One of the most common injuries associated with a car accident is neck injuries, such as whiplash. The extent and nature of any injury has a direct impact on how much compensation the individual receives. This article will discuss value in a neck injury case when making an insurance claim or settling the case.
It must be noted that it is difficult to predict the value of any injury, let alone a neck injury, as there are many factors specific to the given case. To show how variant neck injury cases can be take note of some examples of outcomes of car accident neck injury cases:
- Neck injuries caused by a minor rear-end accident - trial verdict $9,500
- Rear-end accident of a sixty-year-old resulting in bulging discs requiring surgery - settlement of $100,000
- Car accident causing aggravation of a pre-existing neck injury settlement of $250,000
- Rear-end accident with a semi-truck resulting in the aggravation of a pre-existing neck injury requiring surgery - settlement of $1,200,000
The term ‘valuing’ when used in a personal injury case basically means coming up with the best guess of what a jury is likely to award the person suing for the neck injury. In addition, it also requires determining two important factors:
- What the defendant is likely willing to pay
- What the plaintiff is likely willing to accept as settlement before going to trial
No matter who is doing the calculations with regards to the value of the neck injury claim the main factors that must come into play are the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and other losses that they suffered and the likelihood that the jury will find the defendant at fault for the accident that resulted in the neck injury.
Now when speaking about neck injuries, while they range from minor whiplash strains and sprains to much more serious issues like spinal disc damage, the more severe and long-lasting the injury is the higher the compensation will be received through a settlement or a jury verdict. Further, the characteristics of the injury also determine the amount to be settled or awarded. Where the individual suffers hard injuries, such as bone fractures, compensation tends to be higher as compared to soft tissue injuries, like whiplash.
According to some experts who are part of the association of personal injury lawyers, the majority of insurance companies gauge how serious an injury is based on the nature and the cost of the medical treatment received or acquired. So, a neck injury that requires some surgical procedure is worth more than one that requires a few weeks in a neck brace. Similarly, neck injuries that require treatment by physicians are given more weight than those that require treatment by ‘minor’ medical experts such as physical therapists; even though both may be able to get the job done.
Trying to estimate how much a plaintiff is likely to receive as compensation is very difficult as the ultimate decision rests with the jury. However, some damages can easily be quantified such as medical bills and lost income while others are subjective, such as pain and suffering.