Impossible question to answer. What doctor gave you a 38% disability? Any surgeries? How much are your medical bills?
You should retain a local lawyer to help you.
I certainly understand you want some idea of the value of the claim. However it is impossible to give any opinion based only on the information you give.
An analysis of this kind takes into consideration many things not just a disability rating. The nature and extent of the disability is important. What can or cannot you do? For instance what if I injure my index finger and it has a 100 percent disability rating. As a lawyer, while I like my index finger what effect will it have on my life? If I am a concert pianist then that index finger may mean everything.
How old are you? What kind work do you do? How does this 38 percent disability affect activities of daily living? What are your medical bills? Are you a likable person that a jury would like? Will you need future medical care and treatment? What is your prognosis?
I get the sense that since you were not at fault and the doctors agree you were injured you are trying to handle this claim on your own without hiring an attorney. Again, I understand. Why would you want to share your recovery with a lawyer? Here is the answer, if you hire counsel, even after paying a fee, you will net more money. I see my job as getting my clients more money than they could get on their own. This is not something you can do on your own. The insurance company has one goal--pay you as little as possible. You do not know what to demand in your case that's why you're here asking and why you thought listing your disability rating would be enough to determine value. YOu need the help of an attorney who knows how to present your claim.
If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.
Agree with counsel's point. Your question is very limited, and there is no accurate way to answer it. Money damages, also known as compensation, do not have a fixed figure assigned to any specific rating. Every case depends on its own facts and applicable law, i.e. who was at fault; was there any comparative fault on the injured party; was the crash a big impact or fender bender; what were the actual, objective injuries; was there a big surgery; what kind (and how much) insurance coverage is available, etc.
Assuming you had no fault, you claim a 38% disability (there must have been a significant surgery to warrant such a rating). While there are AMA guidelines, keep in mind that they are just that: guidelines . . . A lot of times the focus of the rating is on the doctor (type of doctor and reputation, etc.) who assigned the impairment rating.
For example, there are some fender-bender folks who over-treat and rack up big bills for minor soft tissue muscle spasm type claims (those cases go nowhere). Maybe the collision was moderate and there were injections and strain and sprain, which is still pretty worthless. Injections are not considered surgery in the real world. If there are broken bones and significant surgery with hardware following a big crash -- and there is good insurance -- then there is a reasonable likelihood of bigger compensation.
So, in the end, it all depends on all the facts. Talk to an experienced attorney who will give you a reality-based opinion after knowing your facts. Avoid attorneys who tell you whatever you want to hear. Good luck.
DISCLAIMER: We do not have an attorney-client relationship. Only those persons who have a signed written fee agreement and authority to represent with me is an actual client. This response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than my educated opinion or viewpoint. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. I recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that this information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. Do not act on any information in this response without seeking legal advice from an attorney in your area.
Personal injury damages are determined by adding up your past and future economic damages (earnings and medical expenses) and your past and future non-economic damages (pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life, scarring/disfigurement, inconvenience). Totalling these can give you your full amount of damages; but there are a number of practical issues that may limit your actual recovery. Available assets or insurance to pay your damages, crazy juries and lying defense medical experts, comparative fault, evidentiary rulings, and other factors may limit what you actually receive. This is why settlement is so attractive because sometimes the settlement bird in the hand is better than the 2 in the bush at trial and appeal.
Most people are not fully aware of the effect their legal case will have on their Financial & Estate Plan. I welcome the opportunity to discuss your unique situation with you so that you will know the financial impact that your case may have. You may find more information in articles, videos, and blog entries on my website www.411FlaLaw.com. Disclaimer: The response above is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, would significantly alter the above response.
Assessing a value to a claim depends on many factors, not just your disability percentage. To begin with it will depend on the liability limits of the at fault driver, whether that driver has assets, etc.. The information in your question is too limited to give an accurate representation of what you can expect, and even with more information that would be a hard question to answer. Assessing a value is an art, not science.
It is not clear what you mean by " have 5 months".
No one can answer your question as posted, as there are many, many factors which go into evaluating the value of the claim.
You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
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