Is this a Fair Pain and Suffering Offer in South Carolina?

by Jennifer
(Aiken, SC)

I was heading to lunch from work on August 20, 2012, merging into the middle turn lane to go left in my Isuzu Rodeo. This Grand Jeep Cherokee pulled out of a convenience store on the right from between two lanes of stopped cars. He hit my vehicle in the area of the front/right wheel, spun me 180 degrees, and left a huge scrape down the side to the back/right wheel.

I was transported by ambulance to the local hospital. X-rays were taken and nothing severe was diagnosed, just strains and soreness. I went to my primary care physician twice to follow up and both times he said I was okay. I went to a chiropractor for 2-3 months to treat for muscle strains, tearing, and neck issues. I have since been released from treatment by the chiropractor.

My vehicle was totaled. I lost 2.5 days of work, not to mention many hours being on the road to all of my appointments. The insurance of the liable person is offering $2,000 above the medical payments for pain and suffering. With all of the time involved, my back and neck pain, inability to do daily activities around my house, etc, I thought this was a low number. I was wondering if this was a fair amount for settlement?

Thank you very much for any information you can give regarding this issue!

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Is this a Fair Pain and Suffering Offer in South Carolina?":

Jennifer (Aiken, SC):

The traditional method used to determine fair compensation for a personal injury claim is by taking the medical and chiropractic bills and multiplying them by anywhere from 1.5x to 5x, sometimes even higher depending on the severity of the injuries.

In cases of minor injuries like yours, referred to as "soft tissue" injuries, the multiple is usually between 1.5 to 2x, with 3x as usually the highest. For example if your medical and chiropractic bills amount to $500 dollars, a reasonable settlement would be anywhere from $1000 dollars to $1500 dollars. Once you do the math you'll be ale to determine if the amount they are offering is fair.

Before you settle though be absolutely sure you are fully healed and have no additional related out of pocket expenses. Also be sure you won't need any additional medical or chiropractic treatment. There is no reason to rush your settlement. Once you receive the insurance check you'll be asked to sign a Release. Once you sign it you will lose all rights to additional compensation.

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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