Never, and I mean never, try to settle a claim yourself, or you will sabotage your case. Insurance companies give unrepresented persons 11% or less of what represented persons get. You are entitled to pain and suffering money as well as the medical bills.
Get a lawyer with a low contingency fee, such as 29%, so you are left with the lion’s share of the settlement money. Don’t get hurt twice by using a lawyer with a huge fee.
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I know you think that we attorneys answering your question are just trying to benefit ourselves by advising you to seek an attorney. However, here are some of the arguments you can expect from an insurance company when you try and settle the claim yourself:
1) You're old; you have pre-existing problems; the incident we are responsible isn't why you are having these problems.
2) The medical bills are inflated and mainly diagnostic. Therefore, the pain and suffering part of the award should be based on only a small part of the medical bills.
3) Any talk of future pain and suffering and medical expense is just too speculative to consider.
Good attorneys know how to rebut these arguments either the ins. adjuster or to a jury.
As Mr. Lassen points out attorneys' fees are negotiable. For my Nevada clients who have a favorable police report I charge only a 25% fee even if the case has to be tried.
You really should not try to settle the case yourself. My colleague is correct that you will receive less than what you are likely to receive if you are represented by counsel. In answer to your questions, age does play a part in the value of a case, and so does the permanency of the injury. Also, if you have a pre-existing condition which was aggravated, this is another factor. There are a number of factors which you might not even realize that play into the value of your case. My advice is to find someone in your area to represent you who knows the law of your state.
JOYCE J. SWEINBERG ESQUIRE
Attorney at Law
105 A East Maple Avenue
Langhorne PA 19047
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide general information to aid the poster in finding answers to the problem posed. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. In most cases, it is best to contact an attorney directly to find answers to your problems
The answer is...it depends.
As stated above, NEVER SETTLE A CASE YOURSELF.
That said, it is nearly impossible to determine what a case should be settled for at fair value, because every situation, insurer, person, injury, and evaluation is unique.
Sure, there are guidelines and rules of generality that sometimes apply but the simple fact is, there is a reason why lawyers concentrate in injury law are good at it--experience.
We do this all the time, know why one case is valued a specific way, know which insurers might offer more or less fair amounts etc. It is highly recommended you contact a lawyer and he or she can probably give you a rundown of what your case may be worth.
Studies show that even accounting for attorney's fees and costs, client who use a lawyer get a larger settlement for their share than those handling their claims themselves.
If you have any questions about an Illinois or Chicago Personal Injury or Illinois or Chicago Workers' Compensation matter, do not hesitate to call at 773-944-9737.
The insurance company knows that it can pay less to someone without an attorney, so they offer less. To answer your question, they may tell you that age and existing health issues will lower your settlement amount, but that's not necessarily the case. If you don't already have an attorney, look for someone with significant experience negotiating these types of cases and taking them to trial if necessary. If you would like a referral to an experienced injury attorney in Cook County, feel free to give me a call. There's also more information in the links below. 1-800-517-1614. Good luck.
Each case is different and rises and falls on the facts.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.
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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.
The only thing reasonable to expect out of the other insurance company is every effort to settle your claim for the bare possible minimum they can get you to accept. Consult an experienced personal injury lawyer right away. We provide free consultation (630-323-2875).
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