Victims of car accidents may suffer from neck injuries. When the car suddenly stops, your head has the tendency to move backward. Your neck stretches beyond its normal range, causing damage to its ligaments and muscles. Or the impact can tear the hard exterior of the discs on your neck and make a “jelly-like” substance to come out. The injury can irritate the nerves near the affected area and cause pain, weakness, or numbness in the arms and legs. If you suffer from these symptoms, you can file a personal injury claim.
Factors that Affect a Neck Injury Claim
Your insurer will consider several factors in making an estimate of the amount of the damages. First, he will determine the nature and seriousness of the injury. You may suffer from a simple sprain and strain, a whiplash, or fractures. Damage to bones is worth more than the damage to soft tissues. Another factor to consider is the kind of medical treatment that your doctor would recommend. A treatment that will require a brace will have less value than one that will involve surgery. If a chiropractor treats you, the compensation is lower than when a physician takes care of your injuries.
Making an estimate of the actual compensation is quite difficult. When you bring the case to trial, the jury will make the final decision as to the amount that you will receive. However, medical bills payments are easy to determine because you have your receipts. You can estimate the lost wages and income that you must recover based on your payroll. The rest will depend on the decision of the jury.
How Your Injured Neck Affects Your Claim
How the injury to your neck affects your lifestyle has some bearing on your claim. If you play the violin, you will get higher compensation than those who do not use their neck for their hobby or profession. When you have had a neck injury prior to the accident, your claim can be reduced. Although the accident might not have directly caused the injury, it might have worsened it.
Here are some of the actual settlements for neck injuries. If your disc had swelled and needed surgery, you could get as high as $100,000 settlement. When the accident aggravated a pre-existing injury, you could receive as high as $250,000. If you would need a cervical fusion surgery after a car accident, you could claim as high as $537,000 for damages.
When to File a Case
You will be required to present proof that the accident caused the injury. You will need the medical report, x-ray results, doctor’s diagnosis, proof of treatment and that the doctor recommended it. If you cannot produce such documents, the value of your claim will go down. Perhaps, you will find gathering all the papers difficult. To have a better chance of winning in court, you must hire a personal injury lawyer to prepare them and present them to the court. You will have a good chance of being awarded full compensation. If you cannot do this, you might just have to accept whatever settlement the defendant will offer.