The driver was in a head on collision. The other driver was 100% at fault. The car was totaled and the driver had to crawl out the drivers window, as the car was smushed in so much. Air bags were deployed. The driver is 24 years old. He went to the emergency room. He recieved bruising on both knees, some chest pain from air bags and a broken ankle. The break was a complete break, but surgery was avoided due to location and size. The driver had to use crutches and wear a soft cast for a week. He only missed three days of work. He is the head of household for his family. He was prescribed pain medication. He still has pain but can put pressure on his foot. His medical bills are about $3000.00. The accident was about 2 months ago. Would 20,000 be too much? Will the insurance company offer it?
The facts you've disclosed are helpful, but there are many more to cover in order to arrive at a fair figure for settlement. There's a demand figure, which is the value of the case on its best day, and a nuisance figure, which is what an insurance company pays simply to get rid of a case it considers without merit. In between there is a real value. It depends on numerous factors: More facts about the accident; More facts about the injury; More facts about the history of injury, if any; More Facts about the treatment and recovery and prognosis (esp. for early onset of arthritis, possibly other/future complications); and more subtle considerations:
1. Which Insurance Company, and Adjustor is handling the claim?
2. Where was the collision, and where is the claim venue?
3. Which Judge are you likely to get?
4. How will local Jurors react and decide such a case?
5. Will the medical providers accept less for their liens?
6. IF a claim in Maine settles for less than $ 20,000, the Med-pay law provides that the insurer who paid the Medical Payments coverage cannot be reimbursed for those payments, thus keeping more money directly into the pocket of the insured driver. (Since 2010 +/-).
7. What kind of a Release is going to be requested of the Injured Party?
In short, $ 20,000 may be a fair settlement, and it could be low OR high. Experienced and Knowledgeable Car Accident Trial Lawyers are invaluable to assess the real value of a claim.
No, it would be too small, but not lawyer is going to put a number on this case without knowing all the facts. Do not try to settle this yourself, as you will only get a nuisance settlement. There may be multiple insurance policies to collect from including your own UIM. You need a lawyer. Get one with a low contingency fee, less than 30%, so you are left with the lion's share of the settlement, not the lawyer. Good luck.
That sounds very very low. Many more details need to be reviewed before anyone can give you a realistic settlement range. Evaluation of the fair value of an accident claim requires a detailed analysis of the injury and its past, present and future effects on the life of the injured person. The second link below takes you to an article on how injury cases are evaluated.
Here are some things that are certain:
(1) The insurance industry’s own statistics confirm that once an attorney is brought in, the value of any claim goes up double or more.
(2) Internal insurance company practices are to delay, deny and to defend before considering a fair payout. This is documented by insurance insiders, not personal injury attorneys.
(3) Settlements are forever. This means that if you decide to accept a settlement, this is the final disposition of the case forever. Should you later need additional treatment or discover an outstanding charge you did not know about, it is too late to go back.
A client came to me last year with an arm fracture after trying to do the claim themselves. Turns out that the amount that they had "demanded" from the insurance company was way low. My office settled the case for roughly three times that.
My office handles personal injury and accident cases in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and although there are regional and jurisdictional variations in ultimate value, the evaluation techniques are relatively universal across the U.S.A. in that they are the subject of national insurance company practices.
CLICK HERE: FREE ACCESS TO GENERAL PERSONAL INJURY WEBSITE:
CLICK HERE: HOW PERSONAL INJURY CASES ARE EVALUATED:
Law Offices of
Andrew D. Myers
North Andover, MA — Derry, NH
$20,000 sounds low, however, without knowing all the details of the incident, it is not possible for anyone here on Avvo.com to answer your question. Assuming you were the injured party, it is way too early for you to attempt to resolve this matter. Your injuries are only about 60 days old. Whether or not you will have substantial traumatic arthritis setting into the ankle will not be knowable until a year to 18 months post-trauma.
You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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