How much is diminished range of motion in neck worth for car accident settlement? - Accident Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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How much is diminished range of motion in neck worth for car accident settlement?

I was rear-ended 7 months ago and just now released from chiropractic care. I have diminished range of motion in my neck when I turn my head to the left. I have normal range of motion in my neck when I turn my head to the right. This makes driving more difficult and I have to rely on mirrors more. Chiropractor says I can turn my neck 50 degrees to the left and 70 degrees to the right. How much extra should I ask for in settlement since I have lost 20 degrees range of motion in my neck when I turn my head to the left?


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Most insurance companies do not put a lot of stock in what a chiropractor says. I would suggest that you also consult with an MD or DO orthopedic specialist to get him to concur with the chiropractor. The value depends on too many things to set out in this email.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/12/2013

Answer By Richard Johnson

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These cases have a range of fair market value depending on the amount of treatment expense, wage loss, if any, and if you have a ratable permanent impairment. I would wait for several more months, get back on the horse, and see how you are doing with trying to do all of your ADLs. You have a three year limitation of action statute in WA., so there is no rush. If you have a simple cervical strain that you treat for 3-4 months and you are fine, you might net around 5,000 in your pocket after everything else is paid / paid back. If you have more issues than a simple C strain, then the case value goes up, especially if you have a ratable PPD.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/9/2013

Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
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You will have to convince the insurance co of the problem. They don't like chiropractors so you may have to see an orthopedic surgeon. If this is a permanent condition it must be documented by the doctors.

Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 1/9/2013

Answer By Cary Smalley

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I suggest you consult with an attorney to discuss the details of the case, treatment and medical bills and to ensure the best possible outcome.

Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 1/9/2013

Answer By Lawrence Adler
Adler Law Group, LLC
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You will need to provide the medical costs, permanent rating under the AMA guides and other info for a proper value.

Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 1/9/2013

Law Offices of Sandeep G. Agarwal
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Hard to say without knowing who is at fault for the accident, amount of medical bills incurred, whether the injury is related to the accident or due to a pre-existing matter, and whether you will incur medical bills as a result of the injuries suffered in this incident in the future.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/9/2013


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This is a significant injury. You should hire an attorney. The value of the claim has many factors including what you do for a living and how the physical limitations impact your life.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/8/2013

Answer By John Shean
Shean Law
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You should meet with a qualified personal injury specialist to properly evaluate your claim.

Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 1/8/2013

David F. Stoddard
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There are too many facts that you have not provided to answer your question, which is complex. However, I will point out that it is difficult to convince insurance adjusters and juries that you have a serious injury when your sole treatment is from a chiropractor. It is somewhat better if a medical doctor referred you to a chiropractor. Some things to consider are: I am often asked by individuals who have been injured in an accident to give an opinion as to what would be a fair settlement in their case. Often, they give me a brief description of their injury, such as, I suffered two broken ribs, or I am now suffering back pain, or I hurt my leg and had to have surgery and give no further details. I cannot possibly give an opinion as to the value of their case without more information. I find myself repeating over and over some of the information set out below. The information below is an attempt to shed some light on what an accident injury victim should consider in determining a fair settlement. However, presenting damages to an insurance adjuster, and ultimately to a jury, is an advanced and complicated task. It not adequate to simply say I'm hurt?, describe your injury, and then hold out your hand and ask for money. I have practiced law since 1985, and still attend seminars and read books on the subject of presenting personal injury damage claims to juries. The information below will not be enough to make you a personal injury attorney, but hopefully will enlighten you regarding some factors that should be considered on evaluating your claim. Maximum Medical Improvment First, one needs to understand the concept of Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). MMI is the point at which the condition of an injured person is stabilized. No further recovery or improvement is expected even with additional medical intervention. Basically, a condition is at maximum medical improvement if it is not believed that the condition will change or progress. In laymen?s terms, this is often referred to a ?being released by the doctor?. This term is most often used in the context of a worker?s compensation claim. An inquired employee usually receives temporary benefits until reaching maximum medical improvement. However, it also has significance in general personal injury cases. Insurers for at fault drivers, manufacturers of unsafe products, owners and operators of unsafe premises, and doctors guilty of malpractice do not normally make incremental payments as medical bills and lost wages are incurred. Rather, these insurers normally settle claims with one payments, which represents the final settlement. For this reason, the accident victim must have evidence of all past and future damages to present to the adjuster. This means it is premature to begin evaluating your claim before you reach MMI because you do not yet know how much your medical bills will be, nor do you know how severe the injury will ultimately be - which is the main factor in damages for pain and suffering ? until after you have reached MMI. After you have reached MMI, four basic factors that should be considered in evaluating your case are 1) special damages, also known as tangible damages, 2) severity of the injury, 3) duration of the injury, and 4) insurance coverage. Special Damages Special damages which are also sometimes called tangible damages include the cost of medical treatment (medical bills) and lost wages. Special damages are somewhat objective and easily ascertainable. You simply add up your medical bills and determine what wages you would have earned had you not been out of work due to your injury. The insurance adjuster or opposing attorney may quibble over some of your numbers, claiming that you have been overcharged by your doctor, or that some medical procedures that you are including in damages were not caused by the accident. The adjuster or opposing attorney may argue that you missed more work than was required based on your injury. Nonetheless, both sides can at least agree that you were actually billed x number of dollars by medical provides, and that you would have earned x dollars had you been at work. A personal injury settlement demand should begin with the amount of special damages, that is, medical bills and lost wages. Intangible Damages Intangible damages are often the most important component of your damages case. Intangible damages include such things as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life. Two important factors influence a fair settlement: the severity of your injury, and the duration of your injury. Severity of the Injury By severity of the injury, I am talking about the degree of pain and discomfort you suffer, along with how the injury affects your life and ability to engage in activities. On one end, you have relatively minor injuries that result in moderate pain and do not significantly interfere with your ability to do things. On the other end, you have injuries that result in severe pain and significantly interfere with your ability to engage in activities. An injury that is moderate in pain and its affect on your life would indicate a settlement on the low end of the range of fair settlements. An injury that results in a great deal of pain and significantly interferes with your ability to do things would indicate a settlement at the high end of the range of settlements. The low end might be in the thousands of dollars whereas the high end might be in the tens of thousands of dollars (at this point, I am only talking about severity of the injury, not the duration). Duration of the Injury ? Temporary vs. Permanent Injuries The next factor you must consider is the duration of your injury. Some injuries are temporary, others are permanent. Many injuries completely heal and resolve within months or a year. Some injuries are permanent and you still experience pain and some interference with your daily activities after you have reached MMI and have been released by a doctor. Temporary injuries might indicate a settlement on the low end of the range of settlements, whereas permanent injuries would indicate a fair settlement on the high end. An temporary injury that is severe in pain and interference with daily activities might indicate a settlement in the middle between the low and high range of settlements. An permanent injury that is moderate in pain and interference with daily activities might also indicate a settlement in the medium range. However, an injury that is severe in pain and its effect on daily activities and is also permanent would indicate a settlement in the high range. I have been mentioning ?low range? and ?high range? settlements. When it comes to intangible damages, what is fair is a grey area, and there is a great deal room to argue up or down. When I speak of ?ranges?, an attorney or insurance adjuster might say a particular injury has a settlement value of between $25,000 and $75,000 based on the factors I have discussed above. Temporary injuries that are moderate might indicate a settlement for intangible damages in the thousands of dollars, that is, less than $10,000.00. Temporary Injuries that are severe, or permanent injuries that are not severe, may indicate a settlement in the medium range, which could be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Injuries that are both severe and permanent could indicate a fair settlement in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and even exceeding a million dollars. Million-dollar settlements are somewhat rare. Nonetheless, multimillion-dollar settlements are not unheard of.

Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 1/8/2013

Frank Law Group, P.C.
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I would want to have the reduced range of motion further evaluated by an orthopedist to determine if there is something more significant wrong with your neck, i.e. disc injury. They will need to do a MRI on your neck to determine if you have permanent neck injury. If your continuing to have residual symptoms post accident would definitely want that evaluated before considering to settle your case.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/8/2013

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