Neck and back injuries from car accidents can be debilitating, and many plaintiffs experience long-term complications. The average settlement for such injuries is difficult to ascertain because each case is unique.
A typical settlement for neck and back injuries sustained in a car accident can be significant. If the injuries are severe and debilitating long-term complications, damages are likely to be higher. The damages in your case should encompass special and general damages, which might be a direct or consequential result of the accident. Punitive damages might also be available depending on the defendant’s behavior during the accident, making your overall damages calculations very high. To understand how your case stacks up against a typical settlement, we need to assess factors that might increase or decrease our damages calculations.
A settlement for neck and back injuries from a car accident might vary greatly, depending on the circumstances. Our Georgia car accident lawyers can help you fight for the most compensation possible. For a free case review, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
Typical Settlements for Neck and Back Injuries in Georgia Car Accident Cases
Exactly what a typical settlement for neck and back injuries looks like varies greatly depending on the circumstances. While the severity of the injuries is a significant factor in settlements, it is not the only consideration. The defendant’s behavior, the strength of your evidence, and your behavior must also be considered.
Neck and back injuries might have debilitating consequences for plaintiffs, and damages can be significant in some cases. For example, car accident victims with neck and back injuries might experience limited mobility, chronic pain, and paralysis in severe cases. They might also be hindered from returning to work and lose valuable income.
Damages in car accident cases, economic and non-economic, are not capped. As such, your damages might be very high, and the court will usually not reduce them, barring special circumstances.
Evaluating Damages for a Car Accident Settlement for Neck and Back Injuries in Georgia
Special damages pertain to monetary losses, like medical bills or the lost income from being too injured to return to work. General damages involve non-economic losses or injuries (e.g., pain, suffering, humiliation) that are not necessarily related to a monetary cost. In cases where the defendant’s behavior was especially shocking, punitive damage might be available. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers can help you assess these damages and negotiate the best settlement possible.
Special and General Damages
Special damages for neck and back injuries in car accident cases can be very high, especially if the plaintiff experiences long-term medical complications. For example, many plaintiffs need surgery to treat their injuries, sometimes multiple surgeries. Physical therapy, pain medication, and other treatments might also be necessary. Since medical treatment is notoriously expensive, these damages can add to a significant sum. The more severe your injuries and the more medical treatment you need, the greater your settlement should be.
Physical pain, emotional anguish, humiliation, and other painful experiences are considered general damages. These damages are often unconnected to a price or value. Instead, they are evaluated based on how they impact the plaintiff’s life. For example, an injured plaintiff enduring chronic pain because of their neck and back injuries might claim high general damages for their pain and suffering. Severe general damages that take an enormous toll on your life often warrant greater compensation in a settlement.
Punitive Damages, under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-501,g are designed to punish defendants rather than compensate plaintiffs. To be awarded punitive damages, you must establish by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s behavior in the car accident amounts to malice, fraud, oppression, wantonness, willful misconduct, or a lack of care that leads the court to presume conscious indifference to consequences.
In many injury cases, punitive damages are capped at $250,000. However, if the defendant in your car accident was under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, there might be no cap on punitive damages. Regardless, 75% of punitive damages awarded in Georgia are paid into the state treasury, with the remaining going to the plaintiff.
If punitive damages are a possibility in your case, our Biloxi car accident lawyers can help you use this to leverage a greater settlement. Punitive damages can be large, especially if there is no cap. The defendant might be eager to avoid paying punitive damages and agree to a much more generous settlement.
Factors That Influence Damages for Neck and Back Injuries in Georgia Car Accident Lawsuits
When negotiating a settlement for neck and back injuries, it is important to consider factors that might increase or decrease your settlement. Effective negotiation tactics can help our Georgia car accident attorneys get you a good settlement.
Factors that might increase your overall settlement include the severity of your injuries and the defendant’s behavior. As discussed before, severe injuries lead to expensive damages, and expensive damages tend to warrant greater settlements. On top of that, if the defendant’s behavior would allow us to pursue punitive damages, we can argue for more compensation.
We also need to consider how your injuries affect your life and whether they present any long-term complications. While most neck and back injuries are very painful, your settlement might be greater if the pain is chronic or creates other problems. If the pain prevents you from returning to work or enjoying hobbies you once loved, we might convince the defendant to agree to a bigger settlement.
In many cases, defendants will claim the plaintiff’s contributory negligence helped cause the accident and their injuries. Contributory negligence might be anything you allegedly did that helped to cause the accident, and the defendant might use this to justify a lower settlement. If the defendant does not have sufficient evidence to back up their claims of contributory negligence, we might prevent your settlement from being reduced.
While some damages directly result from the accident, other damages might be consequential and dependent on other circumstances. Consequential damages might still be compensated if they are too remote. The rule for ascertaining remoteness, found under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-9, holds that damages might be too remote to warrant compensation if they are not the legal and natural consequences of the accident, even if we can trace them to the accident. The more closely connected your damages are to the car accident, the stronger your claims for compensation, and the greater your settlement should be.
Contact Our Georgia Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Evaluation
If you sustained neck and back injuries in a car accident, your settlement might be significant depending on the circumstances. Our Clarksville car accident lawyers can help you assess your damages and fight for the compensation you deserve. For a free case review, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
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