The value of a neck and back injury settlement in Maryland typically depends on the extent of the injury and other factors. Although whiplash injuries that involve the tearing and stretching of the muscles and ligaments in the neck are often painful, settlements do not usually exceed $50,000.
If your neck and back injury after a car crash requires surgery such as a fusion, a cervical discectomy, or a laminectomy, your eventual settlement can reach six figures and maybe even more.
Before we can answer the question of how much is a neck and back injury settlement in Maryland, we need to see your medical bills, read your diagnosis, and study the insurance policies of the parties to the motor vehicle accident.
Our Baltimore car accident lawyers have a long track record of winning big settlements for clients but all cases are unique and different.
What Factors Can Push Up a Neck and Back Injury Settlement in Maryland?
Complicated medical procedures and surgery
Neck surgeries are not to be undertaken lightly. You will usually remain at the hospital for at least a week after the procedure. It’s the last resort for people who suffer a neck and back injury after a Maryland car wreck. Surgery pushes up your medical costs and hence your likely settlement. Surgery can entail complications and even infections that the at-fault driver is liable for, through his or her insurance provider.
People who require neck and back surgery may undergo the following procedures, states Everyday Health.
Cervical Spinal Fusion
Cervical spinal fusion is an operation intended to remedy the pain from a damaged spinal disk.
The surgeon joins together two vertebrae that grind together because of a herniated or worn disk. The doctor uses a bone graft or a metal implant in this procedure. The vertebrae eventually grow together. Surgery is costly and is only used in a minority of neck and back injury cases.
Doctors use laminectomies to reduce the pressure on the nerve roots or the spinal cord. A car accident can damage the laminae which are the bony plates on the backside of the bones that cover and protect the spinal cord. Surgeons can remove parts of herniated disks and bone spurs through a new opening in the vertebrae.
A laminoplasty is used to treat people with spinal stenosis. This is a condition in which the small spinal canal that contains the nerve roots and spinal cord, becomes compressed. It may have been damaged in a car wreck or simply by wear and tear due to aging.
A High-Value Insurance Policy
High-value insurance policies can push up a neck and back injury settlement in Maryland. if a jury awards a $1 million verdict but the limits of insurance on the culpable driver’s policy is just $60,000, your recovery is limited to $60,000. However, some drivers have higher value insurance policies.
Most commercial insurers recommend a vehicle insurance policy of at least $500,000, ideally $1 million, states the Insurance Information Institute.
if you suffer a serious back or neck injury in an accident with a commercial vehicle such as a tractor-trailer in Maryland, your potential settlement is likely to be a lot higher.
Loss of a Job or Time off Work
A neck and back injury often disrupt lives and careers. If you have to take weeks off work, lose your job, or end up taking a lesser job because of an injury, you are entitled to claim for your loss. For example, a construction worker who suffers a spinal injury meaning he can no longer lift heavy objects may lose his job or have to take a position with a lower salary, He should be compensated for his reduced earning ability by the driver who caused his injury.
Changes in Your Home Life
A neck or back injury can be devastating. If it causes disability you may have to pay thousands of dollars to adapt your home for your limited mobility. The emotional toll and lost income can put a strain on your family life and result in marital breakdown. You have a right to be compensated for all of your losses.
The Actions of the At-Fault Driver
The behavior of the driver who caused your neck and back injuries can affect the eventual settlement. Although Maryland courts seldom award punitive damages to punish a driver, the actions of a driver can have a bearing on your case. If the driver who hit you was drunk and later received a DUI, the insurance company will have a difficult job arguing he was not responsible for the wreck. Other clear cut examples of fault include a red light runner or a driver who caused a crash by failing to stop at a stop sign, a speeding driver or a distracted driver. In any lawsuit, our Maryland personal injury lawyers consider whether the defendant who caused the accident will cut a sympathetic figure in court.
The Extent of Your Injuries
Severe injuries usually mean greater pain and suffering. This forms a key part of the compensation formula. Typically, spinal cord injuries, fractures or damage to internal organs that can permanently alter your life attract greater non-economic damages for pain and suffering and greater economic damages in terms of medical bills and lost income.
Preexisting conditions are important in determining how much is a neck and back injury settlement in Maryland. If you complain of ongoing pain after a car wreck but suffered from a herniated disk before the accident, the other side’s insurance company will claim the more recent pain was from the preexisting condition. It’s important for your doctor to show you suffered a new injury or the car accident aggravated that herniated disk or another injury you had at the time of the impact. The failure to show a new or exacerbated injury can invalidate your claim.
If You Injured Your Neck or Spine in an Accident, Talk to Our Lawyers
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we have helped numerous clients with neck and back injuries from an auto accident. We can estimate your losses and make a claim against the insurance company of the driver who caused your injury on your behalf. We are familiar with the pain and inconvenience of a neck and back injury and can fight your corner. Please call us for a free consultation at (410) 431-0911.