Compensation a victim of a back injury may seek in a lawsuit depends on various factors, such as the severity and type of injury. Victims first must prove that another party was liable for the injury but must also have medical documentation of their injury. Seeking medical attention following an accident is important, but the steps a victim takes after they have medical care are even more important.
Avoiding Harming Claims Following an Accident Resulting in a Back Injury
Often, an accident victim who suffers a back injury can harm their claim by acting contrary to medical and legal advice.
Some examples include:
- Not following a doctor’s instructions - When a doctor offers guidance to a victim on what activities are off-limits following a back injury, those restrictions should be followed. Victims who fail to follow a physician’s recommendations for follow-up care, rehabilitation, or physical restrictions not only risk diminishing their claim, but their actions may often cause their back injury to worsen and grow more debilitating with time.
- Discussing accidents that led to injury - It is common for an accident victim to discuss their accident with family members. However, sharing information with social media followers is not a good idea. Insurers will often review a victim’s social media page to minimize the damages they have to pay.
- Failing to seek legal advice - When someone has suffered a back injury in any type of accident which was not their fault, they should seek legal help from a skilled back injury attorney. This is the best way to preserve a victim’s rights following an accident.
Using caution from when a victim suffers a back injury until a settlement is agreed to through the insurer or a personal injury lawsuit is essential. Victims often remain unaware of the harm they can do to their claim.
Types of Back Injury Victims Can Suffer
Facts are facts. No two accidents are the same. Every accident victim is different. No two back injuries are identical, and while accidents may be similar, the injuries a victim suffers can be very different.
Back injuries may involve:
- Ruptured or bulging discs
- Strains or sprains
- Spinal cord injury
- Fractured vertebrae
- Nerve damage
The type and severity of the injury a victim suffers will play a determining role in the amount of compensation that they may be awarded in a back injury lawsuit. When negligence or a willful act results in someone suffering a back injury, the victim has a right to ask a back injury lawyer to help them get compensated for their injury.
Types of Compensation Victims May Demand After a Back Injury
Victims of back injuries, such as a herniated disc, may face weeks or months of recovery. During that time, they must follow instructions issued by their medical team which could mean being unable to return to their regular employment. There may be other restrictions they are facing as well.
Some of the types of compensation a back injury victim may seek are:
- Reimbursement for lost income - Victims need time to recover physically from a back injury. The severity and type of injury will determine how long this process takes.
- Medical expenses - Depending on the victim’s insurance plan, the out-of-pocket medical costs could be significant. Rehabilitation therapy, medication for pain, and specialized diagnostic tests may not be covered by insurance.
- Pain and suffering - While a dollar amount is hard to determine for physical pain and suffering, a back injury lawyer can work with their client to help establish reasonable compensation.
- Loss of enjoyment and companionship - Back injury victims often are forced to avoid activities they enjoyed prior to suffering an injury. They may also be forced to avoid certain family activities due to injury. This may be an area of compensation included in a back injury lawsuit.
The best option for anyone who suffers a back injury is to seek guidance from a back injury lawyer who understands the specifics of personal injury law. A lawyer with experience dealing with these types of cases will thoroughly understand what compensation is available for a victim.
Preparing a Claim Following a Back Injury
Regardless of the type of back injury a victim is dealing with, their attorney can help file a compensation claim.
Every accident victim needs a lawyer who can file a claim and understands:
- Recovery period - A back injury lawyer will advise a client that filing a claim too soon is not a good idea. Until a victim has been told by a medical professional that further treatment will not result in any further improvement, the claim should not be filed. If a claim is filed too early, a back injury case could settle for less than the true cost of a victim’s injuries, even as their expenses continue to add up.
- Establishing liability - To file a claim or institute a back injury lawsuit, it is important to establish the party at fault for the accident which resulted in an injury. A back injury lawyer can help the victim gather the necessary information to show how the accident occurred, who was responsible, and the extent of the injury. Every personal injury lawsuit, a civil suit, requires establishing liability.
- Statute of limitations - Specific rules dictate the maximum time a victim has to file a lawsuit following a back injury. These rules are designed to ensure that someone does not have the threat of a lawsuit hanging over their heads indefinitely. A back injury lawyer can help their client by ensuring the statute of limitations is not exceeded in establishing their claim.
When a victim works with an experienced back injury lawyer, they can focus on their physical recovery while their lawyer focuses obtains their financial recovery.
Back Injury Claims and Insurance Companies Adjusters
Soon after a victim reports an accident resulting in a back injury, they may be contacted by an insurance adjuster working for the liable party’s insurance company.
Insurance adjusters are not there to help victims. Their primary task is to help the insurance company pay as little as possible toward a claim. Working within the law, an insurance adjuster will do whatever they can to minimize the claim. This is often accomplished by downplaying the severity of a victim’s injury or making a lowball offer.
Some of the common methods an insurance adjuster may use to help their employer, the insurance company, include:
- Demanding medical records - While it is common practice for an insurance company to ask for medical records regarding a victim’s injury, the adjuster may request a broader range of medical records. The reason for this is simple. They want to establish whether a victim had a prior injury which could be used to minimize the claim.
- Deflecting blame for the accident - Even when there is clear-cut evidence the insurance company’s client was responsible for an accident that resulted in a back injury, the insurer will attempt to blame the victim. A back injury lawyer may be able to stop this from occurring when they have accepted the personal injury case. Insurers understand when a lawyer has taken on a case, they have already done a preliminary review of the facts and feel certain they can prove the case.
- Claiming injury is less serious - Adjusters may attempt to claim an injury is not as serious as a victim claims. When a victim provides information to their back injury lawyer, they can provide the information to prove the severity of the injury.
Before speaking with an insurance adjuster, it is crucial for a victim to speak with a back injury lawyer. When a victim does not have legal representation, the insurer may attempt to make a low settlement offer with the expectation the victim will accept their offer. This could result in a victim settling their claim for significantly less compensation than they might otherwise be entitled to for their injury and other losses.
A Back Injury Lawyer Can Help Victims Recover Financially
Victims of back injury should always seek the assistance of a lawyer. Dealing with claims associated with a back injury can be complicated, and insurance companies will not help victims understand their rights.
Some steps that usually occur when a back injury victim hires a lawyer may include:
- Filing a written claim - A back injury lawyer can file a claim on behalf of the victim. The claim will typically include the details of their client’s injury and a reasonable compensation demand.
- Responding to claim - The insurance company may demand additional documentation from the victim. A back injury lawyer can help the victim obtain the documents required. The insurer may also make a counteroffer to the victim. If this is the case, a back injury lawyer can discuss the offer with their client and explain the pros and cons of the offer.
- Negotiation with an insurer - An experienced back injury lawyer can negotiate with the insurer on behalf of their client. Since they have knowledge of the law, as well as a history of representing victims, they know how the process works.
- Filing a lawsuit - Sometimes, no matter how clear-cut the fault is or how serious a victim is injured, an insurance company may refuse to negotiate a reasonable settlement for compensation. If this is the case, a back injury lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court on behalf of their client.
Filing a lawsuit is often the best way to get the maximum compensation for a back injury. When victims take the first step of contacting a back injury lawyer as soon after an accident as possible, their lawyer will have all the information they require to file a lawsuit.
The Cost of Hiring a Back Injury Lawyer
While it is impossible to determine precisely how much a back injury is worth in a lawsuit, a victim who hires a personal injury lawyer to represent them can feel confident their attorney is going to work tirelessly to protect their rights. When a personal injury lawyer is working on their behalf, a victim can rest assured they have a level playing field when going up against insurance companies.
In nearly all cases, a personal injury lawyer will accept a back injury lawsuit case on a contingency fee basis. This means the victim does not have to pay any legal fees unless the lawyer successfully secures compensation for the back injury they suffered through no fault of their own.
Since every case is unique, discuss how much your back injury is worth with an experienced back injury lawyer after a thorough case review.