How is a settlement amount determined for a back injury from a car accident?

Did you suffer a back injury in a car accident? To determine what your car accident back injury settlement amount might be, several factors need to be considered. 

It is easy to figure out the money that is needed to cover your medical costs and property damages. You just need to add up all of your receipts and present them to the other driver’s insurance company. 

But anyone with a major back injury knows you are dealing with much more than just medical bills and a damaged car. You also are enduring significant pain and suffering. How do you put a price tag on that? 

What Is Pain and Suffering? 

In a car accident lawsuit with a back injury, pain and suffering is the emotional distress and mental anguish that you have after the actions of the negligent party led to the car accident. Pain and suffering may be caused by: 

  • Physical pain and discomfort, whether it is permanent or temporary. 
  • Anxiety, memory loss, depression, insomnia, or other mental health issues
  • Physical limitations, such as inability to hug your children or play with them. 
  • Loss of consortium with your loved ones

The best and most accurate way to find out how much you may receive for a car back injury car accident settlement is to speak with a qualified car accident attorney in your area for a free, no-obligation and personalized review of your case.

How Pain and Suffering Is Calculated in a Car Accident Settlement

There are two ways that pain and suffering compensation can be determined for your back injury. 

The first is the per diem method. This method assigns a dollar value for a single day (usually based on your daily wages for a day), then multiplies it by the days that you were affected by the injury. This method is not often used today by insurance companies to calculate pain and suffering, but it is still in practice. 

The other way to determine pain and suffering is the multiple method. This is most often used by insurance companies to calculate pain and suffering. This calculation is made by adding up your economic damages and then multiplying them by a number from 1 to 5. 

The tricky part with the multiple method is figuring out whether your pain and suffering is worth a 1 or 5. You cannot just tell the insurance adjuster that your pain and suffering is worth a 5. You have to provide documentation and expert opinions that justify the multiplier you are claiming. 

The only time you can claim a 4 or 5 for your pain and suffering is if the back injury leaves you critically or permanently injured. For example, if the car accident caused spinal fractures that cause you daily pain and suffering permanently, you may be entitled to the maximum amount of pain and suffering compensation (5). But if your back injury involves only a sprain that left you in pain for a few weeks, you probably can only use a 1 or 2 as the multiplier. 

When a settlement is negotiated, most insurance adjusters will add a small amount on top of your economic damages to cover your pain and suffering. You should talk to your personal injury attorney to determine if the settlement is fair, or whether you want to push for more pain and suffering compensation. 

You can expect more compensation for pain and suffering for your back injury if it involves spinal cord damage, permanent disability, and/or inability to work.


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