Getting a “good” settlement for our clients is one of our roles as lawyers. However, what’s “good” in one particular case or for one particular injury is not necessarily enough for another person’s case.
It is impossible to determine what a “good” settlement is for your case without analyzing the details of your accident, the injuries you faced, and the economic expenses tied to your injuries. For many, a cervical spine injury is going to cause substantial damages, from expensive medical care to potentially life-long disabilities that prevent you from working anymore. A good settlement will incorporate all of these damages, and our lawyers can help you determine whether the settlement offer in your case is good enough for you.
For a free case assessment, call Howe Law’s Tennessee personal injury lawyers at (844) 876-4357 today.
What Damages Should Be in a Good Settlement for a Spinal Injury in Tennessee?
The word “damages” is used to refer to both the harm you face as a victim of an accident and the payment you receive to pay you back for those damages. Whether you get them paid through a settlement or a jury award, the damages in a spinal injury case are often quite high and should cover all of the following expenses and areas of damages:
Damage to the cervical spine – the upper part of the spine – can include things like a broken neck, herniated discs, and other damage. Healing and repairing this damage often means X-rays, MRIs, and other imaging to get a look at what care is required, surgery to repair the injury, and months or even years of physical therapy and rehabilitation. In many cases, the injuries are permanent and require home nursing care and other care for the rest of the victim’s life.
All in all, the medical bills related to cervical spine injuries are often quite expensive and can literally bankrupt your family if you do not get them paid by the defendant in a fair settlement. However, getting the full value of these damages is essentially the bare minimum for a “good” settlement.
A good settlement will also include damages for any wages you lost or will lose going forward because of the spinal cord injury. If your injury kept you laid up in the hospital for weeks or months but left you with a good road to a full recovery, then you might face lost wages just for that limited time when you were unable to work. If you were instead left with permanent paralysis or quadriplegia/tetraplegia, then you could be out of work for the rest of your life.
Lifelong lost wages can be worth incredibly high damages, and how much you need in your settlement all depends on your actual, specific income. There are also other factors to take into account, such as your age, your other health conditions, and your potential for growth and promotions. For example, if before your injury you had promotions on the horizon, you will be losing a lot more than just your current salary projected through retirement age. The same is true of someone working a low-wage job to put themselves through medical school or law school; the lost potential future earnings will be much higher than your current earnings times 20 or 30 years.
Our Tennessee spinal injury attorneys can consult with industry experts and financial experts to find out what a fair settlement value is for your lost wages.
Pain and Suffering
Perhaps the highest area of damages in a good settlement for a cervical spine injury is pain and suffering damages. These damages are paid not to pay you back for expenses and lost money, but rather for the lost enjoyment of life, the physical pain you faced, the mental and emotional suffering of an accident, and the lost activities and abilities you face because of an injury.
With cervical spine injuries, there is often a lot to lose, as this injury commonly causes total paralysis below the neck. When this happens, your life is completely changed, and that results in very high pain and suffering damages. In severe cases, you can expect the pain and suffering to be fairly estimated as four or five times the total of your other economic damages.
Other Economic Damages
The other expenses and lost money that you face from an accident can also be reimbursed as part of your damages. This can include things like the cost of childcare, help around the house, transportation, and other expenses associated with recovering from an accident and dealing with the adaptations you now need. For example, if you become paralyzed because of your cervical spine injury, a good settlement should include damages for the cost of adapting your home to be more accessible for you (or perhaps the reasonable cost of finding a new home that is more accommodating).
What to Do if You Do Not Get a Fair Settlement Offer for a Cervical Spine Injury in Tennessee
If you were involved in a car crash or other accident and you have filed a claim with or been approached by the defendant’s insurance company, their initial settlement offer will likely be far too low to cover your needs. When the at-fault party or their insurance company offers you a bad settlement offer, it is important that you do not accept the offer!
Accepting a settlement offer usually means signing away your right to pursue further damages from that defendant and waiving any claims against them. You want to retain the right to go to court in case a good settlement cannot be reached.
Our lawyers can negotiate with the insurance companies and try to improve the settlement. If this still results in stonewalling or poor settlement offers, we can file your case in court and let a judge and jury decide what your case is worth rather than relying on the insurance company to pay what they owe you without a court order.
Call Our Tennessee Spinal Injury Lawyers Today
After an accident, call the Nashville personal injury lawyers at Howe Law by dialing (844) 876-4357.