Neck pain is a common complaint following a car accident. Even seemingly minor accidents often result in whiplash and other soft-tissue neck injuries. Understandably, one of the most common questions we receive from prospective clients is, Can I sue for neck pain after a car accident? Yes, you can sue when another party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts result in injuries.
Neck injuries can result in significant physical, emotional, and financial distress. Read on to learn more about your rights in a car accident case, the factors that can impact your potential settlement, common types of neck injuries, and what steps you should take when filing a claim for your damages.
Average Settlements for Neck Pain Claims
There’s no such thing as an average settlement amount regarding neck injury claims. Each case is unique and various factors can influence car accident settlements involving neck pain. Understanding these factors can help you estimate the potential value of your claim.
Factors That Impact Your Neck Pain Claim
Four main factors can impact how much money you might receive for a neck injury. These factors are the severity of your neck injury, liability, your total damages, and how much available insurance coverage there is.
The Severity of Your Neck Injury
The severity of your neck injury could significantly impact the compensation you can recover. More severe injuries typically result in higher medical expenses, a more extended recovery, and a greater likelihood of long-term complications. Therefore, the more severe your neck injury, the more your case might be worth.
Liability and Georgia’s Comparative Negligence Law
In Georgia, comparative negligence plays a crucial role in determining compensation. Under this law, the court will assign a percentage of fault to each party involved in the accident. If you’re partially at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if a jury finds you 20% at fault, your compensation will be 80% of your damages.
It’s important to note that you will receive nothing if a jury finds you 50% or more responsible for causing the wreck. The liability law in Georgia states that if you’re 50% or more at fault, you will be ineligible to receive any compensation. That’s why you can have two very similar neck injuries resolve for vastly different amounts.
Your Total Damages
The total damages in your case will also affect your settlement amount. Damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other losses related to your accident. The higher your damages, the higher your potential compensation, depending on the other factors.
Amount of Available Insurance Coverage
Another factor influencing your settlement is the amount of available insurance coverage. If the at-fault driver has limited liability coverage, you may be unable to recover the total value of your claim, even if you have a strong case.This is an frustratingly common occurrence in Georgia, as the law only requires drivers to have $25,000.00 in liability insurance coverage. In such instances, it’s essential to explore other avenues of compensation, such as your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Common Types of Neck Injuries and Symptoms
Neck pain after a car accident can be a symptom of various injuries, including the following:
- Whiplash is one of the most common neck injuries following a car accident, caused by the neck’s sudden, forceful back-and-forth movement. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, dizziness, and limited range of motion.
- Herniated cervical disc injuries occur when a spinal disc ruptures or suffers damage, causing the inner gel-like material to leak and irritate nearby nerves. Symptoms include neck pain, numbness, tingling, and arm weakness.
- Spinal cord injuries can result from damage to the spinal column’s vertebrae, ligaments, discs, or spinal cord. Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the injury but can include neck pain, loss of sensation, difficulty breathing, and paralysis.
- Fractured vertebrae can occur when the bones in your neck are subjected to extreme force during an accident. Symptoms include severe neck pain, muscle spasms, and limited mobility.
If you suffered any neck injury in a car accident, contact MG Law to discuss your potential avenues of recovery.
Steps to Take to File a Neck Pain Claim
The steps you take following a car accident can impact your personal injury claim. Here are some helpful things to remember when suing for neck pain following a car crash.
Contact the Police and Document the Scene
You should always call the police following an injury accident. Be sure to exchange contact information with all involved parties and get witness information if anyone stopped after the accident. While waiting for the police to respond, take photos of the accident scene with your phone. Get pictures of vehicle damage, any skid marks, debris, etc.
Seek Medical Attention
After a car accident, seeking medical attention is essential, even if you don’t feel immediate neck pain. Some neck injuries, like whiplash, may not have symptoms right away. A thorough medical evaluation can help identify and document your injuries. If you delay treatment, the other driver’s insurance adjuster will use it against you.
Consult an Injury Attorney
A skilled accident lawyer can evaluate your case and help you understand your legal options. At MG Law, we will guide you through the claims process, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and represent you in court if necessary.
File Your Claim
With the help of your attorney, file your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Your attorney will help gather and preserve evidence and discuss how to calculate your damages. Once you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, your attorney will discuss sending a demand for settlement to the responsible party’s insurance.
Negotiate a Settlement
One of the best reasons to have a lawyer represent you for a neck injury claim is to have a strong negotiator on your side. Your attorney will handle all negotiations, so you don’t have to deal with the added stress of trying to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Litigate Your Case
If we cannot reach a fair settlement, we might need to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. Filing a lawsuit doesn’t mean your case will definitely go to trial, but we will always prepare the strongest case possible in the event it does.
Contact MG Law Today
If you suffered neck injuries in a car accident, you have rights. Forget searching online for answers to questions such as, Can I sue for neck pain after a car accident? Instead, contact the experienced legal team at MG Law. We have years of experience representing victims of car accidents. We know how debilitating neck injuries can be and how insurance companies tend to undervalue these claims. Don’t let the insurance company make you believe your neck injury isn’t worth much. Schedule an initial consultation with our office to learn how we can assist.