Broken Ankle from Slip and Fall incident. The insurance company offered me a settlement but I do not want to accept since it is only half of the Homeowners policy limit and I feel I deserve the max. How much is this claim worth and what will happen if i do not accept the offer and take it to trial. Can I receive less than the original offer?
A broken ankle is a severe and painful injury. In order to properly evaluate your claim knowledge of medical expenses, lost wages and life circumstances must be considered. Moreover, the strength of your case on the issue of negligence will either bolster or break your case ; i.e., as the evidence on negligence increases so to does the value of your injury claim increase. As for trial, anything can happen. Best of luck.
Your case could be worth a lot, or it could be worth nothing. A lot depends on the specific facts you your case. There are 2 parts to every case, liability and damages. In order to recover damages for your pain and suffering, you must first prove that the defendant is at fault. If you can't do that, your case is worth little or nothing. Even if you can prove the defendant is at fault, they will still argue that you share fault (comparative negligence) for not looking where you were going,failing to see something open and obvious, etc. A jury will be asked to determine what percentage each of you is at fault. If they are 100% at fault, which is rare in a slip and fall case, you can recover the full value of your injury. If a jury says 50/50, you recover 50% of any award. If it says10/90, you only recover 10% of the award. Thus, anything can happen if you go to trial. You might get more, you might get less, or you might get nothing. You should discuss with your lawyer a reasonable amount to settle your claim and your tolerance for risk if you want to go to trial. Another consideration, depending on the case and available insurance, is the added trial costs and the chance that an appeal could delay payment. Therefore, you need to weigh whether you want guaranteed money now, or the potential for more later. Talk to your lawyer.
I imagine you have a lawyer who is dealing with the insurance company on your behalf. Big error people make ( even some lawyers ) is they evaluate a case on what the policy limits are. A case has a value based on injury, liability, lost wages, permanency, impact on life and activities etc. It is irrelevant to value a case or an offer based on the policy limits. Alos first offers are rarely final offers. You give us little information regarding liability , lost wages, permanency and whether other sugeries are contemplated. How can anyone other than your lawyer evaluate this claim? Talk to him , believe me no one except for you wants a bigger recovery than he does.
It appears from your question that you are not represented be an attorney. This is a BIG mistake and ultimately could prove fatal to your claim. It also appears that a law suit has not been commenced yet. There are many pitfalls that you will face including the insurance company dragging out negotiations until the statute of limitations had run. You do not indicate anything about the facts of the fall so it is impossible to assess the strength of your claim. However, if the insurance company has already offered 1/2 the policy limits indicates that there must be a viable claim. Here again, you run the risk of not finding out if there are additional coverages that may apply in this situation. If, in fact, you are forced to start a claim there will be many obstacles to overcome and pitfalls that you need to avoid. In short, if indeed you do not have an attorney, you need to immediately consult with an experienced NY personal injury attorney to guide you through this process.
It is not possible to answer this question without knowing more details 1) how bad your injury was and did it have any residual effects 2) what was the liability? Why did you fall? 3) how much is the policy?
You really should consult with a personal injury lawyer with experience in this area. MOst lawyers will give you a free consultation.
We would not be able to place a value on your case until we had more information about your injury and the cause of your incident. You always run the risk of an insurance company withdrawing the offer but my firm practices the art of negotiation on the way to trial and never shies away from going to trial with the right case. Our best advice would be to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer right away so that they can evaluate your case and help you make decisions..
It is not reasonable to believe that an insurance adjuster would ever offer you full value for your injuries. I cannot intelligently comment on the value of your case without knowing everything about how you broke your ankle, your age, loss of income, medical prognosis for a complete or less than complete recovery, medical liens, future medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of activities that you can no longer do,meta,etc. you also need to obtain an affidavit regarding all insurance coverages available to you such as whether the property owner had an umbrella policy which provides additional insurance coverage opportunities for you. Before you decide anything,mi urge you to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney before deciding what you do.
Yes you can receive less than the original offer. As for value, there is a lot of information that goes into this calculation and you don't have enough in your post to completely evaluate the claim. Your future medical treatment is one important factor. The degree of disability if any is another factor. However, there are many other issues you have to consider when placing a value on a case. You should consult a reputable personal injury attorney if you have doubts about your current lawyer.
To properly evaluate you need to assess liability and damages. To do properly need to see police report witness statements, incident reports and all your medical reports, age, employ status, job, lost time etc. Get my point?
. I recommend you have an attorney properly represent and evaluate your claim. Anyone answering without this information (and more) is not properly evaluating your case.
Two things are missing from your post. First, what caused you to fall? Second, what the policy limits that you find too low? While I understand you may believe you deserve the maximum of the policy, there could be an issue as to liability. If you were partly at fault then that could be a factor in the settlement. You also did not mention whether this was what carrier is saying is the a final offer. If negotiations have just begun then I would say you are off to a good start depending on what the offer is.
I have yet to see in unrepresented client receive "fair value" on a claim without representation. There are many factors to evaluate the proper amount a case is worth including permanency of the injury, economic damages and both past and future medical care costs. Without knowing these details it is impossible to determine value. Unless the statute of limitations is a concern you should speak with a qualified attorney. Michael A. Rose
It is impossible for any attorney to accurately value a case without all of the facts, including a full review of the damages and medical documentation. I suggest you immediately consult with a personal injury lawyer who practices in the location where this incident happened.
The answer to your last question is: it is always possible that a jury will award less than the offer in any case, or even find for the other side. When you consult with a lawyer, he/she should be able to explain the risks and benefits of continuing the case v. settling. Good luck.
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