I was hit by a drunk driver. My car was total, injuried my arm, now they are offering a settlement. How much should I ask for?

Asked over 3 years ago - Statesboro, GA

The driver was charger a DUI, leaving the accident & other I cant remember. Since the accident, I have been to doctor for my arm and now in physical therapy. I keep getting calls from the insurance company becuase they want to settle my claim but I don't know what is fair. They (insurance company) ask me to give them an offer. How do I come up with an amount?

Attorney answers (7)

  1. James Martin Roth

    Contributor Level 8

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . I agree with the attorney remarks above. I suggest you not even discuss settlement with the insurance company until you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who has been through this process.

    My firm and most others give a free initial consultation.

    I truly wish you the best.

    JIM ROTH

  2. Glen Edward Ashman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . There is nothing that you can do worse than talking to the insurer. Hopefully you haven't, but if you have,.stop. Insurers make a fortune cheating acident victims without attorneys. In general you will receive, if anything, 50 to 75% less without a lawyer than with a lawyer in a typical accident case.

    The two most damaging things you can do top hurt your case are (1) to talk settlement with the adjuster and (2) to give him a recorded statement.

    You need a lawyer. Hire one ASAP. Good luck.

  3. Sam Louis Levine

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . I agree with the comments by the other attorneys. Find an attorney that you gel & feel comfortable with & follow their lead. I am so sorry that this happened & I hope you have a quick recovery!

    Sam Levine
    www.samlevine.com
    (404) 303-8875

  4. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    2

    Answered . Please, do yourself a favor and do not even think about talking settlement without an attorney who has been through this process many many times before.

    Personal injury attorneys nearly always give a free initial consultation.

    The insurance industry’s own statistics indicate that once an attorney becomes involved, the value of any claim at least doubles.

    Put those two facts together and it is in your best interest to retain experienced legal counsel at your earliest possible convenience.

    I truly wish you the best.

    If you find my answer helpful, please click the ‘thumbs-up’ tab below. Thank you.

    This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies. In the event that you have follow up questions, please post them directly on this site. This does not create an attorney-client relationship and the attorney does not read unsolicited emails. Thank You.


    For More Information on the author: www.attorney-myers.com

  5. Theodore W. Robinson

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Meyers' answer. HIre a lawyer and you'll invariably do better than without one and the amount you pay the lawyer will be more than offset by how much more you recieve in the long run. Don't take the initial offer of the insurance company. They always low ball you.

    The amount its worth is a function of too many things to give you an answer without much, much more information.

  6. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within 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. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

  7. Jonathan Craig Reed

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . Like the other lawyers who answered you I suggest you hire an attorney. You have a couple of possible strategies to make sure the lawyer adds value after his or her fee.

    First, some lawyers offer a discounted contingency fee for clear liability cases. For example, for Nevada cases, Reed & Mansfield offers a no gimmick discount 25% fee for favorable police report cases. Another attorney who frequently answers questions for avvo.com, Christian Lassen, in Pennsylvania advertises a 29% fee. You can find a discount in your jurisdiction if you look.

    Second, you can always ask the insurance company for an offer and then consult an attorney with the offer and see if the attorney will not charge a fee on the offer amount. BUT, the danger of this second option is that before the insurance company will make you an offer they will lock you into statements that effectively limit the value of your case. This is why I advise ceasing to talk to the insurance company and hiring an attorney immediately.

    I can tell you from 30 years of practice that on average you will get much less by trying to settle this case yourself AND THAT THE SOONER YOU HIRE AN ATTORNEY, THE BETTER FOR YOUR CASE.

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