentation. Some serious injury cases may take years to resolve.
Don’t Accept an Unfair Settlement Offer on Your Own
Insurance adjusters may pressure injury victims to accept unfairly low settlements right after an accident. It’s important to speak to an attorney before signing any release forms or accepting a settlement, as you may be forfeiting the compensation you deserve. A Knowledgeable car accident lawyer can properly assess your claim value based on documented damages and help you maximize your settlement.
Why Hiring a Lawyer For Your Claim is Important
Pursuing fair compensation on your own is very difficult, especially against insurers who commonly employ aggressive tactics to minimize payouts. Retaining an attorney levels the playing field by:
- Handling legal procedures and negotiations so you can focus on recovery
- Determining liability and documenting damages to maximize settlement value
- Dealing with insurance companies to secure full, fair settlement offers
- Taking cases to trial if needed to obtain sufficient compensation
If you or a loved one suffered neck or back injuries in a Wisconsin car accident, contact a personal injury lawyer for help pursuing the compensation you deserve. With an attorney’s insight and advocacy, you can feel confident through the settlement process.
Neck and back injury settlement FAQs:
- How long does it take to receive an injury settlement after a car accident?
- It typically takes anywhere from several months to a year to receive your injury settlement following a car accident. More complex cases involving severe injuries, disputed liability, or multiple insurance companies can take two years or longer to fully resolve. An attorney can advise you on the projected timeline based on the unique circumstances of your accident and keep you updated on progress toward settlement. Be patient, as larger settlements are worth the wait.
Q: What is considered a severe neck and back injury settlement after a car accident?
A: A substantial settlement for a severe neck and back injury resulting from a car accident pertains to a larger compensation amount that takes into account the substantial effects on the victim’s life. This includes long-term pain, disability, and the necessity for ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation. Severe injuries often result in higher settlement amounts compared to minor or moderate injuries.
Q: What types of damages can be included in a car accident back and neck injury settlement?
A: A car accident back and neck injury settlement can include various types of damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, future medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and any other damages directly related to the injuries sustained in the accident.