Visitor Question

Herniated Disks after Getting Rear Ended by a Truck…

Submitted By: Joe (Michigan)

I was rear ended by a truck while stopped at a traffic light. I suffered 3 herniated discs in my neck which had to be operated on. I also suffered nerve damage in my arm and leg.

I made $100,000 a year in wages before the accident. And now the doctor said I probably will never be able to do my job again. I am 56 years old.

How much can I expect to receive if I sued the at fault driver? It happened in the state of Michigan. Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Joe,

You may not have to sue the driver. A lawsuit is usually a last resort. A reliable determinant for approximating reasonable personal injury settlement amounts is a factor of 3x hard costs.

The factor of 3 refers to taking the total amount of medical bills, called “Hard Costs” and multiplying them by 3x. This is a very rough approximation, as the multiplier can be much higher, or possibly lower depending on the facts of the case.

Before beginning settlement negotiations with the at fault driver’s insurance company, add up all of your medical costs to date and your out of pocket expenses.

Out of pocket expenses usually include the cost of prescription medicines, over the counter medicines and bandages, and even the prorated cost of gasoline used to drive back and forth to doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and any other place you might not have had to drive to “but for” the negligence of the at fault driver.

Next, try to approximate the amount of wages or salary you have lost since being injured.

Once you have all these figures you’ll be ready to begin a negotiated settlement with the at fault driver’s insurance company.

You may ask, “Well what about my future lost wages, out of pocket expenses and medical bills?” “What about my pain and suffering?”

There is no way for an insurance company to know what those costs may be. As a result, the time honored method for adjusters to pay these costs has been to multiply the Hard Costs by a multiple of 1,2,3,4,5x… and up to about as high as the facts of the case demand.

Although you can certainly represent yourself, because of the seriousness of your case you might consider visiting with a skilled Personal Injury Attorney.

Most will not charge any fee for an in initial office consultation. At a minimum you will have a better understanding of what your case may be worth, and the procedure to secure that amount.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: September 3, 2011

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