Compensation for soft tissue damage in accident

Asked about 4 years ago - Chandler, AZ

I was rear ended by a man going 30mph, while I was at a complete stop. I suffered incredible headaches where I had to stop what I was doing because I couldn't do anything else. I stopped receiving treatment after 6 months because I became pregnant and the medication they had me on wasn't safe for the baby. They headaches went away for the most part while pregnant, now they have return once or twice every few weeks, but my case has been closed. I have a lawyer, they have a final offer of $1184.90 after repaying my medical bills (approx. $5,000) and their fees (1/3). This sounds very low to me, especially after the research I've done. They don't suggest taking it to court. In your educated opinion should I push them to go to court, find my options for new representation, or just settle?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Donald Curtis Kudler

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . I am licensed in Nevada, but this Answer should apply to Arizona as well.

    I'm sorry to hear about your injuries and hope you continue to get better. Case valuation is always difficult. it is even more so without all of the medical records and other documents available to look at. There are also times when the amount recoverable is less than the value of the case due to limitations on insurance coverage or other funds to compensate you for your injuries. This information should be discussed with your attorney.

    You should also discuss with your attorneys their experience with the outcomes of similar cases in your jurisdiction. It's not fair, but the Jurisdiction a case is filed in could very well effect the outcome of the case: some are better for victims of injury accidents; some are worse.

    You can go to our website at http://capandkudler.com/useful-information/my-p... to see how insurance companies value cases. It will serve as a general guideline to how juries may think as well.

    Hope this helps.

    /s Donald Kudler
    http://www.capandkudler.com

  2. Nima Taradji

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . Evaluation of cases without having seen all the records, facts and details is very difficult.

    However, you must know that soft tissue injuries are simply very hard to prove. Because, as opposed to a fracture where the x-rays of broken bones can be shown to the jury and they will all agree that a broken bone is painful, it is hard to convey "my neck hurts" to the jury in such an effective way. Because ultimately, the only person who actually has any knowledge of your pain is you and all your doctors have simply acted based on that you have told them and possibly some muscle spasm. So, the difficulty of proving back pains, neck pains and such makes the value of cases lower than what would otherwise be a fair compensation for the amount of pain a person may have suffered--because soft tissue injuries may at times be even more painful than fractures.

    Your issue is the lack of continuity after 6 months. Generally, the insurance companies believe that soft tissue injuries should heal themselves without any medical treatment within 4 to 8 weeks--and so any treatment after that is automatically viewed as suspect, necessary and excessive. If your attorneys do not see a strong chance of being able to prove the extent of the injuries you claim, your case is worth very little. That is true, specially if you have not seen any doctors since your headaches are back.

    In any event, all this to tell you that while it is impossible to tell you what your case is worth based on the information you have given, generally, however, soft tissue injuries are notoriously hard cases to prove.

    I hope this helps-

    Nima Taradji
    http://personalinjuryattorneyz.com

    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 entertainment purposes only.

  3. Peter Robert Stone

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . What was the date of the accident. When does the statute run to file a lawsuit.

    The most important thing is a definitive diagnosis and a determination of any future residual injuries and treatment. Once that is determined you can go forward with settlement.

    If there none, or little residual injury/treatment then the case may not be worth a trial as your attorneys are indicated. If there s a major residual injury/treatment the answer may be different. Find a local lawyer you trust and go over the case and medical evaluations and make an informed decision.

  4. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . It is very difficult to answer your question without knowing all of the specifics of your case, including any pre-existing conditions you may have, any permanent impairment you may have suffered as a result of the accident, your age, work history, educational level etc. If you are married, your spouse has a potential claim. You may wish to review some of the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com, one of which deals with the damages to which you may be entitled.

    You may want to consult with a second attorney in your area and get their opinion as to whether or not you are being offered fair value for your claim. Make sure you speak with an attorney who concentrates his practice in personal injury matters. Many attorneys claim to handle auto accidents, but few concentrate on these cases on a daily basis.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    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 insure proper advice is received.

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