I fractured my tooth on a metal foreign object baked inside of a pastry....the insurance has accepted my claim. Thus far they have paid for my dental bill over 5k. I've had the tooth extracted, received bone augmentation and a dental implant has been placed, the tooth was destroyed beyond saving. Its the tooth which is visible when I smile. I now have sutures from the procedure. I have to wait about 3 months for the bone to heal with the implant and from there a crown will be placed. What kind of settlement can I receive? This is a permanent injury and I would like to handle this without seeking an attorney, If i can, however I'm not a legal eagle and I will hire if need be. I still have a way to go with my dentist appointments and completeness of treatment, no settlement has been offered
I'm sorry to hear about you situation, yet I'm glad to hear the insurance company has at least paid some of your medical treatment. You are in a very difficult place. Your claim is considered a "health care liability claim" or "medical malpractice claim" which are the most difficult claims to file in Texas in my opinion. There are so many "traps" and different rules you must follow before you can sue a dentist. For example, you must have another dentist prepare an "expert report" and serve it on the defendant when you file your suit or your case will be dismissed and you will owe the dentist his/her attorney's fees. At the same time, because of the "caps" on damages our legislature enacted, it will likely be difficult to find an attorney to take on this case because of all of the obstacles. I recommend speaking with a local personal injury attorney who specializes in dental malpractice cases if you can find one. I highly recommend against filing the lawsuit on your own.
It is very difficult to determine what a claim is worth over a post on the internet. Ultimately, a claim is worth what you will accept and what the insurance company is willing to pay or what a jury will determine is reasonable compensation. I understand your desire to settle a case without a lawyer however I honestly believe that you will get nowhere near what your case is worth unless you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Insurance companies are sophisticated and know how to manipulate unrepresented claimants. I do not believe this is a healthcare liability claim because you are not making a claim against the dentist; however, I strongly suggest you contact an attorney. I would be happy to give you a free consultation. Call me me directly toll free or follow the FREE CONSULTATION link below. I represent injured people throughout Texas and associate with a reputable firm in Houston.
If you are truly interested in getting the most compensation for your injury and the inconveniences that accompany having to deal with fixing your tooth, you should consult a personal injury attorney. You may have a case against the maker of the pasty. The type of case would depend on who made the pastry. Was it “homemade” at a restaurant? Was it a mass produced and packaged pastry? More information is needed to give a more specific answer.
You may wish to handle this without an attorney but it would be foolish to do so. You may already have compromised the value of your case. No-one can give you a fair value of the case without knowing every fact and nuance and using every ounce of experience in this field.
The problem here is that you are admittedly a "lay person" yet you are contradicting yourself saying you don't want a lawyer. Unless you really don't care about the settlement amount and are happy just having your medical bills paid and a few extra bucks for your troubles, then you have no choice but to hire an attorney as even after paying an attorney his or her 1/3 you are still much more likely to get less even if you get to keep 100% of the settlement amount.
You go it alone and settle for 35k
You go with an attorney and get 100k
Attorney in that situation gets 33k and you get 67k or so, minus expenses, so say 63k
63k is more than 35k by a long shot.
Trial attorneys with experience in what juries do develop a feel for case values. Many factors beyond an internet summary need to be considered. You don't want to go to court, you just want to settle? No insurance company pays fair value unless they see a case will be properly prepared, and the insurance industry's own statistics confirm when an attorney is brought in claim value more than doubles. Claim value calculator? Here: BLUE LINK BELOW
Asking: "What is my claim worth?" without providing all (or almost all) of the available facts is a bit like saying: "I'm selling a house, how much will I get for it?" Answer: it depends. Is your house 500 square feet or 8,000 square feet? Is it in River Oaks or on the edge of town next to a sewage treatment plant? The more unknowns there are, the less accurate the answer would be.
It sounds like you have a fairly significant physical pain/physical impairment claim, and also a disfigurement claim. But again: details matter. I can tell you that the injured person's gender and age make a big difference to the value of a disfigurement claim. Disfigurement to a younger female has a higher value that disfigurement to an older male.
You shouldn't settle your claim if you still have significant dental treatment ahead because you want the insurance company to consider the big picture. But you need to be mindful of the statute of limitations also. Assuming your injury happened in Texas, in all likelihood there is a two-year statute of limitations, so you must either settle your claim OR file a lawsuit within two years of the injury, or your claim will be time-barred. Whatever you do, don't wait until a few days before the statute of limitations and go looking for a lawyer then.
I have some information on my web site that talks about how to value a claim, it may help you to read it: http://www.daraghcarterlaw.com/what-my-personal...
I think you would like to settle your claim by yourself to avoid having to part with a portion of the settlement for an attorney's contingent fee. That's a perfectly valid reason for handling your own claim, but there are risks associated with handling the claim yourself. Whatever you decide, good luck!
Yes, this appears to be a duplicate post. Nevertheless, Attorney Robert Greiwe has discussed what I believe is your real claim; namely, one against the pastry maker. You should really contact a personal injury lawyer there in the Houston, Texas area to help you. Most provide free initial consultations. Best of luck.
Without more information, it is difficult to answer your question on what is a fair settlement. Some additional questions an attorney would need to know are:
what is future treatment recommended?
what is amount of bills for the future treatment?
Have you missed any work and lost money because of the absence from work?
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