I am licensed in Nevada, but this Answer should apply in Washington as well.
First, I recommend you get a lawyer who can help you maximize your compensation. The value of a claim is affected by many factors. I suggest you check out our website at http://capandkudler.com/useful-information/my-personal-injury/ to see how the insurance companies evaluate claims. You should also understand that your age is a factor since it correlates to how long you will suffer from the injury and how, if at all, you will heal over time.
An attorney can also help find all insurance from which you might be compensated: including medical payments/ persona injury protection coverage, the adverse driver's coverage, the vehicle owner's coverage (if owned by someone other than the driver), and uninsured/under insured motorist coverage. Information on the types of coverage available in car insurance policies can be found at http://capandkudler.com/useful-information/about-automobile/.
Sometimes, there is just not enough insurance coverage available to fully compensate a victim of a personal injury accident for the damages caused by a negligent person. For instance, it may be that the other driver's policy limits are the minimum limits in Washington. If there were no other victims in your accident, and the other driver is insured by a Washington policy, then he must have at least $25,000.00 in coverage. Your damages - which include the $15,000.00 in medical bills; what appears to be a permanent injury (possibly needing future care); and other pain and suffering damages as discussed on our website; and any related wage loss - are likely in excess of the State minimum. If there is no other insurance to compensate you for those damages, you will not be fully compensated.
Lastly, an attorney can help you negotiate your outstanding medical bills and insurance liens, if any, with those entities making a claim to a portion of your recovery.
Hope this helps.
/s Donald Kudler
Mr Kudler has given you extremely good advice. Assuming your facts to be true, and assuming significant available coverage, you have a case that is substantial. If you have not already done so, find a good attorney and trust their advice. Good luck.
The author of this post is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. This post is intended as general information only, and is not provided as legal advice in connection with any specific case, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
The value of a claim varies dramatically based upon the type of accident; the physical impact of the accident, the medical expenses involved, the wage loss involved, the amount of documentable pain and suffering, the documentable loss of enjoyment of life, the long-term disability, the impact on your future, how good a witness you make -- and much more. This is definitely not a case that should be handled without the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. In fact, studies have shown that the involvement of an experienced personal injury attorney will, typically, result in settlements that are often 2-3 times (if not more) than if you settled without one. No attorney can fairly estimate the value of your broken ankle claim without investigating and considering all of the factors listed above; and without reviewing the relevant medical records.
The good news is that almost all personal injury attorneys (including our office) will meet with you - at no cost to you - and discuss your case with you. Take advantage of that option. And good luck.
The best way to get an idea of how much money it will take to make up for the damage to your ankle is to have a personal injury attorney examine your medical records in detail and get an idea about the available assets of the at fault party. The amount of insurance coverage can drastically affect the kind of compensation an attorney can negotiate for you. In an effort to actually answer your question here are some results from Washington jury trials that involved ankle fractures and had a similar medical expense total as yours. 50,000; 52,000; 90,000; 59,000, and 185,000. So there is a range of awards that have been handed down by Washington state juries. This should help you get an idea of the potential value of your case. HOWEVER, it cannot be stressed enough that the individual difference between cases are going to have a more significant impact on the value of your case than these prior results. You should talk with a lawyer to get a better idea of the value of your case based on the unique facts of the incident. Our firm, and most others will give you an evaluation for free if you are interested.
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There is no easy answer to your question, as it is all very fact specific. Our office settled a fractured ankle claim for $500,000 a few years ago with an impairment slightly worse than what you mentioned here. Much will depend on how your activities of daily living and work abilities have been affected by your ankle fracture. Other areas of injuries also come into play, as it is unusual to have an ankle fracture without some other areas of pain or disability. Your question can best be addressed by a competent personal injury attorney in your area who knows the value of claims and can properly develop all of your damages.
Most personal injury attorneys offer a free legal consultation. I suggest you take advantage of this service and get the best possible advice for your claim. Do not delay in seeking counsel.
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 insure proper advice is received.
I would say that you definitely need to get a permanency rating from your treating physician before you can value your case. Another issue is whether your fracture was an open reduction (involving surgery and pins and screws?) or closed reduction. How long were you disabled or casted? Value also depends on how it has effected your everyday activities and whether you have any loss of wages. Will you need future care? If so what is the estimated cost of that treatment. With that type of an injury you should make sure all these issues are answered before entering into a final settlement. I would seriously urge you to see an experienced personal injury attorney who will be able to maximize your case value and obtain all the necessary reports. Your age is also a factor as your estimated life expectancy is a tool used to determine your future pain and suffering. As you can see there are many issues that go into determining a case value. Each case is very unique. You may wish to check online for Jury Verdict Research sites that show recent verdicts in your area involving same or similar fracture cases. Good luck!
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