Personal injury settlement- ballpark/estimate or worst case scenario, how much, and how long? (some info provided 2 base answer)

Asked over 1 year ago - Waldorf, MD

I know..every case differs and depends on expenses, circumstances, etc. but just trying to get an "idea" of how much could be settled for (even worst case minimum scenario), also how long could it take for the case to settle. Example: trip/fall injury on parking lot and defendant is determined liable, lost wages around $3000 due to time lost from work, medical expenses around $5500 (ER and doctor visits, xrays, ct scan), takes about a month to heal (nothing broken but major sprains, and mild to moderate concussion). How much (estimate) pain and suffering and total settlement value? Also, how long before settlement reached & received? Trying to figure out if valuable enough for atty to take on, or am I better off trying to settle with owner on my own? Any number-specific ranges appreciated

Additional information

Lost wages covered by the time by my own personal vacation leave taken from work
Medical expenses covered by my own personal health insurance
Both of above I was advised that they would still be claimed in the settlement, for I should not have to use my own valuable paid leave ("but for" the injuries would not have had to use it other than intended) and that despite health insurance coverage was advised defendant should not assume that I have health insurance and would still be liable for the costs incurred

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Stephen P Norman

    Contributor Level 11

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would always recommend that you obtain the services of an attorney. The insurance company's are programmed to not offer you full value.

  2. Ismail T. Shahtakhtinski

    Contributor Level 12

    7

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . No one can predict the outcome or the length of time involved. But you will be always better of working with an experienced personal injury attorney, because the insurance company will not likely offer you the same amount as you would get with a help of a good lawyer.

    Most insurance companies even have different adjusters handling Pro Se cases (unrepresented by attorneys) and different adjusters for the cases where the claimant is represented by an attorney. You wonder why? Because the bottom line in every personal injury case is the question - what will happen if a lawsuit is filed? While the insurance company knows that you can retain an attorney and file a lawsuit, they are not under the pressure to compensate you fairly, until you actually do retain an attorney. So, they know that they can still adjust their offer to you, when such time comes.

    A personal injury attorney usually will not charge you legal fees, unless we recover a compensation for you. This is called a "contingency fee." So, if the compensation is $0, then your lawyer gets paid $0 in legal fees. There are many twists and turns, and the insurance company will try to use every one of them to get you as low compensation as possible.

    As a general rule, if the liability is undisputed, you are entitled to the amount of your current medical bills, your lost wages, your reasonable future medical expenses, your reasonable future lost wages, and a compensation for your past and future pain and suffering. A concussion, which is a traumatic brain injury, is an important factor in considering the amount of your compensation.

    A good personal injury lawyer, will ensure that each of the above items is carefully evaluated, and ensure that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve considering the circumstances.

    Most of us offer absolutely free in-person or telephone consultation for personal injury cases. I strongly recommend to take advantage of the free consultation and make your fully informed decision accordingly.

    Best wishes,

    Ismail T. Shahtakhtinski, Esq.
    Attorney & Counselor at Law
    I.S. Law Firm, PLLC
    1199 N Fairfax St., Ste 702
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    Tel: (703) 527-1779
    Fax: (703) 778-0369
    ismail@islawfirm.com

    The information provided in this answer is designed to provide useful information and background materials about I.... more
  3. Neil William Tyra

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    4

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . You have the basic analysis correct in terms of what's called the "collateral source rule" meaning that the responsible party/insurance company can not take the fact that you used your medical insurance nor your sick leave. I think the major difficulty is the trip & fall nature of the case. These types of cases are very difficult to prove and win. If the defendant involves his insurance company, things get more difficult because the insurance company's attorney will surely explore all possibilities and insist on proof of liability and causation and reasonableness of the damages (as they should). so predicting how long it would take is difficult. Given your "specials" of $8,500 it is reasonable to think that should the matter go to court that it could be litigated in district court which is generally much faster and less expensive. But if the amount requested is too large then it would have to be done in circuit court and that is much longer and more expensive. My general opinion is that if you can negotiate with the owner for an amount that covers your costs of $8,500 and some modest amount for pain & suffering, then you would be wise to consider settling the matter yourself. But there is a downside in that an attorney may be able to assist you in obtaining a better result - then again, they may not. These cases are difficult. Good luck!

  4. Matthew C Simon

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Based on the information provided, IF the defendant is 100% liable, and you can PROVE your out-of-pocket medical bills and lost wages, you are entitled to 100% reimbursement for each. As for "pain and suffering," you need to discuss the average or expected "value" of such injuries in the venue (County) where the lawsuit if filed with a local personal injury attorney.

    The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-... more
  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unless the slip and fall is clear-cut negligence, the majority of insurance companies fight these aggressively, and will only offer a tiny nuisance settlement if anything. Best best is to take it to trial.

  6. S. David Rosenthal Esquire

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    5

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . From what you have stated here, the major limiting factor in this case is that, fortunately, the injured person healed within a month. That is a relatively short period of time when considering how much to assess for pain and suffering. Based on the limited information provided, I would value pain and suffering at $5,000-$7,500, total case value $13,500-$16,000. That assumes 100% liability, but many trip and fall cases have a discount factor for comparative fault, i.e., "you should have been watching where you were walking."

    Good luck.

  7. Jeffrey Mark Adams

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Worst case scenario 0; best case scenario significantly more than that. In this business you get what you pay for - and that is almost always a good thing.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and... more
  8. Josh P Tolin

    Contributor Level 19

    2

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Most of the answers you have gotten do not give you numbers. As you stated in your question, there are way too many factors that go into evaluating your claim which is why you should get an attorney. There are many personal injury attorneys who will take on soft tissue cases. Venue, strength of liability, credibility of plaintiff, defendant, witnesses, etc.. are all factors. Get an attorney and he/she will be able to give you a better idea, and increase chance of favorable resolution other than handling yourself.

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