Estimating the Value of Your Back Injury Case in New Jersey
Anyone suffering from a back injury knows how the pain seems to take over their life. In certain cases, surgery can assist in alleviating some of the pain. Still in other cases, there is simply no fix for the back problem and you are left with pain, discomfort, and potentially life-long complications. While some back injuries are simply unavoidable, due to overuse, a prior sports injury, heavy lifting, or even the aging process, others are entirely preventable. This is a typically harsh reality when you may have avoided a back injury, had someone else simply exercised proper care. It may feel like the deck is stacked against you when suffering from a back injury. Insurance companies and other parties tend to make it more difficult to recover, not less. If you have suffered back injuries from a car accident, slip and fall incident, motorcycle crash, or another accident in which another party was negligent, you need an experienced attorney who will fight for you. Our highly skilled New Jersey personal injury lawyers are dedicated to seeking top compensation in your back injury claim. Our approach is simple: you recover, let us handle the rest. Contact us at (732) 303-7857 or use our online form to receive a free evaluation of your particular back injury case. Our team is always available to provide you with a no-cost, no obligation consultation.
The Basics of Back Injuries
A back injury can be complicated, as there are many components of this area of the body. Specifically, the spinal column is made up of 33 bones and includes 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 vertebrae in the thoracic region, 5 vertebrae in the lumbar region, and 2 larger bones known as the sacrum and the coccyx. The vertebrae run from the neck area to the tail bone and provide the spinal cord with crucial protection. The spinal cord is composed of bundles of nerves that are not only protected by the vertebrae, but the discs as well. These discs are located between each vertebrae and absorb shock from everyday use, blows to the body, and other force exerted on this area. Additionally, the back contains nerves, tendons, and muscles.
The vertebrae, nerves, muscles, tendons, and spinal cord all act together to allow the body to move. While the back region itself is complex, it also plays a critical role in facilitating a vast array of other bodily functions. Essentially, the spinal cord carries signals from our brains to our bodies like telephone wires to allow for movement and sensations related to touch, pain, temperature, and position. As such, if the spine is damaged, there can be a loss of movement and/or function affecting one or more of the senses. For instance, damage to the thoracic and lumbar regions can cause loss of movement and sensation in the legs, while neck injuries can cause motor and sensory issues in the arms and legs.
How Back Injuries Happen
Slip and falls, car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and a plethora of other accidents unfortunately cause many debilitating back injuries.
Hurt my Back in a Car Accident
Car accidents happen for a variety of reasons, often resulting in back and spine injuries. Whether another driver was texting, sleep deprived, or generally distracted, they should be held responsible if they were at-fault for causing your back injury. Just as there are many reasons why car accidents happen, there are many different types of accidents that cause back injuries. Two of the more common motor vehicle accidents causing back injuries are rear-end collisions and head-on collisions.
Back Injury from Fall
Slip and falls, falls at work, falling from great heights, and many other types of falls also cause serious back injuries. These accidents may occur in grocery stores and supermarkets, on private properties, at shopping malls, on construction sites, and in apartment complexes. Often, the accident could have been avoided had the property owner taken proper precautions in maintaining the safety of their property. For example, slip and falls are frequently caused by slippery floors, lack of proper signage, or improper lighting. All of the circumstances must be addressed by the property owner in order to avoid endangering visitors and patrons. Failure to do so is considered grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.
What does a Back Injury Settlement Include?
It is important to note that above are just a few of the more frequently occurring causes of back injuries. Regardless of the specific event involved in your back injury case, the law provides you with a means by which to pursue compensation if your injuries were caused by someone else. Through a successful lawsuit, you may be able to obtain financial compensation (“damages”) for medical bills, loss of income, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and a variety of other losses associated with your back injury.
What is my Back Injury Case Worth?
When determining the value of a particular back injury case, many factors are considered, including the nature of the injury, the extent of the injury, the specific treatment required, any pre-existing conditions, and the long-term consequences of said injury. As you might expect, the more severe the injury, the higher the award may be. For example, if you are no longer able to work and had to undergo multiple corrective surgeries, the cost of your medical bills would be covered, as well as any future lost wages. The physical pain and emotional suffering caused by the injury is also critical when accurately valuing a back injury case. Ultimately, the amount of compensation is not an exact science. Courts evaluate both personal, professional, and financial losses when deciding how much a back injury victim is entitled to. Depending on the case, a settlement may be negotiated by attorneys and insurance companies, or a verdict may be awarded by a jury after a trial.
Common Types of Back Injuries
With so many distinct components and functions within the back region, damage to different areas of the back can cause a myriad of unique injuries. Some of the more common back injuries are explained in greater detail below.
An accident such as a car crash can cause the disc to rupture, which disturbs its overall function, preventing it from acting as a cushion between vertebrae. The ruptured part of the disc causes its cartilage to stick out and bump against the spinal cord, causing pain. Similarly, a slipped disc occurs when the disc is displaced from it natural position, thereby causing pain. Pain associated with this type of injury may include tingling in the extremities, shooting electric pain, and numbness.
Spinal fractures can occur when there is any blunt or traumatic force to the bones in the back that causes compression. Common back fractures in car accidents include: compression fractures of the vertebrae, dislocation fractures, and transverse fractures. Someone suffering from these types of breaks may feel or experience pain, swelling, numbness, or tingling. Any type of fracture can prevent functional activities and significantly reduce your quality of life.
Facet Joint Injuries
Facet joints are located on the top and bottom of each vertebrae. There are two prongs on the top of the vertebrae and two on the bottom that connect one vertebrae to the next, similar to a puzzle piece. The facet joints help support your body and control movement. If the joints become injured, the heavy concentration of nerves cause severe pain and muscle spasms.
Whiplash is another common injury in car accidents as the body is involuntarily forced forward or backward upon impact. Whiplash often causes pain in the neck, blurred vision, headaches, stiffness, dizziness, and fatigue.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injures are injuries sustained by the ligaments, tendons, and muscles around the vertebrae. These injuries may cause pain, swelling, or stiffness.
Remember, when estimating the value of a back injury claim, the type and extent of the specific back injury involved is extremely important. The best course of action if you are wondering how much your back injury may be worth is to consult a knowledgeable attorney who can examine your particular circumstances.
Can a Lawyer Help Sue for a Back Injury in NJ?
If you suffered a back injury in a car accident, slip and fall, or otherwise as a result of someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Not every back injury case meets the necessary criteria for a lawsuit, but it is important to speak with a New Jersey personal injury lawyer with experience handling back injury claims to find out if you may have reason to sue those responsible. Our highly team of injury attorneys in NJ can help you assess your legal options now. For more information and a free case evaluation, contact our local NJ offices at (732) 303-7857.