Back Injury Claims and Settlements in Florida Accidents

Back pain.If someone’s negligence in Florida causes your back pain, you may be wondering if you have a case and how much your case is worth.Over 86 factors affect the value of your case and there is no guarantee that you will get money for your case. You may have one of the following injuries in your back:

  • soft tissue (muscle) injuries
  • a bulging disc, herniated disc or a compression fracture
  • paraplegia (Paraplegia describes complete or incomplete paralysis affecting the legs and possibly also the trunk, but not the arms.)

In this article, I concentrate on talking about the pain and suffering settlement value for lower back pain for a bulging disc, herniated disc, or injury to the muscles in your back.

This article applies if you have a Florida personal injury case.  Some of this article does not apply if you only have a workers compensation claim.  However, this article does apply if you are hurt while working and you also have a personal injury claim.

If you just want to learn about the settlement value of spine pain and you are not concerned whether it is in your lower back, mid back or upper back, you can learn about:

The best way to talk about how much a back injury caused by an accident may be worth is to give past examples of back injury settlements.

Lower back Pain Settlements and Verdicts (Just a few of my cases)

Rather than list below all the settlements that I have had involving a lower back injury, I have tried to include those in which the main injury is a lower back injury. All settlement amounts for my actual cases below are before attorney’s fees, costs and medical bills were deducted. 

My actual case: $300,000 Settlement for a man who had a herniated disc in his lower back, 2 skin grafts to his achilles tendon, and pain radiating from the base of his spine to his thigh.

He slipped and fell in a supermarket in Miami, Florida on what he claimed was dirty water and smudges. The back pain was not the main injury that we were claiming.

My actual case: $150,000 Settlement for a lumbar fusion from a Miami car crash.

My actual case: $100,000 Settlement with GEICO insurance for the driver of motorcycle – who was diagnosed with a herniated disc in his lower back pain, a possible meniscus tear and erectile dysfunction (ED) – after he was hit by a car.

GEICO

The at-fault driver was insured with GEICO.

My actual case: $95,000 Settlement with GEICO insurance for the driver of car who was hit by a drunk driver.

GEICO

The at-fault driver was insured with GEICO. I represented the driver who claimed herniated disc was caused by accident but did not have surgery.

My actual case: $57,000 Settlement on behalf of a police officer who was suffered back injury, while he was on duty, when he was rear ended in a car accident in Medley, Florida (North Miami-Dade County).

The driver who caused the accident received a ticket for following too closely. , State Farm Insurance insured the at fault driver.

State Farm Insurance

State Farm paid us the $10,000 BI liability limits.  My client suffered a bulging disc.  He was a candidate for a lumbar laminectomy.

He had epidural shots to his lower back but did not have surgery.

At the time of the settlement with the Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Insurer, Travelers Insurance Company (Travco), workers compensation for the police department paid over $17,000 in indemnity (lost wages) and medical benefits.Travelers Insurance Companies

My thoughts: I have said before that as a starting point for evaluating the settlement value of pain and suffering from a bulging disc caused by someone else in Florida is between $10,000 and $15,000.

My client had epidurals, which generally increase a case value.

My actual case: $29,700 Settlement in a car accident.  A driver struck a car within which our client was a passenger.

It happened in Miami, Florida.  Nationwide Insurance insured the careless driver.  Nationwide Insurance

He treated with chiropractors for over a year before having an MRI on his back.  An MRI revealed a herniated disc effacing (pressing on) the spinal cord.

My client lived in California.  This client is one of the numerous clients that I have represented that did not live in Florida but was injured while in Florida.

My actual case: $25,000 Settlement for our client’s neck, back and leg pain after a drunk driver crashed into a car within which our client, a young lady, was a passenger.

The settlement was paid from the bodily injury (“BI”) liability coverage under the auto policy to which the drunk (DUI) driver was an insured.  State Farm insured the DUI driver.

State Farm Insurance

State Farm paid us the $25,000 BI policy limits.  Location of Accident: Miami, Florida. Date of Settlement: January, 2014

My actual case: $16,500 Settlement. My client was driving a car.  He claimed that the accident caused a herniated disc in his neck.

It occurred in Kendall, Miami-Dade County, Florida.  GEICO insured the careless driver.

GEICO

My actual case: $8,000 Settlement

Our client was standing in a car dealership parking lot in Miami-Dade County, Florida..  A mini van backed up.  It hit him at an idle speed.

Our client’s knees buckled and he fell to the ground.  He complained of lower back pain.

A few months prior to this accident, he had knee surgery.  Immediately after this accident, he complained of knee pain.  He did not have any swelling in his knee.

Miami-Dade Fire rescue came to the scene.  Our client walked to the ambulance stretcher.  He was put on a backboard.

The paramedics put a neck collar on our client.  They transported him to Homestead Hospital.

State Farm Insurance insured the driver.State Farm Insurance

The driver said that he barely hit our client.  He said that if contact was made, it was at a very low-speed.

Our client received therapy for several months after the accident.  The final diagnosis was:

  • Lumbar sprain/strain
  • Cervical sprain/strain (Resolved).
  • Sprain/strain of the knee
  • Contusion to the knee
  • Residual Lumbalgia
  • Knee injury complicated by prior injury and surgery
  • Patellar Dysfunction

My actual case: $7,500 Settlement

For our client, a driver, who was injured.  A hit and run driver hit his car and fled the scene.

Our client’s first medical appointment was about seven days after the crash.  He was diagnosed with a Cervical sprain-strain, Thoracic sprain-strain and Lumbar sprain-strain.

About 1 month later, he had an MRI of the cervical spine.  It showed a C5-C6 paracentral disk protrusion, moderate in size, compressing upon the thecal sac.

He treated for four months from the date of the accident.  At the end of his treatment, the diagnosis was a lumbar strain.

I argued to the insurance company that punitive damages would be awarded since the negligent driver fled the accident scene.  An injured victim may be able to get punitive damages if the car that hits him or her leaves the accident scene.

The careless driver was insured with Metlife.Metlife

Lower Back Pain Settlements and Verdicts (Not My Cases)

Actual Case (Not Mine): $536,700 verdict for pain and suffering along for a female nurse who had 2 herniations in her lower back (L4-L5 and L5-S1) from a motor vehicle accident in Duval County, Florida. The entire verdict was for over $1.1 Million dollars.

Actual Case (Not Mine): $31,000 verdict for pain and suffering alone for a female shopper.  Shehad back surgery after she slipped and fell on liquid in a Publix SuperMarkets in Marion County, Florida.

She was also awarded money for medical bills and lost wages in addition to the $31,000 for pain and suffering.  She had back surgery, specifically a percutaneous discectomy.

The case number is 42-2010-CA-1524, Fifth Judicial Court of Marion County, Florida. Learn more about this case.

Actual Case: $47,500 Settlement (Not my case) for a 53-year-old woman who slipped and fell at a Publix in Broward County, Florida. She had multiple bulging discs in the neck and lower back as well as a knee contusion (bruise).

She slipped and fell on water in the frozen food section. Her husband filed a loss of consortium claim against Publix. Publix admitted liability (fault).

My thoughts:  I am not sure how many disc bulges the shopper had. Also, I do not know how many bulging discs were in the neck vs. how many were in the lower back.

I do not know the amount of medical bills that she had to pay from this accident.

As a starting point, I use the $10,000 to $15,000 for the pain and suffering component of a bulging disc.  This case is one of the first reported cases against Publix since the new slip and fall law went into effect on July 1, 2010.

Surprisingly Publix admitted liability. I could not find any information as to how the shopper was able to show that Publix knew or should have known that the water was on the floor. The case is Jeanne Michel and Jacques Jules vs. Publix Supermarkets, Inc. 11-004678

Actual case (not mine): $23,000 Settlement for Pain and Suffering against Walmart Stores (Palm Beach County, Florida) for a fall where a 39 year-old shopper claimed that she suffered a bulging disc in her lower back (L4-L5) when she slipped and fell on water in the frozen foods aisle.

She claimed that the bulging disc radiated pain to her thigh and that she had neck pain (a cervical strain). The total verdict was for $251,213.

Of that amount, $101,213 was for past medical bills, $127,000 for future medical bills and $23,000 was for pain and suffering.  The case is Carpineto v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

The is a 2008 verdict.  The accident was in 2006.

My thoughts: The fact that the jury awarded $101,213 in past medical bills for 2 years of treatment leads to believe that the shopper had surgery to her lower back. However, I am not certain that she had surgery.

If she did have lower back surgery, $23,000 is below the typical settlement value for pain and suffering for a lower back surgery caused by an accident in Florida.

Actual Case (not my case): $16.5 Million for pain and suffering was affirmed (approved) by the 4th District Court of Appeal for a 20 year old man who was rendered paraplegic after he was hit by a motor vehicle while he was on a motorcycle.

Did someone’s carelessness cause your injury in an accident in Florida, or on a cruise or boat? 

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Check out some of the many Florida injury cases that we have settled, including but not limited to car accidents, truck accidentsslip or trip and falls, motorcycle accidentsdrunk driving (DUI) accidentspedestrian accidents, drunk driving accidentstaxi accidentsbicycle accidentsstore or supermarket accidentscruise ship accidents, dog bites and much more.

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Our Miami law firm represents people anywhere in Florida if someone’s carelessness caused their injuries in car accidents, truck accidentsslip, trip and falls, motorcycle accidents, bike accidents, drunk driving crashespedestrian accidents, cruise ship or boat accidents, store or supermarket accidents, accidents at someone else’s home, condo or apartment, accidents involving a Uber or Lyft Driverand many other types of accidents.

We want to represent you if you were injured in an accident in Florida, on a cruise ship or boat. If you live in Florida but were injured in another state we may also be able to represent you.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated.

I will not become your attorney by you leaving a comment. There is a time limit to file a lawsuit. All comments are posted anonymously but will be public. I only represent people who were hurt in Florida or on a cruise ship; or if the injured person lives in Florida or a family member (in the case of a death) lives in Florida. This is because I am only licensed in Florida.

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