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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Average Settlement for Back Injury TN (Tennessee) Victims Can Win

When a person is involved in a car accident, one of the worst types of injuries they can suffer is a back and neck injury. Even in cases where the impact does not seem severe, the whiplash effect can still result in serious back and neck injuries.


Victims will sometimes need to undergo extensive medical treatment that includes physical therapy and, in the worst cases, surgery. As such, the medical bills can be quite high.


This, on top of the lost wages, pain, and suffering that the victim experiences, makes serious back injuries have some of the highest settlement values in personal injury claims.


However, having suffered spinal injuries caused by someone else's negligence is not a guarantee that a victim will walk away with a huge back injury settlement offer. Many factors need to be considered which may greatly impact the settlement value.


This is why victims of back and neck injuries need to have an experienced personal injury attorney by their side when seeking compensation. The expertise of aggressive injury attorneys in Nashville can be the difference between receiving a huge personal injury settlement offer or walking away with nothing.


In Nashville, TN, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is one of the top-rated law firms with an extensive track record of winning back injury settlement offers for its clients. Victims who have suffered neck, back, and spinal cord injuries can call +1 615-314-4505 right now to schedule a free consultation. They can also advise on the average settlement for concussion TN.


National Back Injury Settlement Statistics

National Back Injury Settlement Statistics


While neck and back injuries usually result in some of the highest settlement amounts throughout the US, there is a significant difference in the average settlement amount offered in each state.


A good example is the average settlement value of a back injury in New York ($8,609,555) compared to Colorado ($179,267). One state offers millions of dollars in compensation while, in another state, victims who have suffered the same types of injuries will not receive even one-tenth of that amount.


However, it is worth noting that around $925,169 is the average settlement amount that a victim will receive for a back injury suffered in the US. According to some recent studies, the median settlement value is around $316,000.


The difference in the average and median settlement amounts is important because it means even though the average settlement amount is close to a million dollars, this is only because of a few exceptions in which huge settlement amounts were awarded. Most victims should expect to receive settlement offers that are a lot closer to the median value.


A $71 million verdict in New York is one of the highest settlement offers ever made, while a victim in Minnesota is reported to have walked away with just $1,719 after suffering a back injury caused by a car accident.


There are also some differences in back injury settlement amounts awarded to victims based on the type of accident they were involved in. The following statistics can highlight this further:


Car Accidents

In the US, most car accidents that result in neck, back, or spinal cord injuries are usually settled for about $834,686. The median settlement value is close to $285,000. However, victims can receive much less or much more than these amounts depending on a variety of factors to be discussed later on.


Slip and Fall Accidents

While slip and fall accidents are not usually as severe as car accidents, they are a lot more common than most people assume. When such accidents involve the elderly, serious back injuries can occur. On average, victims of such accidents can expect a settlement value of around $700,687, with the median settlement amount being $300,000.


Truck Accidents

The severity of truck accident injuries means that the settlement values in such claims are usually a lot higher than in ordinary car accidents. This is also true for back injury settlements, with the average value being $1,527,215 (almost double that of a regular car accident) with a median settlement value of $720,000.


Work-related Accidents

Work-related back injury settlements are often complicated due to the involvement of workers' compensation and insurance companies. However, looking at the national statistics show that a worker who suffers a back injury on the job can expect about $148,750. The median settlement value is $152,000.


Average Settlement for Back Injury -TN (Tennessee)


Compared to the other American states, Tennessee falls somewhere close to the middle of the spectrum in terms of the average settlement amount its residents can expect for their back injuries. Consider the following statistics:


  • Average: $665,685

  • Median: $300,000


These numbers should give Tennessee victims a good idea of how much they can expect for their personal injury claim if they have a competent attorney on their side.


However, the statistics do not tell the whole story. One Tennessee victim was unfortunate enough to suffer serious injuries in a rear-end collision involving a semi-truck. The victim received $3.7 million in compensation, which is much higher than the state average.


One reason for this higher settlement value may be because of the chronic pain and suffering that the victim was left with after the accident. There are a few more such cases in which settlement values have reached millions of dollars, which distorts the statistics in terms of what Tennessee victims can expect.


The best thing to do after suffering a back injury is to sit down with an experienced personal injury attorney who will be able to give the victim a clear estimate based on the specific circumstances of their personal injury claim. They can give insight on an average settlement for slipped disc TN as well.


Why Does the Average Settlement Amount Have Such a Wide Range?


One thing that most victims do not understand is how even the smallest differences between two separate personal injury cases can affect the settlement value that can be awarded.


A victim's personal injury attorney may be able to present their case better by highlighting the pain and suffering caused by the defendant, which can increase their settlement value.


In some cases, the impact the injury has on the victim's job and personal life can be a major factor if, for example, the victim is no longer able to go back to their previous employment.


These are just a handful of the many things that cause settlement amounts to be so different from one case to another, even when both victims happen to be in the same state and have suffered similar injuries.


How to Estimate the Value of a Back Injury Settlement After a Car Accident


One way that can be used to estimate the value of a back injury settlement after a car crash is by using an auto accident settlement formula, such as the multiplier method.


This method simply adds up all of the victim's economic damages (lost wages, cost of medical treatment, physical therapy, etc.). A multiplier between one and five is then used to estimate the value that can be awarded for their pain and suffering.


The addition of these two values is then used to determine how much compensation the victim can expect. This is a relatively simple method that a personal injury lawyer can use during the initial free consultation as long as the victim supplies all the relevant details.


Factors That Impact The Value of a Back Injury Settlement


When estimating the value of a back injury settlement, several factors need to be considered. While each case will be different, the following are some of the common factors that will impact how much money the victim is likely to walk away with:


Severity of Injuries

Severe injuries are always more likely to attract higher settlements than those that are minor or are difficult to prove in open court. If a victim has medical records that prove that they suffered horrific injuries that will impact the rest of their lives, they are more likely to receive sympathy from the judge and the jury when it comes to awarding compensation for pain and suffering.


However, this also means that an attorney might have to work a lot harder to win a fair settlement when the victim's injuries are not so obvious. The few cases in Tennessee that resulted in millions of dollars being paid to the victim all involved very severe injuries caused by the defendant.


Cost of Medical Treatment

In Tennessee, victims have the right to be fully compensated for the cost of treatment they incurred as a result of being injured because of someone else's negligence. As such, as long as they have the receipts for the medical bills they paid, the jury is likely to award them a fair settlement to cover those costs.


However, the cost of medical treatment becomes complicated when dealing with cases where the victim is still receiving ongoing care after the accident. In such cases, a doctor may have to declare maximum medical improvement to show that all treatment options have been exhausted.


Here, it will be up to the personal injury attorney to show the court how much the victim will have to continue paying for medical treatment for the rest of their lives so that this can be included in the settlement value.


Lost Wages

In cases where the spinal cord injuries are severe enough to force the victim to take time off work, they will be entitled to receive compensation for their lost wages. The type of job that the victim does and the number of days they need to fully recover will play an important part in their settlement offer.


If, for example, the victim was a construction worker, such back injuries may mean they will no longer be able to go back to the same job they had, which may affect their wages and future earning potential. As such, the average back injury settlement they will be entitled to should reflect this loss of income.


Duration of Recovery

The longer it takes for the victim to recover, the greater the impact the back injury will have on their lives, especially in cases where they are the primary provider for their family. A long recovery period often warrants a greater settlement value than cases where the victim can go back to work after a few weeks.


However, the nature of some back injuries means that full recovery may not be possible. If the doctors decide that the victim has suffered spinal injuries that have caused permanent impairment, this will greatly impact the amount of money they will receive as a fair settlement.


Pain and Suffering

Although at times difficult to prove, back injury victims are entitled to receive compensation for their pain and suffering. It helps that the amount of pain back and neck injuries can cause is widely known, which makes it easier for the jury to accept that the victim has suffered greatly.


However, victims who keep pain management diaries that show how much they have been suffering since the accident can increase their chances of being awarded a higher settlement offer. The level of skill that the personal injury attorney demonstrates when presenting the case will also determine how much the court will award the victim.


Liability of the At-fault Party

In cases where the defendant admitted liability, it is easier for the personal injury attorney to fight for a higher settlement value. However, many cases require the attorney to fight for the rights of their client and demonstrate how liable the at-fault driver was for causing the accident and subsequent injuries to the victim.


State in Which Accident Occurred

As discussed earlier, there are huge differences in the average settlement value awarded for back and neck injuries in each state. As such, victims need to be aware that in Tennessee, most cases are settled for around $300,000 unless there are extenuating circumstances that may persuade the jury to award a higher settlement value.


Strength of Evidence

Being able to build a strong case against the defendant will help the personal injury attorney when it comes to seeking compensation. This requires having enough evidence to prove beyond doubt the liability of the at-fault party and the severity of the injuries suffered by the victim.


Such evidence often includes a doctor's report, medical bills, witness statements, and sometimes even a testimony from an expert witness. Much of this evidence needs to be gathered soon after the incident occurs, which is why victims need to seek legal representation as soon as possible after suffering back and neck injuries.


Level of Experience of Attorney

Finally, having an experienced personal injury attorney on their side will greatly increase the chances of a victim being awarded a higher settlement value. The Tennessee legal system is complicated, and without a good lawyer to fight for them, victims may find themselves being bullied into accepting the first low-ball offer from the insurance company.


As such, cases that have ended with the victim receiving millions of dollars often have an experienced lawyer with strong litigation and negotiation skills working hard behind the scenes.


Comparative Fault

Tennessee subscribes to the modified comparative fault law when dealing with a personal injury claim in which part of the fault may lie with the victim.


According to this law, a victim can still receive compensation for an accident settlement if they are found to be up to 50% at fault for the accident that caused their injuries. The liability of the at-fault party will then be reduced according to how much blame is put on the victim, which is why different cases may end up with different settlement values for the same types of injuries.


However, if the victim is found to be more than 50% to blame for the accident, they will not be entitled to any settlement from the defendant regardless of the severity of their injuries or other financial losses they may have suffered.


Number of Claimants

In cases where multiple claimants were injured in the accident, there may not be enough coverage to cover everyone as much as they would have wanted. The victims may end up receiving a far less settlement offer than they would have if they were the sole plaintiff making a personal injury claim.


Insurance Company Policy Limits

When it comes to car accident settlement values, a huge factor is the insurance company policy limits. In Tennessee, vehicle owners are required to pay $50,000 per accident for bodily injury. This means that if the insurance company is the at-fault party in a personal injury case, these limits will affect how much settlement will be awarded to the victims.


Uninsured Motorist Coverage

There are also cases where the at-fault driver is uninsured. In Tennessee, insurance companies can sell uninsured motorist coverage (UM) which will have the same coverage as the policy's liability limits. This will protect the policyholder in cases where they are injured by another driver who does not have insurance.


However, policyholders are allowed to reject uninsured motorist coverage (UM) in writing. If the victim claims compensation for back injuries sustained in an accident in such a situation, they may find it difficult to recover damages from the uninsured at-fault driver, especially if there are no significant assets to attach to the settlement.


Back Injury Settlement Calculator


A back injury settlement calculator is simply a term that describes some of the ways of determining settlement value in a personal injury case involving back and neck injuries.


There are various ways in which a personal injury law firm can calculate the average settlement amount its client is likely to be awarded. Many different variables will be considered, such as:


  • Type of job

  • Number of dependents

  • Hobbies

  • Fitness levels and gym membership

  • Type of vehicle involved in the accident

  • Pre-existing back injuries


Three Types of Damages in Back Injury Claims


In Tennessee, the compensation that a victim can be awarded is often divided into three distinct categories, which are:


Economic Damages

Economic damages are the easiest types of damages to calculate because they represent a specific monetary loss that the victim has suffered due to the accident and resulting injuries. These damages usually include the following:


  • Medical treatment

  • Lost wages

  • Cost of rehabilitation and physical therapy

  • Loss of earning potential

  • Funeral and burial expenses

  • Cost of ongoing medical treatment in cases of permanent impairment


When suing for such damages, the personal injury attorney will need various forms of evidence to show how much money their client has lost, such as medical bills and employment letters.


Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are not so easy to prove in court. These types of damages are usually meant to cover the victim's emotional distress, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. It is up to the judge and jury to decide how much money to award the victim for their pain and suffering.


Using an auto accident settlement formula, such as the multiplier method may give a good estimate of how much to expect, but in the end, the decision will be made by the judge.


Arguing for non-economic damages is one of the areas where a victim needs a very good attorney on their side because the other party will try to do all they can to downplay the level of pain and suffering that was caused by the defendant.


Punitive Damages

In some cases, the actions of the defendant may be so callous that the court will decide to award further damages to the victim as a punishment to the at-fault party. These are called punitive damages and they are also left to the court's discretion.


Usually, the court will award such damages as a warning to other people who may try to deceive the courts or intentionally cause harm to future victims. However, in Tennessee, punitive damages are capped at either twice the amount awarded for compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever amount is greater.


Common Types of Back Injuries


There are many types of back injuries that a victim may suffer during an accident. It is important to know each one because the nature of the injury has the biggest impact on the settlement value.


Some injuries may be resolved with minimal medical treatment and rest, while the more serious ones will require surgery and physical therapy. The following are five common injuries that can affect the back, neck, and spinal cord:


Soft Tissue Injuries

Also known as sprains and strains, soft tissue injuries are very common and can occur in up to 80% of personal injury cases. These injuries occur when there is damage to the ligaments, tendons, muscles, or nerve endings in the tissue surrounding the backbone.


Such injuries may involve either a partial or complete rupture of the affected tissue. The victim will suffer from back pain and, sometimes, loss of mobility as a result of such a back injury. These symptoms can range from mild to debilitating.


In some cases, soft tissue injuries have been known to result in some level of permanent impairment to the victim. However, the vast majority of sprains and strains will heal with time if the victim receives proper medical treatment and advice.


If the victim's lawyer or doctor is not sure how long it will take for the injury to heal, it may be better to wait a few months while undergoing treatment rather than risk accepting a settlement offer that will not be enough to cover the costs of future medication.


Spinal Cord Injuries

One of the most severe back injuries that a victim can suffer is that which affects the spinal cord. Injuries such as this can easily end up causing permanent impairment that in some cases can include complete loss of mobility.


The good news is that such a severe spinal cord injury is not common in most car accidents. Usually, when a victim experiences these severe symptoms, it may be due to a spinal cord irritation, which can be treated with surgery, rehabilitation, or physical therapy.


If spinal cord injuries are suspected, victims need to seek immediate medical attention because a delay in treatment can have very serious consequences. Many of the very high settlements awarded in back injury cases are for spinal cord injuries that have lasting or permanent effects.


Whiplash injuries

A whiplash injury occurs when a victim is forced to come to a sudden stop that will throw their heads forward and back very quickly. This usually happens in a head-on or rear-end collision. Although whiplash injuries are usually regarded as neck injuries, they also affect the back in some cases.


Fractures

When the vertebrae along the backbone are damaged, compression fractures along the spine can occur. Such a back injury can occur in a car accident and, although less common, can result in the need for surgery.


Herniated Discs

When the impact of a fall or car accident causes one or more of the discs that support the spine to slip out of place, such a disc injury is called a herniated disc. Herniated discs can be extremely painful and very difficult to treat. In extreme cases, the force of the injury can cause the disc to crack or rupture.


Common Symptoms of Back Injuries


Depending on the severity of the neck or back injury, the victim may experience a wide range of symptoms, including:


  • Stiffness in the lower back, neck, or shoulders

  • Short-term memory loss

  • Paralysis

  • Herniated discs

  • Lack of mobility

  • Headaches

  • Internal bleeding

  • Concussions

  • Bruising

  • Short-term neck pain or back pain

  • Chronic pain


Due to the serious consequences of a severe spinal cord injury, victims need to see a doctor whenever they suspect they may have suffered a serious neck or back injury.


Treatment for Back and Neck Injuries


The amount of treatment required for a neck or back injury will have a direct impact on the settlement value offered. In many cases, back injuries require the following types of treatments as a pain management solution:


  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation

  • Acupuncture

  • Exercise and movement

  • Massage

  • Injection therapy

  • Dry needling

  • Medication

  • Surgery


The type of treatment that the victim undergoes will help determine the amount of compensation they receive, even in cases where they continue to suffer from their back injuries.


How Long Will It Take to Settle a Back Injury Case?


One of the things many victims are not prepared for is the length of time it can take to settle a neck or back injury settlement case.


It is not simply a matter of filing the claim and receiving compensation. Depending on a variety of factors, neck or back injury settlements can take months or even years to completely resolve.


In most cases, the average settlement for a back injury can take between 12 and 18 months, with a few claims taking much longer than that. As such, in the aftermath of a car accident or other type of incident, it is important for victims to seek legal representation as quickly as possible.


The following are three of the most important factors that will determine how long a back and neck injury settlement claim will take before it is resolved:


Complexity of the Case

Some cases are so complicated that it takes a very long time to go through all the details, analyze the evidence, calculate the damages, and assign liability to each party.


The more complicated the case is, the longer it will likely take to conclude. In cases where there are multiple plaintiffs seeking compensation from the defendant, each party will need to be given time to put forward their claim, especially if they all have separate legal representation.


Severity of Injuries

If the victim has suffered severe injuries as a result of the car accident, their attorney may decide that it is better to wait until they have recovered (or reached maximum medical improvement) before seeking a fair settlement.


While the waiting might be difficult for the victim, especially when they have to shoulder medical expenses while being unable to work, it may be better than risking receiving a settlement value that is too low for their back injuries.


Litigation and Jury Trial Process

In cases where the two parties are going all out to avoid being held liable for the back injuries suffered by the victim, the litigation and jury trial may take a very long time.


This is especially true in cases where the injuries are so severe that the insurance company is looking at settlement payments worth millions of dollars.


In such cases, it will take an experienced lawyer to fight tooth and nail for their client regardless of how long and difficult the trial may be.


Trial vs. Out-of-court Settlement

Before the case goes to trial. the insurance company may make a settlement offer to the victim so that the issue may be resolved quickly.


While the first offer is generally too low to consider, with a good attorney negotiating on their behalf, victims can walk away with a fair settlement without ever having to set foot in a courtroom.


Statute of Limitations for Back Injury Cases in Tennessee


In Tennessee, the victim has one year to file a claim for the back injuries they have suffered whether it is from a car accident or slip and fall incident. Failure to file their lawsuit within that year will result in the victim not being able to seek settlement for their injuries.


This is called the statute of limitations. It is important to note that in Tennessee, this statute of limitations is much shorter than some states that allow two or more years for victims to file their claims.


As such, it is easy for victims to miss their deadline thinking that they still have a lot of time left. In cases where the victim wants to wait a few months to recover fully before suing the at-fault party, they need to be very careful not to wait too long.


What to Do After Suffering a Back Injury

What to Do After Suffering a Back Injury


Whether a victim ends up receiving more or less than the average settlement amount for back injuries in Nashville, TN, depends on many factors, one of which is the steps they take soon after getting injured.


As soon as a person sustains a back or neck injury in a car accident or other incident, they need to do the following:


  • Seek medical attention

  • Obtain doctor's report and police report

  • Gather evidence, such as pictures

  • Collect witness statements and contact details

  • Go for all required doctor visits

  • Keep a pain management journal

  • Avoid negotiating with the insurance company

  • Seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer


An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help


The first step to being awarded a fair/average settlement in a back injury case is to find a good lawyer with the experience, compassion, knowledge, and track record of going toe-to-toe with determined insurance companies.


A good lawyer can help victims estimate the average settlement amount they can expect in their specific circumstances. Once the case evaluation is complete, the attorney will begin making plans to fight for the rights of the client.


Victims who are hoping to get at least the average settlement amount for back injuries in Nashville, TN, can call Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys and schedule a free consultation today.

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