What is the Average Settlement in Cervical Fusion Cases? Neck Injury Lawsuits (2023)
In this article, you will gain an understanding of cervical fusion injuries and their settlements and verdicts. The average settlement for a spinal fusion surgery this year is dependent on various factors such as prior injury, the impact on daily quality of life, and the length of recovery. It's important to keep in mind that the settlement values for neck fusion injuries can vary greatly due to the multiple variables involved. Learn more about maximizing your cervical fusion settlement or verdict by reading the article in its entirety.
On This Page
What Is A Cervical Fusion?
A cervical fusion is a surgical procedure that is performed to treat neck pain and instability. The procedure involves the fusion of two or more vertebrae in the cervical spine, which is the part of the spine located in the neck. The purpose of the fusion is to eliminate motion between the affected vertebrae and provide stability to the neck.
The procedure is typically performed using screws, plates, rods, or a combination of these devices. These devices are surgically implanted to hold the vertebrae in place while the bones fuse together. Over time, the bones grow together to form a single, solid unit, providing stability and reducing pain.
Cervical fusion may be recommended for a variety of conditions, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and spinal instability. The goal of the procedure is to relieve pain and improve function. However, cervical fusion is a major procedure and recovery can take several months.
What Is the Average Settlement For A Cervical Fusion?
The average settlement range is $150,000.00 to $350,000 in personal injury lawsuits involving cervical fusions surgeries. However, it is important to not that the typical recovery is greatly impacted by the available insurance policy limits applicable to the claim.
Examples of Successful Cervical Fusion Verdicts and Settlements
Here are a few examples of successful cervical fusion verdicts and settlements in personal injury cases:
$2.2 Million Settlement: A woman was involved in a car accident and suffered a herniated disc in her neck, which required cervical fusion surgery. She was left with permanent nerve damage, chronic pain, and limited mobility. The plaintiff's legal team was able to negotiate a $2.2 million settlement with the at-fault driver's insurance company.
$6.5 Million Verdict: A man was injured while working on a construction site, which resulted in a herniated disc in his neck that required cervical fusion surgery. He was left with chronic pain and reduced mobility, and was unable to return to work in his previous job. The jury awarded the plaintiff a $6.5 million verdict for his pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses.
$3.5 Million Settlement: A motorcyclist was struck by a car, causing severe injuries to his neck and spine that required multiple surgeries, including cervical fusion. The plaintiff suffered from chronic pain, nerve damage, and limited mobility, and was unable to work in his previous occupation. The plaintiff's legal team was able to negotiate a $3.5 million settlement with the at-fault driver's insurance company.
$1.5 Million Verdict: A man suffered a neck injury in a car accident that required cervical fusion surgery. He was left with chronic pain, reduced mobility, and was unable to work in his previous job. The plaintiff was awarded a $1.5 million verdict for his pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses.
These examples demonstrate that successful cervical fusion verdicts and settlements can range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the severity of the injury, the impact on the plaintiff's quality of life, and other factors.
How Neck Surgery Risks And Complications Impact Compensation
Neck surgery is a major surgical procedure and, like any other surgical procedure, it carries certain risks and potential complications that. Some of the most common risks and complications associated with cervical fusion include:
If an infection develops as a result of an injury, the victim may require additional medical treatment, such as antibiotics or surgery, to address the infection. This can lead to increased medical expenses, which may be factored into the settlement. n infection can also prolong the recovery time for the injury, as the victim may need to wait for the infection to clear up before continuing with treatment. This may result in a longer period of missed work or other negative impacts on the victim's life, which could be taken into account in the settlement.
Excess bleeding can cause a number of physical symptoms, including pain, weakness, dizziness, and fatigue, which can make it more difficult for the victim to carry out daily activities and enjoy life. Additionally, excess bleeding may require medical treatment, such as stitches, blood transfusions, or surgery, which can cause additional pain and suffering, as well as financial costs.
Nerve injury resulting from cervical fusion can have a significant impact on the pain and suffering analysis in a personal injury lawsuit. Cervical fusion is a surgical procedure in which two or more vertebrae in the neck are fused together to stabilize the spine and relieve pain. While the procedure can be effective in treating certain conditions, such as herniated discs, it can also carry risks, including paralysis.
Nerve injury resulting from cervical fusion can cause a variety of physical symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and loss of sensation or movement in the arms, hands, and fingers. Depending on the severity and location of the injury, these symptoms can be particularly debilitating and may require ongoing medical treatment, including physical therapy and medication.
A hardware failure related to a plaintiff's surgical procedure could potentially have a significant impact on the pain and suffering damages awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. In such cases, the hardware failure may have caused additional physical pain, emotional distress, and other negative consequences for the plaintiff.
For example, if a surgical instrument or implant malfunctions or fails during a procedure, this can cause serious harm to the patient, such as additional pain, tissue damage, or infection. The plaintiff may also require additional surgery or medical treatment to correct the issue, which can lead to further pain and suffering.
In cases where a hardware failure is found to be caused by a manufacturer defect or other negligence, the plaintiff may be entitled to seek damages for their pain and suffering as well as any other economic or non-economic losses under the theory is strict liability.
It is important to note, however, that pain and suffering damages are generally awarded based on the extent of the plaintiff's injuries and how they have impacted their quality of life. While a hardware failure related to a surgical procedure may be a contributing factor, other factors such as the severity of the injury, the duration of the pain and suffering, and the impact on the plaintiff's daily life will also be considered.
Adjacent segment disease
Adjacent segment disease (ASD) refers to the degeneration of spinal segments that are adjacent to a previously fused segment. This condition can be caused by the fusion process, which places additional stress on the adjacent segments and can lead to accelerated degeneration over time. In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff may argue that the cervical fusion procedure was necessary due to an injury caused by the defendant's negligence, and that the development of ASD was a direct result of the fusion procedure.
In some cases, the bones in the neck may not fuse together properly, leading to a non-union or a pseudarthrosis. This can result in ongoing pain and instability in the neck.
Scarring can increase the range of settlement in a personal injury claim for several reasons. First, scarring is a visible and often permanent physical reminder of the injury that the plaintiff has suffered. This can have a significant impact on the plaintiff's quality of life, causing emotional distress, embarrassment, and reduced self-confidence.
In addition, scarring can lead to physical limitations, such as restricted mobility or reduced flexibility, which can impact the plaintiff's ability to perform daily activities. Scar tissue is a type of fibrous tissue that forms as part of the body's natural healing process, and depending on the location and severity of the scar, it may cause discomfort or pain over the long-term.
Furthermore, treating scars can be a costly and time-consuming process. Depending on the severity and location of the scar, treatments may include laser therapy, skin grafts, or other types of medical interventions. The cost of these treatments, as well as the ongoing medical care required for the scar, can be a significant factor in determining the settlement amount in a personal injury claim.
It's important to carefully consider the risks and potential complications of cervical fusion before deciding to undergo the procedure. Your doctor can provide you with more information about the risks and benefits of cervical fusion and help you make an informed decision about your treatment options.
What Type of Damages Are Included In Settlements Involving A Neck Surgery
Personal injury settlements typically include various types of damages, which are designed to compensate the injured party for the losses they have suffered as a result of the accident or incident. These damages can be broadly categorized into two types: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are damages that are designed to compensate the plaintiff for the financial losses they have suffered as a result of the accident or incident. These may include:
Medical expenses: This includes costs associated with ambulance rides, medical treatment, hospitalization, rehabilitation, physical aid devices, medication, and other related expenses.
Lost wages: Compensation for the wages and other income the plaintiff has lost as a result of the neck fusion injury, including any future lost earnings or earning capacity. Economic recoveries should also include recompense for use of paid time off, medical leave, and missed employment opportunities.
Property damage: Cost of repairing or replacing any property that was damaged as a result of the accident or incident. Any damages computers, cell phones, tools, car seats, or similar.
Other economic losses: This includes any other financial losses that can be directly tied to the injury, such as the cost of hiring household services that the plaintiff is no longer able to perform.
Non-economic damages are damages that are designed to compensate the plaintiff for losses that are not financial in nature. These may include:
Pain and suffering: This includes compensation for the physical and emotional distress the plaintiff has suffered as a result of the injury.
Emotional distress: Involves psychological trauma the plaintiff has suffered as a result of the injury.
Loss of consortium: Provides compensation for the harm suffered by the plaintiff's family members, such as the loss of companionship, affection, and emotional support.
It is important to note that the goal of personal injury law is to make the plaintiff whole again and provide them with appropriate recompense or repayment for their losses.
Types of Cervical Fusion Surgeries
There are several different types of neck fusion surgeries that can be performed, each with their own specific techniques and approaches. Some of the most common types of cervical fusion surgeries include:
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) - This procedure involves removing a damaged disc from the front of the neck and replacing it with a bone graft. The bone graft is then held in place with a metal plate and screws to promote fusion.
Posterior Cervical Fusion - This type of fusion involves accessing the spinal column from the back of the neck and fusing the vertebrae together using screws, rods, or other devices.
Cervical Laminectomy and Fusion - This procedure includes removing a portion of the vertebral bone (lamina) to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. The vertebrae are then fused together to provide stability to the neck.
Artificial Disc Replacement - This procedure involves removing a damaged disc and replacing it with an artificial disc to restore normal neck movement and reduce pain.
Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) - This procedure involves accessing the cervical spine through the side of the spinal column and fusing the vertebrae together using a bone graft.
Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion: A minimally invasive spinal fusion creates a smaller incision point than a traditional procedures and uses special tools to operate within the access point creates for the procedure.
It's important to note that the type of cervical fusion surgery a patient undergoes will depend on their specific condition and the recommendations of their doctor. Each type of cervical fusion has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best approach for a particular patient will depend on their individual needs and anatomy.
Are Neck surgery settlements taxed or counted as taxable income?
The tax implications of a neck fusion surgery settlement can depend on the specific circumstances of the settlement. In general, the portion of the settlement that is intended to compensate the plaintiff for physical injuries or sickness resulting from the neck surgery is not taxable. This is because compensation for physical injuries or sickness is generally considered to be a non-taxable settlement or award.
However, if the settlement includes compensation for lost wages or other damages that are not related to the plaintiff's physical injuries or sickness, that portion of the settlement may be subject to taxation. Additionally, if the settlement includes interest or punitive damages, those portions may also be taxable.
It is important to note that tax laws can be complex and can vary based on the specific circumstances of the settlement. It is always recommended to consult with a tax professional to understand the potential tax implications of a settlement.
How Long Does A Personal Injury Case Last?
A personal injury lawsuit can be a long and complex process, especially when a Plaintiff's injuries are catastrophic. Typically a lawsuit lasts several months or even years to reach a resolution and generally includes several key stages.
The first stage is the filing of a complaint by the plaintiff against the defendant, which outlines the nature of the injuries and the damages being sought. This is followed by a period of discovery, during which both sides gather evidence and testimony to support their case.
Once discovery is complete, the case may be resolved through a settlement negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. If the case cannot be resolved in this way, it may proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome of the case.
One common cause of delay is the complexity of the case, particularly when there are multiple parties involved or when the injuries are life-altering and result in forms of disfigurement.
Another factor that can cause delay is the backlog of cases in the court system, particularly in cases where the court is dealing with a high volume of cases or where the case is particularly complex. Additionally, if the parties involved in the case are unable to come to an agreement on a settlement or resolution, the case may be delayed as it proceeds through the court system.
Overall, the timeline of a personal injury lawsuit can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, and delays can occur for a variety of reasons. It is important to work with experienced legal professionals who can guide you through the process and help you to navigate any delays that may arise.
The Importance of Working with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Determining the value of a personal injury case that involves neck surgery can be complex and challenging. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. A skilled attorney can help gather and preserve evidence, determine liability, negotiate with insurance companies, and even utilize tools like accident reconstruction and witness testimony to strengthen your case. Additionally, an experienced attorney can guide you through the mediation process and help you understand your legal options. By working with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, you can improve your chances of obtaining a favorable settlement or verdict in your cervical fusion case.
When looking for a good lawyer, be sure to ask whether they offer free consultations and are willing to handle the claim on a contingency fee basis. Because cervical fusion cases are often disputed by the defense, you should inquire about the lawyers prior results involving similar injury claims to ensure the professional is also skilled at handling cases like yours.
Consider the law office of Sneed & Mitchell LLP. Founding attorneys Niles Sneed and Brit Mitchell litigate cases involving cervical fusions nationally and have received awarded for trial work. To speak with a cervical fusion attorney call 866-4434-0014, of fill out a quick contact form and an attorney will contact you shortly.