My father fell on ice in a bank parking lot and broke his ankle. He was 90 yrs old at the time. He has never been able to leave the nursing home and never been the same since the surgery on his ankle. The bank Insurance company asked me what I wanted for a settlement and I didn't know what to ask for but I did say what price could you put on a man who has lost everything . His home, freedom and independence. I also now have to find everything I have paid for expeneses and send it to them.
Even at your father's age the cae has significant value (assuming good liability) - five to six figures -but I doubt you will get it from an insurance carrier pre-suit. They will offer you minimal money and string you along and hope your father dies before his testimony is preserved. You should consider hiring a lawyer who may want to put the case into suit ASAP so your father can be deposed and his testimony preserved. Without his testimony you may not have a case.
Permit me to ask you: if the rn at the nursing home asked how much medication to give your father what would you say; if the md at the hospital asked you how to set the ankle what would you say; if the mechanic asked you how to time the ignition what would you say? Seriously, all the best and I hope you do your father right.
I would recommend that you find a personal injury attorney there in your local area and try to get a free consultation with that attorney. Many attorneys will agree to a free consultation. You do need to get all of the bills together, but instead of submitting them directly to the bank's insurance company, have your attorney transmit them and request payment immediately of those expenses. Then have your attorney settle (with your approval) the matter. You do need to realize that the amounts for pain and suffering for your father's permanent injury will need to be taken into consideration along with the fact that he is 90 years old. Best of luck.
Hire a lawyer right away. A lawyer will know the right amount to request. As well, it's probably in your best interest to not speak to the bank or its insurance company; let a lawyer do that for you. Any amount you may receive, you are probably going to receive more, after the lawyer's fees, with a lawyer.
Snow and ice cases are difficult and there are many variables that have to be considered - even in the successful ones . Respectfully, you are not likely aware of all the legal nuances and as has been commented, it is more than likely that the insurance carrier would not offer you a fair amount for an injury that potentially is in the high five figures if not six figure ranges. Of course, if there is no legal liability on the bank, then the claim is worth "$0" no matter how serious the injury. You are doing your father and yourself a dis-service by negotiating the claim by yourself. Reconsider retaining an attorney, as he/sher won't get a fee unless you are successful in recovering a settlement or verdict in your father's favor
An evaluation of the value of your father's claim requires analysis of several factors. First, the bank's responsibility for the ice which caused the fall must be determined. This issue we call liability. Then the damages must be examined. You refer to expenses which is one element of damages, perhaps the smallest. Your father's injury, pain, suffering, disability and loss of enjoyment of life (as you suggest) must be evaluated. Next we investigate any liens on his recovery; does he have to pay Medicare/Medicaid back for monies paid. Your father will get the best value and protection if you allow an experienced personal injury to represent him. Have you contacted on yet? If not, do so at once.
Ok, first I agree with every other attorney on this board who suggest hire an attorney. There are ankle breaks worth 50k and there are ankle breaks worth 600k or more. Without knowing the type of break your father suffered, and what type of surgery he had, it is impossible to opine what the case is worth. Also without knowing the weather on the day of the fall, it is impossible to guess as to liability, however, the fact that the bank wants to settle makes me think that liability is good. NOW, given your father's age, and his current circumstances, I'm a big believer in the fact that a quick settlement that can benefit your father NOW is far superior to one that you get after 3 years of litigation. It would be wonderful to get a nice settlement while your dad can enjoy it, travel with you and aide. All the money in the world doesn't do your father any good, if he is unable enjoy it. Many firms including mine will prepare a settlement proposal, setting forth liability and a settlement proposal, and then negotiation an appropriate settlement for 10% of the gross settlement. If you aren't satisfied with the offer, then you can still litigate, but at least you'd have representation at this early crucial state. You should definitely look for an attorney to negotiation on your behalf, and not necessarily one who will seek to litigate in order to obtain a full fee.
Not all ankle injuries are the same. Valuation depends on: likelihood of proving liability; severity of the broken bone, ligaments and tendons; how well it has healed; and, prognosis in the future. Unfortunately, your father's age is certainly a factor concerning expected future pain and suffering but certainly he should be properly compensated for the pain and inconvenience he has endured.
I highly recommend that you engage the services of an attorney before you speak again to the bank or its insurance company. To determine the amount that you should demand in settlement you must engage in a complex calculus of several factors requiring your consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney, like myself. You should also use the attorney to negotiate on your behalf
Please do not tell me that you have been trying to represent your father on your own without retaining counsel. If so, why would you do such a thing? If you really want to help your father GET HIM A COMPETENT PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER NOW!!!! This isn't one of those Hallmark Channel tear jerking "what price could you put on a man who has lost everything..." stories. This is REAL LIFE. The insurance company doesn't care about your dad or what he has lost, they are just looking to settle his case with you who are ignorant of the true value of the case before someone wakes up and retains counsel. Stop talking to the insurance company for your dad you are SCREWING HIS CASE UP!!!
You should speak to an attorney right away. These types of cases are often handled by lawyers on a contingency basis. That means that you will not have to pay until you receive a settlement. I would be happy to meet with you to discuss how my firm may be of assistance to ensure that your father is fairly compensated for his injury. Please feel free to contact my office to schedule a free consultation. My contact information is in my profile.
It is virtually impossible to tell you what figure you should demand without much mroe detailed information about how the accident happened and the nature of your father's injuries. You are free to handle the negotiations with the insurance company yourself, but you should be aware that an insurance company will seek to settle a claim with a non-represented person for as low as possible, much lower than you may get if you were represented by an attorney. Handling a claim yourself can often be the definition of penny-wise and pound-foolish.
The case has value. Without knowing the nature of the fracture and surgery along with an understanding of you fathers activity level per injury no one can give you a real estimate of its worth. At your dads age you need this resolved or in suit quickly. You need a lawyer. This is the type of personal injury we at my legal group handle every day
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