How is a accident final settlement determined? I'm just curious as to get an idea of what I should be expecting.

Asked over 2 years ago - Tampa, FL

I'm still in physical therapy, I have a herniated c5 disc that has pinched a nerve in my left arm and hand causeing a lot of pain and inflamation. I have back injuries. I'm in physical therapy 3x a week, seeing a neurologist, been placed on a medicine to relieve my nerve pain. they want to continue physical therapy to see if this dissapates, but nerve blocks have been discussed and last, worst case scenario spianl surgery. I know it's a long road ahead as my accident was in Dec 2011 but I guess I was just curious as to know how all gets calculated at the end.

Additional information

Yes, I do have an attorney. I was hit on a double impact while on sit and go traffic by a 16 y/0 girl driving a BMW. She jumped out, with phone in hand called her dad on her phone and once Daddy got there supposedly her phone was broken. I think she was texting, hit the gas hit me, freaked out and hit me again instead of breaking... She tried to blame a tow truck behind her but there was no damage to the tow truck or the back of her car. My car has already been fixed and yes I do have an attorney. I guess all this physical therapy, pain, and inconvience is just wearing on me heavily.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Jeffrey Alan Adelman

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You don't specify that you have an attorney. If you do, contact him/her and go over your case with them. An attorney representing you should be willing to give you the time to answer questions like this. I generally tell clients that if there is enough liability insurance to collect from, it takes a good 6 months after an accident to evaluate the value of a case. Since your accident appears to be less than 2 months old, it's probably premature to give a value to it as you have not concluded treatment. Any settlement is going to based on a liability evaluation (who is at fault), your medical bills and injuries, and if you can expect future medical bills and pain from those injuries in the future. The pain in the future leads to awards of pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life damages referred to as non-economic damages. If you have lost wages, that is considered as well. Every case is different. I wish you good luck.

  2. Jonathan Joseph Warrick

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My office has seen hundreds of these cases and almost all of them are evaluated differently. However, it is important to discuss this with your attorney and, from your question, it is unclear whether you have retained counsel for this accident. Usually, you will look at liability first (were you at fault at all? maybe 10% at fault? if so, reduced the total by this amount), then total medical bills, your age, whether you're married, if the injury will effect your ability to function in ways you normally did prior to the accident (e.g., can you no longer enjoy your softball league due to this injury?), what is the impairment rating as determined by your doctor (this is done in the final report after treatment has finished), do you require surgery, do you have health insurance, did PIP pay all or a portion of the medical bills, did you miss work, will you continue to miss work, etc. I'd be happy to discuss and begin to prepare a demand package for you if you don't already have counsel representing you. Call or email me at 888-982-5111 or for a discussion with me or another attorney at my office. Thanks.

  3. Randy William Ferguson

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There are a lot of things to consider when determining the value of a case. Have you missed work? Will you miss work in the future? Do you have a permanent impairment? Do you have to pay back your health insurance company for bills they paid? Does the defendant have sufficient insurance to make you whole? How much pain and suffering is involved? You should sit down and talk to an attorney before you consider handling the case yourself. Every case is different.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The... more
  4. Henry James Graham II

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First and foremost, you should be discussing all this with your attorney where your communications are shielded by attorney-client confidentiality, rather than this public, open forum. Second, if your wreck occurred in December, 2011, you are only two months out which is not a long time at all for a personal injury claim. The average claim period is usually 4-6 months, and often longer. Third, no settlement can or will occur without your full input and approval. Your attorney will give you advice in your best interests but only you can pull the trigger on settling and agreeing to a specific amount. Finally, be a good patient, comply with your doctor's and physical therapist's directives, and stay in touch with your attorney. Good luck to you.

  5. Christian K. Lassen II


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There are numerous factors that determine how much money you would recover. Just search Avvo "find a lawyer" to find a personal injury lawyer. Make sure you get one with a low contingency fee, less than 30%, so you are left with the majority of the money, not your lawyer. Good luck.

    Lassen Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers Philadelphia. Phone 215-510-6755.
  6. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Valuation of an injury is very fact specific and I highly recommend that you have a discussion with your own attorney, who has all of the facts. Also, if the accident happened that recently it is far too early to determine with any basis in fact the long term residual component of the claim. So, no one on this side of the computer screen can reliably give you even a ball park. Click the link below for an article on the claim evaluation process:


    Law Offices of
    Andrew D. Myers

    North Andover, MA — Derry, NH

  7. Jason Eric Neufeld

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Among other things, it depends on the amount of medical treatment you need and undergo. For example, if you need and undergo that surgery, the value of you claim will likely dramatically increase. Your attorney should have explained all this to you. The other attorneys did a good job explaining the other factors.

    Good luck.

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