How Much Is a Broken Neck Worth In a Car Accident?
Updated: Jan 11, 2022
While a neck injury can happen in any motor vehicle crash, it is most common in rear-end collisions. There are about 1.7 million rear-end crashes in the US every year. Moreover, after bruises and contusions, neck injuries are the most common type of car accident injuries. However, they are typically one of the most undervalued when it comes to vehicle accident settlements.
So, what happens to a person who gets a neck injury, such as a broken neck? What kind of settlement can they hope for? The exact amount of money a victim will get depends on many factors. Read on to find out more about how much car insurance will pay for pain and suffering.
How to Calculate the Value of a Broken Neck
Although the neck is such a vulnerable body part, it is also poorly protected in car accidents. For this reason, accident-related neck injuries are very common. In fact, more than 800,000 crashes in the US each year involve a neck injury. But at the same time, such injuries are often mistreated or even left untreated, which can lead to long-term suffering or even disability.
The amount of compensation a person can get for their broken neck will be based on various factors.
1. Past and Future Medical Bills
So, it would be best to save all medical records regarding said injuries. That includes hospital statements, receipts, and doctors' letters.
2. Missed Work and Wages Lost
A person should document the amount of time they were not able to go to work because of their neck injury. Also, it is important to retain the pay stubs from the same period.
3. The Severity of the Injury
The victim's lawyer usually needs to consult the doctor to determine how grave the injury is. The higher the severity, the higher the settlement.
A broken neck is a serious injury that causes much pain, attracts larger care bills, more trauma, and can have long-term consequences. Therefore, the settlement is usually big as well.
4. How It Affects A Person's Life
A broken neck may affect a person's hobbies and stop them from enjoying certain activities. Also, they might need to make some changes in their home and car.
5. How Long the Symptoms Will Last
If the symptoms are expected to last for a longer period, the person will receive more compensation.
6. The Negligent Party's Insurance Coverage
Insurance policies usually have a maximum claim amount, and it is the most a victim may be able to collect.
7. The Other Party's Percentage of Culpability
Iowa is a "Modified Comparative Fault" state, meaning that those who are found to be partly at fault will still get their compensation. But their compensation will be reduced by the percentage of their responsibility.
8. If the Defendant Is a Likable Individual or a Callous Company
Jurors tend to be more sympathetic towards a slightly negligent person than a business. On the other hand, if the guilty party is an unlikable person or a large company, the settlement amount will probably stay high.
How Much Is a Settlement for a Broken Neck?
Settlements that involve neck injuries such as a broken neck can greatly vary. For instance, a person with a lighter neck injury can get anything between $2000 and $50,000. On the other hand, more serious neck injuries can get a few hundred thousand dollars in settlements. But if the injury causes long-term pain or inability to work, the payment will be even bigger.
However, much of it depends on the attorney's ability to negotiate. Even if someone suffers a broken neck and meets all the factors mentioned above to get a high settlement, the attorney's skill will have the biggest impact.
The insurance companies usually have a team of seasoned lawyers that are well-versed in negotiating. Therefore, the victim's attorney also needs to be an effective negotiator. However, getting a lawyer isn’t extremely necessary if it’s only a minor car accident.
All in all, how much settlement a person can get for their broken neck depends on many factors, but the most important one is who is fighting in their corner. So, if a person doesn't hire a lawyer who can protect their claim, they might end up with $20,000 instead of $200,000 or more. But a more aggressive auto accident attorney will know how to handle the settlement negotiations until both parties agree on a value.