I have been found 10% at fault in this accident. The settlement is just under $10K. About half that will go to pay the known medical liens and balances. I can't reasonably expect any other medical costs to arise in direct connection with this accident. The California Bodily Injury Release extinguishes all further claims now and forever that could arise from this accident including anything unforeseen. I have high confidence that I will not have further medical issues, though my non-professional practice as a dancer/performer may have changed permanently. Question: Does the amount offered as a settlement seem reasonable to you, or could I reasonably advocate for a significantly higher settlement amount?
This question really cannot be answered without more information. What is the nature and extent of your injuries? how much are your medical bills? Do you have any wage loss? There needs to be more development of the change in your activities. You mention "medical liens" which is a term used in conjunction with being represented by an attorney. If you are represented he/she is in the best position to answer this question. Of the cuff the settlement sounds low. If you don't have an attorney you really should consult with a qualified attorney before contemplating a settlement
As Mr. Harting said, your question cannot be answered without more information such as the nature and extent of your injuries, whether you missed time off from work, etc. The decision to accept a settlement of any amount is ultimately yours but you should consult with personal injury attorneys in your area before you accept the settlement. Most offer a free consultation.
It's hard to approximate a value for your case without knowing additional details. I'm a little concerned when you say that your dancer/performer activities may have changed permanently because that implies that you have a permanent injury from the accident. If that is the case, the claim may have substantially more value. I would talk to a good personal injury attorney about your case before making a decision. Most good lawyers will discuss your case in detail over the phone and give you feedback as to how best to proceed. If he/she believes you would be best served by accepting the offer, they will tell you. (This all assumes you do not have a lawyer.)
I'm not sure what you mean by your "non-professional practice...," but you may have extensive damages in that area that need to be explored. Also, I don't know what your injuries were, or what type of treatment the liens consist of--diagnostics or therapy. I would also perhaps not accept the 10% hit on fault necessarily. So, bottom line, you need a personal injury attorney to address these issues before you enter into any settlement.
I don't believe any lay person can negotiate a fair settlement amount without counsel. If you go to a doctor for medical problems, why not go to a lawyer for legal problems. What makes our think you have any percentage of fault. Retain counsel immediately if you want full value for claim or lawsuit, if necessary.
Typically, I settle soft tissue injuries for between 2 and 2.5X total medical bills. Understand that once you sign the release, that is all you will get. I recommend letting an attorney licensed in California advise you on this matter. Without knowing how much your bills are, it is hard to answer this question.
I agree with the excellent analysis of my colleagues above: If you suspect that you will suffer long-term consequences resulting from your accident, you should not sign anything, and you should consult with a personal injury attorney. From the sound of it, a pedestrian being hit by an automobile could create substantial damages, so you should discuss this matter with an attorney who can guide you through the process and quite possibly help you obtain more money. Good luck.
As indicated by the other attorneys you give no information about your injuries making it impossible to comment except to the extent that, if you do not have an attorney, the offer is probably not in the ballpark of being reasonable. Do yourself a big favor and immediately consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.
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