Bodily Injury Settlement Offer for my 2 Children...

by David
(Sherman, TX)

I was in a 2 car accident in Texas where I was found at fault. My son suffered an injury to his head. During the accident his head hit the side glass window and it was cut open. My daughter suffered no injuries and both were released from the ER after being seen.

The insurance company sent me a letter for settlement. I feel this is a low amount, and I'm worried about accepting it. This is what it said:

"How are you? Per our conversation today, we are going to do a scheduled release for both of your children. $800.00 up front cash settlement for Kyler and $2,500.00 set aside for his medical bills (total:$3,300)... and $500.00 up front cash settlement for Leighton and $500.00 set aside for her medical bills (total:$1,000.00)."

Does this sound appropriate? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Bodily Injury Settlement Offer for my 2 Children...":

David (Sherman, TX):

Considering you were at fault you really don't have a great deal of leverage. Although your facts don't indicate if the settlement offer was from your own insurance company or the other driver's, I will presume after the collision you turned to your own insurance company for compensation.

Although your own insurance company doesn't really have to offer you and your children much more than the actual amount of your medical bills, they apparently did.

To determine reasonable settlement amounts you must take a look at your medical bills and those of your children.

If Kyler's medical bills were no more than a cut on his forehead which required not much more than antibiotics and band aids, then the settlement amount of $3,300 dollars seems reasonable. Because Kyler is apparently a minor the insurance company is compelled to place the bulk of his settlement money in trust. They do that to prevent parents or legal guardians from squandering their child's settlement money on items which have no relation to the injury.

The same holds true for Leighton. The bulk of her medical bills must be placed in trust as well.

If the total medical bills for each of you amounted to less than the actual settlement offers you immediately have a windfall. Remember, you were at fault and there isn't any law which requires your insurance company to pay for out of pocket expenses such as prescription and over the counter medications, your lost wages, and an additional amount for pain and suffering.

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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