Visitor Question

Rear end car accident with $6,000 in medical bills…

Submitted By: Lisa (Milwaukee, WI)

My husband was in an auto accident in July of 2010. He was rear ended on the interstate in Wisconsin while he was completely stopped in traffic. He was found 0% at fault. He did go the ER and suffered a concussion and whiplash.

He was seeing a doctor for roughly 2.5 months until finally the headaches and upper shoulder/neck pain subsided. The total medical bills were roughly $6,000 & only $500 damage to the back of the 2010 Dodge Charger he was driving.

It will be time to settle soon and we are not sure what to expect in terms of an offer from the other driver’s insurance company for pain and suffering.

What should we be expecting and what would be a reasonable offer we should expect?

Thank You!

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 Lisa,

This is a text book auto accident meaning that the duration of treatment, medical bills and over-all circumstances of the case are ideal for settlement. Treatment for lengthy periods of time will often be challenged as excessive along with the associated medical bills.

In your case, treatment for 2.5 months is reasonable as well as $6,000 in medical bills.

As a very general rule of thumb, I would expect to start making settlement offers at 4-5 times your medical bills or ($24,000 to $30,000).

First offers are rarely accepted so there may be some back and forth negotiation which is hard to predict. The only down side as I see it is that the property damage is not significant. Adjusters may use this fact to get your settlement lower, however know your facts: Low speed impacts or those with little damage do not always mean that the individuals in the collision are NOT injured.

In sum, stick to your guns. Your settlement should not be less than 2.5 times your medical bills or $15,000.

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: December 3, 2010

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