My husband was in a head on collision last august, we are getting ready to settle, need advice on pain and suffering amount

Asked about 1 year ago - Auburn, CA

2 lane hwy, oncoming driver made unsafe left turn, my husb. was going approx 55. car totalled, broken sternum, problems with nerve area of hip (at belt line). 100% other driver's fault. He was totally uninsured. We have unins. motorist $100k. Ins has paid us for totalled car($2300), has paid chiro bills ($2300) and is ready to pay ER, ERDr and Radiologist (approx $13000). They are willing to pay us for lost wages (we're self emp prob $4000) and pain and suffering. Feeling mostly functional, but still some neuropathy in leg due to nerve at belt line. Def. has affected his normal functionality, but he's feeling like he's about as good as it's gonna get and will prob need to continue chiro care occasionally to work on keeping hips in line. Any ideas about pain and suffering amount?

Additional information

this was a little car that we just carried liability only on. However our agent had added the coverage in case there was an accident that was 100% the other person's fault (which this was), that allowed us to be reimbursed for the vehicle (which they did give us $2300 for that), and then we do carry the um coverage.

Also, seems we're getting feedback that it should be a full limits payout. In your experience, if a full payout happens, is the ins. co. likely to end up dropping you from their coverage?

Attorney answers (11)

  1. Michael A Rabban

    Contributor Level 9

    16

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Are you going forward without an attorney? In my opinion, it would be best to be represented by an attorney. An insurance company (even your own) will attempt to low ball you. Most attorneys in this industry would work on a percentage basis and help to insure your medical bills are paid.

    With the injuries you have stated, your insurance should fork over its policy limit. Feel free to contact me if you would like a free consultation.

    Michael Rabban
    (818) 827-2603 direct office line

  2. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If they arent paying the full 100k, you should see a lawyer asap. has your husband been seen by MD? had a lumbar mri? Had emg/nerve conduction tests ? Im not sure he has full diagnosis of injuries yet, treatment may not be complete, and the future is unknown. You also have a loss of consortium claim, and if you were in the car, you may have addl claims of your own.

    You really should check with a lawyer before you proceed.

  3. Scott Douglas Camassar

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    16

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is a serious case. Get a lawyer

  4. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are making a big mistake if you are attempting to settle this claim without the assistance of a good personal injury attorney. It is not realistic to place a settlement value on this claim without knowing much more about the injuries sustained - reading medical records; speaking to treating doctors etc. You have a serious injury with future medical care & possible long term problems. Most personal injury attorneys, like myself, do not charge a consultation fee. Get some professional help with your claim.

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more
  5. Constantine D. Buzunis

    Contributor Level 17

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is a significant case with substantial injuries! It seems like a policy limits case ($100,000.00). I would demand the policy limits and give them 10 days to pay in full, or tell them you are going to retain an experienced lawyer in the area of autombile liability and uninsured motorist claims and will consider the $100,000.00 policy limit opened up to an unlimited amount! It seems your insurance compnay is playing with you and "acting in bad faith" on a first party claim, trying to save some money by not tendering the $100,000 limits right away given the injuries and clear liability.

    Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.... more
  6. Frederick Joseph Sette

    Contributor Level 11

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . yes, I have a very good idea of pain and suffering amount = policy limits. And, you will need to maximize your recovery from this by negotiating/eliminating any claimed medical liens on this recovery. My office is in Sacramento and I'd be happy to discuss this with you 916-442-0000 - Fred

  7. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Without a lawyer, you'll likely settle for 11% of what a good lawyer could get you. You know what to do.

  8. Kevin P. Landry

    Contributor Level 11

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should consult a qualified personal injury attorney immediately to assist you in evaluating your case. The fractured sternum and the nerve issues are of primary concern. You as spouse also have a loss of consortium claim. Your lawyer should refer you to a specialist to determine long term prognosis and degree of permanency and disability.

  9. Paul J Molinaro

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If someone suffers a fractured sternum... not an easy bone to fracture, by the way, which can cause one heck of a lot of pain... and have potential problems down the road... and if one also has other significant injuries... one should be more worried about policy limits not being enough to cover the amunt he or she deserves.

    I've been posting my biased opinions and comments here and there on the Internet and Avvo for a while now (since Al Gore invented the online attorney forums, I believe), and every time I see a post about a person doing battle all by his or her non-lawyer self against an insurance company, I keep thinking the post might as well read something like, “my no-insurance nephew needs to get that brain aneurysm removed, but it’s located right near his mah-doola. His headaches have gotten so bad he's up to eight cans of Rheingold a day for the pain. So, what I need to know is whether I should use my Black ‘n Decker cordless to go in through the back of his thick skull or through his big mouth...”

    No one who has suffered personal injury should do battle against an insurance company without a lawyer. No one but a neurosurgeon should do brain surgery, even if one’s nephew is a schmuck.

    We personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. We handle cases on a contingent basis. We actually love the game, the battling, the negotiations, the tactics, etc. Some of us... like me... practice anywhere in California... An injured person should just worry about getting better.

    - Paul

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
    Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
    Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
    980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
    Corona, CA 92879
    (951)520-9684
    www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com

    "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."

    * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
    ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito... more
  10. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As this collision is less than a year old, I question whether or not your husband has reached maximum medical improvement or a medical end result. The fact he has continuing problems indicates that he needs to be evaluated for any permanent impairments by a well-qualified physician, so that your husband's future can be better determined and the costs of future care estimated.

    You have a derivative claim, separate and apart from your husband. Has your insurance company mentioned this to you or offered you payment for your loss?

    I gather you are attempting to handle this matter without the assistance of counsel. That is a large mistake. Your uninsured motorist carrier is neither your friend nor your good neighbor. Their sole goal is to pay you nothing or as little as possible on your claim.

    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. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    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.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
  11. Stacy E Pepper

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I'm not licensed in CA, but I could never under the facts you stated recommend to a client of mine to settle for less than $75K, and I certainly would be willing to take it to trial where a jury verdict could easily exceed the policy limits. You have a solid case and you need to get some professional help from a personal injury attorney in your state. If your insurance company does not act right, then you may also have a bad faith claim against them too.

    Attorney Stacy E. Pepper is licensed in all State and Federal Courts in Mississippi. He is a founding Partner in... more

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