If you have been involved in a car or truck accident, you need answers to these important questions:
- Can you get a good recovery of money to pay your damages?
- Should you hire a personal injury lawyer?
- Will you have to testify at a trial?
If you are like most people who have been in a vehicle crash, you have probably suffered a neck and back injury. We know how you must be feeling. You hurt 24/7. You have restricted movement and can’t sleep. You probably can’t go to work or take care of the kids.
Your stress is compounded because you are incurring medical bills which are sometimes enormous. You won’t have a car because it is being repaired or you might be underwater on the car note if it has to be totaled. And you are losing money if you can’t work.
The insurance company takes advantage of people’s predicaments so it can make a low offer of settlement and close the case cheaply.
You need to have an idea of what your case is worth and how to proceed so you can be repaid for your medical bills and other damages.
Understanding neck and back injury claims
First, you need to understand more about why you are hurting so badly and how long this pain may last. Those aching strains and sprains you have suffered are sometimes referred to as whiplash.
A strain is a torn or pulled muscle or tendon that binds muscles to bones. A sprain is when ligaments, the fibrous tissues that connect to joints, are torn.
A strain or sprain is common following a rear end car crash, the most common type of wreck, especially with so many people looking down at their cell phones as they drive.
The sudden movement violently throws you forwards, then backwards, slamming your neck into the neck rest and back into the seat. The severity of badly you are injured depends on several factors including the vehicles, speeds, directions, forces, and medical treatment.
Knowing if you have sustained a whiplash
Whiplash can produce symptoms that range from mild to severe. You will feel pain in your head, neck, between your shoulder blades, and back. You won’t be able to move your head or back freely or at all. Other symptoms are headaches, insomnia, memory lapses, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, jaw pain, and nausea.
These symptoms can start immediately after the collision or take several days to begin. It is important that you get treated by an emergency room or physician as soon as possible.
Sometimes the injury is worse than a whiplash. Discs between your bones may have been bulged or herniated, nerve roots may have been pinched, or neck or back bones may have been fractured or dislodged.
If you feel tingling and/or numbness in your arms, hands, legs, or feet that does not go away, you may have more serious neurological problems. They can be diagnosed with a magnetic resonance image (MRI) or other tests.
Determining the value of neck and back injury cases
Each case is unique. There is no easy way to calculate a number that can be reliably given here or anywhere over the internet.
Calculating an accurate value is a complicated decision that is data driven. It also relies on a professional knowledge of local insurance companies, attorneys, judges, counties, and jury verdicts.
Insurance companies have computer programs that estimate case value. Their numbers rarely match the plaintiff’s attorney. The amount that the company is willing to pay is always lower, especially if the injured person has not hired a good personal injury attorney.
Using a range of numbers
Once more information is known, our firm will help you evaluate a range of settlement values and plan a negotiating strategy. We will estimate what we believe a jury may award you. They include your reasonable and necessary medical bills, lost wages and loss of wage earning capacity, physical pain and emotional anguish, disfigurement, disability, and vehicle damage.
More information is here: How much money is my car accident worth?
Mr. Berenson considers up to 62 variables to evaluate the size of his client’s claim. The most important ones are
- clearness of liability,
- severity of collision,
- quantity and quality of medical bills, injuries, and medical treatment,
- size of available insurance policies, and
- companies, adjusters, and attorneys.
The economic numbers for medical expenses and lost wages are easier to gauge, while the more intangible figures are obviously harder to determine.
After a careful analysis, we will be in a position to estimate that a case is worth, say, from $20,000 to $30,000 or from $250,000 to $300,000. We then proceed to attempt to get the higher number.
We are often successful in obtaining the entire insurance policy amount from the other driver’s company or a substantial amount from a commercial carrier for an 18-wheeler driver and we file suit if it is not offered. Please see some of our results listed here.
Resolving your case out of court vs. going to trial
The at-fault driver’s insurance company never wants to pay what the case is worth. They go out of their way to deny, delay, and defend in court. If the case is worth in the range of, say, $30,000 and it can get you to accept $10,000, it has just made a tidy profit of $20,000. That adds up to millions of dollars, day in and day out.
Depending on the facts of the case, car accident victims sometimes have a stronger chance of securing a good recovery of money when they file a lawsuit and have a jury award damages.
Sometimes, after suit is filed and discovery is completed, cases are settled for good value at mediations. Others are settled on the morning trial is set to begin. Very few auto claims actually reach a jury.
Deciding to hire an injury lawyer
If you want to obtain fair compensation for your whiplash settlement, you must hire a car wreck attorney. You will have a skilled professional will walk you through the entire process, secure the documents you need to maximize the recovery of money you get from a ruthless insurance company, and get the results you want faster.
If you have been injured in a car or truck accident and are seeking good advice and compensation, we can help. Getting our clients as much money as possible is what our law firm has done successfully for the past 38 years.
To schedule a free no-obligation meeting, please call us at 1-888-801-8585 or click here.
In case you also have other related injuries, please take a look at these articles: