I was recently hit by a car while walking across a pedestrian walkway. The driver was given a ticket and I don't have any permanent injuries. I do not believe my case is serious enough to need to hire a lawyer but I have no idea how to start writing a claim to the insurance company. They have agreed to pay medical bills, lost income, damaged property, and pain and suffering but about how much should that be? I don't need a specific amount just a guide on how I should proceed. How do I know how much my case should be worth? I've already talked to the insurance company over the phone, should I tell them to contact me by email instead? I just want everything to be fair. I am not trying to rip of the insurance company nor do I wish to be ripped off by them. Thank you.
With this information no one can appropriately answer your question. That's not a criticism of your post; it's just that a lawyer will need the bills and treatment history (among other things) to evaluate the case. I'd suggest this - call a local personal injury lawyer and talk to them about your case. They may tell you that the figure is in the ballpark, and it's not an unreasonable settlement, and to take the money and save the attorney's fees. Or they may say it’s a bad deal.
It is typically difficult to settle a personal injury claim yourself but it can be done. With that said, I've told people that settlements they worked out for themselves were fine, and to take the money if they were comfortable with the deal. Doesn't pay a fee, of course, but people tend to appreciate that kind of advice. Talk to a lawyer...if the money is not where it needs to be you can always retain them to help you with the case.
Do yourself a BIG favor and at least consult a local personal injury attorney -most offer free consultations. Insurance adjusters are not on your side - I know, I used to train adjusters. It is not a matter of trying to "Rip Off" anyone; it is obtaining fair compensation for your injuries & damages
If you have no injuries it may be difficult for you to retain a lawyer. However you may find someone interested in handling the claim. I see my job as getting my client more money than they could get on their own,. Consequently if I thought after listening to what happened and looking over any documentation that supported "any" injury I felt I get you more than the company would offer you on its own, I would seriously consider handling your claim. You need to find someone in your area to help you.
Do not worry about "ripping off the insurance company." That's not going to happen! It is difficult to say what your claim is worth with the little information you provide and without seeing any records. The value of the claim is based on the nature and extent of your injury. The value is further based on how that injury affects activities of daily living. How long will those problems last? Suppose, as a poor example , you enjoyed running every day and your injury prevents you from doing that. Suppose someone else has the same injury and has trouble running but does not care for running, The same injury for both people mean something different to each. Why is what you have gone through important--that's what you need to convey to the insurgence company.
Initially, I would be interested to know why you definitively state that "I don't have any permanent injuries." Are you a doctor, specializing in injuries of the type you sustained? Are you aware that many injuries are insidious and that symptoms and disability can crop up long after the accident happens? Have you spent ten, twenty, thirty or forty years handling thousands of similar situations? If not, with all due respect, you might not be in the best position to make this determination. As Mr. Fabiano indicated, you are in no danger of ripping off the insurance company. However, you may be in danger of allowing the insurance company to rip you off, especially if you persist in trying to handle this yourself. What most people do not grasp, is that you probably have nothing to lose and everything to gain by getting a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. Proceed alone at your own risk. Good luck.