National Summary of Neck Injury Awards in Auto Accidents

Overview and Statistics

“How much is my car accident case worth?” Time and time again, this is the first and foremost question clients have on their mind when they have suffered an injury from a car crash. It makes sense. Any injury has the potential to rack up significant costs and attention. You might need to see specialists, have surgery, take expensive medications, and even miss work. Of course, neck injuries entail specific and complicated questions unique to this special place within the human anatomy. Therefore, analyzing compensation available through the legal system is a completely appropriate and sometimes necessary process. In an effort to help you answer the question, “How much is my car accident case worth?” we have put some statistics below on what other plaintiffs with neck injuries from car accidents obtained (both jury awards and settlement amounts combined). This should only provide you with context, however, because your case is different. Call us today to hear how your circumstances affect recovery and to learn how you can obtain the compensation that you deserve!

Plaintiffs' Recovery in Car Accidents Involving Neck Injuries 1994-2014
Amount Recovered
$0
$1-$49,999
$50,000-$99,999
$100,000-$199,999
$200,000-$499,999
$500,000-$999,999
$1,000,000-$1,999,999
$2,000,000-5,000,000
>$5,000,000
Percentage of Cases
32%
46%
7%
5%
4%
3%
2%
1%
0%

STATE FREQUENCY OF CAR ACCIDENTS CASES INVOLVING NECK INJURIES AS PERCENTAGE OF THE NATIONAL TOTAL 1994-2014 (Rounded to hundredths)

National Neck Injury Awards and Settlements

Here are some major takeaways from accident cases involving neck injuries around the country:

  • 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 across all categories of injuries.
  • The most common states for neck injury litigation in car accidents were California, Florida, Missouri, New York, Texas, and Washington.
  • The recovery was approximately $50,000 and the average recovery was between $350,000 and $550,000.
Case Summaries and Highlights

Below we have listed some case summaries to give you an indication of 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

SUMMARY:

This very interesting case started when a vehicle crossed the yellow line and hit the plaintiff’s car head-on. This collision was actually 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. She sustained herniated disks, ACL tears, MCL sprains, and significant soft tissue damage in the neck. Shortly after this accident, she 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, she incurred a lot of property damages and lost wages because she could not work. She sued both of the other 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.

STATE: COLORADO

RECOVERY: $1,500,000

SUMMARY:

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 both him and the driver. He claimed that the driver was acting within the scope of his employment, and therefore, the company 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

STATE: MISSOURI

RECOVERY: $3,085,000

SUMMARY:

Four passengers were travelling along a highway in Missouri when a car in the opposite lane crossed over the median and smashed right into it. The opposing driver, Mr. Hamilton, claimed that another driver, Mr. Hammond, had caused him to cross over because he came recklessly close to crashing into him. The four passengers all suffered injuries to the neck, face, and other parts of the body. They sued both drivers and the 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.

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