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Around 29% of car accidents that occur in Arizona result in injuries for the vehicle occupants or pedestrians, and some of them involve the cervical spine, or neck region. If you receive a neck injury due a crash, and someone else caused the accident, you may wonder what common cervical spine injury settlement amounts are.

Average Cervical Spine Injury Settlement Amounts in Arizona

cervical spine injury settlement amounts

Settlement amounts vary significantly, although the average is around $1.3 million.

There are various factors involved with calculating a cervical spine injury settlement amount, which is why it can be hard to determine an average. Generally, it depends on the severity of the injury and how it affects the victim’s quality of life currently and in the future. Because each situation is unique, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney, such as one at Sargon Law Group, to get a better idea of how much your settlement may be.

Common Types of Cervical Spine Injuries That Settlements Cover

The cervical spine consists of seven bones that encase and protect the spinal cord. Nerves exit the spinal cord between the spinal bones, and these provide communication to and from the brain to the upper body, such as arms, hands, and fingers. Trauma to this area of the body can result in serious injuries that may lead to long-term disability. Depending on the specifics of the crash, there are various injuries that may occur.


cervical spine injury settlement amounts

Whiplash occurs when the impact of the crash causes the head to forcefully move back and forth. This injures the soft tissues of the cervical spine. Some cases of whiplash are relatively minor, and treatment may only take a few weeks or months. However, if the accident is more forceful, the damage to the neck may result in more serious symptoms.

Neck pain and stiffness are common with whiplash, and additional symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Tingling and numbness in the upper extremities
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Memory issues
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty focusing

Whiplash symptoms may also be a sign of something more severe, so one should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc occurs when the round cushion between each spinal bone leaks or tears, which may put pressure on associated spinal nerves. Symptoms include neck pain that increases with movement, pain between the shoulder blades, and tingling or numbness of the arms.


The bones in the cervical spine can break in various ways, and some are more life-threatening than others. Minor fractures that do not compromise the neurological system may heal with more conservative treatment.

However, if a fracture is unstable, the situation may require surgery to prevent injury to the spinal cord. Surgery may consist of fusing cervical bones together or removing parts of the fractured bone.

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

Injury to the spinal cord is a severe injury that requires emergency treatment. Incomplete injury means that there is still partial movement control and feeling beneath the level of cord injury. The severity of an incomplete cervical spine injury varies, and some symptoms may include:

  • Inability to control major functions, such as bladder or bowel
  • Exaggerated reflexes
  • Sensation changes
  • Changes in sexual function or fertility
  • Trouble coughing or breathing
  • Intense stinging sensations

If the spinal cord injury is complete, this means there is no feeling or physical control below the injured level. Paralysis is another way to describe this.


There are various types of paralysis. When there is complete injury to the cervical spinal cord, depending on the location of the injury, the result is often quadriplegia. This means that the areas affected include the arms, trunk, hands, pelvic organs, and legs.

Factors Involved in Cervical Spine Injury Settlements

Cervical spine injury settlement amounts vary so greatly because of the different factors taken into consideration.

Medical Bill Amounts

cervical spine injury settlement amounts

The cost of treatment is a large factor in the total settlement amount. Serious injuries require more treatment, so they generally build up higher medical bills. For example, emergency treatment, surgeries, lengthy hospital stays, and conditions that require ambulance or helicopter transportation tend to have higher settlement amounts due to the high expenses.

Even less severe injuries can have medical bills in the thousands. Whiplash is generally one of the less serious injuries, but it may take months of care to fully treat it, especially if there is a significant amount of soft tissue injuries. Diagnosis and treatment may include X-rays, a series of chiropractic appointments, massages, and possibly physical therapy, and these can add up.

Lost Income

Cervical spine injury settlement amounts take into account lost wages related to the injury. Even with minor injuries, there may be days of missed work. Serious injuries may result in weeks or months in which the injured party is unable to work.

Long-Term Rehabilitation Needs

Not all cervical spine injuries require rehabilitation after the initial treatment. However, more serious injuries may. After the accident victim receives acute treatment, the healthcare team may recognize the need for ongoing rehab, and this may include a team of specialists, such as:

  • Physical therapist
  • Speech therapist
  • Social worker
  • Occupational therapist
  • Rehabilitation psychologist
  • Recreation therapist
  • Vocational therapist

Initially, the injured party may reside in a rehab facility. Once released, ongoing rehab may be necessary for months or even years. A good attorney is able to calculate future treatment needs, so that the settlement amount reflects these services.

Future Ability to Work

Some cervical spine injuries affect the individual’s ability to return to work in his or her original capacity. Those who have a partial disability may be able to do some duties, but not in the same position they had before, which may affect their total income.

Those with a total disability, such as quadriplegic individuals, may not be able to make a future income in any capacity. The settlement takes into account future lost earnings as a result, which can substantially increase the amount.

Pain and Suffering

cervical spine injury settlement amounts

Many injuries may result not only in physical pain, but also in emotional challenges. If so, the attorney may also ask for pain and suffering damages. This amount is harder to prove and calculate, but an experienced lawyer understands what to take into account, such as:

  • Post-accident anxiety or depression
  • Inability to enjoy favorite pastimes
  • Inability to be intimate with a partner
  • Sleeping issues

The amount of pain and suffering can vary greatly, so it is important to speak with a legal professional to learn more about your situation.

How to Maximize Your Cervical Spine Injury Settlement Amount

When it comes to cervical spine injury settlement amounts, there are things you can do to help your case.

Understand That Symptoms Can Appear Later

Not all symptoms appear right after an accident occurs. Even if you do not notice much while law enforcement is investigating the initial scene, do not say that you are not experiencing any symptoms. Say you are unsure and that you are going to seek medical care.

Seek Treatment as Soon as Possible

You should not ignore even minor symptoms, as these can indicate a more serious issue. As soon as you are able, make an appointment with your medical doctor or other trusted healthcare provider. These professionals conduct diagnostic tests that can find an injury before symptoms show up.

Starting immediate treatment indicates to the insurance company that your injuries relate directly to the accident and not to something else, like a pre-existing condition. Also, in many cases, the sooner you start treatment, the better the outcome and the faster the injury will heal. In the case of severe injuries, seeking immediate treatment may prevent life-threatening issues.

Attend all Recommended Healthcare Appointments

Whether they are appointments with your doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, or another provider, make sure to show up to all of them. These healthcare professionals design a treatment plan to help you heal the most effectively, and there are various consequences for skipping any part of the plan.

One consequence is that you will not get better as quickly as you would like. Another is that the insurance company will use this as evidence that your injury is not as serious as you claim it to be, which can lower the amount they are willing to pay.

Also, if you completely stop going to treatment before you reach maximum medical improvement, the settlement may not include money for any future appointments. If you continue to have symptoms or pain after you accept the settlement, you will have to pay out of pocket for additional treatment.

Document Everything

Cervical spine injury settlement amounts are often higher for those who keep detailed documentation. Request medical records that document that your symptoms began after the crash. Keep track of every appointment that you attend, including transportation costs to get there and if you had to miss work for the service.

Keep a journal that outlines how your injury affects all areas of life, including work duties and taking care of your family. This may come into play when determining pain and suffering or disability status.

Gather together all medical and other bills that relate to your injury and treatment. Add up missed workdays or childcare services related to appointments you attend, or for other injury-related reasons. The more proof you have of your injury and how the symptoms affect your quality of life, the greater chance you have of getting the amount of damages you deserve.

Speak With an Attorney Early On

cervical spine injury settlement amounts

Even if you are unsure your injury is that serious, it helps to consult with an attorney early on in the process. He or she will review your case and can educate you on the best way to proceed. If it turns out that your injury is more serious than you thought, and you require substantial treatment or rehabilitation, your attorney will be in your corner the entire way and will make sure you take the proper steps to help your settlement.

Be Patient

If bills are mounting, you may be anxious to get your settlement money. However, cervical spine injury settlements can take time, and in most situations, it pays to be patient.

The investigation itself can take time, especially if it is not clear who the at-fault party is. Your attorney and investigative team want to be as thorough as possible in gathering evidence and finding out what really happened.

Insurance companies do not want to pay if they do not have to, so they will fight your settlement along the way, or offer you a lower settlement that is insufficient. It can take time for your attorney to negotiate a fair settlement.

Your attorney also wants to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement so that you receive compensation for all necessary treatment, and depending on your injury, this may take months or years. If your injury prevents you from working at full capacity, it can also take a while to receive disability status, and this information affects the settlement amount.

In the event that the insurance company refuses to cooperate, or if it offers a settlement amount that is unacceptable, your case may need to go to trial. This adds on more time to the settlement process, but your attorney’s ultimate goal is to get the amount that you deserve.

For minor and straightforward cases, there is a chance you will receive a settlement in six to eight months, on average. However, more complex cases and serious injuries can take years, so speak with your attorney about what you should expect.

An Attorney Can Help With Your Cervical Spine Injury Settlement Amount

There are many factors that go into determining cervical spine injury settlement amounts. If you were in an accident and received injuries, we at Sargon Law Group can help. During a complimentary consultation with our Phoenix, AZ injury lawyer, we will review the facts of your case and figure out the best action steps. We can give you a fair estimate regarding how much your case may be worth and how long you can expect the settlement process to take. Contact us to make an appointment.