Neck and Back Injury Settlements in Colorado
Neck and Back Injury Settlements Can Be Complex
The neck and the back are two of the most vulnerable parts of the body. When a car accident occurs, it is common for a driver or passenger to complain of neck or back pain. In the days following the crash, victims may notice gain getting worse.
Sometimes, injuries extend beyond temporary pain, discomfort, and stiffness, though. They are much more serious and need medical intervention. Injuries may even require surgeries, prescription medications, physical therapy, and long-term care. In the most serious of cases, neck and back injuries are debilitating. They leave victims with long-term or permanent injuries and disabilities.
Navigating neck and back injury settlements in Colorado can be difficult to navigate. An experienced personal injury lawyer can definitely help. If a car accident caused the injury, be sure to work with someone who is familiar with the case type.
Types of Neck and Back Injuries
A variety of different accident types cause neck and back injuries. And of course, injuries will range in severity. Some of the most common causes of neck and back injuries include:
- motor vehicle accidents
- bicycle accidents
- pedestrian crashes
- slip and fall accidents
- workplace accidents
Depending upon the severity of force involved, the crash may lead to may result in:
Soft tissue injuries, including whiplash. In a car accident, whiplash is one of the most common types of soft tissue injuries reported. It occurs when the head whips back and forth suddenly and unexpectedly. Whiplash is commonly called neck strain or neck sprain. This is because the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck stretch.
Vertebra fractures. The vertebrae are the bones that comprise the spine and form the shape of the spinal column. They also provide protection to the spinal cord. Just like any other bone in the body, a vertebra can suffer a fracture when hit with enough force. Vertebra fractures can be painful and disabling. When very serious, they can even impact the spinal cord, which is very dangerous.
Spinal cord injury. The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that travels the length of the spine. It handles communication between the brain and the rest of the body. When an accident impacts the spinal cord and impairs that line of communication, the result is partial or complete paralysis from the site of the injury downwards.
Herniated disc injuries. Another common back injury is a herniated disc. Located between the vertebrae in the spine, discs provide cushioning and protection. Over time and with repetitive stress, a disc can herniate. This means that the soft, jelly-like inside of the disc forces its way past the harder, outer shell of the disc.
What Things Affect a Settlement Amount?
If you have suffered a neck or back injury in Colorado and someone else caused the injury, you can file a claim to recover damages. It is impossible to know the value of your claim without a thorough investigation first. However, some things that affect a settlement include:
Fault. In Colorado, people are responsible for the harm that they cause to others. Whether as a result of a car accident, an accident that occurs on personal property, or another accident type, they must compensate the victim. This means that by virtue of another person being to blame for your back or neck injury, you can bring forth a claim.
However, fault rules in Colorado also state that if a plaintiff contributed to their injuries, their damages are reduced. In Colorado, modified comparative fault laws prevent a plaintiff from seeking compensation if they were 50 percent or more at fault. They also state that a plaintiff’s damages will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. (see: Section 13-21-111 of Colorado Revised Statutes).
Economic damages/degree of injury. Another thing that will affect your settlement amount is the value of your economic damages or actual financial losses. Economic damages include things like medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket costs. The greater your economic damages the greater your compensation award. Economic damages depend on the degree of injury you suffer
Non-economic damages/degree of injury. You can also seek compensation for your non-economic losses in Colorado. Like the value of your pain, suffering, or loss of quality of life as a direct result of your back or neck injury. Again, these damages tend to be greater when the back or neck injury is more severe.
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Recovering the Full Value of My Claim?
In addition to the obvious things that affect a settlement amount, there are other things that you can do to improve your chances of recovering the full value of your claim. These include:
- File your claim as soon as possible. If you do not file a claim within the statute of limitations in Colorado, you cannot seek damages. Further, a delay in filing a claim can result in the destruction of evidence. This makes it harder for you to prove negligence, causation, and damages.
- Be thorough. The more thorough your evidence, notes, and documentation, the better. Keep detailed notes about the recovery process. Note treatment you receive, how you feel, and what you are able to do on a daily basis.
- Hire an experienced attorney. Hiring an attorney may be a significant boon to your case. Your attorney will be responsible for advocating for you and helping you to navigate the settlement process. They will also hire experts to testify on your behalf, collect evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement.
Contact Our Law Offices Today
At the Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC, our caring Denver car accident attorney wants you to get your full settlement amount. To learn more about the settlement process and to start your claim today, call us now for a free consultation.