How Much Is My Back Injury Worth in a Lawsuit?

October 27, 2023 | Ed Bernstein
How Much Is My Back Injury Worth in a Lawsuit?

When dealing with a back injury, you may focus on managing the pain and working toward recovery, but if someone else's negligence or an accident caused your injury, you may ask yourself, "How much is my back injury worth if I file a lawsuit?"

Knowing your suit's potential value can ensure you receive the adequate compensation you deserve for your suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and more, and hiring an experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can benefit you in all the legal procedures.

Understanding Back Injuries

Back injuries' nature and severity can vary significantly, and the injury type can determine your lawsuit's value. Back injuries include temporary strains and sprains and more significant and permanent conditions, such as spinal cord injuries.

Back Injury Types

How Much Is My Back Injury Worth in a Lawsuit

There are two types of back injuries: soft tissue and hard tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries, such as strains and sprains, involve the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the back. Sudden movements and heavy lifting often cause these injuries, and they usually heal with the appropriate rest and treatment.

Hard tissue injuries can damage the bones and discs in the spine, resulting in herniated discs, compression fractures, or spinal cord injuries. These injuries often require extensive medical intervention and can have lasting negative effects.

The Consequences of Back Injuries on Daily Life

A back injury can make simple tasks such as sitting, standing, or even sleeping challenging and painful.

Depending on your injury's severity, you might need to take time off work or even change your occupation. The mental and emotional toll such changes take can magnify the back injury's impact.

Back Injuries' Long-term Effects and Potential Complications

In severe cases, back injuries can lead to complications that can persist for a significant portion of an individual's life, including chronic pain, limited mobility, and an increased risk of additional injuries.

More severe injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, can lead to paralysis or other neurological and physical issues. These factors significantly decrease your quality of life and increase a back injury lawsuit's value. Understanding the nature of your back injury is key to calculating its potential worth in a lawsuit.

Factors That Determine a Back Injury Lawsuit's Value

Several factors determine your lawsuit's potential value.

Your Injury's Severity

A primary factor determining a lawsuit's value is the gravity of your injury. The more severe the injury, the higher the amount you could receive as compensation. Factors such as the need for surgery, the duration of hospitalization, the extent of required physical therapy, and any long-term or permanent disability or disfigurement determine the injury's severity.

The Injury's Influence on Your Daily Life

If the injury prevents you from pursuing your hobbies, interferes with your relationships, or requires lifestyle changes, these aspects can increase your lawsuit's value.

Medical Expenses and Future Medical Needs

The lawsuit's value should include all past, current, and future medical bills related to the injury, including hospital stays, doctor visits, physical therapy, medications, medical devices, and any future healthcare services you may need because of the complications or long-lasting effects of the injury.

Lost Income and Loss of Earning Capacity

If your injury caused you to miss work or diminished your future earnings, your lawsuit's value must also account for this loss. This category includes lost income and opportunities, such as promotions or raises you would have likely received had you not suffered an injury.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering damages pay for your back injury’s physical pain, emotional distress, depression, anxiety, and decreased enjoyment of life.

The Defendant's Liability

The stronger your case in proving the defendant's negligence or liability, the higher your lawsuit's value. This could involve demonstrating that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care or violated some duty that they owed you.

The Quality of the Evidence

Strong evidence that can establish the defendant's liability and the damage that it caused enhances your lawsuit's value. This can include medical records, expert testimony, photographs, videos, and eyewitness accounts. Solid evidence can lend credibility to your claim, leading to a more favorable outcome.

Calculation of Damages in a Back Injury Lawsuit

After reviewing the different factors involved in determining back injury lawsuit values, understanding the calculation process is crucial. This complex process requires the assistance of legal professionals and expert witnesses. Damages in a back injury lawsuit fall under two categories: economic and non-economic damages.

Explanation of Economic Damages

Economic damages represent concrete, quantifiable costs associated with your back injury.

The calculation process for economic damages is more straightforward than for non-economic damages, as they typically involve tangible expenses, such as:

  • Medical expenses: This includes the cost of initial treatment immediately after the accident, ongoing treatment, hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, prescription medications, and any other necessary medical procedures. This cost should also include future medical needs related to the back injury.
  • Lost income: This includes income you have lost because you had to miss work as a result of your injury and recovery time. It also factors in any loss of earning capacity or the effect the injury may have on your ability to earn income in the future.

Explanation of Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refers to subjective, non-monetary losses, which are often harder to quantify. These include:

  • Pain and suffering: This refers to the physical pain and emotional distress you endured because of your injury. The calculation for pain and suffering is often based on the injury's severity, the potential for ongoing discomfort, and the type of medical treatment you have received.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: This covers any reduction in your ability to enjoy daily life and activities you found joy in before the injury; for instance, if you were a keen athlete before a back injury and can no longer participate in sports, you could claim loss of enjoyment of life.

Expert Witnesses' Role in Valuing Damages

Expert witnesses can play a pivotal role in ascertaining the value of economic and non-economic damages in a back injury lawsuit. They can provide compelling testimony regarding your injury's severity and expected long-term effects, future medical needs, your ability to work, and the damage to your lifestyle.

State Laws and Damage Calculations

State laws are often relevant when calculating damages in a back injury lawsuit. Some states enforce caps on non-economic damages, while others may specify the damages you can claim. Discussing your case with a legal professional familiar with your state's laws to receive adequate compensation.

The Lawyer's Role in a Back Injury Lawsuit

After understanding the diverse factors that determine your back injury lawsuit's value and the intricate process of calculating damages, the reason you need legal counsel becomes clear.

How a Lawyer Can Maximize Your Lawsuit's Value

An experienced attorney can guide you through each stage of your lawsuit, leaving no stone unturned to ensure fair compensation, and meticulously gather and present evidence to establish liability and prove damages.

A lawyer can accurately calculate your total losses, including those that might not immediately appear, such as future medical expenses or the long-term effects of diminished earning capacity.

The Importance of Hiring a Lawyer with Experience in Back Injury Cases

As back injury cases can be more complex than other types of personal injury lawsuits, seek the assistance of a lawyer with specific experience in this field. Your lawyer will understand the intricacies of back injury lawsuits, including the medical aspects and the effective interpretation and employment of expert witness testimonies. This knowledge can significantly enhance your lawsuit's value and increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.

The Lawyer's Role in Negotiating Settlements and Arguing Cases in Court

An attorney can represent you during settlement negotiations and, if necessary, in court. Their negotiation skills are crucial in reaching a fair settlement with the defendant or their insurance company, as these parties often try to minimize payout amounts. If the negotiations do not lead to a fair settlement, your lawyer can represent your interests in court, advocating for your rights and striving to ensure you receive compensation that reflects the true extent of your losses.

A back injury accident lawyer will secure the highest possible compensation for your injuries and their damage to your life, so consider this decision carefully.

Common Mistakes That Can Reduce a Back Injury Lawsuit's Value

Many people unknowingly make common mistakes that significantly lower their lawsuit's value. Avoiding these mistakes can maximize the compensation you deserve.

Failing to Seek Immediate Medical Treatment

The adrenaline rush and shock following an accident can sometimes mask the initial pain of a back injury. This can lead some individuals to delay seeking immediate medical attention. Not only can this delay worsen your injury, but it can also weaken your lawsuit.

A delay in treatment can provide the defendant with the argument that the injury was not serious or that the accident did not cause it. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident, even if you feel your injury is minor.

Not Following Medical Advice

You must adhere to your doctor's advice once you seek medical treatment. This may involve taking prescribed medication, attending physiotherapy sessions, or limiting certain activities. The court may view you not following your doctor's advice as not treating your recovery seriously, potentially reducing your lawsuit's value.

Not Documenting the Injury and Its Effect on Your Life

Maintaining thorough documentation of your injury and its effect on your life can significantly strengthen your lawsuit. This includes keeping all medical records and tracking time off work, changes in your daily routine, and any pain or discomfort you have experienced. A detailed diary or journal can demonstrate your injury's severity and the disruption to your life, contributing to a higher lawsuit value.

Settling the Lawsuit Too Quickly

After suffering a back injury, you may be eager to receive compensation and move on with your life; however, settling your lawsuit too quickly can often lead to a suboptimal outcome. It can take time to fully understand your injury's long-term impacts, some of which may not become apparent until much later.

A premature settlement may not adequately cover these future costs. An experienced back injury accident lawyer can guide you on the right time to settle, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

By avoiding these common mistakes and seeking legal counsel, you can position yourself to obtain the maximum possible compensation for your back injury lawsuit. Handling a case properly from the start can ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve for your suffering.

Fight for the Justice You Deserve With an Experienced Back Injury Attorney on Your Side

The journey to winning fair compensation in a back injury lawsuit can be complex and strenuous. Understanding the various factors that determine your case's value and being mindful of common pitfalls can significantly increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.

Reaching out to a knowledgeable back injury accident lawyer can also ensure that your suit accurately represents these factors. A legal professional can accurately account for your losses and navigate through the complexities of personal injury law.

Do not hesitate to seek legal advice if you have suffered a back injury because of someone else's negligence. Contact an experienced back injury accident lawyer who can navigate this challenging time and support your quest for justice.


Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.