Ponton Law has handled 20+ neck surgery cases throughout the Atlanta area in cases ranging from premises liability to car accidents to trucking accidents and other commercial cases. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to evaluating your neck surgery case in Georgia with a particular emphasis on the Metro Atlanta area which covers a large percentage of our practice. Also below are a sampling of actual dollar amounts based on actual cases and recoveries.
(1) There is a possibility that the value of your case exceeds all available insurance coverage. By “all available insurance coverage” I mean the combination of all available liability policies and all available UM (underinsured motorist) policies. If you were involved in a car accident and the at-fault driver has $25,000 in liability coverage, the minimum amount in Georgia, and you also have $25,000 in add-on UM coverage, then the total of all available insurance coverage is $50,000. Your claim is worth in excess of all insurance coverage (significantly) but as a practical matter it will make it extremely difficult for you to recover in excess of $50,000.
(2) Venue. Ultimately, the venue in the case is important, which is legal terminology for what county the lawsuit will be filed in. In a car accident case, you can only file suit in the county where the defendant lives. In a premises case, you can file where the incident occurred and where the registered agent of the premises owner is located. In a trucking case, you can file in the county where the accident occurred, where the defendant lives, or where the company is located. In the Metro area, quick rankings are: (1) Clayton; (2) Dekalb, (3) Fulton; (4) Gwinnett; and (5) Cobb. You can arguably swap out Fulton and Gwinnett as has experienced a significant demographics shift in the past 10 years which has made Gwinnett a great place to try cases from a Plaintiff’s perspective. It can be an easy 6 figure difference depending on the county! (Clayton v. Cobb).
(3) Type of Surgery. The type of neck surgery that was performed obviously plays an important role. The more invasive the surgery the more (potentially) valuable the claim, e.g., an ACDF v. a laminectomy. Most of the neck surgery cases we have done involved an ACDF.
(4) Who did the surgery. You might not think this is important, but it is the single biggest factor which impacts the value of your case. Some of the large insurance carries operating in the Metro Atlanta area, such as State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, and GEICO see the same surgeons all the time. In their evaluation, they typically question whether the surgery is related to the car accident. As a former insurance lawyer, I have many friends who still do defense work and red flag certain surgeons. It is imperative that you make sure you have the right doctor who not only is going to do a great job and is someone you trust, but will not diminish the value the insurance company assigns to the value of your claim. Call James today for a free consult to see if your doctor is going to raise any flags!
Below are 5 neck surgery cases by settlement or verdict amount:
$400,000 (car accident, ACDF)
$450,000 (company van, cervical ACDF)
$550,000 (company van, cervical ACDF)
$600,000 (car accident, cervical ACDF)
$750,000 (truck accident, neck)
Contact Ponton Law today if you have had a neck surgery and have questions about how much you are entitled to recover. He can be reached directly at 404-418-8507.