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Car Accident with a 3 month old baby. How much is my claim worth? Should I wait to settle? What if baby has unseen injuries?

Los Angeles, CA |

I was stopped at a red light on the PCH in LA and rear ended by a speeding motorcyclist. My three month old baby was in the back seat. The motorcyclist was found 100% at fault in the police report.The baby was ok thank God! $3500 worth of damage to my car, I had severe whiplash and a bulging disk in my back. So far my medical bills are around $5000. I haven't been able to take any painkillers because I'm still nursing. Obviously I am in a lot of pain and it has been awful. It hurts to pick up and carry my baby :( I also have a pre-existing back injury from over ten years ago. (Compression fracture.) There isn't much that can be done for my back other then chiro, pilates and pain management. Can I ask for money for my baby in case something comes up later that was undiagnosed?

Attorney Answers 7

  1. Do yourself a favor and hire an attorney. You think you can do this all by yourself and sure you can. You can also get the raw end of the deal by the insurance company. How about if your child is unable to develop speech? What about crawl? What about see? Hear?

    Be a good mom and professional person or whatever you do in real life. Don't play lawyer unless you are one. In addition, if you are a lawyer and not a personal injury lawyer you might be doing yourself a disservice.

    My 2 cents.

    The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.

  2. You need to call an attorney; why would you think you should handle this on your own?

    No attorney/client relationship is or shall be created by this response on Avvo to non-clients of The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez.

  3. Without a doubt you should get additional medical care if you have not gotten relief so far. The suggestion you see an orthopedist is an excellent one, but you may also want to consider a neurological consult. If you have a family doctor, he or she can probably refer you to someone trusted.

    As for possible injury to your baby, don't even consider settling any claim on behalf of the child without a pediatric consult and careful thought with the help of good counsel. You really need a lawyer who specializes in personal injury practice who doesn't just beat on his chest - get his proven record - check him out online. Avvo is a good place to start, but you should Google anyone as well.

    Donald Nathan

  4. It seems as though your child is uninjured but you should monitor his/her condition for at least 6 months before even considering settlement of the child's case. The motorcyclist's insurance company will make an insignificant offer to settle the child's claim and you should be cautious about settling under these circumstances even though the facts as you describe them probably indicate that your child is o.k. Insurance companies will not offer you any settlement that includes compensation for future harm unless there is a reasonable certainty to such future problems.

    Your claim needs to be investigated further with diagnostic procedures, MRI etc, when you are able to undergo such testing. Until you are able to have such tests to be sure that you do not have more serious injuries you should not consider settling your claim. You should consider retaining an attorney for claims such as yours that may implicate future pain, suffering or disability.

  5. Personal injury claims are all about timing and what medical care you or your passengers require and/or received. Your case may be worth in the six figure range if you are as hurt as you describe. Good luck.

    Edward Ramsey, Esq.
    Los Angeles City Law
    8889 W. Olympic Blvd
    Penthouse Floor
    Beverly Hills, CA 90211

    ATTORNEY DISCLAIMER TO THE ABOVE ANSWER: The information that I have provided to you is for general information purposes only and shall not be construed as legal advice for your individual circumstance. This information is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and you should consult with an attorney in your State directly so that the attorney has the full facts, documents, and an account from other witnesses that help support your contentions. If you like my comment, please click on the thumbs-up link below.

  6. If you had liability insurance in California, you should be able to collect for your pain and suffering and related medical care. Your daughter should also be represented by an attorney.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 dealing with many of the issues you are now facing.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    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.

  7. Your child is a minor and therefore the Statute of Limitations in California provides that your child has 2 years beyond his 18th birthday to file his lawsuit. You should not be in a hurry to settle the claim for the minor. In fact any settlement for a minor over the amount of 5 thousand dollars requires a Minor’s Compromise approval of a Superior Court judge. The judge will normally require a current medical report setting for the child’s injuries and prognosis before the judge will even consider approving the settlement. Your child’s pediatrician should examine your child and may in fact refer the baby to other specialists for further evaluation. Consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer for both you and your child’s claims. Your injuries do not sound minor. Although you have a pre-existing spine condition, it sounds like the accident, lit up the symptoms. Submitted by Barry Regar APLC, Indian Wells California.

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