Hand Injury in a Store...
(Fort Worth, TX, US)
I was looking through picture frames at a home decor store on 11/09/2010 when the front picture frame cracked and caused 10 heavy picture frames in the back to come crashing down and trapping my right hand.
A clerk came to help me to get the frames off since they were so heavy that it took another clerk to come and help.
I went to the emergency room, the examination showed that I sustained contusions in the upper extremity. I had my hand placed in a soft cast for four weeks, basically because my hand and wrist was sprained.
Because the store has a "self risk" policy, I had to pay for all costs and they promised to reimburse me. Not able to have use of my dominant hand caused me quite a bit of stress and anxiety because I could not do the things I had to do on a daily basis.
I was recently laid off a week before the accident but could not accept a job since I could not take a typing test because of my injury.
Now the insurance company wants to settle, but only wants to give me $1,800 for pain and suffering and pay $3,100 in medical costs.
Do I need to obtain an attorney? I think they are trying to low ball me? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Hand Injury in a Store...":
Whether you hire an attorney or not is up to you. Be advised that many attorneys will not take a cause where the offers are incredibly low because the contingency fee (typically 33%) will not earn enough for the time that would go into it.
A few things must be considered before it's clear whether the offer is low ball or not.
First of all, personal injury cases can settle for as much as 5 times the medical bills, so it would be helpful to know what your medical bills are.
Secondly, the insurance company is NEVER going to start high. It is up to you to argue that your case is worth more to get a better settlement. Yes, an attorney would be able to do this for you, but at a cost. So it's important to ask yourself if, by having an attorney, your settlement would be more than 33% than what you are expecting now.
In sum, if your bills are low, this may be as good as it's going to get. But you can always send a counter-offer and try to negotiate for the highest settlement possible. If your bills are high, then this may be a low ball offer and you may need an attorney to compel the adjuster.
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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