Should I ask for more?
Never take the first offer! Thats my rule. Also be careful about accepting a lump sum for medical expenses when you very well may have continuing medical treatment, especially for back pain. I am pretty sure that if you get one of us attorneys involved, we can get you more. Best of luck.
If you do not have a local area (LA area) personal injury helping you with this matter, immediately get one. Unfortunately you have not provided any facts that would help a local attorney like myself to provide you with a concise answer to your question. Personal injury attorneys normally provide a free consultation. Contact one from the list of attorneys who have answered your question and give us a call. You can speak to us freely and then we can help you. Sorry to hear you are going through this expeience. I know it is not pleasant. Best of luck.
It would seem to me that your best option is to hire an experienced car accident attorney to represent you and give you the peace of mind that you deserve after a car accident. To answer your question more directly, without more information, I don't know if you should ask for more. Typically insurance companies don't give people without attorneys the amount the claim is worth. I have over 20 years of experience representing clients and I have seen many tricks that insurance carriers try and pull on people that do not know the laws inside and out. I wish you the best of luck and I hope that I can be of service.
With all of the good experienced injury attorneys in your area why are you tripping over your own feet attempting to "do-it-yourself?" The insurance industry's own statistics - not mine or those of any attorney - confirm that those who are represented by attorneys achieve settlements double or more than unrepresented claimants. 10 more reaons to retain an attorney: BLUE LINK BELOW
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 that based on the limited facts it does not sound like a good settlement. I've written e-books on this topic and typically drunk driving accidents are more horrific because they include high speeds and bigger/more painful injuries. Moreover, the insurance company will probably want to purposefully take a recorded statement from you in order to pin down your statement and weaken your case, hopefully you didn't do this. You should definitely not talk to them until you have hired an attorney. 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 and get you a rental if you need one.
You have some great facts, but your case definitely needs to be developed further to corroborate your story. You should hire an attorney so you're not bullied around! 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. The most important thing when building your case are: liability (were you at fault); how bad are your injuries to your body ; and of course how high is the at fault person's policy. 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 area.
Insurance has a very basic business strategy... collect as much in premiums as people will pay and pay out as little as possible on claims. If someone has tens of thousands in medical bills for care that is really needed and medically appropriate, his or her pain and suffering should be worth at least as much (prolly more, maybe not, but prolly so). As for past medical expenses, one does not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out teh amount... just add up the bills... but as for future medical costs... that's a whole nuther situation... an experienced personal injury attorney... one who understands injuries and what one who suffers injuries can expect with regard to what care is expected in the future will be able to properly assess the value of the case... plsu he or she will consider lost wages (past and future) as well as all the other details that are not so obvious. Any person can "win" ten grand from an insurance carrier... just settle a hundred grand case for ten grand... people without lawyers do it all day long.
Injured in a car wreck? Just worry about getting medical care and let the lawyer do the rest.
The best part about hiring a personal injury attorney is that we offer free consultations and should we accept a case (and the client accepts us) we work on contingency. Thus, there is absolutely nothing to fear in calling us.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
4160 Temescal Canyon Road, Suite 306
Corona, CA 92883
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
"When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."
* This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law and does so anywhere in the State of California.
Remember just one thing above all, the job of the claims department is to pay you AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE!!!!! The first adjuster I ever met told me his name was Mr. Poor, like in no money. My office, Binder & Associates has 40 years of experiance in this specific area. Drunk driving cases are special because the carrier never wants that defendant to be in front of a jury. Given that they have offered $18,000 it sounds like the policy exceeds them usual 15/30 that most drivers have. Call me for more info.
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