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How Much Should I Get in a Back Injury Settlement?

Approximately eight out of every ten people suffer from some form of back problem in the United States. Chronic back pain is incredibly debilitating, and can drastically reduce a person’s quality of life. But it gets even more complicated when the back pain results from an event that was not your fault.

Whether it’s a car accident claim or a work injury, you may require a back injury settlement. Back pain may require expensive painkillers, therapy, and chiropractic work. Paying for these treatments may not be within the scope of your finances.

So the question becomes how much money you can hope to get from a personal injury claim for your back. Read on as we discuss how it works and what the average compensation is for a lower back injury.

Causes of a Back Injury

The causes of your injury will affect the compensation you get and the source of the compensation. Here are some of the common causes of your particular back injury.

Automobile Accident

Automobile accidents can be incredibly traumatic. The collision can compress nerves and lead to spinal fractures. Otherwise, it may exacerbate existing back injuries.

The nature of back injuries often means they can take years of treatment and therapy to heal. Even minor back injuries from an accident can cause pain and discomfort for months.

In most cases, you will need to make a car accident claim to get a personal injury settlement. This will be through your insurance company or that of the other responsible party.

Work Accidents

Work accidents provide plenty of opportunities to cause significant damage to your back. These can involve the following:

  • Trips, slips, and falls
  • Collisions with heavy machinery
  • Heavy loads and strain on your back muscles
  • Slumping or having bad posture during heavy-duty work

The list goes on, but the key feature is this: your workplace was responsible for these injuries. They were either negligent about your safety or did not provide you with proper safety equipment and training. Workers’ comp usually covers cases such as these.

Types of Back Injuries

The back is a complicated tapestry of muscles, ligaments, and bones. A chronic back injury can affect one, several, or all of these components. Let’s discuss common injuries that result in long-lasting pain.

Injuries to the Soft Tissue

Soft tissue refers to anything but the bone. This can include the tendons, ligaments, and muscles that make up your back. Injuries to the soft tissue tend to result in stiffness, spasms, and general soreness and pain.

These issues may require physical therapy or surgery to correct. In either case, you may need to take prescription medication to deal with the pain.

Herniated Discs

The discs in your spine must be in perfect alignment. After an accident or injury, they can sometimes slip out of their normal position.

Generally speaking, the pain is not from the herniated disc itself. Rather, it occurs when it compresses a nerve along your spine or lumbar area. Treatment often includes rest and, in some rare cases, surgery.

Spinal Fractures

A fracture refers to a break or small crack in the bone. A common fracture is a compression fracture, which is when cracks in the bone result from stress or pressure.

In most cases, this will heal with rest and relaxation. However, you may need to get surgery if there is severe damage to your nerves or the spinal cord.

Injuries to the Spinal Cord

The spinal cord is what carries nerve transmissions from your brain to the rest of your body. It is what allows you to move, feel pain, and so much more. Unfortunately, the spinal cord is quite delicate.

The spinal cord resides within the spinal column, protecting it from everyday damage. However, accidents that affect the spinal column can cause nerve damage. In extreme cases, this can lead to partial or complete paralysis.

Needless to say, spinal cord injuries are often the worst and the most complex to treat.

How Do You Claim a Back Injury Settlement?

Many variables go into if and how you would claim compensation. These are the most common ways that people will claim.

Workers’ Comp

Workers’ compensation is an employer-provided form of medical insurance for work-related accidents. Workers’ comp exists to help employees who have suffered injuries while on the job, rather than medical insurance for their overall health.

However, there must be ample proof that it was the workplace and work conditions that led to the injury. If the employee made a poor decision against safety protocol, workers’ comp may not kick in.

Usually, HR or some other internal department will investigate incidences of workplace injuries. Once they have sufficient proof, they will issue worker’s compensation to the affected employee.

Unfortunately, this tends to be the most difficult type of compensation to obtain. Large corporations want to protect their bottom line, which means paying out the smallest amount possible. Barring legal action, an employee may have to fight very hard to get what they deserve.

Personal Health Insurance

Most people have a health insurance policy, either through their work or one they pay for personally. Many health insurance policies will cover work-related injuries. This allows you to get compensation from your own policy, rather than another.

However, most policies have significant limitations. Unless you pay for a premium policy, you may not have a clause that covers back injuries from work or a car accident. Instead, you would have to pay out-of-pocket.

Nothing is set in stone. Just because your insurance provider denies your first claim doesn’t mean the fight is over. Pushing for full compensation may be successful on the second or third try.

In some situations, insurance providers may not be honoring their agreements. In this case, you would take them to court to get complete compensation.

Insurance Policy

There are two options when it comes to getting compensation through insurance.

One, you might get coverage through your own insurance policy if they cover no-fault accidents. Two, you may get coverage through the insurance policy of the other party responsible for the accident.

Your insurance policy will only cover an accident if you have the right plan. Otherwise, they may cover nothing or only a portion. Coverage may also change if they determine that you are at fault.

The difficulty with insurance companies is, like companies, they will try to pay you the smallest amount possible. You may have to submit multiple claims or take them to court to get coverage.

File a Lawsuit

When push comes to shove, you may need to take your personal injury claim to a court of law. You may need to file suit if the following applies:

  • You are in an accident with an uninsured driver
  • Your work denies your workers’ compensation claim
  • Your insurance company does not pay for a covered condition

Before you go into a lawsuit, you should seek out legal counsel. Find local, reliable lawyers such as Alpha Accident Lawyers. This will be your bulwark during the long hours of litigation.

Filing a lawsuit will take several months on the low end. In extreme cases, it may take years before you get a verdict. You will need to have patience and mental fortitude, and persevere until the very end.

How Much Will You Receive for a Back Injury Settlement?

This is a difficult question to answer. It depends on a number of factors such as location, the injury itself, and how you got it. Each of the above sources for compensation will give you varying amounts.

Full Coverage

In some cases, you may get complete coverage for your injury. This will cover all necessary treatments, surgeries, medications, and so on. Some of the largest settlements can be in the millions of dollars.

Coverage may also include the following:

  • Lost wages as a result of the injury
  • Transportation to and from a medical facility
  • Living expenses and housing expenses

Full coverage may be a dollar amount, sometimes more than it actually costs to treat the injury. In other cases, it may only cover the estimated amount that you will pay at the hospital. This is why it’s important to determine beforehand how much your recovery will cost.

Partial Coverage

Your settlement may only cover a portion of your medical costs, or it will only cover certain types of medical costs. As an example, it may only cover the following:

  • Major treatments such as surgeries
  • Medication for pain
  • Elective treatments such as chiropractor visits

File Your Back Injury Claim Today

A back injury settlement may be necessary if you are suffering from chronic pain or a long-term back condition. You likely will be able to obtain compensation, but its source will depend on how and where you got the injury. Make sure to do all your research before you file a claim.

Follow our blog for more legal advice.

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Our publication is dedicated to bringing our readers the latest medical device news. We are proud to boast that our subscribers include medical specialists, device industry executives, investors, and other allied health professionals, as well as patients who are interested in researching various medical devices. We hope you find value in our easy-to-read publication and its overall purpose and objectives! Medical Device News Magazine is a division of PTM Healthcare Marketing, Inc. Pauline T. Mayer is the managing editor.

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