<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Helvetica, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Want to settle in VA:
I was in an accident 1/31/00. I was injured and taken away from the seen in an ambulance.
My injuries were thankfully not severe. A police officer wittenesed the acciedent and gave the other driver a ticket for wreckless driving(later convicted. She ran through and intersection where she should have stopped hit me on the passenger side of my car $8,000 dollars worth of damage Car is a 98 Mazda 626 loaded worth about 17k.
I had about 10 weeks of PT for my back and feel pretty good know. The total medical expenses was around $2,500. I have not gotten my car back yet but should get it back friday after 4 months(another long story/nightmare). The insurance adjuster offered me a $5k settlement for my PI. I think the offer stinks. What do you all think? I do not have a PI attorney and I really don't think I need one. They have already accepted fault and I have a strong case and an excellent wittnes(police officer). Help! Thanks!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
For our opinion, read the following posts. If you have any questions, post them here in this thread.
The following coloquy was heavily edited by IAAL, in an effort to maintain the spirit of this most common question and the responses, so that others might learn.
I was involved in an auto accident on October 4, 1999. I was traveling south in the left hand lane of a three lane city road. A van was ahead of me in the right hand lane approx 1/2 mile when he hit his brakes and turned left across all three lanes. I could not avoid broadsiding his van. I was traveling the speed limit at the time (45mph) I was wearing my seat belt & my air bag deployed, however I still experienced whiplash, and my head grazed the steering wheel right before the air bag deployed. My arms were also bruised from the air bag deployment. After the impact my car drifted across all three lanes and ended up in the far right lane where it went up on the curb and stopped. The Police and an ambulance came shortly after the accident. I did not take the ambulance to the hospital at that time. THe man (he is a lawyer/mediator by the way) who caused the accident did not take an ambulance either - he did not have any injuries. His van had some moderate damage to the rear left side (drivers side). He admitted more than once that it was his fault. My car was totalled. I had a 1992 Dodge Shadow with ONE payment left to go! It was in good condition but had over 100,000 miles on it. So I received the blue book value (approx $2300.00) (I purchased a 1999 Dodge Shadow to replace my totalled vehicle and now I have 5yrs of payments! The man who caused the accident was issued two tickets: 1 for violating my right of way and 1 for illegal turn. Due to increasing neck pain and back soreness, I went to the hospital later that day (approx 2pm) and was given full body x rays (which were negative) and two prescriptions for OTC pain medicine and muscle relaxer.
I went to a lawyer the next day for a free consultation and he recommended a neurologist that I
should see for physical therapy and treatment for my neck and back pain. I did not accept said
lawyers services (it was merely a consultation) I began treatment with the doctor on October 14 and I was released March 6, 2000. The doctor said that I have 6% MMI (impairment) as a result of the accident. "Normal people" are at 100%, I am at 94% as a result of the accident. Back and neck soreness still remains from the accident... My medical bills out-of-pocket amount to approx $5000.00.
I have never been in an accident before and I have NO CLUE how much I should ask for as a settlement??
Could someone please give me a ballpark figure based on the information that I have given?
Thank you soo much for your help!!
Would you step into a ring to fight Mike Tyson? How about facing a Nolar Ryan fastball (though I really should be saying Pedro Martinez - is he great or what). Of course not. So why do you want to try to settle your claim with the insurance without a lawyer representing you? Think you can save a few bucks. Penny wise and pound foolish. Without reading all the medical reports and records, no one should be giving you a recommendation. For all you know, you may be entitled to more.
Since I did not sustain any serious injuries, I know for a FACT that I will NOT receive a large settlement, that is why I do not have a lawyer. IF, when I settle this claim and the insurance company gives me a paltry amount - I will then hire a lawyer!! ALL I am asking is that someone please give me a ballpark figure based on the information that I have given. I would really aprreciate some help and not criticism. Thank you!
I don't mean to be critical, but, here is the problem. If you settle the claim, its done and over. You cannot then go to a lawyer. If you make a demand, the insurance adjuster will assume that the case will never settle for an amount above the number, even if you do get a lawyer later.
My thought, take your case to local counsel and discuss it. You would be surprised to find out that most lawyers are good folks interested in helping victims like yourself. Be up front, ask the lawyer if it is worth their time or should you try to settle it on your own. If they say settle on your own, I bet they will be happy to give you recommendations on what you can do to maximize the settlement.
Is there anyone out there who could give me an approximate amount that I should ask for?
ANYONE AT ALL?
Please!?!? all I'm asking for is that someone please review the information above and give me a good idea what to ask for???
I thought this site was called "FREE ADVICE???" I dont want to go to a lawyer right now, I just need some Free Advice...
Please someone help me????
Response by IAAL:
Okay, you want "free advice." Your case is worth between $100,000.00 and $500,000.00. Is that what you want to read? When the insurance company fails to pay you, however, because despite the "value" of your case it's worth defending a lawsuit (it'll cost them upwards of $20,000.00 to defend) then what will you do? You received very good "free advice" from Mr. Coltrane, but you insist on "doing this yourself." But, when it comes time that you will need an attorney, you will have already given out too much information, and perhaps, ruined your case to a point where an attorney will not take your case. Insurance company adjusters are very good at what they do; they know the law, know what questions to ask, and know how to "stranglehold" claimants, without claimants even knowing what has happened. You, on the other hand, have no idea really what's right, or wrong, with a particular method, or what to do next. For example, I'll bet you've already given a recorded statement, didn't you? All you're doing is "following the insurance adjuster's lead" and that's exactly what they want you to do.
Dear Lars and Liable,
I am just asking a very simple question regarding my case!
Obviously I lack the wealth of knowledge that both of you possess, that is why I'm asking for help for goodness sakes!
Please HELP me....
We're only trying to help guide you by making you see the folly of what you're doing to yourself. You have a good case, but we have been around the block a few times enough to know you could, in fact, kill your claim. Obviously, you've never encountered a claim on your own, and are not practiced in the law. If you're not a car mechanic, why would you want to rebuild your own engine, if that car was your livlihood? If you make a mistake, your car could be worthless.
By Lars Coltrane:
There is no such thing as a formula; there is not easy, short answer. In the old days, you could say that a simple case would settle for 3x's medical bills, but good lawyers always got more. So what can