Back Injury Lawsuit Value
Call today for a free case evaluation to discuss your back injury case
Back injury claims allow victims to achieve compensation from the business
or person that’s legally responsible for the proximate cause of
your injury/injuries, or the underlying factor that led to your injury/injuries.
The value of any
back injury claim has to be evaluated on a case by case basis due to the fact that
back injuries can range from a simple sprain or strain, to a spinal cord
injury and even paralysis. That being said, there are some basic guidelines
that can be applied when a back injury value assessment is being made.
Back Injury Lawsuit Value
Back injury claims will most typically include two types of damages, economic
damages and non-economic damages. The economic and non-economic damages
are often just grouped together as a singular damage award called compensatory
damages. The following takes a look at both types of damages along with
other financial recovery options available in the typical back injury case.
Compensatory Damages – Economic
Sometimes referred to as special damages, economic compensatory damages
will cover everything that’s an actual loss financially. This includes
things like money that you’ve had to spend, or money that you’re
unable to earn due to your injury. Potential damages in a back injury
claim will include:
- Lost Income and Wages
- Medical Bills
- Future Medical Bills
You’re entitled to compensation for any loss of income that you’ve
incurred due to your back injury, as well as any expected future reductions
in capacity to earn in the future. Lost income and wages will be determined
by many factors, including:
- Amount of Work You’ve Missed
- Examining Your Salary History
- Vacation and Sick Time
The loss of your earning capacity, also referred to as lost future income,
is something that’s calculated under a very complex formula which
will include an assessment of your projected future earnings and the impact
that your back injuries will have on your ability to do your current level
of work or any kind of other work as well.
Depending on your injuries severity, the past and future medical bill costs
are going to vary. For instance, surgery if a disk is herniated will be
much more expensive than the minimal amount for x-rays if there is only
a minor sprain and/or strain. Physical therapy will be around $100 per
session, while the herniated disk surgery will be around $8,000-$10,000,
sometimes more. X-rays will be as small as $100, to over $1,000 in some
instances. When there are cases that involve paralysis and serious spinal
injuries, the costs of future medical care can be into the millions of
dollars as in some instances they’ll be lifelong injuries.
Compensatory Damages – Non-Economic
Sometimes referred to as general damages, non-economic compensatory damages
will provide additional compensation for any losses associated with your
back injury that aren’t monetary in nature. These are associated
effects with your back injury and are losses that aren’t easily
calculable like economic compensatory damages are. Typically, the non-economic
compensatory damages are going to include:
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Consortium
- Pain and Suffering
When it’s applicable, damages for emotional distress will be applied
either compensation as part of pain and suffering or will be assessed
separately, this is dependent on state law. Within the state of Texas,
it’ll be assessed separately.
Whenever a back injury is very serious, this is in instances like severe
spinal injuries and paralysis, loss of consortium comes into play. Loss
of consortium means that the victim and his/her loved ones (spouse and
children) are deprived of companionship and the normal loving relationship
that they’d have had the victim not suffered their back injury.
For example, in the case of a spouse the loss of a marital sexual relationship
loss of consortium may be awarded. As with emotional distress, loss of
consortium can be awarded with the other compensatory damages. In other
instances, the loss of consortium damages must be filed separately. Within
the state of Texas, loss of consortium must be filed separately.
The Doan Law Firm will be able to walk you through the entire process and advocate on your behalf.
Pain multipliers are the most often used way to calculate damages for pain
and suffering. Essentially, this means that lost wages, medical expenses,
etc…, (economic compensatory damages) will be multiplied by a set
number. For example, often 1.5-5, however, when there’s a serious
injury, the multiplier will often be significantly higher.
In back injury cases, there are rare circumstances where punitive damages
will be awarded as well. For any punitive damages to be awarded there
has to be proof that the inaction or actions of the defendant in their
causing of the accident is something that accounted to more than just
negligence that is considered “run of the mill negligence”.
Even if that is provable, punitive damages are usually only going to be
awarded once the case has gone through an entire civil trial and the jury
made the decision that a punitive damage award is appropriate. Additionally,
in order for the payment of additional damages to be justified, the conduct
of the defendant has to be considered so egregious or outrageous that
the defendants behavior needs to be punished more so than the awarded
compensation to the back injury victim.
Other Factors That Can Affect a Claims Value
Although the value of a back injury claim is going to be determined mainly
on the injuries severity, there are two additional considerations that
will likely affect the amount of received compensation:
- Failure to Mitigate Damages
- Comparative and Contributory Negligence
After you’ve incurred a back injury, you’re required to mitigate
the damages by taking reasonable steps that’ll mitigate your damages.
As an example, if you have suffered a sprained back and your doctor has
prescribed you a compression brace that you must wear for at least 12
hours per day but you don’t ever wear it (such as the defendant
can prove you never even went and picked it up) and your injuries have
become worse, you’ve failed to mitigate your damages. By refusing
to take the needed steps to treat your injuries and made the decision
not to, the defendant almost always will be off the hook, at least for
a significant portion of the damages.
Comparative and contributory negligence are the other factors that will
determine the amount of compensation received. There are a small amount
of states that follow contributory negligence law where if you’re
partially responsible for the cause of your injuries you’ll recover
nothing at all. The state of Texas is not one of those states.
In Texas, as in the majority of states, there is a different type of rule
that’s called comparative negligence. With comparative negligence
it’s possible you’ll be able to recover so long as the other
party was at least 50-51% responsible for your injuries. Percentage of
responsibility will vary based on the state. Damages are then awarded
and reduced based upon your amount of bared responsibility. For example,
if you’re deemed to be 30% at fault, you’ll then only collect
70% of the total awarded damages. Texas is a comparative negligence state.
Contact The Doan Law Firm
If you’ve been injured at work or by another person’s negligence
you have rights.
Contact one of the back injury personal injury lawyers at The Doan Law Firm today
and receive representation. Unlike other law firms that send you to voicemail,
have you talk to a call center or tell you to call back during business
hours, our personal injury lawyers are standing by to take your call 24/7/365,
whether it’s 3am or Christmas Day.
Call for a free consultation now at (800) 349-0000.