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Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Back Pain

back injury

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Back pain is common in people who have sustained back injuries in a motor vehicle crash or a bad fall. The injuries can range from strains and sprains, which can heal within days, to herniated discs and even spinal cord injuries, which can result in partial or full-blown paralysis. The pain associated with back injuries can last many years and lead to other problems.

How to File a Personal Injury Claim

Since back injuries will start adding up costs in the form of medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and other expenses, you should talk to personal injury attorneys about filing a claim. You can file a personal injury claim against the responsible person and his/her insurance company as long as he/she is partially or wholly responsible for causing your back injuries.

Filing a personal injury claim is not that complicated. In most states, it simply involves filling out an online form such as this form and paying the filing fee. However, there may be other rules specific to your city or state. Your attorney will should know the rules and file your claim correctly. The difficult part is estimating the value of your claim.

Once the value of your claim is estimated, your lawyer requests the defendant’s insurance company for a settlement. If the insurance company agrees to the request but disputes the amount, then the lawyer will negotiate the amount. If the company refuses to give you compensation, then the lawyers will take the matter to court.

Documenting Your Injuries

The first thing you need to do if you wish to file a personal injury claim is to get your injuries diagnosed and documented. Your attorney will present your medical report to the responsible person’s insurance company when requesting a settlement or present it in the court of law if an amicable settlement cannot be reached.

Estimating the Value of Your Claim

Compensation for back injury claims typically includes economic as well as non-economic damages which are usually grouped together as ‘compensatory damages’.

Economic damages include past and future medical bills, lost wages, and lost future income.

  • Past and Future Medical Bills: These are determined by the severity of your injuries. They include the costs of ambulance, transportation hospital stay, medications, rehabilitation, x-rays and other tests, physical therapy, and surgeries. For patients not covered by insurance, the cost of herniated surgery can range from $20,000 to $50,000, and the cost of spinal cord surgery can range from $50,000 to $150,000 depending upon the type of surgery.
  • Lost Wages: These are calculated by examining your employment and salary history and the amount of work you have missed, including vacation time and sick time.
  • Lost Future Income: This is calculated by using a complex formula that makes use of an assessment of your projected earnings and the impact of your injuries on your ability to perform any kind of income-generating work.

Non-economic damages include pain and suffering and emotional distress.

  • Pain and Suffering: The monetary value of pain and suffering is calculated using a pain multiplier, which derives the value by multiplying your economic compensatory damages by a set number that ranges from 1.5 to 5.
  • Emotional Distress: If the injury has had adverse psychological impact on your daily life, then you may include emotional distress in your claim.

You may also file a claim for punitive damages if you can prove that the defendant knowingly or intentionally caused the accident.

Other factors that may affect the value of your claim include comparative/contributory negligence (the percentage of your responsibility) and failure to mitigate your damages (i.e. failure to take reasonable actions to lessen your damages, which is required by law). In order to be able to file a claim, the other party must be at least 50% guilty. The percentage of guilt is reflected in the settlement. For example, if you are found to be 40% guilty, then 40% will be deducted from the settlement.

Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Fight for You

Filing a personal injury claim for back pain can get complicated, especially if the defendant refuses to accept responsibility or if the defendant’s insurance company plays hard to get. This is why you should hire skilled and experienced personal injury attorneys who know where to go to and who to talk to.

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