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What is a reasonable settlement for pain & suffering?

El Sobrante, CA |

I was hit on the passenger side by someone who pulled out in front if me to make a left turn. This was right before Xmas. I missed 4 days work, had the inconvenience of dealing with getting the car repaired, renting a car and going to the doctor. I only went to the doctor once and had a physical therapy appointment where they have advised me to do exercises. If I don't do them, I stiffen up.
The insurance company paid for my repairs and have offered to reimburse me for lost wages from work and my co payments for my doctor visits & medications. They don't want to reimburse the total amount for the rental because they feel it took too long - the shops worked less hours due to the Xmas & New Year holidays.
They are offering $750 for pain and suffering. Is this reasonable?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. It always amazes me to see people who try to handle cases like this on their own, only to get screwed at the end. Basically had you retained a Personal Injury Attorney at the beginning of this case, you might have been looking at a $10,000 to $15,000 settlement more or less, now with only 1 doctor visit and getting short changed on your rental car, you come to a site like this to ask an attorney what they think.

    I think that you should consult with an attorney on this matter to determine what your case might be worth.


  2. If Mr. Fernandez seemed a bit huffy to you, let me tell you why. Lawyers fight to protect their clients from unfair or unethical insurance practices like this every day. In return, they get slandered, abused and Some people avoid lawyers like the plague, thinking they are better off trusting the "Good Hands" people than their own lawyer. Now you know.

    By the way, in addition to getting you a lot more money for your pains and trouble, a lawyer fighting on your side would have gotten you to a doctor and physical therapist who did more for you than tell you to take an aspirin and exercise more. And that does not even begin to address the hole you are in now with the medical lien. The insurance company is only going to pay you your "deductible" on the medical costs, right? But being anxious to avoid lawyers, you are now on the hook to pay your health insurer for the full medical bill costs out of your tiny settlement, not just the deductible.

    It seems you hurt yourself a lot just to avoid letting a lawyer earn a fee. Now you know why lawyers are frustrated when they see letters like yours.

  3. First, my apologies for one of the prior attorney's answers - I understand where he is coming from, but don't think if you went to an attorney with an attitude you'd be inclined to hire one - maybe you did go to an attorney with attitude and that is why you didn't get help earlier.

    Let me give you a slightly different take. No one here can nor will give you an answer to a question such as this without reading over a whole file and they can't read over a whole file on this type of forum and normally wouldn't for free anyway (remember an attorney can only sell his/her advice and time

    You might consider talking with a plaintiff's personal injury attorney in person and see if it is worth hiring them - good luck with your situation. Another possibility is small claims depending on the total amounts involved.

    Matthew Williamson

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