How do I determine if the liability settlement offer from the insurance company is a fair one or not?
I have a personal injury liability claim with the business property owners insurance company. They have investigated and deemed their insured at fault. After delays of just over a year, theoretically , waiting for medical and billing information, the claims representative has informed me that an offer will be forthcoming. I live in California and there is a 2 year statute of limitations on a liability claim. I'm 67 years old and I will be dealing with the pain and limitations my injuries have caused, for the rest of my life. How can I determine if their offer is a fair one, without seeking legal counsel?
Here's the deal. You are asking how to determine the amount of settlement that is fair like there is some book you can look it up in. Lawyers who work in this area spend years trying to develop their skills in evaluation--even then there may be wide divergences in opinion regarding the value of your case. I know you don't want to hear this but the best way to get the fairest value is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area who can really learn all of the facts of your case and negotiate it on your behalf. Believe me--it will be worth it even after you pay the legal fees. Good luck.
Without seeking legal advice from an attorney in the area where this suit would be filed, you have a very steep learning curve.
You may find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com, one of which deals with the many elements of damages to which you may be entitled. This guide will at least inform you as to the various elements that need to be covered in any proposed settlement. When the carrier understands that you are dealing with this matter on your own and do not have the help of an experienced attorney, rest assured, they will try to take advantage of you.
Remember, any insurance carrier is neither your friend nor your good neighbor. The sole goal of any insurance company is to pay you nothing or as little as possible on your claim.
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.