Is a $30,000 settlement from the insurance company for a bicycle accident in which I was hit by car and hospitalized reasonable?

2 years ago, I was riding a bicycle when I was struck by a turning vehicle: the driver's fault. I was hospitalized with a concussion and back + ankle injuries (total cost of medical treatment ~$8000). On my release, I followed up this care with my primary doctor. I engaged a lawyer and the lawyer urged me to go to a back specialist and a psychiatrist to verify my continuing pain and nightmares about the accident, but I did not doing either of these things because I was working long hours at the time and had many other things going on in my life. My lawyer tells me that because I did not follow up with this early enough, the value of my case has decreased, and that I should accept a settlement out of court to the tune of $30,000 (incl. 33% for lawyer + med. reimbursement). Is this right?

Oakland, CA -

Attorney Answers (5)

Neil Pedersen

Neil Pedersen

Employment / Labor Attorney - Irvine, CA
Answered

There are so many variables that go into deciding if a settlement is good or not that I think it would be reckless for anyone on this site to even try to answer your question. Either your attorney, who should be aware of all the facts and dynamics in play, or an attorney hired by you to review all the facts and learn all the dynamics in play can competently give you an answer.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more
Kevin Samuel Sullivan

Kevin Samuel Sullivan

Car / Auto Accident Lawyer - San Francisco, CA
Answered

discuss the settlement with your current lawyer.

Tanya Marie Bachand

Tanya Marie Bachand

Personal Injury Lawyer - Bridgeport, CT
Answered

I think the difficulty may be that you may lack an expert opinion on causation for your injuries. One of the key elements of a negligence case is the causal link between the injuries (in this case, ongoing pain) and the accident. These types of links generally require expert testimony. Without a doctors opinion on the matter they will be difficult to prove in court. So its probably not so much that you didn't treat, but that you do not have a contemporaneous medical records corroborating your complaints of pain. I'm sure your lawyer as all the facts and circumstances down in more detail than documented here, as well as the pulse of what these types of cases in your area are worth in the eyes of a jury. Your lawyer is there to maximize your recovery and ensure that you are fully compensated for what you went through as a result of someone else's negligence. Given the facts as you laid them out here, I do not see a glaring problem with that type of settlement. However, if you are still in pain and potentially have injuries yet to be resolved (or perhaps even treated) you would do well to listen to your attorney's advice and seek medical attention.

This is general advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Paul J Molinaro

Paul J Molinaro

Personal Injury Lawyer - Corona, CA
Answered

When arguing to get compensation from an insurance company for physical injuries as result of a motor vehicle accident or other such claim, medical examination notes and documentation a of injuries are what one would generally use to evidence the body parts involved and the extent of injuries. However, additional medical experts are almost always needed to properly present the injuries and future medical conditions to the Court.

As one can imagine, a jury will likely see someone who claims to be injured yet fails to seek medical care as a person who may not really be injured. When one hires a lawyer (which mean pays said lawyer handsomely for counsel), one should then accept the counsel of said lawyer and follow the advice given.

As for how much is fair and right for a particular case, that is an answer which would require a lawyer to have been active on the case from day one through the end to properly answer.

- Paul

Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
Corona, CA 92879
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Christian K. Lassen II

Christian K. Lassen II

Personal Injury Lawyer - Philadelphia, PA
Answered

You should have followed his advice and gone to specialists. Your lawyer would be in the best position to advise you still.

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