I have $24,000.00 in medical bills and lost $3,000 in lost income and had $9,700 in damage to my car. I was diagnosed with neck and back strain and I've treated with massage and chiropractic for 4 months and Physical Therapy (Referred by doctor) for 2.5 Months. I've been unable to work out which is required due to my service in the US Army and had difficulties caring for my newborn son.
My initial demand letter request I want to ask for $90,000 and would like to know if this is realistic. Farmers Insurance is the at fault's carrier.
Let me start here and I know you will not like this but you will be hearing this again and again. It appears to me that you are trying to handle your own claim, right? If so why? Do you really think you can do this on your own? Are you trying to save attorney fees? Study after study done by the insurance companies themselves show that folks with attorneys always --especially in serious cases--"net" more even after the payment of attorney's fees than those without. If you thought you needed surgery would go to a site and ask doctor's how to make the first cut?
Some lawyers no matter how long they have been practicing may not have the skill to secure the best result (and settlement) for their client. To whatever extent there is some science to this it is primarily art. You for instance have focused here on bills and expenses?? SO what? They amount to nothing unless you think they are the most important. These are economic losses--you mention nothing about the "human losses." Perhaps you have none. Think about it this way if your phone rings at 4:00 a.m. it's probably not a good call. Maybe a family member has been injure or is sick. What is your first reaction??? I wonder how much those medical bills will be? I wonder how much the lost wages will be? Let me presume your first reaction is how are they? Are they in pain? Will they be limited in life in some way? Those bills and that pay are important but secondary to those "human losses." So what are yours? Did you have some broken bone? If so, so what? It's likely healed and it's in the past. Are there things you like to do today that you cannot do or not do as well or as often because of your injury? Are you limited in activities of daily living? That's where the real value of the case rests and you who think you can handle this on your own mention none of that. Again, I assume you have none. Those human losses may mean different things to different people. If I break my finger it does not mean much in my job but if I'm a concert pianist that's different.
So you are going to make a demand and they "insult" you with a small offer--at least you think it's an insult when in reality they have control and they will try to pay as little as possible. They are not insulting you they just don't care. what are you going to do then? File your own lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out? Maybe then you will decide to get a lawyer but by then you will have already done a lot of damage to your case. I suppose you gave a recorded statement to the other insurance company? You figured you will be telling the truth what's the harm? Nothing good will come of that? I don't care what's in that statement the other side who is trained to take these statements will find a lot to minimize your claim.
Look if you knew enough about how to value your case your question would have included the important information. You obviously do not. A lot more goes into this than just the numbers. Do you even know their number??? What's the policy limit?? You did not mention that? That's a factor as well--though the insurance company will try to tell you the limit has nothing to do with value?? Are you a nice person? Juries help people they like? Is the other driver likable? Are you in a Republican jurisdiction? No one can tell you the value based on what you provided. Get a lawyer if someone would still be interested in the claim.
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Consult with a personal injury attorney. Attempting to deal with this matter pro se is not advisable. The insurance company and its attorneys have handled hundreds of these matters. To obtain the best result, you should have someone who has similar experience advocating on your behalf.
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It depends on so many factors--what your medical records say, how soon you received treatment, whether those body parts were injured previously, the policy limits of the other driver, liability.
You'll never get fair value on your own. You just won't.
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With medical bills and lost wages like this, you would be wise to hire an attorney. Many insurance companies will discount massage and chiro bills. You need an advocate that will present your claim in the best light and then work on the back end to reduce and liens.
You may be tired, or even suspicious, of the answers which recommend your seeing an attorney. However, there is no formula that says what a case is worth. You may have heard that cases are worth some formula, but there never was and never will be one. Why? Let's suppose you have $50,000 in MRI bills but you have a sprain- that doesn't mean that you case is automatically "worth" $150,000. By the same toke, you might have a fractured vertebra that has $10,000 but will result in a lifetime of arthritic pain-- that doesn't mean that the case is only worth $30,000. Your askin the question means that you need help.
My answers to this question are only partial due to the partial nature of the information exchanged. These answers do not make me your lawyer. In order to make me your lawyer you have to hire me, in writing. Answers given herein are necessarily brief and cannot be complete or reliable legal advice until (a) an attorney-client relationship has been established, and (b) until complete information has been given pursuant to that relationship..
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