I was rear-ended while stopped at a red light by a guy going 35 mpg looking at his phone, I was in the back seat, and got some nice ugly scars on nose and around my eye; how much, on average, could I expect to receive in damages for this nature of injury?
I don't want to use an attorney, I don't need one. Please do not try to sell me services, I'm keeping the settlement money to myself, not splitting it with a suit. All I want is a number, please do not reply with anything else.
I'm not trying to sell you services, I don't even have a license to practice law in Texas. But you cannot get a quality estimate of your damages based on the complete lack of information provided. You are entitled to recover all past and future medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering caused by the collision.
So, how much are your medical bills to date? Do you have good quality pictures of your scars? Are you single and looking for a mate so that the scars affect your appearance and self-esteem, or are you an old rugged grandfather that thinks scars show character? Is it possibe you will need scar revision procedures in the future and, if so, at what cost? Have you lost income?
The bottom line is that there is no "average" for your case because how much you are entitled to is completely depending on how this injury has affected you. Think what you will about lawyers, but there are plenty of decent, hard working, ethical lawyers out there. There may even be some that will let you know if they think it's in your best interest to settle the claim without a lawyer.
If you do hire a lawyer, you will have to pay a fee. But chances are the amount you will net in your pocket after paying the fees and medical costs will be as much or greater than what you would receive without "splitting" the recovery.
I am not licensed to practice in Texas, so I am not able to represent you. However your reasoning is self defeating and presumes a logical fallacy: the attorneys cannot assist you in making you whole for the injuries you suffered in this accident. The insurance company hires an attorney to make sure they can get away with not having to take responsibility for their insured's actions.
Why are you so ready to play into their hands and not hold them accountable? The insurance company makes a promise to pay for property damage and take responsibility for the injured parties. In the way our system works the plaintiff has to make the insurance company take responsibility. Otherwise you're letting them get away with not fulfilling their responsibilities.
What can you expect to receive? Since you do not have (nor want) an attorney, the answer is simple: You can expect to receive whatever the claims adjuster decides to pay you (if anything). If you don't agree with the offer, there's nothing you can do about it. So, it really doesn't matter what your injuries are worth.
Did you know that insurance companies usually have one staff of adjusters for claimants who are represented by attorneys and a different staff for those who are not. Why do you think that is???
If you retain an attorney you will get more than you will by yourself, without out question. The insurance carriers love when people don't use lawyers. The attorney you retain will also help you determine the value of your case. There are many factors that go into it, like venue, who is the plaintiff's attorney, are you a man or a woman, what do you do for a living - like modeling or do you appear on TV regularly, are you in marketing etc., etc., what kind of insurance is involved, what kind of permanency is involved with your injury, how bad is the facial scarring. Don't do this on your own. Its foolish.
Your approach in asking your question certainly has tweaked a few folks, but here's a reality check for you. You will be dealing with professionals at the insurance company representing the guy who rear ended you. They will love the fact that you don't have an attorney and will seek to do all they can to limit how much they pay you. You also will not get a "number" from anyone on this forum.
No attorney is going to be able to give you a substantive answer without reviewing all of the circumstances, medical records, etc. Take the chip off your shoulder regarding "suits" and at least consult with a personal injury attorney. Personal injury attorneys typically handle cases on a contingency fee basis and give free consultations. Use the Find a Lawyer tab on Avvo to find one in your area. If you don't like what you hear you can still always decide to go it alone, but in my opinion you would be a fool to do so. Best of luck to you....
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I see my job as getting my client more money than they could get on their own--otherwise I'm not doing my job. THere is no "average." To the extent there is an "average" it is based on lawyers fighting insurance companies who want to pay little or nothing. There is no book or chart that says a scar is worth x dollars. You have already demonstrated you have no idea how to evaluate an injury. Do you really think one size fits all? A scar on your face is worth the same as a scar on someone else's face? Is a scar on a woman worth the same as say a 55 year old man. Does a scar on a 55 year old man for instance the same as for a child. Does the scar bother you?--are you self conscious about it? Do you think that should make any difference as to value? Will comments made to you about a scar affect you the same as comments made to a child by other children about "some nice ugly scars?" Again, what is the value of a scar? Does it hurt? Does it interfere with daily activities? NO! So you have a scar, so what why should you get anything? It does not have any effect on your daily life. You think it has value because it's ugly? THe value of that ugliness is based on factors that are unique to you. You do not seem to understand that and again you think there is a one size fits all number. You will never get full value without an attorney and that is exactly what you deserve. This site asks whether I think the questioner will need to hire an attorney--pay attention to my response: NO!
I am guessing you had a bad experience with an attorney. If that is the case I am sorry for your bad experience. Based on the information provided, I do not think any experienced personal injury attorney could answer your question about the value of your case except to say the case is worth somewhere between 0 and a large number depending on numerous factors. If you are intent on going solo on this then I would not communicate any offers to the insurance company until you know the extent to your injuries and what treatment is needed to fully treat your injuries. In my experience, you will obtain significantly less fiom the insurance company without an attorney. You may be a Harvard educated indidual who has multiple degrees. However, unless you negotiate with insurance adjusters routinely, you are a severe disadvantage in attempting to negotiate a resolution of your cliams. This is not a comment on your intelligence in any form or manner. Rather, it is a testament to the fact the insurance adjusters are trained to convince you that your case is not a valuable case. They are trained to pay you as little as possible. They do not care about compensating you for all your harms and losses. Good luck.
I somehow originally missed this most enjoyable post and ensuing arguments. It would seem to me that if you are the great debater that you believe that you are, you would want to gain as many facts as possible to support your arguments. Therefore, I find it interesting that before asking attorneys on this site to put numbers on the value of your case that you do not know that we are never able to give numbers on any case, because of all of the many factors both patent and latent that go into doing so. As is often pointed out on this site, this can usually only be done when an attorney has ALL of the necessary information. This is a dynamic process and one never quite knows when the right time,and right number comes about. This is where there is no substitute for experience and can easily make the difference between receiving a small amount and a substantial amount as compensation. No matter how bright you may be, or how well you present an argument this is simply something a person with little experience is usually equipped to know. A couple of more points are in order. First, like-ability is one of the most important factors in receiving a significant award at trial, which means if you are seen as unlike-ab;e, a know-it-all and/or a smart-ass, the adjuster will not fear a large verdict and will offer you less. Sometimes an attorney is necessary to protect a client from themselves, as most likely would be the case in your claim. Finally, if you are low-balled, and have to bring the case to trial, there are numerous evidentiary and procedural minefields that can blow up a case and result in you getting nothing. Even seasoned trial attorneys can make mistakes, which is why only a small percentage of attorneys do trial work. It is simply enormously stressful and all-consuming and requires a bankroll which the attorney must place at risk to try the case. For example, in your case, a plastic surgeon could easily cost you $10K to $15K to testify at trial. Do you have that kind of money to put at risk, with knowledge that the jury could award you nothing or less than that even if you win. There is an old saying that what you don't know can come back to haunt you. You can bet that it will catch up to you at some point in the litigation. I hope you do try to handle this yourself, because in the end, you will realize that whatever money we make is well earned.
I believe most lawyers will answer this question with "it depends." There are many variables that go into the settlement value of a case. The important minimal information needed to evaluate your case would be the following: 1) what were your injuries? 2) what medical treatment did you receive?, 3) how much has been paid in medical bills? 4) how much remains to be paid? 5) are there any lost wages to claim? 6) what is the degree of scarring/disfigurement? 7) do you expect future medical treatment? 8) what additional aggravating factors exist (if any)? Without this minimal information, providing an opinion on case value is near impossible.
The facts you provided regarding the extent of your injuries and damages does not provided a enough information to provide a full evaluation of case. You will be surprised how the insurance company will evaluate you claim. That being said, you will need leverage in resolving your claim, so you will be better off retaining a qualified attorney. Statics show that individuals who retain counsel receive more per claim.
At the very least, I would recommend that you have an attorney review any offer before you sign any papers.
Pain and suffering refers to physical and mental trauma caused by an injury, and is often a significant component of non-economic damages.
Liability determines who has legal responsibility for a personal injury accident. Proof of liability will be needed to receive any damages.
Written by attorney Erin M. McDevitt
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