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Accident Victim: Whiplash and Car Totaled. Question about my rights and settlement.

Columbus, OH |

I was in an accident where I sustained whiplash. The other driver pulled out in front of me from the stop sign when I was traveling 35 MPH without a stop sign. I was 0% negligent and the other driver was cited. My leased car was totaled. The insurance is dealing with the car company to settle that damage since they own the car. This leads to my questions.
1. My doctor has referred me to a chiropractor for my ongoing whiplash. I cannot do daily activities without neck and back pain and have trouble falling asleep at night due to the pain. What is reasonable pain and suffering in Ohio?
2. I made a down payment and several monthly payments on the leased car. Can I get these back in a settlement? If so, how? I know in law school I learned that the victim should be made whole. Does that apply?

Attorney Answers 3


No, you are not entitled to a return of the payments you have made while you used the leased vehicle. While you are entitled to be made whole, you are not entitled to a windfall by getting the use of the vehicle for free... You paid for the vehicle and in exchange you enjoyed the use of it. Why would you be entitled to anything more?

With respect to pain and suffering, there are no formulas. People experience pain differently and so because there is no objective and finite way to measure pain and its effect on people, that is something that is largely becomes part of experience and knowing how to maximize damages--something in which a personal injury attorneys is an expert.

You may also be entitled to more than just pain and suffering-things like out of pocket expenses, loss of normal life and other damages. You should really speak with a personal injury attorney in your area before engaging in negotiations in that respect.

Keep also in mind that the value of a case is greatly impacted by things a person may or may not say in statements (mostly recorded) to the other side's insurance company.

I hope this helps-
Nima Taradji

Disclaimer: I am a lawyer licensed in the State of Illinois only, and I am not your lawyer (unless you have been in my office and signed a contract). This communication is not intended as legal advice, and no attorney client relationship results. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice. This is for informational purposes only.

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You are entitled to be compensated for both economic (out of pocket expenses, medical bills, etc.) and non-economic damages (physical pain and suffering and other). However, you must have standing to assert a claim for property damage, e.g. you must own the car to claim a loss. Physical pain and suffering will be evaluated by the insurace company based on the opinion your doctor and you give about how your life has been altered and what treatments you have received for the injury. Keep your doctor appointments and follow through with recommended treatments and be specific about what you can and can't do in your daily life. The more detail you can provide about these things, the more credible your claim will be. Different insurance companies will value a whiplash injury differently. Some will use a multiple of your medical charges, while others may want to pay your medical bills only. Ultimately, if you are unable to agree, the value of your case would be deteremined by a jury at trial. Your lawyer will need to explain what is required to compensate you for your injuries to make you "whole".

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I'm licensed in California. YOu need to talk to a local attorney immediately.

You are entitiled in most states to loss of use of your vehicle, property damages, pain and suffering, medical damages past present and future.

Peter :)

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