How to Value a Neck Injury for an Insurance Claim or Settlement
There are many factors that go into valuing the damages incurred in a neck injury for the purposes of an insurance claim or settlement of a legal claim. Below are some of the considerations that all parties involved in a neck injury claim must think about in coming to a conclusion on the monetary value of the injured person’s neck injury claim.
The Parties’ Respective Positions
The value of a neck injury case in insurance or settlement proceedings often boils down to (1) what the party at fault for the neck injury is willing to pay (or what their insurance company is willing to to pay) and (2) what the injured party is willing to accept to resolve the case without going to trial.
The Nature, Severity, and Duration of the Injury
Neck injuries vary wildly, ranging from mild sprains and strains, to whiplash injuries, even all the way up to neck fractures. The greater severity and the longer the duration of recovery of a neck injury, the more compensation that is likely to be paid out. In addition, “hard” injuries involving bone fractures or spinal cord damage tend to be highly valued than “soft” injuries involving strains and sprains of soft tissue.
The Type of Medical Treatment
Insurance companies often view the value of a case through the lens of the cost and extent of reasonable medical treatment that the injured party has gone through. Someone suffering from a neck injury who needs a surgical procedure such as a spinal fusion will likely receive a larger insurance payment or a settlement than someone whose treatment only consisted of rest or physical therapy. Treatment rendered by physicians is often viewed as “more serious” than the treatment provided by other medical providers, such as physical therapists or chiropractors.
Estimating damages for an insurance claim or a legal settlement is always difficult, since it is impossible to know what a jury would award in damages at trial. Some aspects of compensation, like medical expenses or lost wages, are easy to calculate since they can be readily determined by referencing bills, invoices, or pay stubs. However, other, less-concrete damages like pain and suffering and lost quality of life are not as easy to calculate. These losses are somewhat subjective — a neck injury that prevents from playing golf may have differing impacts on quality of life between someone who plays golf recreationally and someone who plays professionally or semi-professionally.
In addition, a neck injury victim’s claim may be reduced in value if he or she suffered from a pre-existing neck condition, meaning that his or her current neck injury isn’t entirely attributable to the acts and omissions of the at-fault party.
Proof of Legal Liability
Finally, the last factor to be considered in valuing a neck injury is the likelihood that an at-fault party would be found liable at trial. The stronger the evidence of fault, the more money that the at-fault party will likely be willing to pay to limit his or her exposure to an even-higher jury verdict. Conversely, an injured party with weaker evidence may accept a lower payment or settlement to avoid the risk of losing at trial and getting nothing.
Contact a Red Bank Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Neck Injury Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Drazin & Warshaw, P.C. represent clients injured in Red Bank, Wall Township, Oceanport, Brielle and throughout Monmouth County, Middlesex County and Ocean County, New Jersey. Call Drazin & Warshaw, P.C. at (732) 576-8860 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 25 Reckless Place, Red Bank, NJ 07701, as well as offices in Hazlet and Brick.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.