What Is the Average Settlement for Car Accident Back and Neck Injury in Ohio?

Post By Corey Heit

I hear this question a lot. I never have a precise answer.

It is true that as a personal injury attorney practicing in and around Columbus, Ohio, I spend a good deal of time working to secure insurance settlements for car accident victims who suffered neck and back injuries. Calculating the average payment for my clients would not be difficult. The process would be time-consuming, but adding up the settlements negotiated for each case and dividing by the number of clients is a grade-school math problem.

I’ll just never do that, though. The resulting dollar figure would be meaningless because too many factors determine the outcome of a case. At a minimum, the amount of car accident injury settlement depends on the severity of the injuries, the availability of liability coverage, and the desire of the injured person to accept a settlement offer. average car accident settlement in Ohio

Settling Quickly

Let’s look at those three factors in reverse order. Say that a person with a neck injury is seeking compensation from the driver who caused a car accident near Westerville in Franklin County. The injured person has limited health insurance coverage and does not feel inclined to get into a months- or years-long fight with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

This person could quickly agree to accept a settlement offer that does nothing but pay off their medical bills. Even someone looking at only the dollar amount could think that the settlement was too low, the accident victim is probably quite happy. They are healthy again, not in debt, and done dealing with insurance claims adjusters.

Agreeing to a Maximum Settlement

The availability of liability coverage is the second big factor that determines the amount of a neck or back injury settlement following a crash. Liability coverage provides compensation to crash victims for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost future earnings, and pain and suffering. Ohio state law requires drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage, and many individuals insure themselves for exactly that amount.

Even though fully recovering from a traffic accident can cost much more than $25,000, the company that issues an auto insurance policy has no legal obligation to pay out more on a claims than the contract specifies. A crash victim who does not carry underinsured motorist coverage through their own policy may have no choice other than to accept a maximum settlement.

Fighting for Full Compensation

For this example, picture the victim of an accident caused by a commercial truck driver. After an 18-wheeler rear-ended a car when traffic backed up near a highway work zone, the person in the smaller vehicle went to the hospital, required multiple surgeries, and spent several months out of work.

The truck driver will be covered by multiple insurance policies, including the one held by the company that employed the trucker. Injury claims can be filed against each policy that applies, which itself will be determined by the facts of how the crash occurred.

Additionally, liability coverage minimums for insurance policies issued to commercial truck drivers and on tractor-trailers are higher than those for personal-use vehicles. In this circumstance, the crash victims can work with their personal injury attorney to fight for all the compensation they are due. If no acceptable settlement payment is offered, the case can be taken to court.

If you need to speak with a lawyer in central Ohio about obtaining a settlement for a neck or back injury, consider reaching out to Corey Heit of Heit Law. He offers free consultations, and he takes appointments online. To speak with Corey directly, call (614) 898-5300.

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