Back injuries that accident victims suffer may produce a significant amount of pain and require lengthy medical treatment. Moreover, a severe back injury can prevent an individual from working in their usual capacity, resulting in considerable lost income and causing bills to pile up quickly.
In some instances, a personal injury lawyer can settle your case favorably with the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, at other times, the insurance company may be unwilling to offer you fair monetary damages for your back injuries.
In that case, your lawyer will need to file a lawsuit in civil court for you and continue settlement negotiations with the insurance company adjuster. Alternatively, your lawyer might need to take your case to a civil jury trial, mediation hearing, or binding arbitration proceeding to recover the monetary damages you deserve.
The money you receive as part of your back injury settlement or lawsuit will depend upon various factors, including the type of back injury you suffered, the extent of your injury, and the circumstances surrounding your accident. Additional factors may include your ability to work and the pain and suffering you endured after your accident.
A personal injury lawyer in your area can help you file a claim or a lawsuit to recover the monetary compensation you deserve for your back injury. Your lawyer will advocate for you every step of the way, including during settlement negotiations and throughout litigation, and pursue the highest amount of monetary recovery available in your case.
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Types of Back Injuries that Accident Victims Commonly Suffer
The monetary compensation that an accident victim recovers for their back injury will depend primarily upon the nature and extent of their injury. Generally speaking, the more severe and permanent a back injury, the higher the monetary compensation an accident victim can recover via a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Common back injuries that accident victims suffer include vertebrae fractures, spinal cord damage, and paralysis.
- Vertebrae fractures. A vertebrae fracture occurs when one or more vertebrae in an accident victim’s spinal column suffer a complete break or dislocation. To recover from a vertebrae fracture, an accident victim may need to undergo one or more medical procedures, including surgeries. Moreover, an accident victim may suffer ongoing pain sometimes for the rest of their life.
- Whiplash injuries. Unlike vertebrae fractures, whiplash injuries are soft tissue contusions. Although these injuries do not involve a bone break or fracture, they may still be severe and require ongoing medical treatment. These soft tissue injuries can also cause an accident victim to experience significant pain. A whiplash injury typically occurs when an accident victim’s neck or upper back moves abruptly forward and backward in a forceful car crash.
- Spinal cord injuries. A spinal cord injury may occur when one or more nerves in an accident victim’s spinal column become severed in an accident. These nerves often allow for communication between various parts of the body and the accident victim’s brain. Therefore, if an accident victim suffers a severe injury to their spinal cord, they may suffer permanent complications, including full or partial paralysis.
- Paralysis injuries. Paralysis injuries typically result from some type of damage to an accident victim’s spinal cord. Paralysis injuries may be complete or partial. For example, a complete paralysis injury might prevent an accident victim from moving their arms, legs, feet, and hands. In addition, a paralysis victim may lack sensation and feel in all affected body parts. A partial paralysis injury, on the other hand, only involves part of the accident victim’s body. For example, the accident victim may have the ability to feel in their hands and arms, but they may not have feeling or movement below their waist.
Given the severe nature of back injuries, accident victims must always have legal representation as early on in the process as possible. An experienced personal injury lawyer can meet with you to discuss your accident and the resulting back injuries that you suffered. Your lawyer can then help you plan out the best way to pursue your personal injury claim or lawsuit that seeks monetary compensation for your injuries.
What Accidents Lead to Back Injuries?
Individuals may suffer back injuries in several different scenarios. Two of the most common causes of back injuries include motor vehicle crashes and premises accidents. In most situations, these accidents result from the negligence of others.
Car crashes, including broadside collisions, rear-end accidents and head-on crashes, often happen when another driver violates traffic laws, engages in distracted driving, or operates their vehicle while intoxicated (DUI). When a violent car crash occurs, an accident victim’s head, neck, or back may whip forwards and backward abruptly, causing a soft tissue injury. Moreover, a significant crash can force a driver or passenger’s body out of their vehicle, causing them to suffer a spinal cord or paralysis injury.
Like car accidents, premises accidents including slip-and-falls may lead to serious back injuries. Just as drivers have a duty to drive safely and carefully, premises owners have a duty to maintain their properties at all times. This duty of care includes warning about or repairing dangerous defects on the property that can present a fall hazard to property visitors.
Grocery store and restaurant patrons are especially susceptible to slip-and-fall accidents because of the presence of food and liquid in these locations. When the property owner becomes aware of a spill, they must promptly clean it up or, at the very least, place a warning placard to warn property visitors of the hazard.
If a property owner fails to take prompt action and you slip and fall on the premises, then your slip and fall lawyer can hold the property owner and their insurance company liable for your injuries and damages.
Property visitors who slip, fall, and land on their backs may suffer severe spinal cord or paralysis injuries. They can also suffer a soft tissue injury that leaves them incapacitated for some time.
If you suffered a back injury in an accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, talk with a personal injury lawyer in your area right away. Your lawyer can go through all of your legal options with you and help you file a claim with the appropriate insurance company. If the insurance company fails to offer you adequate compensation, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court and pursue the monetary damages you deserve.
Why Might an Insurance Company Refuse to Compensate Me Appropriately for My Back Injury?
In some cases, insurance companies refuse to offer accident victims appropriate monetary compensation for their back injuries. In these instances, the accident victim or their lawyer may need to file a personal injury lawsuit and litigate the back injury case in the court system.
First, some insurance companies deny back accident claims when they feel that the accident victim caused or contributed to the accident in some way. For example, in a slip-and-fall accident scenario, the insurance company might believe that the spill on the ground was an open and obvious hazard. As a result, the property owner’s insurer may deny liability for the accident. In that case, the accident victim may need to resort to the courts for monetary compensation.
Alternatively, the insurance company might take the position that the accident victim’s back injuries resulted from a pre-existing medical condition or from a prior accident. For example, the insurance company may contend that the accident victim’s pain is the result of degenerative changes—or changes related to one’s age rather than to the subject accident.
If the insurance company refuses to offer you the monetary compensation you deserve, your lawyer can help you file a lawsuit in court and take your case to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration hearing.
Filing a Timely Lawsuit in a Back Injury Case
Accident victims have a limited period to file a lawsuit seeking monetary recovery for their back injury. Specifically, accident victims must file their lawsuits within precisely two years of the accident date. If they do not file their lawsuit squarely within that time frame, they will not be eligible to recover monetary damages in almost all circumstances.
Given the brief time an accident victim has to file a suit, accident victims must take legal action as promptly as possible. A personal injury lawyer can help you file a lawsuit right away, especially if the statutory period is running short in your case. Your lawyer can then help you litigate your case through the courts and pursue the monetary damages you need through the litigation process.
Recovering Monetary Compensation for my Back Injury
Every back injury case is different. Therefore, the monetary damages that one accident victim recovers in a lawsuit may vary significantly from the damages that another accident victim receives.
Factors that determine the monetary compensation in back injury lawsuits include:
- The type of accident that led to the back injury, as well as the surrounding circumstances
- Whether the back injury involved a soft tissue contusion, fracture, or more severe complication
- Whether the accident victim suffered a permanent back injury in their accident
- The insurance company with whom the accident victim and their lawyer is dealing
- The specific court where the personal injury lawsuit is pending and whether or not that court tends to be favourable to accident victims
One of the most important steps you can take in your back injury case is to retain knowledgeable legal counsel to represent you throughout the litigation and during the trial, if necessary. Your lawyer can aggressively advocate for your legal interests and introduce evidence on your behalf in support of your case.
To recover monetary damages in a back injury lawsuit, the accident victim must first satisfy their legal burden of proof. Specifically, they must show that another individual or entity acted unreasonably under the circumstances, causing their accident. Moreover, the accident victim must demonstrate that their back injury directly resulted from the subject accident.
Potential monetary compensation that accident victims can recover for a back injury includes compensation for their:
- Lost income from being unable to work due to the back injury
- Loss of earning capacity if the accident victim’s back injury prevents them from performing the same kind of work, and they must consequently switch jobs and accept a pay reduction
- Mental distress
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Loss of the ability to use one or more body parts, such as from a spinal cord or paralysis injury
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Lost quality of life, if the accident victim’s overall quality of life declined due to their back injury
- Loss of spousal companionship and consortium
Your lawyer will do everything possible to help you increase the monetary compensation you recover for your back injury during settlement or litigation.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Back Injury Case Today
When recovering the monetary compensation you deserve in a back injury lawsuit, you should have skilled and experienced legal counsel representing you from the beginning of your case up through the conclusion. If the insurance company will not offer you the compensation you deserve and your lawyer must file a lawsuit on your behalf, your lawyer may continue settlement negotiations and can assist you with every step of the litigation process.
Finally, your lawyer can help you make intelligent legal decisions throughout your case, including deciding whether to accept a settlement offer or continuing to litigate your case through the court system. If your case must go to trial or binding arbitration, your Personal Injury lawyer in Edmonton will zealously advocate for your legal interests by highlighting the strengths of your case, introducing appropriate evidence on your behalf, and pursuing the highest monetary award available to you in your case.
Remain focused on your rehabilitation and try to get back as much mobility as possible following your back injury. While you do that, allow a lawyer to handle every step of the legal process for you.