Am I expecting too much money from the insurance company?
(Spokane, WA, USA)
On January 29th 2010 my girlfriend and I were in a car accident where I had hurt my back permanently (according to my neurologists). The medical treatment lasted until March 2011.
The total medical spent out was $23,000. The first offer my lawyer got was a total of $26,700 which would have left me with only $2,300 net. I said no to the offer and recently they raised it to a total of $36,700, to which I still said no.
My back still hurts after all the medical bills and treatment and I feel that this amount is not enough. The lawyer said that the policy covers up to $100,000 and that the adjuster will not go anywhere near that number.
I honestly feel that I don't want to be fooled around with and I want a total net after paying medical and lawyer fees of $40,000. Am I wrong in expecting this number? I need help with this. Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Am I expecting too much money from the insurance company?":
Toby (Spokane, WA, USA):
Because you are presently represented by Counsel we will only be able to make some general observations about your case. It would be inappropriate for us to interfere with the Attorney-Client relationship.
You have given us the total amount of medical bills for the two of you. Without knowing the total amount of your specific individual medical costs, often called, “Hard Costs”, it's impossible for us to tell you what a reasonable settlement amount would be just for your case.
If the insurance company recognized all of the $23,000 dollars as legitimate Hard Costs, a total settlement amount of $36,700 dollars does seem a bit low. But without knowing much more about the case we can’t really be sure.
There must be some other factors which caused the settlement offer to be only $14,067 higher than the Hard Costs. Without having your file in front of us it is impossible for us to know what those factors are.
A personal injury case includes a great deal of documentation. The facts you present, although well-intended, total only 150 words or so. With this limited information it's virtually impossible for us to tell you if a net settlement to you of $40,000 dollars is reasonable.
We’re sure you understand your Attorney has every incentive to negotiate the highest settlement possible. The higher the settlement amount, the higher her fee.
Ask your attorney why the gross settlement offer is only $14,067 dollars above the Hard Costs. She will surely explain the reasons to you.
Best of Luck,