Ok, so i was tee-boned by a 90 yr old lady on 01/2012, she is too old to drive and got her pedals messed up and flew across the highway and hit me while i was at speed @ 45mph.
Received a bunch of medical treatments for about 6 months post accident. I stopped because it felt like a scam and i was afraid of getting stuck with the rediculous billing. Came out to about $15k in medical thus far. So i have constant back/ neck pain. My doctor wrote a deposition saying that i will likely have pain to manage for life. I've been on hydrocodone for over a year now with variable doses according to pain. I work as an auto tech to make matters worse! I need my body to make money!!! My lame lawyer has managed to get a MAX settlement offer of $12k which net me $0.00..he's pushing me to settle, why???
Wow...First of all, any concerns you have with your lawyer, please take it up with him/her. Noone on this board has the facts of the case or the same information as your attorney. That being said, you treat for only six months, YOU decide that the treatment isn't worth it (despite you still being in pain) and then you wonder why the insurance company is not willing to pay a fair value for your injuries. To an insurance company, you look like you have stopped treating and must not be that hurt. To a jury, it will look like you are either in it for the money or you were never that injured.
You should request an office conference with your attorney to go over your case in detail. He or she is in the best position to know the details and attending in person makes the matter more official and allows you to go over various documents if necessary. It is not unusual for insurance companies to offer you far less than what your case is worth. As an attorney I make sure that I get my cases to "demand" quickly, which is the point where treatment is finalized and bills and reports are available. If the insurance company does not offer a reasonable amount I discuss the matter with my clients and we have the option to file suit, which we do quickly if the client agrees. If your meeting with your attorney does not resolve matters to your satisfaction you can always discharge the attorney and undergo representation with a different firm. However, you should first have the "sit down" I mentioned.
Every personal injury case is fact specific. No reputable personal injury practioner would attempt to evaluate a case without reviewing the medical records , history etc. No on e reading your question , while sympathizing with your plight , could begin to answer your question.
I suggest starting with the lawyer you've already hired. Ask him to put in writing to you the reasons for his recomendation.
Depending on his reasoning , you may want to consider changing counsel. However be warned that the 1st attorney will have a lien for the reasonable value ( not a percentage of settlement /judgment) of his services to date as well as costs advanced on your behalf.
I'm sorry about your problem and wish you the best of luck.
To answer your question, it depends. I can only assume that the other driver's insurance accepted liability, but I would have to find out. Another important factor is how much liability/UM insurance coverage is there? And lastly, what is your future medical prognosis and need for future medical care? These things will help answer what the best option for you would be and maybe answer why your attorney is pushing to settle. You should ask your lawyer these things, and you might to have him file a lawsuit if proper to get a better result.
You should speak to him first about this and then maybe get a second opinion with another local personal injury lawyer if you have any doubts. Just make sure you are dealing with a lawyer who truly knows personal injury law and litigates these cases.
I hope this helps.
Based on the facts you have described, the offer does not even come close to compensating you for the damages suffered. It is not that unusual for an insurance company to make a low ball offer like this. However, I'm not sure why your lawyer is recommending that you accept the offer. You should get clarification from your lawyer as to the reasons he/she thinks you should accept the offer. If you don't like the answer, then you may need to consult another lawyer for a second opinion.
No one wants to second guess your attorney without having all of the facts. Yes, it does sound low based only on your description. Having said that, you had enough confidence to hire your attorney, so, take the time and meet with him to discuss your concerns, and ask him about why he is recommending the offer. Do you know what the lady's policy limits are? There are too many unknowns for any of us to either criticize or recommend any amount. Please discuss with your attorney.
First, I agree with my colleagues: You need to address your concerns with your attorney and discuss the offer and his recommendations. Asking "Why?" is the first step to understanding the complexities of your case.
Second, without knowing your specific injuries, no attorney can tell you if the insurance company's highest offer is reasonable. You may have pre-existing conditions that are unrelated to the crash, have only soft tissue injuries, and other factors to consider.
Third, if you thought your treatment was a "scam," then how do you think a jury (indeed, also the insurance company) would view it?
Your attorney can only work with the facts he has, not the facts as you want them to be, and you have abandoned treatment, have only $15K in medical bills (I assume you had PIP coverage, so your out-of-pocket expenses after the Medicare Fee Schedule reductions should be nominal), and based upon your occupation (which requires frequent bodily contortions that cause spinal wear and tear), you probably have at least minimal degenerative disc disease.
If you are so unhappy with your attorney that you resort to calling him "lame" on Avvo, then you can terminate your contract with him, but you must be prepared for him to assert a quantum meruit ("for what it's worth") lien for the work he has done, which appears to be substantial. I believe that if you came to me and criticized your former attorney in such terms, I might be very hesitant to accept you as a client; I also recognize, though, that people get very agitated when they don't understand how the claims process works.
Please discuss this issue with your attorney. If you choose to reject the settlement offer, you can always proceed to court. I find that many cases settle for significantly more during pre-suit mediation, and sometimes, on the courthouse steps, then they do when a claims adjuster is making the decisions. The insurance company's attorney will consider the facts of the case (hard impact), your injuries, cost to defend, and other factors in your case when compared to the liability policy's bodily injury limits.
This is not the place to air grievances. You need to assert control over the direction of your case and tell your attorney what you want to do with it. If he can ethically accomplish your realistic goals, then he'll do it.
Please consider that the attorney has absolutely no power to force an insurance adjuster to make a better offer. The only tools an attorney has at his disposal are his powers of persuasion, knowledge of the law, and willingness to engage in litigation. The adjuster always has the power of the checkbook. Getting that adjuster to write the check you want is an art, not a science, and no attorney can guarantee a specific outcome.
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