How Much Is My Back Injury Worth in a Lawsuit? 

March 27, 2024 | Jarrett Blakeley
How Much Is My Back Injury Worth in a Lawsuit? 

Back injuries are as widespread as they are debilitating. They can strike from the blue, impacting everyday life, career, hobbies, and mental well-being. If you're grappling with the consequences of a back injury caused by another party's negligence or intentional act, you might be entitled to compensation with the help of Fort Lauderdale spinal cord injury lawyer. The burning question then lands: how much is your back injury worth in a lawsuit?

Quantifying the toll of your back injury in monetary terms can be daunting, especially while dealing with the pain and discomfort of the injury itself. Nevertheless, comprehending your injury's potential worth can offer a clearer understanding of the lawsuit process, empowering you to make informed decisions about your future. 

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The Causes and Consequences of Back Injuries

Male doctor holding x-ray report showing backbone.

Truly grasping the gravity of a back injury and its worth in a lawsuit means understanding what a back injury entails. For this, you need competent personal injury lawyers with experience handling back injury cases. 

Back injuries range from mild—such as sprains and strains—to severe, including herniated discs or fractured vertebrae. Back injuries can stem from numerous everyday scenarios and are especially common in motor vehicle accidents. It’s a somber reality that what starts as an ordinary day can turn into a collision with a negligent driver, severely injuring you. The force exerted in a car accident can cause direct trauma to the back or significant whiplash injuries, leading to ongoing pain, loss of mobility, and even chronic issues. 

Whatever the cause, these injuries often bring about physical distress and limitations, along with significant financial burdens. Tasks that were once taken for granted may become monumental challenges or entirely unachievable. The constant physical discomfort can give way to psychological distress, adding to the maelstrom of ways a back injury can disrupt your life.

Further, back injuries frequently mean an inability to work, leading to lost income and hefty medical expenses from treatments, rehabilitation therapy, and even surgery. The economic and non-economic consequences of a back injury are extensive and impactful.

What Kind of Back Injuries Are Worth Filing a Lawsuit for?

Every back injury affects people differently, so no two injuries are the same. If you suffered a back injury due to another person or entity's negligence, it merits considering a lawsuit. Cases can range from less severe injuries such as sprains and strains, which still require treatment and possibly time off work, to significant injuries like herniated discs or spinal cord damage, which can have life-altering effects. The foundation for pursuing a lawsuit lies in determining if another party's reckless or intentional actions directly led to your injury.

Types of Damages in a Back Injury Lawsuit

When you file a lawsuit for a back injury, you're essentially seeking compensation, also known as damages, for the losses you've suffered because of the injury. The purpose of damages is to return you, as much as possible, to the position you were in before the injury. In severe cases, those who suffer a back injury may never return to being the same as before. In these situations, claimants often recover much higher settlements to compensate for greater losses. 

How Much Is the Average Back Injury Settlement? 

There is no simple answer to this question, and anyone who tells you otherwise without knowing the full details of your case may not be giving you the whole truth. Every back injury is unique, as is every claim. However, the law proposes broad categories for damages—economic and non-economic. Economic damages relate to your direct, out-of-pocket expenses, while non-economic damages cover more subjective harms, like psychological distress and lifestyle alterations.

Additionally, the severity and permanency of the back injury can strongly influence the value of your damages. A severe spinal fracture with long-lasting consequences, for instance, will likely command higher compensation than a lower back strain that recovers with minor physiotherapy.

Economic Damages in Back Injury Cases

If damages are the monetary representation of your losses, economic damages are the exact dollar amount of the financial losses you've incurred due to your back injury. These losses can be calculated and demonstrated fairly accurately, as they leave a financial paper trail in their wake. The main elements of economic damages typically include medical expenses, lost income, and earning capacity.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses form a substantial part of economic damages. Back injuries can amass significant medical bills, from immediate emergency care and surgeries to ongoing treatments, physiotherapy, and medications. Moreover, the severity of the injury can clue in on expected future medical costs necessary for recovery.

Lost Income and Loss of Earning Capacity 

Back injuries can significantly affect your ability to work, resulting in actual lost income and potential future earning capacity. Calculating this aspect of damages considers a range of factors, such as your work history, career trajectory, age, and the extent of the injury.

Economic damages will differ for each individual—the goal is to ensure you're adequately reimbursed for the tangible costs tied to your back injury. Therefore, having an attorney who understands these damages and their calculation intimately can provide a clear forecast of at least part of your potential compensation. 

Non-Economic Damages in Back Injury Cases

If economic damages give a dollar value to your financial losses, non-economic damages delve deeper into your back injury's less tangible, more subjective losses. This category of damages looks beyond numbers and receipts to gauge the emotional distress and dramatic life changes you and your loved ones have been through. Two main areas of non-economic damages in a personal injury claim are pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

Pain and Suffering

This extends beyond physical pain—it deals with the emotional distress, mental anguish, and psychological impacts resulting from your back injury. Your medical records, testimonies, and healthcare professionals' input play a significant role in evaluating this often most substantial component of non-economic damages.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

A back injury can dramatically alter the quality of your life—limiting the activities you can participate in or even stripping you of enjoying routine tasks. This damage quantifies the loss of enjoyment or reduction in your quality of life due to the back injury, and can significantly add to your lawsuit's worth.

Gauging non-economic damages can be like catching smoke—it's difficult to measure and intensely personal. But being personal doesn't mean it can't be part of your compensation. An experienced attorney will work to estimate the value of your non-economic losses and make a compelling case around the full scope of your damages. 

From demonstrable distress to dramatically altered lifestyles, recognizing, validating, and attributing value to these damages is part and parcel of upholding the worth of your back injury in your lawsuit. This is a challenging process, but with a seasoned attorney by your side, you can be confident that you’re getting the compensation you deserve when all is said and done. 

How an Attorney Can Help Determine Your Injury’s Worth

You might be wondering, "How exactly does an attorney calculate these damages?" A personal injury lawyer, such as those at Blakeley Law Firm, uses a multipronged approach to examine every avenue for recoverable damages thoroughly:

  • An attorney will review your medical records and bills and consult medical professionals to establish the amount of both past and anticipated future medical expenses. This evaluation looks at hospital visits, the cost of surgeries, physical therapy, medication, assistive devices, modifications to your home or vehicle, and more.
  • To evaluate lost income, your attorney might look at your payroll history, discuss your job duties and remuneration with your employer, and understand the time you had to take off due to the injury. For potential loss of future earnings, they may consult vocational experts and factor in your age, skills, education, and the severity of the injury.
  • Non-economic damages hinge heavily on your personal testimony. Your attorney will discuss your pain levels, how your daily life has been affected, what activities you can no longer enjoy, and the mental anguish the accident has caused. Such details, coupled with testimonies from your family, friends, and professionals like psychologists, provide invaluable insight into your loss of enjoyment of life and your pain and suffering.

Remember, this process is not about putting a price tag on your suffering – it's about holding responsible parties accountable and ensuring that you receive just compensation to support your recovery and future. It's complex, and every stone must be overturned for a comprehensive and fair evaluation, which is why you need a seasoned attorney who knows every nook and cranny of this process. 

How Long After My Back Injury Do I Have to File a Lawsuit? 

Man suffering back injury during work.

The time limit to file a lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations, is state-dependent. In Florida, this time frame is generally two years. However, specific circumstances may alter this timeline. For instance, if the injury was not immediately apparent, the clock might start ticking from the date you discovered or reasonably should have discovered the injury. Because the nuances can significantly affect your claim, you should discuss this with an attorney as soon as possible after your injury.

Will My Back Injury Claim Go to Trial? 

It's a common misconception that all lawsuits culminate in a courtroom drama. Most personal injury cases, including back injury lawsuits, are settled outside the courtroom. Settlements occur when both parties negotiate and agree on compensation, often with help from mediators or negotiation professionals. The case may go to trial if a settlement can't be achieved or the defendant contests liability. However, trials are more time-consuming, costly, and uncertain, so the goal is typically to negotiate a fair settlement without court intervention. 

In either case, the skilled personal injury attorneys at Blakeley Law Firm are prepared to do what it takes to make sure you’re fairly compensated. While we pride ourselves in our negotiation skills, we’re also not afraid to take your case to court and argue on your behalf, if necessary. 

Do I Need an Attorney for a Back Injury Claim?

Yes, you do. An experienced personal injury attorney is well-versed in the complexities of the law, proficient in negotiating with large insurance companies, and has comprehensive knowledge to evaluate your damages accurately. They will strive to ensure you receive fair compensation covering all your losses.

At Blakeley Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys work on a 'contingency fee basis,' which means we only charge fees if we secure a recovery for you. This makes hiring an attorney not only beneficial but affordable. 

Suffering a back injury due to another party's negligence or intentional act is a travesty that requires acknowledgement, legal reparation, and justice. Our attorneys are here to offer this and more to you in your time of need. Contact us or call 800-602-5000 today to find out more about how we can help you. 

Jarrett Blakeley

Firm founder Jarrett Blakeley fights to get maximum compensation for all of Blakeley Law Firm’s clients. He has been practicing law since 2006 and takes great pride in representing the rights of injured individuals against the insurance companies and the law firms that represent them. He has successfully represented thousands of clients and recovered tens of millions of dollars on their behalf. Mr. Blakeley strives to give all of his clients personal attention and maximum effort and seeks to instill a firm culture that prioritizes customer service and compassion for the injured over all else. Fighting for the injured is Jarrett Blakeley’s greatest passion and he looks forward to fighting for the injured for the rest of his career.

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