I know it's impossible for you to give an exact # without seeing medical records and such and I do have an atty, however I haven't been able to talk to him for a while and instead keep getting his paralegal who is not too helpful and keeps asking me what I think a "fair" # would be and I don't know what to say or if I'm unreasonable. I was t-boned. Already have had 23K in medical bills and my dr says I need at least another year of therapy- approx 7K a year. I got 25K from the person who hit me (as that was their limit) and now I'm using my underinsured policy of which I have a 100K limit. They are offering me $3500 which I don't think is fair at all. I've heard of the 3 times rule, but I've also heard they don't use that. With this amount of bills what is the least amount you'd think?
You should never have to go a significant amount of time without getting some straight answers from your attorney. You are not bound to any attorney and switching is easier than you might think. If this attorney continues to be unavailable you should consider looking for a new one and the new attorney will work out the file transfer for you. And I agree with my colleagues that the 28500 is probably significantly insufficient. I would also suggest that the maximum value of your case cannot be ascertained or recovered until you finish treatment. Good luck.
There are many factors to consider, the extent of your injuries, how they affect you, how much your bills are and will be, any lost income, jurisdiction-specific factors, etc. The most you can get is $100k (25k plus up to 75k from your policy). I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that based on the above, the current offer is unfair, and that if your injuries are permanent, and liability is clear, and other factors are in your favor, your case is worth a lot more than $28,500. I hesitate to say your case could be worth the full policy, but it depends on factors I don't know. You need to have a sit-down with your lawyer--you're entitled to that, so ask for it. He or she is in the best position to know the value if he/she knows what they're doing.
Pain, suffering and loss of amenity
The amount of compensation for a personal injury will primarily depend on the severity of the injury. Serious injuries (such as broken bones, severed limbs, brain damage) that cause intense physical pain and suffering will tend to receive the highest injury settlements.
Aside from compensation for injuries, the injured person can also get compensated for how the injuries have affected his or her life. An example, a keen cricketer suffers a wrist injury which prevents him from playing cricket during the cricket season. This can be compensated for, over and above the award for the injury itself. This is called loss of amenity, and the award for loss of amenity is part of the claim for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
In the same manner the injured person can also be compensated if, as a result of the injuries, there has been an inability to doing work which was previously really enjoyed. This is called loss of congenial employment.
The reason you hired a lawyer is for advice. It is not at all good that you lawyer fobs you off on a paralegal who asks you what you think is a fair settlement.
You are always free to switch lawyers. Since your current lawyer only has an offer of $3,500, if your case is worth a lot more a new lawyer can undertake to represent you and agree to pay any claim the old lawyer has for fees on the UIM settlement.
Please see the page, "How Much is My Case Worth?" at my website below for an explanation of why I can't evaluate your case from the information given.
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