Lawsuit Settlements for Back Injuries Requiring Spinal Fusion Surgery

Michael GrossmanJanuary 17, 2022 5 minutes

A spinal fusion is a major surgery. Between 2004 and 2015, the cost of hospital care for elective lumbar fusion increased 177%, averaging over $50,000 per stay. If your spinal fusion surgery was caused by another person who acted wrongly, carelessly, or recklessly, you deserve to receive compensation for your injuries.

As experienced personal injury attorneys, we often hear the question, How much money can you get from a spinal fusion surgery lawsuit or settlement? Unfortunately, every spinal injury and every accident is unique. Without knowing the specifics of your injury, we can’t quote an average settlement for spinal fusion surgery.

But we can share the results that we’ve secured for our clients who had spinal fusion surgery:

  • $875,000 recovery for a back injury requiring surgery after the client’s car was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler;
  • $530,000 recovery for a back injury requiring surgery after a delivery driver was injured by falling cargo; and
  • Confidential recovery for a back injury requiring spinal fusion after a semi-truck rear-ended the client in traffic.

Our clients hoped to recover from a defendant who denied responsibility. Using our attorney’s decades of experience, we proved liability and secured compensation for our clients. Call Grossman Law Offices today and let our personal injury attorneys work to secure results for you.

Common Causes of Injuries Requiring Spinal Fusion Surgery

Spinal fusion surgery is so named because it involves fusing several vertebrae in the spine to promote stability and reduce movement. The surgery helps reduce back pain, weakness or numbness in the limbs, problems with walking or balancing, and neck pain caused by a spinal fracture, infection, tumor, or stenosis.

Common causes of these conditions include:

  • Arthritis,
  • Car accidents,
  • Workplace injuries (lifting heavy objects, turning or twisting, completing repetitive tasks),
  • Slip and fall, or
  • Medical malpractice.

A majority of these causes involve another person’s negligence. Negligence occurs when someone has a duty to act a certain way, and their failure to act in the required way results in your injury.

For example, every driver has a responsibility to drive with the care of a reasonable driver under the circumstances. If they run a red light and hit you, they acted negligently because they failed to drive within the standard of care.

Landowners and employers are responsible for making public places and workplaces reasonably safe for the people who enter. If they fail to do so and you are injured, they acted negligently. In Texas, those who act negligently are responsible for the damages they cause.

What Is a Spinal Fusion Lawsuit Settlement?

When one party causes an accident, their first report will likely be to their liability insurance company. You’ve probably heard from the other person’s insurance already. It’s common for insurance companies to pressure injured people to accept an early settlement.

Sometimes their offer won’t cover the losses you’ve incurred, or the other party may deny liability altogether. In these cases, filing a lawsuit may be your best option. Even insurance companies don’t want to go to court.

Fighting a lawsuit can be expensive. Once the lawyers start talking about the details of the case and how long a lawsuit might last, you might see the insurance company offer you a fair amount to settle the suit out of court.  

What Can I Expect To Recover in a Settlement?

A fair settlement amount should cover all the economic and non-economic damages you’ve incurred from the accident. Typical economic damages you should consider are:

  • Medical bills, including x-rays, hospital stays, physical therapy, and medication,
  • Lost wages (because you’re unable to work),
  • Lost earning capacity (if you can’t work as you used to), and
  • Property damages.

In addition, back injuries requiring spinal fusion surgery often have greater non-economic damages because they involve more pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, physical impairment, or disfigurement. Before you accept a settlement offer, you should compare the aggregate costs of your past and future damages from the injury to ensure the offer is fair.

Consider that it may take several months for the bones in your spine to heal and fuse together. Additionally, spinal surgery will not prevent you from developing back pain in the future, especially if you have a degenerative disease like arthritis.

What If I’m Partially at Fault for My Spinal Injury?

Texas follows “modified” comparative fault rules, also known as proportionate fault. If you are partially at fault for an accident, your damages may be reduced. However, if you are less than 51% at fault for an accident, you can still recover from the at-fault party.

For example, if a jury finds you 30% at fault for an accident and the other party is 70% at fault, the damages the other party must pay will be reduced by 30%. If you think a jury might find you more than 50% at fault, accepting a settlement might be a better option for your case than going to court.

How Can Surgery Affect My Settlement Amount?

The higher your damages, the more you should expect from a settlement. Because spinal surgery requires extensive diagnosis by specialists, extended hospital stays, and ongoing physical therapy, your economic costs may add up quickly. For example, it costs $32,049 on average for spinal fusion surgery alone in San Antonio (not including hospital stays and post-op therapies).

Your non-economic costs are likely high as well, especially if you need to relearn how to walk and complete basic tasks. You deserve to be compensated for the total cost of your injury. There are no caps on the amount of damages you can receive in Texas, except that non-economic costs are capped at $275,000 for medical malpractice cases only.

What Is the Average Settlement for Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spaces between your spine narrow. Symptoms of spinal stenosis may appear gradually and worsen over time, including pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness. Many people are born with spinal stenosis, but it can also be caused by trauma, such as a car accident.

When your body is thrown in an accident or fall, you may experience disk hernia, dislocations or fractures, displaced bone, or swollen tissue. Surgery may be helpful to create additional space for the spinal cord or nerves. Because symptoms worsen over time, it can be more difficult to link your spinal stenosis to one incident. You should call your attorney right away after an accident, so they can begin investigating who has responsibility for your injury.

How Can Grossman Law Offices Help Maximize My Settlement?

When you reach out to us at Grossman Law Offices, an experienced attorney will listen to your story with compassion. We won’t let an insurance company bully you into accepting a settlement for less than your damages. We’ll consider your case from all angles, even if someone has told you that you won’t get more than the first settlement offer.

A Texas Super Lawyer for the past 8 years in a row, Michael Grossman understands personal injury cases, and his results show it. A spinal fusion or spinal stenosis surgery is no small injury. When you’re wondering how much money can you get from a spinal fusion surgery lawsuit settlement, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Grossman Law Offices and let us determine the actual value of your case.