Injured as passenger in my mom's car... how much should I demand?
(Las Vegas, NV)
I was in a car accident as a passenger. My mom turned off of a major street and attempted to cross onto another street. There were four lanes of traffic, three of the four lanes stopped and yielded for her to pass. She was almost through, and as she inched passed the fourth lane we were hit on the side.
The speed limit was 35 MPH but the driver of the other vehicle was doing 50 MPH. Our car spun out of control, doing a 180 degree turn. The ambulance took everyone to the hospital and my mother and I were treated for whiplash and bruises. My pelvis and leg were injured, but not broke.
Also, I am currently disabled and suffer from nerve damage, and after this accident my neck is worse. I haven't gone to a therapist yet, but I plan on it. I'm wondering if this exacerbation of my disability will be part of the new claim?
How much should I ask for in my demand letter to my mom's insurance company? My doctor's bills are not yet determined. If I had to take a guess, it should be about $8,000. I get that figure from the cost of the ambulance ride to the hospital, the x-rays and the MRI they gave me, plus the pain medicine (Demerol).
Is there anything else I should include, or should I wait until after I see the therapist for my neck? Thanks for any information you can give.
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ANSWER for "Injured as passenger in my mom's car... how much should I demand?":
Sekoo (Las Vegas, NV):
Your first consideration is the statute of limitations. In the State of Nevada, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two (2) years.
If you haven't settled your injury claim or filed a lawsuit within two (2) years from the date of the crash, you will lose your right to file a lawsuit, and may be denied compensation from the insurance company for your injuries.
If there exists sufficient time before the statute of limitations expires, it will be better if you wait until the point where additional therapy will not conclusively improve your condition, or a point where you have concluded your physical therapy.
A formula used by many attorneys is the multiple method. For "soft tissue" injuries such as minor abrasions, muscle, tendon or ligament strains and sprains, minor burns, whiplash, and the like, the multiple can be anywhere from 1.5 times the amount of medical and/or therapy bills, up to 2x, and sometimes 3x.
In more serious "hard injury" cases, such as fractures, 2nd and 3rd degree burns, head trauma, and the like, the multiple can be much higher. In hard injury cases the multiple can be anywhere from 4x, 5x, and even higher.
The problem you may face will be the insurance company's contention your injuries aren't unique to the crash, but instead just an exacerbation of your previous injury. As a result, they will offer much less than you believe would be just and fair for the injuries you sustained in the crash.
To succeed in your claim, you will need medical proof your injuries are unique to the recent crash, and not an exacerbation of your previous injury.
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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