The Law Dictionary

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How Much Is The Settlement From a Lower Back Injury?

There are a number of factors that have to enter into what will become a somewhat complicated calculation. Some of the readily available factors are: Who is accountable for the situation, accident, and/or injury? Is it a car accident or personal injury, or both? Is the damage from the injury temporary or permanent? Is it temporary now, but turn into a permanent damage? What work can the injured person do and what the person not do as a result of this injury? Will the person’s ability to work degrade as time goes on due to the injury? What changes to the injured person’s quality of life have occurred due to this injury? What will occur over time? Age is a factor. Family situation is a factor. The state, whose laws preside over this injury, is a factor.

One contributor stated the American Medical Association publishes guidelines for rating permanent injuries. It is currently in its sixth edition, and an available guide (not the actual content) is online. The actual AMA document cost some decently dollars to buy. But, even the guide itself has some interesting reading. Several contributors stated that a baseline is often established by using the costs of current treatments and extrapolating that cost out over how many years the injured person might live, using age as a factor. On top of this, other factors contribute to the calculation that will ultimately lead to the settlement.

When it comes to settlements, and lawyers are involved, remember that lawyers often see the dollar signs, not the timeline that you the injured party has. A lawyer wants to maximize the settlement, not just for the injured party.

A distinct difference is made in the AMA guide between soft tissue and structure / bone damage. For the most part, soft tissue is expected to heal over time, making it typically a temporary injury, unless it is pointed out definitively by a medical professional. One of the biggest factors is the state that has jurisdiction over the injury. As is typical, different states have different exemptions, definitions, references, limitations and so on, ad nauseam. In most cases it would be wise, as always, to discuss your condition and situation with your own lawyer. As a radio ad tells us, workman’s comp companies are not in the business of making payouts. The injured person is not the workman’s comp company’s client. The injured person’s company is the client. This now brings up the eternal struggle between actual injuries and faked or exaggerated injuries. So many people file for compensation that it burdens the system. We all too often read about faked injuries in the news. What is truly horrifying is that people in positions of trust and high accountability are found to be the offenders. It has force compensation insurance companies demand a greater and every growing stack of proof. Even doctors have been found involved in schemes to defraud.

So, to summarize, with all of the various factors involved, it is essential impossible to estimate a settlement here. But, with a good lawyer and solid documentation, it is likely that you will do well.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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