Don't settle until you are finished treating for your injuries. This is the best piece of advice I can give you. The insurance company wants to settle with you as soon as possible because they know that often times these types of injuries can take months, or even years, to treat. $1000 is not going to go very far toward that type of care, and $750 does not begin to compensate you for the suffering you endured.
If, after a few chiropractic visits you are back to normal and not feeling pain, the numbers they are talking are probably within the realm of a reasonable settlement, even if on the low end. But save yourself the heartache and wait until you know what your treatment will be.
Do yourself a favor and get yourself a lawyer too. Studies have shown that personal injury victims end up netting more in their pocket, even after attorney fees, when they hire a skilled and experienced attorney.
You have plenty of time as the statute of limitation in Washington is 3 years from the date of the crash. This is discussed more fully in the legal guide linked to the bottom of this answer.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. DISCLAIMER: This information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Scott W. Edwards Attorney at Law Schauermann Thayer Jacobs & Staples 1700 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. Vancouver, WA 98661 PHONE: (360) 695-4244 FAX: (360) 696-0583 E-MAIL: ScottE@stjs.com
Whenever an Insurance company is offering to settle a claim so soon after the incident it is very likely a)they more money and b) are responsible for payment . You cannot determine the true value of your case until you consult with a local lawyer who regularly practices in automobile personal injury cases, and you have the extent of your injuries fully and properly diagnosed by an MD specializing in Orthopedics and possibly neurology (as headaches are sometimes the sign of a closed head/post concussion type injury which can lead to more serious injuries). You may have a good and actionable case but you cannot evaluate it yourself, that is what we do all the time as experienced lawyers,
LEGAL ADVICE: Unless you have retained me as your attorney, and I am currently engaged by you and providing you with legal advice and services, nothing in this post is intended to be, nor may it be construed as, legal advice.
Based on the information provided, it is hard to conclude whether this offer is "fair" or even remotely reasonable. Most likely it is not; as insurance companies typically lowball injured parties - especially those who are not respresented by counsel. The amount of a settlement is determined by a number of factors, including the severity and duration of the injuries. You are probably best served by contacting an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. Most will offer a free initial consultation and can give you some feedback on whether or not it makes sense to retain an attorney. If your injuries were modest and resolved, it may be you are best off ot resolve this on your own; but even 20 minutes of free advice from the right attorney may help you get steered in the right direction.
What is considered "fair" is entirely up to you. However, it's important to realize that if you accept the settlement that is currently being offered, you will be unable to seek additional compensation for your injuries from the adverse driver (i.e. the driver who hit you), even if your injuries turn out to be far worse than you originally anticipated and you require additional medical treatment and/or time off from work.
For this reason, I must agree with my fellow attorneys and advise against settling your claim too soon. Resist the temptation to settle until you're finished treating. That way, you can approach the insurance company with a settlement figure that accurately reflects your total economic damages and any pain and suffering you've endured. Only then will you be in a position to determine what is "fair."
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