I was rear ended and have permanent back pain. What is the settlement amount?

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While those in fault states are permitted to sue to collect their car accident damages, many cases do settle outside of court because car insurers facing a car accident injury claim often prefer to minimize the risk of a jury trial. When a settlement is being negotiated for a car accident injury case, it is imperative that the victim of the car accident know and understand what his or her legal rights are under the law, so that an informed choice can be made as to whether a settlement is fair or not. This becomes even more important when the car accident victim suffered a permanent injury, because once a settlement is accepted, there is no further opportunity to collect damages based on the accident.

If you have suffered a permanent back injury as a result of being rear ended, you should know what you would be entitled to if you took the case to court and you should use that information as a starting point for determining whether your settlement is fair or not. If you went to court based on a car accident injury case, the jury would consider several different things in assessing your total damage award. The factors that would be taken into account by a jury include:

  • Medical bills (both past and future)
  • Lost wages (both past and future)
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship, if applicable

Some compensation for each of these different things should be factored into any settlement. It is also important to note that in a case where you were rear-ended, fault is generally relatively straightforward since the car in the rear had a legal obligation to maintain safe following distance and thus will be presumed to be negligent and at least partially at fault for the accident. As such, insurers should be willing to offer a fair and reasonable settlement since they would likely have a hard time disputing responsibility in a trial setting.

Every case is different. To ensure that your settlement is fair, it is in your best interests to consult with a qualified attorney who can evaluate your situation and help you to determine what settlement you should be entitled to.