My wife was in a car accident where the other driver ran a red light resulting in the car being written off and her going through 3 months of physio for neck injuries. Pain and suffering offered at $4661. Is this a reasonable offer, or should we sue? We've exhausted the negotiations process with the insurance co.Fault was determined to be the other driver. Our insurance offered a good settlement on the car itself, so we accepted it. Other party's insurance offered $8500 for all other costs (lost wages, med miles, medical costs, pain and suffering). Of that $8500, $4661 is P/S.
You only have two choices, accept this or get an attorney. I would not suggest filing suit without legal representation.
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It can't be determined based on your post whether the offer is a reasonable one. You may want to discuss your case with an attorney. Many attorneys provide free initial consultation. Many attorneys also will accept a case on a contingency fee basis. You may be better equipped to make an informed decision after discussing your situation with an attorney.
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A lawyer who answers with a "yes" or "no" on your facts you want to avoid. An experienced attorney will want to learn the facts, review the medical records, and then evaluate a range of settlement that is appropriate given the insurance company, the habits of your local courts, etc.
In my experience (and I do business law, not personal injury, so I have "no dog in the fight") the 1/3 that lawyers normally receive is more than paid for by the higher settlement, or the professional legal represntation you will receive if you end up in court. The insurance companies are not here to be "fair", they are concerned only with the insurance company's bottom line.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
The insurance company will take advantage of your unrepresented status. They will not make a fair offer. You will end up settling for less than if you had a lawyer.
It really makes sense to hire a lawyer.
I agree with Mr. Lee. You really ought to have a consultation with a personal injury attorney to discuss damages in detail. Any attorney should not guess the value of the case without specific information in addition to what you have provided on this forum. What you describe can be a cervical musculoligamentous sprain/strain injury without neuropathy or with neuropathy and/or without without cephaglia. Your wife's symptoms can be completely resolved at this juncture, or she can have ongoing residual injuries for the rest of her life. The injuries can require over the counter pain relievers or prescription pain medication.
Moreover, I agree with the others who have shared their opinions that the insurance company will try to resolve for as low as possible so long as you continue to attempt to negotiate the claim without the assistance of a personal injury attorney.
The amount one should receive for pain and suffering is a topic on which lectures are given to lawyers and judges, books are written, op-ed pieces are printed, and people argue. Putting a dollar value on pain is not easy. Guidelines can be gleaned from similar situations which have settled or gone to trial. One thing that can be expected is that the more actual physical damage done (fractures versus sprains, lacerations versus contusions, slipped discs versus muscle spasms, etc.) the more "pain" the jury will feel the victim suffered.
In addition, "pain and suffering" is one part of being fully compensated... past and future medical bills should be considered, past and future lost wages should be considered, and anything else that can be directly linked to the accident.
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 J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
Corona, CA 92879
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
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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... www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com... "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.
If an a car accident that is not your fault and the at fault insurer is offering to settle, the most important factor besides medical bills and wages is the diagnosis of the injury that resulted from the car accident. It was not listed. Nor did you indicate current or continuing complaints. Contact a local attorney with the details and they should be able to assess this.
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Have you completed all your medical treatment? Do you feel 100%?? If you don't you should still continue to treat until you are better because once you settle thats it! You need to hire an attorney ASAP! There is no upfront cost to hire an attorney. With a case like yours it seems like you have some good facts in order to get a high settlement. The most important thing when building your case are: liability (were you at fault); how bad are your injuries to your body and your property; and of course how high is the at fault person's policy. A lot of these things sound like they are not complete yet in your case so its something that is worth hiring an attorney for in order to get a sense of whether you have a case and what the strategy would be for you to build a strong case! I've handled many of these cases and wouldn't mind speaking to you
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