24 dr appts. They are offering $2000 for a settlement. Is that reasonable? Her medical bills were $4500. She waited until then to go to a chiro because she thought is was going to go away. Soft tissue injury
From the limited infortmation provided that settlement offer does not sound appropriate. Carriers often low ball unrepresented people and often justify the low offer based on a delay in seeking medical treatment or the fact that the accident was too minor to have caused any significant injury. I concur that you should seek the advice of a local personal injury attorney. Another option is small claims court which does not allow you to be represeted at the hearing by an attorney, but is a relatively quick manner of resolving disputes. Of course if you go that route you must make sure you are fully prepared to present the claim with appropriate evidence, i.e., the medical records, bills and possibly the testimony of the chiropractor. For that reason you are probably best served by seeking the advice of an attorney.
Based on the information you have provided it doesn't sound like a reasonable offer. Each case is very unique and requires it's own thorough evaluation. I would suggest you contact an attorney and take advantage of a free consultation. There is no obligation to continue with representation and most attorney's - myself included - are happy to discuss a case and provide some opinions with potential clients regardless of whether they choose to hire us or not.
Should you choose to contact someone, I suggest being prepared to provide information regarding the extent of the injuries, any lingering pain/discomfort or physical limitations related to the injuries, and any time missed from work due to injuries and their treatment. If there is a traffic collision report you should have that handy as well.
I hope that your daughter has fully recovered and wish you luck as you proceed with the claim. Of course, I would welcome you call if you would like to discuss the case further.
Insurance companies count on claimants accepting whatever settlements they offer. They get away with this because most people will not hire an attorney or take the matter to small claims court. The value of your daughter's claim depends on many factors and she should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss her options for handling her claim.
You don't say how long your daughter waited before getting treatment. Insurance companies routinely use any "gap" in treatment as justification for not paying the true value of the claim because "if you were really hurt you would have gone to the doctor." In reality, people often don't go to the doctor right away for various reasons, including the belief that they will get better over time.
I believe the offer is low and that you should consult a good California personal injury attorney to explain all of the facts and circumstances and to get an opinion as to the best way to maximize your daughter's recovery.
S. David Rosenthal
2251 Douglas Blvd., Ste. 120
Roseville, CA 95661
I'm sure the insurance adjuster is using the "delay" in seeking medical treatment as a basis for disputing that the treatment your daughter sought is related to the wreck. Is liability clear? Did your daughter self-treat, self-medicate and/or document the pain and discomfort she went through for the first 25 days and up until she went to see the chiropractor? Is her history of injury, impairment and/or self-treatment adequately reflected in her chiropractor's medical records? Does your daughter have other insurance that will cover the chiropractor's bills, or does the chiropractor's bill have to be satisfied out of the $2,000 settlement offer? Property damage does not necessarily correlate with injuries, but insurance adjusters always argue low property damage equals little or no injury. Is the issue of low property damage a factor in your daughter's claim too?
There are simply too many unanswered questions that need to be addressed before anyone can answer your question or provide valuable insight on the offer. Your daughter should definitely consult with a personal injury attorney in your area about this before responding. Good luck resolving the claim.
There is no magic formula for determining the value of your daughter's claim. It depends, most importantly, on liability. In other words, how did the accident happen and who was at fault? Having said that, if your daughter was the passenger and not at fault at all, she should be compensated for 100% of her injuries, including medical expenses and pain and suffering. From what you say, $2,000 seems much too low. You should contact a local personal injury lawyer.
No I do not think 2k is a good settlement offer. Why would you think you could get your daughter more money than an experienced Personal Injury Attorney? You are not doing right by her by not retaining an attorney.
My law firm handles car accident cases all over the state of California. You can read about these cases at http://www.thepersonalinjury.com . Our office gives free consultations over the phone 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x. 1.
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.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
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.
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