Grandmother causes accident...
My 17 year old daughter was injured in a car accident in Tucson, AZ. Her grandmother was driving. My daughter suffered a dislocated ankle and a deep cut requiring stitches. My father was also in the car and was injured. My mother suffered a knee injury requiring stitches.
From what my daughter told me, my mother accidentally drove in the turn lane and tried to get back into the correct lane, but hit the median pole at the railroad crossing. My mother told the police officers at the scene, and me, that she swerved to avoid hitting something in the road.
Does it make any difference if she hit the pole to avoid hitting something or not? How do I negotiate on my daughter's behalf? Is there anything else we have to do? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Grandmother causes accident...":
Beverly (Tucson, AZ):
It really doesn't matter whether your daughter’s grandmother said she swerved to avoid an accident or crashed while attempting to return to the correct lane. Under either circumstance, it's clear your daughter's grandmother was negligent, and that negligence was the direct and proximate cause of your daughter’s injuries and related Damages.
Damages can include your daughter's medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for such items as medications, bandages, costs of travel to treatment, crutches, etc.), lost wages if your daughter must miss work for medical or therapeutic treatment, and for her pain and suffering.
While no doubt painful, your daughter's injuries will likely be considered by the insurance company as "soft tissue" injuries. Soft tissue injuries can include damage to muscles, ligaments and tendons throughout the body, bone dislocations (but not fractures), and minor cuts requiring a small number of stitches.
"Hard injuries" are more serious and can include fractures, 3rd degree burns, scarring, head or spine trauma, and like injuries.
Before you agree to anything with the insurance company make sure your daughter receives all the follow up medical treatment she requires. Tell the insurance company you will advise them when your daughter is fully recovered. At that time you may begin to negotiate a settlement with the company.
Soft tissue injury claims normally settle anywhere from 1½ to 3 times the amount of medical and therapy bills combined. For example, if your daughter's medical and therapy bills amount to $3,000, a fair settlement amount might be anywhere from $4500.00 to $6,000. This doesn't include expenses and lost wages.
Most soft tissue injury victims do not require legal representation. As a result, you can probably negotiate the settlement on your own. However, it's always a good idea to get a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.
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,
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