Statistics tell us that millions of people are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to falls. Back injuries, in particular, are especially common.
If you experience a back injury because of someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, and other associated costs.
In this issue, we’ll talk specifically about the various factors that used to determine what a back injury is worth.
What’s my back injury worth?
Most cases involving back injuries will involve covering expenses for economic injuries and non-economic injuries.
Economic injuries are straightforward, and involve firm figures for things like medical bills (those you’ve already incurred and those that are expected to be incurred) because of the injury.
Non-economic injuries are a bit more subjective and involve issues including:
- Pain and suffering you’ve experienced because of your injuries;
- Loss of consortium (your spouse, for example, being deprived of the normal aspects of the relationship you’ve previously enjoyed because of your back injury,); and
- Punitive damages, which are awarded in rare cases where the negligence was found to have been especially harmful.
What will be considered in my back injury case?
The type of injury you’ve experienced will, of course, play a vital role in your personal injury case. For example, disc bulges, tears, and herniations are typically considered more serious and long-lasting than back strains, which can still be eligible for a settlement or jury award.
How will the extent of my back injury be determined?
At a minimum, you should expect a physical examination by a licensed physician. If your back injury causes numbness or weakness in your legs, further testing will probably be warranted, and will include:
- X-rays (used to assess the stability or instability of your spine and identify any fractures);
- MRI scans (used to identify disc bulges and herniations); or
- CT scan (a detailed cross-sectional X-ray to identify herniated discs).
Another important factor that will need to be determined is whether you experienced a pre-existing condition before the incident.