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I was offered a settlement offer of $2900.00 for a DUI accident. Does that seam reasonable.

Maryville, TN |

At the time of the accident, I was 14 weeks pregnant. I incurred medical costs associated with ER visit that day for $922. I spent the remainder of my pregnancy worried about the health and wellbeing of my unborn child. I delivered at full term – 42 weeks and 2 days but had a very traumatic labor. I was billed for $6011 in charges for the initial 12 hours of my labor at one facility. Then I was transferred to another facility and billed $8758.46. I was given pitocin and three epidurals (one which was a partial spinal) and none of them worked. I believe all this was due to the stress of the accident in May and the continual stress throughout my pregnancy about the health of my child as a result of the accident.

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Attorney answers 7


The value of personal injury or suffering from a car accident is hard to define. Does it seem like enough to you? If you are expected to pay for your medical bills, does the offer also compensate you for the harm you suffered? In this sitaution, you are much better served to consult with a personal injury lawyer you trust in your area to fully examine a settlement offer. A lawyer will know how to negotiate from a position of strength, rather than settle for a small sum when your case was worth more. In the case of your pregnancy, you will have to have medical proof from your doctors saying that the increased cost was related to the crash before you can collect for it. Otherwise you run the risk of looking like you are just seeking to get your delivery bills paid by someone else.


In order to get a proper answer, you really should consult in person with a local personal injury attorney. He or she will be able to determine ALL of the pertinent facts, and then be in a position to give you the answer you deserve.


I understand where you are coming from and think you face the same dilemma as many car accident victims... the subjectiveness of your injuries and damages (although extremely real to you) is not impressive to the insurance company. Insurance companies and adjusters tend to evaluate claims based on objective criteria and typically do not put nearly the same value on subjective complaints. That said, I completely understand where you are coming from but you need to understand that without a healthcare provider rendering a medical opinion that your delivery was complicated by the accident, the insurance company is going to take the position that the accident had nothing to do with your difficulties. They know that difficult deliveries can occur even without trauma for an accident. So to answer your question, I personally think the offer is low but unless you can obtain a doctor's opinion tying the two things together (difficult deliver related to trauma of car accident), it is going to be difficult to convince the insurance company to make a fair offer. Best of luck.


Best to have a local lawyer investigate


Please stop handling this yourself and get an attorney immediately. I can tell you are doing it yourself based on the offer.


To recover more at trial, you would need to demonstrate through expert proof that the medical bills (other than those from the date of the accident) were causally related to the accident. It would seem that your medical bills from the pregnancy would have occurred regardless of the accident. Did you seek psychological treatment for your emotional issues? If not then likely not compensable.


I doubt that a doctor would be willing to testify that your difficult labor was caused by the auto accident. Without a doctor willing to say that, you can't recover anything for the labor bills or the pain and suffering you went through during labor. Ask your obstetrician if he or she would be willing to write a letter saying you had a more difficult labor or pregnancy due to the auto accident. Also ask your obstetrician if the auto accident cost you anything more than what you would have spent on a delivery if the auto accident hadn't occurred.

Sometimes people in your situation, have other injuries that go untreated during the pregnancy. A common untreated injury during pregnancy is back pain. If you continue to have back pain after the delivery, get in and be seen by a doctor who specializes in back pain. Explain to the doctor that you were in an auto accident and the history of your back pain problems and pregnancy. If that doctor will write a good report for you, you will get more money than the current offer.

The current offer isn't great, but given your low medical bills and lack of treatment, it isn't surprising. Remember, the insurance company will almost always offer more if you negotiate.

You may come out ahead by hiring an attorney and having them help you with some of the things I discussed above.

Good luck.

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