Are you entitled to a car accident neck injury settlement? If you are in a car accident and suffer a neck injury, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. This page discusses car accident neck injuries, settlements, case examples, and more.
Many people wonder: What are the most common car accident neck injuries? Some attorneys say they are herniated discs and bulging discs. Whiplash is also common.
A herniated disc is a severe spinal injury. The disc in your spine ruptures in an accident. When it bursts, the liquid in the disc leaks and irritates the spinal nerves. A bulging disc is another type of severe spinal injury. When a car accident damages a spinal disc, it may bulge into the spinal canal. A bulging disc can lead to a lot of pain.
Later in this article, we detail some real car accident neck injury settlements involving herniated and bulging discs and whiplash.
How much is your car accident injury claim worth?
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
What Affects My Car Accident Neck Injury Settlement?
Type of Injury
The neck and back contain nerves, muscles, bones, ligaments, and other tissues. During a car wreck, your body undergoes intense acceleration and deceleration. These motions can cause severe neck injuries.
The most common neck and back injuries are:
Herniated discs: When the disc between the vertebrae tears, the jelly inside may press on the neck and back nerves. This causes terrible pain. Some herniated discs heal without intervention, but others need surgery and other treatments.
Bulging disc: The disc between the vertebrae is dislodged and pushes against the spinal cord, causing intense pain.
Spinalcord injury: Damage to the vertebrae can impinge on the spinal cord. This can cause partial or total paralysis.
Broken vertebrae: Car accident forces can fracture or shatter vertebrae. They may need a spinal fusion, therapy, medication, and other treatments.
Whiplash: This occurs when the head is whipped back and forth in a crash, damaging ligaments and tendons.
Pinched nerves: A neck injury can pinch nerves that are connected to the spinal cord. This injury can cause pain, weakness, and numbness in one or more limbs.
Need For Medical Care
After a car accident, you may need a lot of medical care for your neck injury, including:
X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans
Neck surgery, such as fusions
Steroid injections to reduce pain and swelling
All of this medical care is expensive. If you have surgery, your settlement should rise dramatically.
How quickly can you go back to work? Many people with a neck injury struggle when they return to work. For example, a herniated disc may make it hard for you to lower and turn your head, which makes many activities at work difficult.
Your personal injury attorney will determine how a neck injury affects your wages over the coming weeks, months, or years. Your car accident neck injury settlement will help you stay afloat as your recover. It may also recoup lost wages due to your neck injury.
How much insurance coverage is available? If it is a regular accident, the insurance coverage may be limited to $25,000, $50,000, or $100,000. However, if the driver is working at the time of the accident, his employer must carry more insurance coverage.
Who is at fault? If the other driver is 100% liable, your settlement could be higher. If you share liability, your settlement will be lower. Your attorney’s quality is often critical because if liability is questionable, the insurance company will do everything it can to blame you.
Bulging and Herniated Disc Injuries
The most commonly injured vertebrae are C4-C5 and C5-C6. A C4-C5 injury usually leads to pain and weakness in the shoulders. A herniated disc in this part of the neck can lead to nerve root impingement. When those nerves are pressed, muscles may weaken.
That weakness does not usually lead to numbness and tingling, however. A C4-C5 case often has more value if the patient has a job that is physically demanding. An excellent personal injury attorney should be able to obtain substantial compensation for a muscle weakness injury.
A C5-C6 injury may cause tingling, numbness, and pain down to the victim’s thumb. Other signs can be bicep weakness. With this injury, the insurance company may try to minimize injuries by talking about the range of motion or Spurling tests.
Also, know that your MRI results are vital to the value of your neck injury claim. Your attorney and the insurance company will probably spend hours debating about your MRI. If the MRI indicates a pre-existing injury, the insurance company will argue your pain is unrelated to the crash.
However, a crash victim can have a pre-existing herniated disc with no pain that becomes painful after a car accident. If you, your doctor, and attorney can prove you had no pain before and have pain now, you are in a strong position in a neck injury lawsuit.
If you are wondering what your bulging or herniated disc injury might be worth, here are some real-world settlements below.
For the most part, neck injury settlements tend to be in the range of $10,000 to $100,000. But more severe cases can run into the hundreds of thousands or millions. Surgery almost always increases the neck injury settlement amount.
Another attorney reports the average verdict for a herniated disc is $360,000. That number almost certainly involves neck surgery in a vast amount of cases.
Talk to an attorney listed at the Lawsuit Info Center if you want more information about your neck injury case.
$441,000 Herniated Disc Settlement
A head-on car crash caused a driver’s herniated disc in the neck and lower back. The careless driver had no insurance. He also suffered a spinal bruise and erectile dysfunction.
The injured driver sued his uninsured motorist insurance company, Nationwide. The case settled for $441,000, with $210,000 for pain and suffering.
$100,000 Neck Injury Settlement
A woman was hit by a car near Miami Beach. She told the doctor that the accident aggravated her pre-existing bulging discs at C3-4 and C5-6. The woman also suffered a back injury and a broken nose.
The driver was at fault, and the woman received a $100,000 bodily injury payment from GEICO.
$100,000 Herniated Disc Settlement
A driver ran his car into a tractor-trailer. The big rig cut him off and caused the wreck. The truck had $750,000 of liability coverage.
The personal injury attorney argued the trucker caused the crash because he did not yield right of way when making a left turn. The client also had the green light, and a witness signed an affidavit that the trucker caused the wreck.
The client’s car was totaled. It is easier to convince an insurance company that a car wreck caused a herniated disc if the car damage is terrible. This is even more true when the injured party is 40-years old and claims the accident caused his herniated disc.
That is because many doctors say middle-aged people have herniated discs and do not know it. Suppose you are older and have a neck or back injury. In that case, it is critical to have an excellent personal injury attorney in your corner, so the insurance company cannot argue you had a pre-existing condition.
$95,000 Neck Injury Settlement
A driver hit a car in Florida. The careless driver was drunk. The client suffered a herniated disc.
The doctor recommended surgery, but the client did not want it. The client did not miss any work.
DUI cases are worth more than where the liable driver was just careless. That is because the jury can provide punitive damages. Jurors also tend to be angry at drunk drivers and award higher settlements.
$70,000 Lyft Passenger Settlement For Neck Injuries
A Lyft car passenger suffered a neck injury when another driver hit his vehicle. The passenger said the crash caused his neck injury. GEICO provided the other driver’s insurance and paid $25,000 in bodily injury coverage to settle the matter.
Also, the Lyft driver’s vehicle had underinsured motorist coverage. The insurance company paid $45,000 to settle the claim.
$70,000 Pedestrian Neck Injury Settlement
A car hit a pedestrian and caused herniated discs, a broken leg, and a fractured hip. The woman said the driver did not slow down when she took a hose out of the street.
The personal injury attorney argued the driver was negligent for hitting the woman. However, the police report blamed the pedestrian for the accident.
But the woman claimed there was no traffic and it was full daylight. She also argued the driver was speeding. The driver was a 17-year old.
In the end, the insurance company settled the case for $70,000.
$39,000 Neck Pain Settlement
A driver ran a stop sign and hit a man in a pickup truck. The injured man claimed the accident made his herniated discs worse. He needed steroid injections to reduce his pain.
His personal injury attorney showed the insurance companies that the man had neck and back pain before the crash and received treatment. GEICO paid $20,000, and another company paid $19,000.
More Information About Whiplash
One of the most serious problems after neck injuries in a car accident is whiplash. The pain from whiplash can persist for months in the worst cases and can lead to other complications. Below is more information about whiplash.
This is the most frequent soft tissue damage that happens in car accidents. It is often improperly treated and may even be overlooked by medical professionals. Some doctors may diagnose whiplash as a strain or sprain of the neck. But a neck sprain or strain may not fully address the symptoms you experience.
Whiplash associated disorders may refer to a more chronic condition that can cause serious emotional and mental trauma, as well as back and head pain that interferes with daily life.
Severe whiplash can cause damage to the cervical, thoracic or lumbar areas, and even paralysis.
Whiplash is often due to a rear end accident, and can result in a significant neck pain settlement.
Whiplash is a soft tissue neck injury. Whiplash happens from the head whipping back and forth during a car crash, leading to ligament and tendon damage. This may be considered a ‘minor’ injury by some insurance companies, but whiplash can be very painful.
How much is a typical whiplash settlement? Some attorneys say a mild or moderate settlement ranges from $2500 to $10,000. If there is long-term pain and/or nerve injuries, the settlement might be around $30,000.
Other attorneys note that whiplash injuries must be permanent to get pain and suffering compensation.
Also, whiplash cases often depend on the property damage involved. Whiplash injuries are invisible on X-rays, so the insurance company wants to see severe vehicle damage to ensure that you have a neck injury.
Further, the sooner you complain about neck pain after an accident, the stronger your legal case. Your doctors can say the neck injury is due to the car accident.
Below is a whiplash settlement example.
$20,000 Whiplash Settlement
A driver ran a stop sign. He hit another driver in a truck from behind. The injured driver’s vehicle flipped over several times. Liability was clear, and there was no comparative negligence on the injured driver.
The injured man suffered a head injury when the truck rolled. He also suffered neck injuries and to his left shoulder and leg.
He went to a spine and rehab center in South Florida for evaluation a few days after the accident. He suffered from radiating pain in his mid-back and neck. His pain level was 9 out of 10. Bending and twisting his body and turning the head made his pain worse.
The exam showed he had less range of motion in the spine and muscle spasms in the spine. He also had a cervical neck strain and sprain, a thoracic strain and injury, and neck contracture.
There was only $10,000 of coverage for bodily injury on the careless driver’s insurance and $10,000 on the injured driver’s uninsured driver coverage. The case settled for $20,000.
Is It Harder to Get Compensation for Neck Pain Than Fracture?
Sometimes it is more difficult to get pain and suffering compensation for a neck injury than a broken bone, such as a fractured knee or wrist. Why? You must prove the crash caused your neck pain.
Some doctors say neck pain is unrelated to the car accident. They also may say long-term neck pain is not related to a crash. However, most physicians agree that a collision will cause a bone fracture. It is worth seeing a doctor and speaking to a lawyer if you believe that you are entitled to car accident neck injury settlements.
What If The Neck Injury Is In a Lyft or Uber Crash?
The significant difference is that Lyft and Uber have more insurance coverage. In many of these accidents, you can get more compensation for pain and suffering, especially if you need neck or back surgery.
Is Neck Pain or a Broken Bone Worth More?
A broken bone usually results in a higher settlement than neck pain. So, a broken arm or leg usually has a higher case value than a sore neck.
This is because a broken bone is visible on diagnostic scans, such as X-rays. Many neck injuries are invisible on X-rays and CT scans. Also, some injured parties have neck pain that is not caused by a car accident.
Car Accident Neck Injury Settlement Calculator:
Have you been involved in a motor vehicle accident causing a Neck injury? Find out how much financial compensation you may be legally entitled to in just minutes with our free online Neck Injury Settlement Calculator.
The Importance of Retaining an Experienced Neck Injury Attorney
If you want to file a neck injury claim after a car accident, it is important to select the appropriate attorney. Neck injuries, especially whiplash, can be challenging to prove. Tears, sprains and other soft tissue injuries are not visible on x-rays. Further, many medical professionals do not have a complete understanding of how whiplash pain can seriously affect your ability to live and work. Therefore, it is imperative to locate an experienced and appropriately qualified personal injury attorney in your area who has won large settlements for neck accident victims.
For many personal injury claims, pain and suffering compensation is often less than $15,000. However, the severity of the injury is a massive factor, and if there is surgery, compensation rises quickly.