It’s no secret that surgery increases the full value of an injury case. And this rule holds true for a neck surgery.
I’ve written plenty on:
- neck injury cases from slip, trip and fall accidents in Florida and on cruises.
- neck injury claim from car, truck and motorcycle accidents in Florida
Here, I want to specifically focus on neck surgery cases.
Does neck surgery increase your case value?
This is because over 87 factors may affect case value.
What are the different types of neck surgery?
There are several different types of neck surgery. They are:
- Discectomy (which can be with or without a fusion). Here, the surgeon takes out herniated disc material that is touching the spinal cord or nerve root.
- Spinal decompression. Pressure is lessened on the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots by taking out some of the disc or bone.
- Cervical spinal fusion surgery. Certain bones in the neck are fused (joined) with each other.
If someone caused your need for neck surgery in a Florida accident, will there be enough insurance to pay for the fair value of the case?
More often than not, no. The full settlement value of a neck surgery case is high.
When Should There Be Enough Insurance to Pay for the Fair Value of a Neck Surgery?
There will likely be enough insurance to pay for the fair value of your neck surgery case if you’re hurt in one of these types of crashes::
- A tractor trailer (18 wheeler) hit you.
- An Uber or Lyft driver’s carelessness caused the crash while engaged in a ride.
- Another car or truck hit you while you were driving (engaged in a ride) for Uber
- An Uber passenger was in an accident.
- A private large bus hit you.
This is because there are usually at least $750,000 in BI insurance available in the above types of car and truck accidents.
What Happens if a Lyft Passenger Has a Cervical Fusion Surgery from an Accident?
We’ll assume that the other vehicle was at fault and is uninsured. In this scenario, Lyft’s auto insurer should quickly pay the Lyft passenger Lyft’s $250,000 uninsured motorist (UM) insurance limits. This assumes that the Lyft passenger doesn’t have his own (large) UM insurance policy.
Lyft’s insurer should quickly pay because the settlement value of a cervical fusion surgery is worth more than $250,000. And it just goes up from there. The more levels that are fused, the greater the settlement value. In other words, a 2 level cervical fusion has a higher settlement value than a 1 level cervical fusion.
The amount of available insurance in a Lyft accident case depends on many factors. This includes whether the driver was engaged in a ride. It also depends on the type of coverage that the injured person is trying to make a claim against.
Do most businesses have enough insurance to pay the fair value of your neck surgery case?
Yes. In almost every type of accident at a business, there will be enough insurance to pay for the reasonable settlement value of your neck surgery case.
The most common types of accidents at a business are slip and falls, and trip and falls. In these fall down cases, there should be enough insurance to pay for the fair value of your neck surgery case.
You may be in luck (in terms of getting fair compensation) if you were hurt at a:
- Supermarket such as Publix, Winn Dixie, Sedano’s, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Presidente and others
- Store like Walmart, Target, Sears, Kmart, Big Lots, Ross or DD’s
- Hotel, resort or motel
- Shopping mall
- Restaurant like McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC or Chicken Kitchen
- Theme Parks such as Walt Disney World, Epcot and Universal Studios
- On a cruise ship. This includes, but is not limited to, slip and falls against Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian (NCL), Disney, Celebrity Cruise Line and others.
What are some possible hurdles to overcome in a neck surgery case?
If you didn’t have neck surgery immediately following the accident or shortly thereafter, one of the hurdles that you may face is proving that the accident caused your need for neck surgery.
Is your case worth more if you have more than one level on your neck fused?
The full value of the case is higher because more of your neck has been affected. For example, all things equal, someone who has a 2 level fusion on C3-C4 and C4-C5 has a higher case full value than someone who only has a C3-C4 fusion.
What is the value of pain and suffering associated with a neck fusion in a Florida injury case?
For settlement purposes, the full value for pain and suffering (at a minimum is):
- 1 level neck fusion: $250,000 to $350,000
- 2 level neck fusion: $250,000 to $400,000
- 4 level neck fusion: $300,000 to $500,000
If there are serious complications from the surgery, the pain and suffering value can be higher. In addition, the injured person is entitled to their out of pocket medical bills. He or she is also entitled to compensation for lost wages.
However, in order to get paid the above amounts someone else’s negligence must have caused the need for a neck fusion. If the injured person was also at fault, his or her percentage of fault reduces the compensation that is owed.
Let’s look at some past Florida jury verdicts for neck surgery cases. These verdicts or settlements aren’t mine unless I say that they are.
$1,351,361.54 Verdict against Chipotle for 3 Level Neck Fusion Surgery
This is not my case. On October 27, 2015, a Palm Beach County jury awarded a Chipotle customer $1,351,361.54 after she fell on leaking water from the roof.
Here is the jury verdict breakdown:
Past Lost Income – $11,500
Future lost income reduced to present value – $15,308
Past medical expenses – $244,362.54
Future medical expenses – $430,191.00
In the past – $325,000
In the future – $325,000
On December 18, 2015, the parties settled the case and dismissed it.
Should you send the BI adjuster a copy of your MRI that shows your neck injury?
Yes. As soon as you get the MRI cd that shows your neck injury, send it to the adjuster. As soon as you get any diagnostic studies (x-ray, CT scan, MRI, etc.) that show hardware in your neck from the surgery, send it to the adjuster.
Give them all the possible ammunition so that they can get authority from their supervisor(s) to increase the reserve. This may allow for a faster settlement.
What type of damages can you get in a neck surgery case from a Florida or cruise accident?
If you can show that someone’s negligence caused your neck surgery, you may be entitled to:
- Past Lost Income
- Future lost income reduced to present value
- Past medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Replacement value of lost personal property (e.g. damage to your watch, glasses, etc.)
- Funeral expenses
- Reimbursement for mileage to and from medical appointments
- Past Pain and suffering
- Future Pain and Suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life
- Punitive Damages (in rare cases such as if a drunk driver caused your crash.)
Are Neck Surgery Cases Worth More If It Was a Motorcycle Accident?
Yes, assuming all things equal.
Because the victim doesn’t have to show that the neck surgery resulted in a permanent injury in order to get money for pain and suffering.
Keep in mind that I’m talking about Florida personal injury cases.
Thus, motorcycle riders tend to get more money for neck surgery than occupants of a car.
In other words, motorcycle accident settlements tend to be higher.
Do neck surgery cases have different values based on where in Florida the accident happened?
Yes. Juries in rural (country) areas tend to award less for the pain and suffering component of a neck surgery case.
Juries in bigger cities tend to award more for the same type of neck surgery. Bigger cities in Florida include, but are not limited to, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville.
That being said, the facts of the case and the injured person’s likeability are huge factors in determining the value.
$370,000 Verdict for Neck Surgery From Falling Object at Home Depot Accident
Check out a $370,000 verdict for the pain & suffering component of a customer’s neck surgery. A lady was struck by a loose display at a Vero Beach, Florida Home Depot store.
She was 57 years old. She had a 3 level cervical (neck) fusion, as well as surgery on her shoulder.
Below is an image of Harrington rods used in a spinal fusion surgery.
She was awarded $150,000 in past pain and suffering, and $220,000 in future pain and suffering.
An ACDF surgery generally increases the full value of the personal injury case.
The case is Simone v. Home Depot. The verdict was in 2008.
Jury Says Target Didn’t Cause Guest’s Slip and Fall Injuries; Guest Loses
I said earlier that there is no guarantee that you’ll get money in your Florida personal injury case where you claim that the accident caused your neck surgery.
A lady claimed that she slipped and fell at Target. Her settlement demand said that she underwent anterior spinal fusion surgery at the C5/6 level with anterior instrumentation, partial corpectomy and insertion of interbody cage at C5/6.
A West Palm Beach court said that items that were regularly on a Target store floor was enough to get a guest’s slip and fall case to trial.
This was great for her. However, she still lost at trial.
Which Insurance Companies Pay the Best for Neck Fusion Cases?
The following insurance companies that have the best reputation for paying for neck fusion cases:
- The Hartford
The following insurance companies that have the worst reputation for paying for neck fusion cases:
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