You were just in a car accident, and now you’re dealing with neck pain. Maybe it’s whiplash or a cervical strain. Whatever the diagnosis, you’re wondering: how much is my neck injury claim worth? As you navigate the tricky process of filing an injury claim and negotiating with insurance companies after a crash, getting insight into the value of neck injuries can help you seek fair compensation.
In this article, we’ll explore what influences neck injury claim payouts in Florida. You’ll discover the average settlement range for common cervical spine injuries from auto collisions. We’ll also provide tips to strengthen your claim and maximize your neck injury settlement after an accident. Let’s dive into the details.
Understanding Neck Injuries From Car Accidents
Neck injuries are common after car accidents, especially rear-end collisions. Even minor fender benders can cause damage due to the force and whiplash effect on the neck. The neck supports the head and allows it to move so that any injury can be painful and debilitating.
Some signs of a neck injury include:
- Neck pain, stiffness, or soreness: Dull ache, sharp pain, difficulty moving head from side to side or up and down.
- Headaches: Especially pain at the base of the skull. Headaches are a common symptom of whiplash.
- Muscle spasms: Involuntary muscle contractions in the neck.
- Numbness or tingling: In the neck, shoulders, arms, or fingers. It can indicate nerve damage or a pinched nerve.
- Reduced range of motion: Trouble turning head as far as normal or difficulty holding head in certain positions.
The severity of a neck injury can range from mild soft tissue damage to more severe injuries like herniated discs, pinched nerves, or even fractures. Diagnosing the injury typically starts with imaging scans like X-rays, CT, or MRI. These show the doctor exactly what areas are affected so they can determine the best treatment plan.
Common Neck Injuries Suffered in Auto Collisions
One of the most common injuries in a car accident is whiplash. This occurs when your head is suddenly jerked back and forth, causing damage to the soft tissues in your neck. Whiplash can range from mild to severe, causing pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion.
More severe cases may require physical therapy, medication, or even surgery to correct. The average settlement for a whiplash injury can range from $2,500 to $30,000, depending on the severity. Other common neck injuries from car accidents include:
- Cervical strain: Damage to the muscles and tendons in the neck. It can cause pain, muscle spasms, and difficulty moving your head. Typically settles for $2,500 to $10,000.
- Herniated disc: The gel-like center of a spinal disc pushes through a tear in the disc’s outer layer. It can compress nearby nerves and cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the neck, shoulders, and arms. Settlements tend to be on the higher end, from $10,000 up to $50,000 or more for a herniated disc requiring surgery.
- Brachial plexus injuries: Damage to the bundle of nerves that sends signals from your spine to your arms and hands. It can cause loss of movement or feeling in the shoulders, arms, and hands. These are serious injuries that often warrant larger settlements of $30,000-$100,000 or more.
- Fractured vertebrae: Broken bones in the cervical spine. Requires immediate medical attention and often surgical stabilization and immobilization of the neck. Settlements for fractured vertebrae typically start around $50,000 and can exceed $200,000 depending on the severity of the injuries.
Factors That Determine Neck Injury Claim Value
The value of your neck injury claim depends on several factors. Insurance companies determine how much your claim is worth based on the severity of your injury, the treatment required, and how much it impacts your life.
Severity of Injury
More severe injuries like fractures, disc herniations, and pinched nerves typically have higher settlement values. Minor soft tissue injuries like whiplash tend to be on the lower end of the range. The insurance company will review your medical records and bills to determine the severity.
Type of Treatment
The amount and type of medical treatment you receive also determines your claim value. Visits to emergency rooms, surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists, and other specialists indicate the extent of your injuries. Diagnostic tests like MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays provide evidence to support your injury claim.
Time Out of Work
If your injury caused you to miss work, the insurance company will factor your lost wages into the settlement amount. Be prepared to provide records showing the specific dates you missed and your typical earnings. Lost time can significantly impact the overall value of your claim.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to economic damages like medical bills and lost wages, neck injury claims typically include compensation for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Things like difficulty sleeping, limitations in activities, and mental anguish can increase the pain and suffering portion of your settlement. The more severe and long-lasting your pain, the higher the amount.
Insurance companies also consider the possibility of litigation when determining an offer. If it appears you have a strong case and are fully prepared to file a lawsuit, the insurer may offer a higher amount to avoid the cost and risk of going to court. Your willingness to negotiate in good faith also plays a role.
Calculating the Average Settlement for a Neck Injury
When you suffer a neck injury in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The amount will depend on the severity of your injury. Insurance companies determine settlement amounts based on the type of neck injury, length of recovery, cost of medical bills, and other factors.
The most common neck injuries from car accidents are:
- Whiplash: Whiplash, also known as neck strain, causes pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Mild to moderate whiplash typically settles for $2,500 to $10,000. Severe whiplash with chronic pain can settle for $15,000 to $30,000 or more.
- Herniated disc: A ruptured or slipped disc in the neck often requires surgery and physical therapy. Settlements range from $30,000 to $75,000 on average.
- Fracture: Broken bones in the neck usually lead to the highest settlements, from $50,000 up to $100,000 or more, for multiple fractures that require surgery and long-term rehabilitation.
Other factors that determine your settlement amount include:
- Your age and occupation. Younger or professionally employed claimants typically receive higher settlements.
- Cost of medical bills. The higher your bills, the higher the settlement. Save all records of doctor visits, physical therapy, medication, and other expenses.
- Duration of symptoms. Longer-lasting pain and suffering warrant higher compensation. Neck injuries that cause permanent impairment or disability increase the settlement amount.
- Loss of normal activities. If your injury prevents you from your usual recreational or work activities, you can claim damages for loss of enjoyment of life. This can significantly impact your total settlement.
- Liability and fault. The more clearly the other driver is at fault, the stronger your case. Police reports, photos, and eyewitness statements help establish liability.
Reach Out To an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Serving Palm Beach Gardens
If you’ve been in a car accident and suffered a neck injury, you may be wondering what your claim could be worth. The truth is, there’s no set amount for any specific neck injury. The value of your claim depends on the severity of your injury and how it has impacted your life.
The best way to determine what your neck injury claim may be worth is to consult an experienced Palm Beach Gardens – personal injury attorney. At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we have been helping accident victims in Palm Beach Gardens and throughout Florida. We will evaluate your case, determine appropriate compensation, and fight to get you the maximum settlement you deserve. Don’t delay—call us today at (561) 800-8000 for a free consultation. We understand the importance of your case and will make it a top priority.