Disclaimer: The dollar amounts referenced in this article are based on past results and should not be interpreted to suggest or imply that other cases will have comparable outcomes. Ultimately, a jury will determine the value of your case. Because the circumstances surrounding each injury are unique, each case should be evaluated on an individual basis by a personal injury lawyer.
Back injuries are some of the most common unintentional injuries in the U.S., particularly in construction, warehousing, agriculture, and other industries that require intensive physical labor. A back injury can also be caused by a car accident, a slip and fall accident, an act of medical malpractice, or any number of other situations. If you or one of your loved ones suffered a serious back injury in Pennsylvania, such as fractured vertebrae or torn muscles and ligaments, it may be possible for your family to recover compensation to help with your medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. This article will explain the basic differences between verdicts and settlements, while providing some real-world examples of each.
How is a Verdict Different from a Settlement?
There are two ways an injury victim can be compensated: through an out-of-court settlement, or through a verdict awarded by a jury. Settlements are far more common than verdicts, since only about 5% of personal injury cases ever make it to trial.
In a settlement, attorneys from both sides attempt to work out a mutually acceptable sum of money. If negotiations go smoothly, the settlement might resolve well in advance of the scheduled trial date – but in other situations, it proves impossible to reach an agreement, which means that a trial will become necessary to resolve the matter.
If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful and the case proceeds to trial, a jury will listen to each side’s arguments and review the evidence in order to make a determination as to whether the defendant was at fault for the injury as the plaintiff alleges. In order for the jury to award him or her a verdict, the plaintiff needs to prove a few specific points:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a “duty of care.” To provide a few examples, all drivers have a duty of care to other drivers, while all doctors have a duty of care to their patients.
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care to the plaintiff, whether through action or inaction. There are countless ways a duty of care might be breached, depending on the nature of the accident underlying the suit. For instance, if a suit involves a car accident in Philadelphia, a breach of duty might involve speeding, running a red light, or making an improper left turn. If a suit involves a slip and fall injury, the breach of duty might be failure to maintain a building or parking lot adequately.
- The plaintiff’s accident was preventable, and was the result of the defendant’s actions or failure to act.
- The accident caused harm to the plaintiff.
Examples of Dollar Amounts Awarded to Back Injury Victims in PA
Just in case you skipped the disclaimer up top, it’s important to emphasize that the dollar amounts listed below do not guarantee a similar outcome for your back injury claim. Every case will be subject to a unique set of economic considerations based on factors like the plaintiff’s injury, age, occupation, and the amount of time he or she is expected to be out of the workforce.
With that caveat in mind, here are some real-life examples of settlements and verdicts which have been awarded to Pennsylvania back injury victims.
- $1.4 million settlement received by a woman who sustained serious back injuries after falling down an open elevator shaft.
- $1.3 million settlement received by a woman whose back was injured in a car accident.
- $1 million settlement received by a plaintiff whose back was injured in a truck accident.
- $600,000 settlement received by a plaintiff who had to undergo multiple back surgeries following a truck accident.
- $400,000 settlement received by a man who suffered herniated discs in his lower back after being hit by a forklift.
- $300,000 verdict awarded to a man who needed back fusion surgery after a slip and fall accident in an icy parking lot.
- $195,000 worker’s compensation settlement received by a construction worker who suffered a workplace back injury.
- $162,000 settlement received by a plaintiff whose existing back condition was aggravated by a car accident.
- $22,500 settlement received by a woman who sustained back and neck injuries in a SEPTA accident.
If you hurt your in a car accident or while visiting another person’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Pennsylvania premises liability lawyer Brent Wieand at (800) 481-5206 right away to set up a free and confidential assessment of your case.
***Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice.***