National Summary of Neck Injury Awards in Auto Accidents
Overview and Statistics
“How much is my car accident case worth?” Time and again, this is the first question clients have on their mind when they have suffered an injury from a car crash. It makes sense. Any accident-related injury has the potential to generate significant costs and ongoing expenses. Accident victims might need to see specialists, undergo surgery, take expensive medications, and even miss work. Of course, neck injuries entail specific and complicated problems. Therefore, analyzing how much financial compensation is available to victims through the legal system is an appropriate and necessary process. To help answer the question, “How much is my car accident case worth?” our attorneys have published statistics below on what other plaintiffs with neck injuries from car accidents obtained (both jury awards and settlement amounts combined). These samples can provide context, however, every case is unique. Call us today to discuss how your circumstances affect monetary recovery and learn how you can obtain the compensation that you deserve!
Plaintiffs' Recovery in Car Accidents Involving Neck Injuries 1994-2014
STATE FREQUENCY OF CAR ACCIDENTS CASES INVOLVING NECK INJURIES AS PERCENTAGE OF THE NATIONAL TOTAL 1994-2014 (Rounded to hundredths)
Below are major statistics from accident cases involving neck injuries throughout the U.S.:
- Interestingly, not even 1% of plaintiffs obtained recovery over $5,000,000
- At 78%, the combined percentage of those who recovered nothing or a sum under $50,000 was the largest group in all injury categories.
- The most common states for neck injury litigation in car accidents include California, Florida, Missouri, New York, Texas, and Washington.
- The low financial recovery amount received in neck injury cases was approximately $50,000. The average recovery was between $350,000 and $550,000.
Case Summaries and Highlights
Below is a list of some case summaries detailing why some plaintiffs were more successful than others in obtaining recovery:
CASE NAME: O'LEARY v. FITZGIBBONS WOLODKOWICZ
STATE: NEW YORK
RECOVERY: $600,000 SETTLEMENT
This very interesting case started when a vehicle crossed the yellow line and hit the plaintiff’s car head-on precipitated by another crash. A third vehicle crashed into and propelled the car that eventually hit the plaintiff’s own automobile. The injuries to the plaintiff were overwhelming and involved sustained herniated discs, ACL tears, MCL sprains, and significant soft tissue damage in the neck. Shortly after this accident, the plaintiff fell down a flight of stairs and greatly exacerbated these harms; although, she claimed that the injuries from the car accident caused her to fall. Besides significant medical costs, the plaintiff incurred significant property damages and lost wages because she was unable to work. She sued both drivers arguing that they were each 50% at fault for the original crash. Neither denied liability for the collision but they did refute fault for the fall and for the extent of her injuries. All parties agreed to settle out of court for $600,000.
CASE NAME: GIEBLER v. UNION PAC. R.R. CO.
In this case, the plaintiff was a 54-year-old engineer who had just arrived for work. He parked his car and proceeded to walk to his job site when another car struck him on the side. As a result, he sustained significant neck and shoulder injuries that required multiple surgeries. He sued the railroad company that employed the driver and him. The plaintiff claimed that the driver was acting within the scope of his employment, and therefore, his employer should be liable for the driver’s actions under the liability theory of respondeat superior. The company denied liability, arguing that the driver was not acting in the course of his employment, and also claimed that the plaintiff was negligent in failing to keep a proper lookout. Neither side could agree upon liability, so the case went to trial where the jury found for the plaintiff; although, they still apportioned 5% of responsibility to the plaintiff. Therefore, the judge lowered the $1,500,000 jury award to $1,371,322.86 for medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other claimed damages.
CASE NAME: SCUDDER v. HAMMOND
Four passengers were travelling along a highway in Missouri when a car in the opposite lane crossed over the median and crashed into it. The opposing driver, Mr. Hamilton, claimed that another driver, Mr. Hammond, had caused him to cross over because he steered recklessly close to crashing into him. The four passengers all suffered injuries to the neck, face, and other parts of the body. The plaintiffs sued both drivers and Hammond’s employer. However, at trial, they could not sufficiently illustrate that Hammond caused Hamilton to cross over and crash into the plaintiffs. Therefore, all responsibility fell onto Hamilton and the jury gave $3,085,000 to the group of plaintiffs.