When dealing with auto accident claims when you are not at fault, how do you know if the settlement is fair?

by admin on October 24, 2010

I was in a car accident in October. A lady was arguing with her son and rear ended me at 40 mph. I sustained neck, back, and shoulder injuries. I still have pain in my shoulder that the dr. feels will most likely never be corrected. The insurance co I am dealing with says I deserve no compensation for pain and suffering and their offer is not even enough to cover what it cost me in medical bills, time off work, and dropping class at school. I have never been in an accident before and I don’t know how this works. Do you know what an appropriate settlement would be or how to figure out how much it should be? PLEASE HELP.
If you are a lawyer or have been in an accident and can help through personal experience that would be great.

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Lawnboy & Luna October 24, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Did the insurance company actually tell you that your are not entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, or did they tell you that you do not meet the threshold requirements for your state.

Do you live in a No-Fault state? If so, your own PIP coverage should take care of your medicals and some of your lost wages. The threshold requirements in NF states do vary. Some are monetary, others are verbal or have a "serious" injury threshold.

Where did this accident occur, and what exactly were your injuries. Based on what you posted, your injuries were probably soft tissue, and they would not be considered "serious" by definition.

The offer that they may have extended could be what is called a compromise settlement. Maybe.

Tom Z October 24, 2010 at 11:46 pm

The gap between the extent of your injuries and the position that the insurance company has taken would lead to the conclusion that you need legal counsel to secure a fair settlement.

Queen B October 24, 2010 at 11:46 pm

I would suggest calling your insurance agent and talking about this with him. He may suggest filing the claim through your own insurance and letting them subrogate back to the other parties for reimbursement. The insurance company should at the very least be covering all your medical bills! sounds like you may in this case need legal representation, BUT i would try using your own company for help first before paying out the ass to an atny.

mbrcatz17 October 24, 2010 at 11:46 pm

You ask your agent for an opinio.

See, it’s not just about your injuries (you don’t say what they were – did you break any bones? were you in traction?), it’s ALSO about what state you’re in – some states are no fault – you can’t sue for pain and suffering, period. Some, you can opt out of sueing, for minor injuries, for a cut in YOUR rates. Some you have to collect under your own polciy first.

You don’t give enough info – like exactly how you were injured, how much your hospital emergency room bill was, how much followup you required, if any of it was chiro, what state you are in, what your tort option is, etc.

So. Go talk to your agent. Or answer all those questions and repost another question.

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