Head on Car Crash...
(Nashville, TN, USA)
I was wondering how much an auto accident claim is worth for a head on car crash? Another driver caused a 55mph head on collision with me. He received a citation for driving left of the center line, he admitted it and was found to be 100% at fault.
I went to the emergency room immediately after the accident. The rental car I was driving was totaled. I fractured 2 ribs, bruised my chest and sternum, had right lung contusions, whiplash to neck, nerve damage in my thigh/quad, internal & external bruising all over my body including both legs, shortness of breath for several months, anxiety and stress now with driving (mostly within 1st 4 months, I'm unable to sleep & rest (mostly during 1st 4 months), and I'm unable to play & enjoy quality time with my 4 year old.
It has been 6 months and I still have some throbbing pain around my ribs and chest, nerve damage, and stress. I wasn't working at the time, although I wouldn't have been able to after the accident. I have $21,200.00 in total medical expenses.
I was wondering how much this head on car crash is worth considering all I have mentioned, which doctors have clearly documented? I don't want to retain a lawyer unless I have to, and will be starting settlement negotiations in a couple days. Thank you in advance for any and all comments you can provide.
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ANSWER for "Head on Car Crash...":
The first thing you should know is when you speak with the Insurance Claims Adjuster she will be recording the call. It is perfectly legal for her to do that. So be careful about what you say, and what admissions about pain you may make.
Although it is impossible to tell you the exact amount of money your claim may be worth, we can give you a good starting point.
The 1st thing you want to know are the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
The 2nd thing you want to check would be to see if the owner and driver are the same person. If they are not, and Uncle Joe loaned Aunty Betty his pickup truck then you will want to know the limits of Uncle Joe’s AND Aunt Betty's insurance policies as well.
The 3rd thing you want to know are the limits of your own Uninsured Motorist policy (if you have one). When purchasing car insurance often times people will also include Uninsured Motorist coverage. Once you have all the insurance information you will have a good idea about how much insurance money is out there to compensate you for your claim.
Traditionally automobile settlements for claims other than soft tissue injuries begin at about 3 to 5 times the amount of medical bills (often referred to as “Hard Costs"). So the amount of $63,600 would be a good starting point. (Note: Hard Costs DO NOT include out of pocket expenses such as lost wages, medicines, physical therapy and other simialr costs). The $63,600 is meant to cover your past, present and future Pain and Suffering, as well as your lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses such as medicine, physical therapy, and the like.
They multiply by 3 to 5 not because the insurance company “feels your pain,” and wants you to know how sorry they really are, but instead so they can make one lump settlement for everything and "be done with it" so to speak.
With some hard work and a good deal of persistence you may be able to work out a fair settlement.
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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