Personal injury settlement for whiplash?
One complication is that 2 weeks before I was rear-ended, my PCP had recommended I see a physical therapist for some arm and hand pain I was having - these symptoms got way worse for ~3 weeks after I was rear-ended. When I saw the physical therapist, they treated me both for the arm pain but also final whiplash symptoms.
The insurance adjuster is offering me a $600 settlement, which I think is way too low.
Does this seem like a settlement worth taking? If not, shall I ask for more myself (ie, this is not worth an attorney's time) -- or shall I get an attorney?
10 attorney answers
At this point in time, and in the future, do not communicate with the opposing party's automobile insurance carrier. The opposing party's automobile insurance carrier does not have your best interest(s) at mind and at heart. You need to hire a licensed California Personal Injury Attorney to represent you and help you out immediately,
Assuming that the automobile accident occurred in the State of California, in which city and county did the automobile accident occur?
On what date did the automobile accident occur?
Was there a police report made/filed?
The attorneys in this forum will always try to give you the best information possible given the facts that are presented. However, probably 99% of the time, the main theme you will see in any answer is to obtain whatever medical treatment you need for your injuries and then to consult with an attorney, as there is no possible way that any attorney in this forum, based on the limited amount of facts that can be given, can address the issues in full. This is not because attorneys are just trying to get your business but because we know that insurance companies don’t always treat unrepresented claimants fairly.
I’m not saying that all insurance companies are going to try to cheat you by any means, however. I handled lawsuits as an insurance adjuster for thirty-three (33) years for three (3) of the larger insurance companies in the U.S. Those companies always attempted the best they could to be fair and came up with a fair and reasonable settlement range for injury cases most of the time.
However, what you have to understand is that even the most reasonable insurance carriers are going to offer you the lower end of what they consider a reasonable settlement range and try to get you to take it. All insurance companies are in the business of making money and saving on costs and are not in the business of spending money like a drunken sailor. The less than reasonable insurance companies will not be as kind as some of the larger companies out there. Don’t try to handle your case on your own. Stop trying to deal with the insurance company yourself. That's like a two-year-old stepping into the octagon to face an MMA champion.
Your best bet to obtain the maximum injury settlement amount in this case is to consult immediately with a personal injury attorney in your area to obtain a more specific answer and get all of your legal options before deciding what to do and then also complete all medical treatment necessary for any injuries you received. The attorney will also investigate any liability issue and check for all available coverages to ensure you have the maximum amount of coverages available to you. You may have some coverages on your own auto policy as well that can assist you. You can use the "Find a Lawyer" link at the top of this page for the names of attorneys in your area. Most offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t have to pay anything up front.
Please do not message me for further advice or call my former law firm if you have any further questions. If you are in need of an attorney to assist you, please search for another attorney in the jurisdiction involved in your case, as I am now retired, and my former law firm is no longer handling these types of cases. I am active on AVVO and answer questions only as a public service at this point.
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Regardless of whether you plan to hire an attorney you should definitely consult with one and have everything reviewed in detail before having any further discussion with the insurance company.
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I wholeheartedly agree that you should at least consult with some lawyers to review the details and get their thoughts: at first blush the offer you received is offensively low. The tingling in your feet raises concerns that you had a spinal cord injury in your lower back. Although that's not normally where you see injuries in a rear end collision (it's usually the neck and upper back), in a severe one like yours it might be possible.
I would not worry about your pre-existing issues - if you google "CACI 3927" and "CACI 3928" you will see that California juries are instructed on how to deal with situations like yours all the time. Just because you have pre-existing issues does not mean that someone can escape compensating you for causing additional harm.
It seems that the teenager driver is wholly at fault. If so, then that driver's insurance company should make you whole for your injuries. This includes compensation for: Incurred Medical Bills, Costs of any future medical treatment, Lost income, Lost capacity to earn wages in the future, Compensation for pain, and Compensation for suffering or emotional distress.
Based on the information you provided, the $600 offered by insurance company appears to be low. You can continue negotiating with them or consult an attorney. There are plenty of personal injury attorneys in San Francisco who can represent you on a contingency basis.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. This web site may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules. The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. The results in your case may vary based on the facts of the accident, your injuries and the applicable law.
It is low, but- when was the accident? It does not sound like your treatment is complete. Get a lawyer.
This is not legal advice and you are not my client, and this answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Sorry for what you are experiencing. I'll be honest, based on your symptoms (tingling in the lower extremities), it appears you may have nerve impingement, which may be the result of more serious injuries. Just because you didn't break a bone or draw blood, doesn't mean you do not have a serious injury. Have you had an MRI performed to examine the soft tissue and ligaments?
You have over 12k damage to your vehicle. That is significant body damage alone. An attorney would be able to help you obtain the medical treatment and diagnosis you need at no out of pocket cost to you. There are a lot of issues that need to be explored before you settle the case. For instance, what are the policy limits of the driver who hit you? Was that person acting in the scope of employment? Was the vehicle damage extended to the frame of the vehicle? Did you miss work as a result of the accident? All these issues would be handled by an attorney to help you obtain maximum compensation.
You put yourself at a huge disadvantage trying to negotiate with the insurance company without an attorney. My office handles accident claims throughout the state of CA on a contingency basis, as most attorneys do You will need an attorney in order to obtain the most compensation in a settlement.
Hope this helps,
The answer to this question is for informational purposes only and does not form an attorney-client relationship.
The insurance company will never take you or your claim seriously unless you have a lawyer.
answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.
The problem is the small amount of your medical bills and the minimal amount of treatment. If you have recovered, you can sue the other driver in small claims court for $10,000 or less, for medical expense and pain and suffering.
The real question is what is happening with your symptoms. If you're totally fine, you don't necessarily need a lawyer, but one could maybe help you still. If you have lingering symptoms, you should def. lawyer up.
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