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I was hit by a car as a pedestrian. I'm offered a settlement for signing a Bodily Injury release. Should I sign or get more $ ?

San Francisco, CA |

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?

Attorney Answers 16

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. You have an injury you believe may permanently damage your career. You need to see a personal injury lawyer now. There is no excuse for you not to do it. Most offer a free initial consultation. You need to keep rehabbing and stop advocating.

    We can be reached at 215-545-2201. Our firm has lawyers licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and in the Federal Courts of those states. The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

  5. 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.

    This information is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and any attorney. Such information is intended for general informational purposes only.

  6. Do you have an attorney? He is the best person that can answer the risks and advantages of negotiating the case further.

    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

  7. You case may potentially have more value, depending on a lot more specific information needed. Contact an attorney who practices personal injury/accident cases to discuss specifics.

  8. 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.)

    Good luck.

  9. 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.

  10. No way to tell based on this, as others have said.

  11. Without knowing a lot more information, it's just too difficult to say. Most lawyers offer a free consult. You should gather all your information and go see a local personal injury lawyer to get your best options.

  12. If you have suffered permanent injuries, and your reference to your dance practice suggests that, that amount does not seem sufficient. However you really should be consulting with an attorney who can review the details of your claim - no post on Avvo can be sufficient.

  13. Sounds low, see a local injury lawyer for help.

  14. Why sign your life away? Get a local lawyer to obtain maximum compensation. Sound smart? Avvo has a terrific "find a lawyer" tool to locate a top-rated Avvo attorney with a low contingency fee. Good luck.

  15. 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.

  16. 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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