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How much will I get for my settlement?

Los Angeles, CA |

I had a car accident back in February, 2013. I was rear-ended by a Toyota Tacoma truck and I hit someone in front. My car was totaled. I was injured and had to go to the emergency twice. I had 4 x-rays and 5 MRIs . MRI didnt show any damage. I was in physical therapy till last week. It still hurts a bit on my back but my doctor says it won't get better than this. I am trying to settle my case now.

Attorney Answers 17

  1. Best answer

    If you are involved in a personal injury or accident matter in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside or San Bernardino, California. Always seek the advice of local counsel, other states may have different laws, use the tab above for your state.

    1) I will give a free consultation for 30 minutes if someone needs to speak to me.
    2) Injuries often take time to display themselves, do not wait seek medical attention to rule them out or to obtain treatment from a Doctor who will take a lien and wait until your case settles to get paid;
    3) If the insurance company sees even a week delay seeking treatment they will generally fight claiming you were not injured;
    4) Do not talk to the adjuster prior to talking with an attorney, they are trained to minimize your losses and work for the insurance company—not for you!
    5) If possible make sure there is a police report and get the other driver’s information
    6) People in situations similar to yours usually want to know two things, what is a fair settlement, and how long will this take? All the previous answers instruct you to hire an attorney so that you will maybe hire them. What is best for you? Should you hire an attorney or do it yourself? You don't want to have any regrets or feel like you were cheated. Most insurance companies are ruthless. Don't take it personal, it is just business to them. The less they pay you the more they keep for their shareholders. Don't let them fool you. Don't leave anything on the table. There are a lots of categories to consider for your loss. For example, you should receive compensation for Loss of Earning, Earnings Capacity, or damage to ability to earn money in the future. Reasonable and necessary medical, hospital, and other expenses, past and future. Essential Services, the reasonable and necessary value of the essential services in and around home that had to be provided. Mileage, right to mileage for attending each medical appointment for care, treatment, evaluations, consultations, physical therapy, medical management, and obtaining prescriptions and other medications and medical devices.

    You also should receive NON-ECONOMIC damages which are:
    1. Physical and Mental Pain and Suffering, as supported by medical records.
    2. Inconvenience.
    3. Emotional Stress/Distress.
    4. Impairment of the Quality of Life/Loss of Enjoyment of Life.
    5. Temporary Physical Impairment.
    6. Permanent Physical Impairment.
    7. Chronic Pain.
    Are you using an Attorney? Did you save pictures of your vehicle and how much was the cost of repair?

    If you like my post, please mark it as “best” or “helpful”.

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none.

  2. Depends on your medical bills, loss of earnings, how much your car was worth, and pain and suffering. In my experience, you will certainly get more if you have a lawyer representing you, even after the lawyer gets his fees.

  3. There is no formula and no way of knowing what you will get. The insurance company (I assume you are trying to settle with one) will probably question the reasonableness of your MRIs, since you said you had 5 without findings. Your doctor should explain the MRI results to you just in case. Your claim should include your medical bills, any loss of earnings, loss of activities, pain & suffering, etc.

    Disclaimer The information contained in this answer and Website is provided for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter or any particular claim or case. No recipients of content from this answer and site, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this answer and site without first seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the recipient's state. The content of this answer and Website contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, strategy, laws, verdicts or settlements. This Attorney and Firm expressly disclaim all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this answer, general page and entire Website.

  4. As my colleagues have indicated, there is no set formula for how to evaluate a case. Each case is different and your case seems very interesting. I think you should contact a local area personal injury attorney and discuss your case with him/her. Look for a lawyer with a great amount of experience and one you can feel comfortable with. I would not recommend that you try to settle your case. The insurance company will definitely take advantage of your lack of prior experience and you will be given a small offer that is called a "low-ball". Take advantage of talking to a personal injury who is willing, like myself and others, to provide you with a free initial consultation. Best of luck.

    Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in 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. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

  5. Sorry, this is not credible. No one gets 5 mri'swithout prior positive findings.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff

  6. It sounds like you should be represented.

  7. Don't play lawyer....retain one! Why sabotage your good claim?

  8. You should be talking to your lawyer about the settlement range, not attorneys who do not have all the detail your atty should have. if you have that much doubt as to what your atty is recommending, you should ask the stty to explain. if you are still not feeling comfortable, then have a face to face with a new atty having all the details of the case available.

  9. With respect, you are likely not a match in skills for the professional adjuster for the insurance. his or her role is to minimize the payout for their company. It'snot personal. they answer to bosses who answer to shareholders, not to injured people.

    If you have counsel, run all questions through counsel. If you have been going this alone, please put yourself first and engage counsel to assist you in maximizing your potential recovery.

  10. You will get less than half for your settlement by attempting to do this on your own than you would with an attorney. That's not my opinion nor that of any attorney. That comes from the internal data kept by the insurance industry. Here is how the insurance companies crunch the numbers in evaluating the value of injury claims: BLUE LINK BELOW

    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.

  11. Here are some concrete answers:
    1) You can't get more than the other side has to give. You haven't told us how much the other side's insurance policy limits are and whether the other person has globs of money sitting in the bank. Do you even know?

    2) You can't get more than you can PROVE your case is worth. Have you properly documented your injuries, your lost earnings, your pain and suffering? Have you seen the right experts to document this for you? My guess is that you have not.

    You should consult with an attorney ASAP and take ALL your paperwork and documentation with you to your consultation. Without seeing the entire file and all your medical records, we would just be guessing. You're no better off than using a magic 8-ball..

    For more information about our firm please see or call 866-99-52529........ Always consult with an attorney licensed in your State for more detailed information. I'm only licensed in California and my answers assume that California Law applies. Since a thorough interview and evaluation of the law and facts has not taken place, my answers are general in nature and not specific to your claim or situation. No attorney client relationship is created or established by this response. You remain responsible for all deadlines and time limiting statutes. The Avvo terms of use are incorporated herein by this reference.

  12. The bottom line is that insurance companies are monsters who only exist to help themselves. They will never pay you what your case is worth, period. No matter how small you think your case is, or how minimal you think your injuries are, you need a lawyer to stand up to the insurance monsters for you. An attorney will get more for you simply because the playing field will be evened. Good luck!

  13. I live and work in Los Angeles and deal with accidents like yours, so I am happy to answer your question. The answer to your question is even though you feel its an open and shut case you should definitely hire an attorney to get the maximum amount possible. Make no doubt about it you have a great case, but you need help from a professional. You are entitled to your medical bills being covered as well. You should be filing a claim, but you should do it through an attorney. Whenever someone makes a claim against an insurance company the insurance company usually gives you a very difficult time. I've seen insurance companies lie to their own insured before!

    Do you feel that you are at the same medical condition that you were before the accident? As a basic premise I wouldn't handle your claim by yourself. The attorney you hire can likely refer you to a doctor, if you ask for one, who will see you with no upfront payment! I've done this many times to help my clients out. You should not wait a single day to hire a lawyer, we will advise you on the strategy of your case. There is no upfront cost to hire an attorney.

    With a case like yours it seems like you have some good facts in order to get a high settlement, but your case definitely needs to be developed further to corroborate your story. The most important thing when building your case are: liability (were you at fault); how bad are your injuries to your body. A lot of these things sound like they are not complete yet in your case so its something that is worth hiring an attorney for in order to get a sense of whether you have a case and what the strategy would be for you to build a strong case! I've handled many of these cases in the Los Angeles, CA area.

    Its very possible that your case is worth more than the $$$ that the insurance company will offer you by yourself. Make your life easier and call an attorney today, you won't regret it. We give free consultations!

    Direct Line to Attorney: 877-427-2752 or Email:; Website: I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference

  14. The value of your settlement depends on a variety of factors. You are not the only one who has asked this question. As a general statement, the value of your claim increases proportionally with the extent of your injuries. More specifically, how the injuries have affected or will affect your ability to earn income, how you manage life on a daily basis and of course the general damages you experienced as a result of the accident. Organizing all of this information and presenting it in a credible manner to an insurance adjuster who wants to pay you the very minimum can be challenging to say the least. You should consult with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney to review the specifics of your case to help get you the maximum value from your injuries. With over 20 years of experience representing clients throughout California, I know how to present my clients claims and protect my clients rights to fair compensation for injuries sustained. I wish you the best of luck in your case.

  15. You heard all the advise. Now get a lawyer. Best of luck.

    This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. Abogado de Lesiones de Accidentes de Autos, provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. Oakland Abogado Accidentes Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Accidentes de carros, Abogado de accidentes de Peatones, practices in Antioch, Berkeley, Concord, Oakland, Hayward, Martinez, Newark, Richmond, San Francisco and San Rafael. El abogado de lesiones y heridos en accidentes de autos, is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Heridos en Accidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Abogado de Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, Abogado de Accidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.

  16. You have read all the answers, you need to hire a personal injury attorney. They will know how to present your claim. There are a variety of factors that need to be considered when deciding your range of settlement in a case. Good Luck!

  17. The value of your claim depends on a variety of factors, such as the injuries you sustained, your reasonable past and future medical expenses, any loss of earnings , and the policy limits of the individual responsible for the accident. An insurance company will not provide a fair valuation of your claim if you are not represented by an attorney. Insurance companies are routinely dismissive of injuries and scrutinize the cost and reasonableness of medical care, particularly in your case where you had 5 MRIs that showed no significant injury. It is imperative you at least consult with an attorney before making any attempts to settle your claim. Best of luck in your physical recovery.

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