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What should i expect and beware of when it comes to settlements. from your experience what do most people like me end up with?

Winona, MN |

Me and my cousin were involved in a head on collision on 9/17/11, with a drunk driver that crossed the center lane heading right towards me, While i the one who was driving, tried to avoid the other car by attempting to change lanes but at the last second the other driver decided to swerve into me.

Me and my cousin were air lifted at the scene to a hospital with a serious leg injuries, i ended up with a shattered femur having 2 rod's and pins to hold it in place, while my cousin ended up very similar injuries. the other driver made it out virtually unscathed with a couple scratches, that driver is currently in jail facing 12 years in prison for causing great bodily harm with the intoxicated use of a motor vehicle. My medical bills up to date is $33,000 and going...typing cap exceeded!

im also going through a lot of distress, while i cant walk for 3 months and the fact the situation made it to where i end up being homeless (currently in adult foster care) because none of my family will take care of me due to old age and what not. i just hope that i wont get screwed again like my leg did.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Without a lawyer, you will get a tiny fraction of what you should get.

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  2. The answer to your question is that evaluation of the full value of a personal injury claim requires analysis of more factors than we can glean out of the posting here on the computer. I highly recommend that you find an experienced personal injury attorney who will look not only at the injury itself, but how it has and will continue to impact your life.

    A couple of points:

    (1) The insurance industry's own statistics confirm that once an attorney is brought in to a claim, the value goes up.

    (2) Your own attorney has a duty to thoroughly inform you as to all of the potential elements of recovery which the insurance company does not have time or inclination to tell you about.

    (3) Settlements and judgments are forever. Once you settle or obtain a judgment, this is the final disposition of the case forever. Should you later need additional treatment or discover an outstanding charge you did not know about, it is too late to go back.

    My office handles personal injury and accident cases in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. And despite the procedural and legal differences between our states, the insurance standards and case valuation aspects of this topic are relatively universal across the U.S.



  3. I would add to Mr. Myers' excellent answer that one of the most importnat factors in how much compensation you receive for an accident is how much insurance is available.People involved in serious accidents are often disappointed when they learn that the responsible party had no insurance or insufficient insurance. Your injuries and the clear fault of the other driver certainly justify a very substantial recovery, but there is no way of knowing how much insurance is available and how to access it without having a good lawyer representing you. Sometimes a good lawyer can earn his or her fe just by knowing how to find available sources of insurance that you would never think of. I would add that it would be a really bad idea for you and your passenger to be represented by the same lawyer. If a lawyer offers to represent you both, go elsewhere.

  4. It is important that you immediately consult with an attorney who has personal injury claim experience regarding your legal rights in this matter. The injuries and damages you have described are significant. The value of your claim depends on many facts including the long-term assessment of your injuries by your doctors, and the availability of insurance both on the vehicles involved in the collision, and coverage that may exist on any liquor establishments (if any) that are found to have contributed to the intoxication on the drunk driver. This matter needs to be investigated by your representative right away. Most personal injury attorneys will consider representing you in a claim like this on a contingency fee basis, meaning fees are paid after there is a recovery by way of settlement or verdict.

    The information provided in this answer has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship betweeen the viewer of this answer and Richard D. O'Dea/Palmer -O'Dea, LLC., or any of his representatives. No information in this answer should be relied upon without first obtaining legal advice from an attorney who has knowledge of the complete facts and circumstances concerning the subject matter of the question posed.

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