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Is the payment for personal injury enough?

Granada Hills, CA |

My dad was hit by a car when he was walkting across the street. He suffered contusion to the ribs and missed one week of work. The hospital bills (EMS, ER and Medicare) costs came out to be $18,183.32 and the claims examiner is offering us $19,500. He says there's room to offer us more but won't say how much more. Just want to make sure we are getting enough for the medical bills, lost wages, pain & suffering.

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Attorney answers 18


DEFINITELY does not sound like you are getting adequate compensation for your pain and suffering. You have a lot of great facts, but of course you may not know about it because you are not skilled in handling accident cases.

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Michael Shemtoub

Michael Shemtoub


I've handled many cases like this before and there are complicated things that need to get worked out but you can definitely benefit from hiring an attorney. You will most likely get a higher result for your damages. I think you have a great case, but you just don't know it. Especially considering many adjustors do things to make you think that you have a bad case.


Your father needs to sit down with some local personal injury attorneys and choose one to represent him. There is no question that the insurance company is making a very low offer since your father has no lawyer representing him.

Attorney Inga Stevens is licensed in Maine. She provides general information on No attorney-client relationship arises out of the information given here.


Consult with a local personal injury lawyer to assist in putting a proper value on this case. This sounds serious. A good lawyer can help. Good luck.


Your father is basically being offered present value of his out of pocket costs. There is nothing for his pain and suffering. What if his condition gets worse? Has he been cleared by his doctor as far as future medical issues? If not, then he should not settle until he knows he is not going to have any residual problems.

Unless he his a lawyer he will not get the true value of his case. Tell him to hire a lawyer. Also tell him I am available to represent him.


Without a lawyer, your dad is getting offered a tiny nuisance settlement. Have him retain a personal injury lawyer to get maximum compensation.


I agree with my colleagues - get a lawyer ASAP.

The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.


You are being low balled by the insurance adjuster. Hire a PI lawyer or accident lawyer that specializes in pedestrian cases. Do not let your Dad sign any documents without hiring an attorney. If he does he will foreclose any future recovery. There are many excellent attorneys in your area.. Pick one from the Avvo list. Best of luck.

This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. Abogado de Lesiones de Accidentes de Autos, provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. Oakland Abogado Accidentes Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Accidentes de carros, Abogado de accidentes de Peatones, practices in Antioch, Berkeley, Concord, Oakland, Hayward, Martinez, Newark, Richmond, San Francisco and San Rafael. El abogado de lesiones y heridos en accidentes de autos, is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Heridos en Accidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Abogado de Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, Abogado de Accidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.


Here comes my, now, usual Avvo reply... with some new material, of course... I've been posting my biased opinions and comments here and there on the Internet and Avvo for a while now (I’ve been an active poster on Avvo since the early sixties), and every time I see a post about a person doing battle all by his or her non-lawyer self against an insurance company, I keep thinking the post might as well read something like, “My half-sister needs her appendix out, but the doctor wants to be paid way too much. I grew up watching Doogie Howser and caught a lot of reruns of M*A*S*H so I’m like 99% sure I can do it, if my buddy Gil can hold the flashlight steady… power’s been down for a couple days. What I need to know though, is where I can get pharmaceutical grade ether and exactly how much do I put on the rag before I stiff it into the end of the coffee can face-mask I made for her.”

No one who has suffered personal injury should do battle against an insurance company without a lawyer. No one but a trained general surgeon should do an appendectomy, even on one’s half-sister.

We personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. We handle cases on a contingent basis. We actually love the game, the battling, the negotiations, the tactics, etc. An injured person should just worry about getting better.

An injured victim’s lawyer will consult with medical experts to determine how much past, present, and future medical treatment will be needed and how much said treatment has and will cost. An injured victim’s lawyer will look as past, present, and future losses of income with regard to job availability, loss of advancement potential, and medical insurance issues. An injured victim’s lawyer will handle all of these issues and much more – including how to handle a minor in a settlement or Court (a parent does not simply get to call the shots)… all the while handling the formidable adversary known as the insurance company.

When a claim involves personal injury and potentially tens of thousands in medical bills, the failure to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer would be the first step down the wrong path.

And, in conclusion, for those that read this far… Since many of us personal injury types offer free consultations and take personal injury cases on a contingent basis, there really is nothing to fear in calling us.

- Paul

Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
Corona, CA 92879
(951)520-9684 /

"When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."

* This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.

Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206... Corona, CA 92879... (951)520-9684... / "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW." ... * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy... ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.


Without more information it wouldn't be fair to give you an estimate as to a reasonable price. That being said, the cost of missed work, future medical expenses as well as pain and suffering should add a considerable amount to the settlement. I understand what the insurance companies are looking for and I have the experience to get my clients the compensation they deserve. If you have any further questions about your case, I am always willing to help. Best of luck.
(310) 207-4030


Why would you think an insurance adjuster representing the person who hit you would be fair with you? There is a reason all of my colleagues are telling you to get an attorney. My guess is the adjuster is telling you why give an attorney 1/3 when you can handle yourself. If you don't like their offer, what leverage do you have. Most of us give the insurance adjuster one shot, and if the offer is ridiculous, we don't waste time dealing with adjusters, and just file suit. do the smart thing, have your dad contact a personal injury attorney in your area.


Rarely is any personal injury case really as simple as "what is it worth?" I have a lot of questions I'd ask your dad if he were in my office. Did he cross in a crosswalk or step out between parked cars? Was it a rural road or a highway? One little left out fact can turn a case evaluation upside-down. Unless you sit down with a lawyer who is aware of the local law and what facts really make a difference, and discuss the case in full so he/she can ferret out all the facts, you will never know if it is"enough" and no valuation we give you here based upon the limited facts that you see as relevant will be completely accurate.


Dealing directly with an insurance adjuster is like asking the wolf to mind the sheep. They will offer you the lowest amount they can to close the case without regard to your father's pain and suffering, future medical costs or disabilities, out of pocket expenses, loss of work, etc. A personal injury attorney will be your advocate and represent your interests and can also work on getting medical expenses reduced in some circumstances.

The attorney will typically only take on cases they believe they are going to win because they are investing their time and resources and taking on all the risk. The insurance companies do not want you to get a lawyer because they know the value of your case and they want to settle it for the lowest amount possible.

Our offices handle car accident claims just like this one throughout Southern and Northern California so we have the experience necessary to go to bat with the insurance companies. We offer a free consultation as do many law firms. Call for help in this matter as your father deserves full compensation for his losses.


Too many variables are at play, most of them not mentioned, to say here. Please consult a personal injury attorney with experience with C.M.S. liens in your area. Your Dad deserves this due diligence.


First of all, I am truly sorry that your father sustained injuries to his person. You should definitely hire a local (L.A.) area personal injury attorney who has considerable experience in dealing with insurance companies. By the way, many personal injury attorneys such as myself, offer free consultations which should allow you to become more comfortable with the one that you select. The claims adjuster is not offering a fair settlement and you really need an experienced attorney to tell them that. Do not let the claims person get by with this--find a good attorney to handle this. You will not regret it.

Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in 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. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


I highly recommend you consult with an attorney. In my opinion, the adjuster is making a very low offer based on the facts you describe. There are many attorneys who will likely provide you with a free consultation (including myself) and that is what I suggest you and your father do before speaking to the claims examiner any further. Best of luck to you and your father. I hope he is feeling better.


Based on what you have stated, this does not appear to be a reasonable offer.

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 dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. You can access my Legal Guides through my profile page.

Legal Disclaimer:

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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.


You are only entitled to what Medicare paid- not what what was billed. The general damages for a 'bruised' rib is probably in the range of $10k- $25k, plus your special damages. Medicare will need to be reimbursed and that is a difficult, complicated and long process. If for no other reason the Medicare issue warrants hiring an attorney.


Many insurance companies make "low ball" offers to settle injury claims (some are worse than others) particularly if a person is not represented by an attorney. The other attorneys who have responded are correct in that you should consult with an attorney in your area about the situation. Good luck.

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