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How to settle my personal injury claim

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judy fresquez

How do insurance companies calculate compensation for pain & suffering? My daughter was rear-ended while at a stop light. She received $1500 worth of property damage, 3 days missed work and 3 physical therapy visits. Besides being reimbursed for her medical and personal property, how do I know she is getting a fair settlement for pain & suffering. What should I seek? She continues to have minor back pain.



(forgive the length)

First You didn't state what state she was in
when this happened. Each state is different,However, I was hit from behind while stopped at a red light almost 3 years ago. I learned quite a bit about this type of situation. So, was the other driver cited?
Did your daughter sign anything? Was a police report filed?

There is no set standard anymore for "pain and suffering" however...Don't speak to anyone except your Atty. find a good one who will go all the way for you. Get a complete check up and MRI if possible...no such thing as "minor" back pain as it generaly gets worse if there is more than just a soft tissue injury. Even so, that type of injury can still be considered permanent due to scar tissue build up.

That being the case and depending on your state of course...In addition to pain and suffering and all med expenses she is entitled to more than most people know about such as lost wages, loss of quality of life (if permanent damage), compensation for anything she had to pay someone to do that she was no longer able to do herself (ie house work, yard work, etc etc) and possibly more depending on state. Also a spouse (if there is one) is entitled to "loss of companionship". It's a hard road ahead and insurance companies will do all they can to keep from paying legit claims. Document everything, get an Atty. Thats A LITIGATOR who isnt afraid of court not one
of these settle quick types you see all over TV. Get at least two doctors for diagnosis, gather pictures of scene and damage to both vehicles. Also pictures of her before the injury engaged in any of her usual leisure activities goes along way toward "loss of quality of life", if applicable, as will before and after letters from close friends and family. IMHO she should atempt to collect at least the defendants policy limits if not more depending on the severity of the above mentioned conditions. If she has made any type of statements to the defendants Ins. Co. or signed anything already She may be SOL. :(
Please, Get a damn good Lawyer ask him questions and don't be afraid of going all the way if needed. It's your only protection from greedy uncaring Ins. Companies. Don't lie to your Atty. and NEVER lie in Deposition. Don't claim a disability and then get caught on tape doing what you said you couldn't. The adjuster is going to try to lowball you with first offer,,,he'll probably lowball you for 2-3 years as they did me. They love to make you wait for at least a year (if you do indeed sue) and then offer a paltry sum hoping you'll take anything just to get something.

I am not a law school grad or student. I'm just a person who was hit by a wreckless driver and had to undergo 8 months of PT multiple painfull tests (mylogram, nerve conductions, bone scans, and even an emergency blood patch to stop up the hole in my spine left by the mylogram) then surgery (2 years after accident) loss of strength and range of motion and more that I hope no one will ever have to endure as I did. My med bills were close to $100,000 and you know what they first offered me? $7500 Ha! that was their first mistake. Not even enough to cover damages to my car and personal property. After almost 3 years I finaly settled less then 2 weeks from trial and only because they gave me a settlement that I could live with. My Atty was shocked when the adjuster told him (first time he ever heard this from the mouth of an Ins adjuster) " We would never have considered a settlement over 6 figures but your client told the 100% truth in deposition and we had no choice but to give him what he wanted".

It was very hard and painfull to endure for so long, as it may be for your daughter as well But if you have a strong legitimate case don't even consider settlement till you have them on the court house steps or you will get far less than you deserve.

Email me if you need help or more info.

Good luck


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