I was involved in a motorcycle accident here in California.The other party made an illegal turn (was cited for VC 22107) and came into my lane hitting me - squeezing my left foot against the motorcycle ,breaking my fibula (no surgery) ..I went to ER and then ,I saw a podiatry doctor.Had 30 sessions of PT.lost 10 days of work,and a permanent scar on my tibia).My Medical bills total $11 K.The insurance offer to settle (after a long back and forth negotiations )$ 27.5K. Should I accept it; Is it a fair amount?
Thanks for your help
It is difficult to speculate on the value of the claim without knowing more. However, it seems like this is not a fair value. In general, you will not get the most from your claim until the insurance company is under the threat of possible litigation. That threat doesn't become real to them until you hire an experienced trial attorney to represent you. I would urge you to contact an attorney for a free consultation before agreeing to any settlement. Of course, we would welcome your call as we have represented people in similar cases from border to border in California.
I stongly encourage you to seek at least a free consult with an exprienced and well respected personal injury lawyer before you agree to anything. If you are currently represented then you need a serious heart to heart discussion with your lawyer as to why he/she is making a recommendation to you. Any competent personal injury lawyer will be able to articulate the basis for their opinion as to the value of your claim.
Don't forget that if your medical bills have been paid by your health insurance they will want to be reimbursed as well.
Look for someone in your area that is AV rated by Martindale and or a member of ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates). Ask them how many cases they have actually tired to verdict. Who you have on your side does make a difference on the outcome. Good luck.
As indicated above, you will be much better off consulting and retaining an experienced attorney. No attorney worth his salt could give you a reliable estimate of value of your claim based upon the information that you provided. Experienced personal injury attorneys have spent years gaining the experience to understand the value of a case and acquiring the knowledge necessary to determine how to best present the claim to the insurance company. The value of the case depends upon much more than related in your question. The attorney provides service in handling your claim that not only pays to the client in the end, but allows the client to have confidence that the claim will be resolved at the highest level and with the least amount of work and stress by the client. Insurance companies are always hoping for claimants to assert claims without an attorney because insurance companies want to settle as cheap as they can, and they know that is not going to happen against an attorney.
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You can get more money for this claim. You need to maximize your recovery because you may have continuing issues from the broken fibula such as pain and discomfort in cold weather, plus the scar of course. Definitely consult with an attorney in the Bay Area; if you statement of events is accurate then an attorney will almost definitely be able to get you more money than they are offering at present even after their fee. Let an expert handle the case for you - hire an attorney.
It is really difficult without looking at records and the amount of your wage loss. Its not outrageously low. There is is probably more value there and an attorney should be able to get a better settlement, but there will be fees involved. you should definitely sit down with an attorney and discuss, including a reduced fee.
I agree with the comments provided. Consult an attorney before settling the case. You may owe money back to your health insurance. You may have future issues to address. There are several variables. Talk to a professional before you make a decision. You know the insurance company has already had its professionals review this for its own benefit. You should do the same.
The value of anyone's injuries is dependant on many factors, and it can vary widely in different jurisdictions. I would suggest you consult with a personal injury lawyer who practices in your area of San Jose. A respected attorney should review your case with you in detail, and advise you of the risks and benefits of pursuing the case further. They should be up front with you on how any fee would be calculated if you decide to hire them. Best of luck.
So often I am asked this question..."What medical expenses can I get from the insurance company now that we know the collision wasn't my fault?" This is really an easy question to answer, because state law dictates what you are entitled to. However, just because you might be claiming a medical expense doesn't mean that you automatically get the money for those medical expenses. It is still up to you and your attorney to provide the insurance company with the facts and evidence to prove the damage.
Under the law of the state of New Mexico and most other states, medical expenses must be reasonable, necessary and a direct result of the injuries sustained in the collision.
The medical expenses must be reasonable in price compared to charges made by othere health care providers in the same community. This can be easily proven, and our firm has the annually published medical fees to help prove the reasonableness of the charges.
The medical expenses must be necessary and needed because of the injury from the collision. No one would expect the insurance company to pay for a medical expense that you really didn't need. You are, however, required to mitigate your damage. That means that you are allowed to have diagnostic tests and examinations to determine whether you have an injury. If you have some pain that you didn't have before the collision, you are expected to take reasonable precaution to determine if you have an injury. If you ultimately determine that you don't have any injury, the insurance company will still pay for the cost of the examination and diagnostic x-rays and other tests.
The medical expenses must be a direct result of the injuries sustained in the collision. You can't ask the insurance company to pay for anything that their driver didn't cause. However, they must also pay for the aggravation of a previous injury. As an example, let's say that your leg already had degenerative problems because of your age. It really didn't cause you any problems before the accident, but the twisting of the leg in the accident required you to now have physical therapy and ultimately a surgery. You aggravated the degenerative condition so now you must have the extra medical care. This would be a valid claim against the insurance company. The medical records provided by your doctor should clearly indicate that the medical care was needed as a result of the collision. If it doesn't state this on the records, then you should contact your doctor or his/her staff immediately to determine what he/she believes was the cause of the injury in the first place.
Once you have finished all of your treatment, it is realitively easy to determine your total medical expenses. You need to use the retail price of the medical expenses, not the amount paid by your health insurance or the amount you paid as a deductible or co-pay. It is usually a simple addition of the charges.
Sometimes doctors will state that you need to get extra money from the insurance company for future medical expenses. An example would be a doctor stating that you need one physical therapy visit per month for a total of 12 more months. You would need to calculate the cost of each visit and multiply times the number of visits the doctor says that you need and you then have an additional number for future medical care. Again, the same rules apply to future medical expenses that apply to the past medical expenses. The future medical expenses must be reasonable, necessary and a direct result of the collision.
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