At Fault Driver Made Illegal Left Turn...

by Keith
(Fair Lawn, New Jersey)

I was coming down Route 21 south and another driver was going north on 21. He decided to make an illegal left turn from the middle lane where there is no left turn permitted.

My car was totaled, my 11 year old busted his nose, my wife has whiplash, I had a black and blue from the accident and my right knee swelled up (and I just had it operated on in April 2011 - total knee replacement surgery).

Will the at-fault driver's insurance company settle right away?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "At Fault Driver Made Illegal Left Turn...":

Keith (Fair Lawn, New Jersey):

Probably not. Before any settlement negotiations begin there will first have to be an investigation. The formalities of insurance settlements can be very frustrating.

If you have not already given your statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company representative, you shortly will be asked to. The at-fault driver’s insurance company representative, called a “Claims Adjuster” will ask to take your recorded statement. You should agree. Doing so is normal procedure in these types of cases. The faster you cooperate, the faster the case will be settled.

Additionally, a settlement will usually not occur until such time as your son’s medical treatment and yours have completed, and your out of pocket expenses, such as medicines, bandages, and lost wages are determined. The manner in which these cases are settled involves the accumulation of medical bills, out of pocket expenses, and lost wages.

Once those amounts are recorded the next step is to determine a sufficient amount of compensation for you and your son's Pain and Suffering. Determining that amount is a subjective exercise. The manner in which pain and suffering is compensated is by a multiple of the medical bills, called “Hard Costs”.

Because pain and suffering is intangible and subjective in its determination, the traditional mode of compensation is to multiply the tangible hard costs by a multiple of 1. The more serious the case, the higher the multiple. The multiple also takes into consideration the out of pocket expense and your lost wages.

When cases are as serious as yours and your son's, we urge you to seek the counsel of a skilled Personal Injury Attorney. Their expertise, especially at a time like this, can be invaluable.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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