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Knowing how much your personal injury claim is worth can be challenging when you suffer a neck or back injury due to someone else’s negligence. Several factors impact the value of a claim, and it’s essential to understand them to improve your ability to get the compensation you deserve.
If you suffered neck and back injuries due to someone else’s negligence, speak with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer. Anthony A. Ferrante has years of experience assisting injured victims in New York. He can identify all potential sources of recovery, accurately evaluate your case value, and negotiate with the responsible party’s insurance company to maximize your settlement.
Read on to learn more about the factors impacting your case value.
Factors that Impact Your Neck and Back Injury Claim
Determining the value of your case is often complicated, as multiple factors affect your claim in varying ways.
The extent of your injuries significantly impacts the value of a personal injury claim. If your injuries are severe and require long-term treatment or rehabilitation, your claim is likely to be worth more than if your injuries are minor and require only a short recovery period. For example, a herniated disc that requires surgery is likely worth more than a sprained neck that only requires physical therapy.
How have your injuries impacted your life? Are you unable to work due to pain or continued treatment? If the injuries have caused you to miss work or have made it difficult for you to perform your job, this fact will impact the value of your claim. Additionally, injuries that have resulted in permanent damage will be treated differently.
Your total losses also impact the value of your claim. Damages consist of financial losses such as medical treatment and lost wages. These damages are relatively easy to calculate because they are verifiable losses. Other damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium, are more challenging to value. That’s because there are no corresponding financial losses. These values are subjective, and insurance companies like to downplay a victim’s suffering.
Type of Accident
The type of accident also impacts your potential compensation in New York. That’s because this is a no-fault state for car accidents. You must seek reimbursement for medical and lost wages under your personal injury protection (PIP) policy if you suffered neck and back injuries in a car accident. You can bring a personal injury claim against the other driver only if you meet the severe injury criteria or if your damages exceed $50,000.
The caveat is PIP benefits don’t include fault-based damages, such as pain and suffering. You can collect benefits only up to your PIP limits. That means two people with similar neck injuries could have vastly different settlements if one victim was injured in a car accident and the other received injuries in a slip and fall.
Liability is also another determining factor when calculating case value. To prove liability in a negligence-based case, you must show the following:
- The responsible party owed you some type of legal duty,
- The responsible party breached this legal duty;
- You suffered direct harm due to the breach; and
- You have verifiable financial losses from the accident.
Proving all four elements of negligence is crucial. Otherwise, you won’t have a successful liability argument.
Available Insurance Coverage
The amount of available insurance coverage will also impact how much you receive. If the person or entity that caused the injury has little or no insurance, it may be challenging to recover enough compensation to cover your damages.
It won’t matter if your case is worth $200,000 if the available insurance coverage is only $100,000. To collect beyond that, you might need to look at other options, such as:
- Other legally responsible parties,
- Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) on your own policy, or
- Suing the defendant directly.
Options will vary depending on what type of personal injury claim you’re pursuing and the resources of the responsible party.
Why Hire a New York Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury claims involving neck and back injuries can be challenging to value. The insurance company representing the person or entity that caused your injuries will likely try to settle your claim for as little as possible. This is why it’s essential to consult with a New York personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Mr. Ferrante will help you navigate the legal process and fight for the total compensation you deserve. Contact our office to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.