Legal Concerns, Health Management, Legal Care Planing.
A back injury that was caused by accident by another person or party may allow you to obtain compensation from that party. As back injuries can range from sprains and strains to serious spinal cord injuries and even paralysis, the settlement value can vary widely. But there are some guidelines that do apply when assessing what the settlement value is of a back injury claim.
Compensable Damages and Value
Common compensation for a back injury claim has both economic and non-economic damages.
The first are economic compensatory damages or special damages. These are financial losses due to the money you had to spend or could not earn due to your injuries. Some of the compensatory damages in a claim for a back injury could be:
- Past and future medical costs: Vary based upon how severe your injuries are. For a herniated disc, the surgery will cost about $6000. X-rays, which are needed for even strains and sprains can run from $100 to $1000. Physical therapy can run $100 per one-hour session. In a case with a serious back and spine injury, future medical costs can be millions of dollars.
- Lost income: With a back injury claim, you are entitled to be compensated for lost income and any expected future loss of earning capacity. Lost wages will be determined by looking at your salary history and how much work you lost. Lost future income is determined with a complex formula that features an assessment of your projected wages and what impact your back injury will have on your ability to work.
The next type of damages are non-economic compensatory damages or general damages. These provide compensation for your non-monetary losses related to your back injury. These damages include:
- Pain and suffering: A multiplier is often used to make a guess of your pain and suffering damages. This means the economic compensatory number will be multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5. But in a very serious back injury case, the multiplier could be higher.
- Emotional distress: These damages could be assessed alone or as part of your pain and suffering.
- Loss of consortium: In a back injury case that is so severe that your loved one is deprived of a normal loving relationship and/or marital sex relationship, loss of consortium damages could be appropriate.
In a few circumstances, you may be awarded punitive damages in a back injury case. But there will need to be strong proof of action or inaction on the part of the defendant. Even then punitive damages usually are only awarded after the case has been through a full civil trial and the jury decides that punitive damages are in order.