After sustaining a severe neck or back injury in an accident, you may find yourself unable to work, participate in recreational activities, or even care for yourself without assistance. Additionally, injuries of this nature are often accompanied by staggering medical bills. If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you should not have to pay the price. In fact, under Minnesota law, you may have the right to seek compensation for your damages.
If another party’s negligence led you to sustain a back or neck injury in a motor vehicle accident, on the job, or on someone else’s property it’s time to seek out a reputable Minnesota neck and back injury lawyer. Sand Law offers free case evaluations to prospective clients where we will review your options for pursuing damages and explain the services we offer. You can call us at (651) 291-7263. Or contact us online.
Causes of a Back and Neck Injury in a Minnesota Accident
Injuries to the neck and back occur when an outside force damages internal structures, such as nerves and muscles. This is commonly seen in Minnesota car accidents when the body is jerked back and forth. Neck and back injuries may also be caused when an object penetrates the neck or spine, causing trauma.
Common Causes of Neck and Back Injuries:
- Car accident
- Slip and fall accident
- Truck accident
- Boating accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Recreation vehicle accident
- Medical malpractice
Types of Back and Neck Injury
The neck and back are critical to facilitating movement, enabling sensory input to reach the brain, and supporting the skeletal system. A serious neck or back injury can compromise or permanently destroy those functions by damaging nerves, muscles, and tissue.
The severity of injuries can range widely depending on the precise location of the injury and the amount of force applied. For example, a spinal cord injury at the T-1 vertebrae can cause paraplegia, or paralysis from the chest down, while an injury of the C-2 vertebrae in the neck can induce quadriplegia, resulting in paralysis of the arms and legs.
Examples of back and Neck Injuries:
- Fractured or broken vertebrae
- Sprains and strains, such as lumbar sprains
- Disc herniation
- Spinal stenosis
- Complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries
How Does the Severity of Your Injury Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?
The severity of your neck or back injury can have a substantial influence on the amount of compensation you are able to recover in a personal injury lawsuit. It can determine the level of pain and suffering you endure. As well as the length of time you experience it. It can also significantly impact the treatment you require, and whether or not you fully recover. For example, you may need multiple surgeries, require physical therapy, and have to learn how to navigate life in a wheelchair.
In terms of how this impacts your Minnesota personal injury claim, for severe injuries, insurance companies will sometimes deliberately offer a significantly lower settlement than what your claim is worth. They do this in the hopes that you will be too overwhelmed by the stress of recovery and bills to put up a meaningful resistance. This is especially a risk with serious back and neck injury claims because they want to avoid paying for a lifetime of care and reduced earning capacity.
When you are looking at weeks or months of lost wages, hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, or a lifetime of pain, you can’t afford to jeopardize your settlement. If your back or neck injury is severe, you’ll likely have less time and energy to devote to pursuing damages, which once again emphasizes the importance of seeking out professional legal assistance. The backing of a personal injury lawyer can make all the difference in your Minneapolis personal injury claim.
Calculating Damages After an Accident that Caused a Back and Neck Injury
Not all back and neck injury claims will be valued the same in terms of damages. For example, let’s consider a driver who is in a rear-end car accident and suffers a minor whiplash injury. They have to wear a neck brace for a week and miss half a day of work to attend a doctor’s appointment. Compare this to a driver who suffered a complete spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis, forcing them to forfeit their active lifestyle and career.
The second driver would be able to claim a significantly higher amount in damages as they are looking at potential surgeries, the cost of a wheelchair and home modifications, therapy, and a lifetime of impairment, just to name a few damages. Also, keep in mind that the value of a personal injury claim is considered within the context of an individual plaintiff’s life.
Damages Are Evaluated Based on the Impact Your injuries Have On Your Life
As an example of this principle, let’s again consider two drivers who were involved in car accidents that weren’t their fault. In this example, we’ll assume they both sustained a serious whiplash injury. The first driver works a standard office job and enjoys reading as a hobby. The second driver worked as a lineman and enjoyed fishing as a hobby.
The whiplash injury would interfere with the first driver’s lifestyle and job to a much lesser degree than the second driver’s life. As a result, the second driver would be entitled to more extensive compensation, even for the same injury. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to assist you in calculating the value of your damages by taking into account both your past expenses and future needs.
Understanding Workers Compensation for Neck and Back Injuries
If your injury occurred at the workplace, there is a separate process for seeking reimbursement, which is known as workers’ compensation. Minnesota workers’ compensation offers employees a no-fault option to streamline the claims process so they can afford the care they need.
The worker’s compensation claims process allows injured employees to recover a portion of medical bills and lost wages regardless of who was to blame for the accident that caused their injuries. Despite its seemingly straightforward approach, the worker’s compensation process can be contentious and complicated. It’s best to seek out the counsel of an experienced Minnesota worker’s compensation attorney to protect your right to compensation.
What if I Can’t Return to Work?
If you can no longer return to your previous job due to a severe neck or back injury, you may be able to claim damages for the cost of job retraining and even wage discrepancy if your new position pays less than your old one. Unfortunately, some neck and back injuries may completely prevent you from resuming your career altogether.
In that event, a personal injury claim could compensate you for the loss of your career and pay for assistance with finding and training for a new career. An example of a situation where this might apply would be a construction worker who suffers a back injury in a motorcycle accident that severely limits their range of motion. In a personal injury lawsuit, they could potentially demand compensation for the impact of their injury on their career, in addition to the standard medical bills and lost wages.
What if I’m Disabled After a Minneapolis Neck or Back Injury?
Neck and back injuries can be some of the most debilitating types of personal injuries, which is why we account for the long-term costs of living with a disability when we file a claim for damages on your behalf. You may no longer be able to drive, cook, clean, work, or participate in your favorite hobbies. Additionally, living with a permanent disability is often accompanied by hefty medical expenses and irritating day-to-day inconveniences.
Sometimes we encounter clients that have become permanently disabled in an accident who are hesitant to ask for such a large sum in a personal injury lawsuit. Please rest assured that it is completely appropriate for you to request compensation for the physical, financial, and emotional losses you have already sustained, as well as the costs you will pay over a lifetime as a result of someone else’s negligence. In fact, it is a right protected under Minnesota law. The personal injury lawyers of Sand Law are prepared to support you every step of the way.
The Minneapolis Back and Neck Injury Lawyers of Sand Law Are Here to Help You
If someone else’s negligent behavior is responsible for your neck or back injury, you should not have to struggle to afford medical treatment and provide for your family. You can depend on the Minneapolis back and neck injury lawyer of Sand Law to pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.
Our team of seasoned Minneapolis personal injury attorneys has handled a wide variety of neck and back injury claims with great success. We are dedicated advocates who are not afraid to stand up to insurance companies in negotiations and in court. Sand Law will ensure that you are involved throughout the claims process and prioritize your needs.
You don’t have to navigate your personal injury lawsuit alone. Expert legal advice is available to you free of charge at Sand Law. Schedule a free case evaluation by calling (651) 291-7263 or contacting us online.