Visitor Question

Settlement for Serious Injuries from Collision with a Business Vehicle?

Submitted By: Darlene (Flora, IL, USA)

I was driving on a highway and a pickup truck pulling a trailer with 4-wheelers on it (it was a business vehicle) pulled out in front of me. We had an accident. He said he did not see me and his insurance is accepting full blame.

The collision totaled my vehicle and the insurance company paid $24,000.00 for property damage. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital. I broke several ribs on both sides, fractured my L1 vertebrae and broke a piece out of it. I also had soft tissue damage to my knee.

I was in the hospital 3 days because of severe pain. I had to wear a full back brace for 6 months so my back would heal straight. My medical bills amount to $38,000.00.

I lost my job of 20 years because I was off to long. I earned about $30,000.00 yearly. I had planned on working another year and retiring at my full retirement age 66. Because of my injuries I had to take early retirement which lowered my benefit amount and will effect me the rest of my life.

What would be a fair settlement for a case like this, taking into account all the pain and suffering I went through, the length of treatment, and my loss of job income and lower retirement benefits?

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 Darlene,

There are many injury/accident insurance claims which can be handled by victims without legal representation. These cases normally include soft tissue injuries like whiplash, sprained or torn muscles, tendons or ligaments, and other like relatively minor injuries.

When it comes to hard injures like broken bones, fractured vertebrae, and broken ribs, legal representation is a necessity. You can be confident the net amount of your settlement will be much higher with legal representation than if your handle the claim yourself.

Personal injury attorneys are skilled at vigorously pursuing injury claims against insurance companies. Attorneys can file lawsuits, take depositions, and do other pretrial discovery which will usually force an insurance company to settle for a much higher amount.

You should at least consult with an experienced personal injury before deciding to settle. Most personal injuries don’t charge a fee for an initial office consultation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by promptly consulting with one. You should do so before signing any documents from the insurance company.

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: March 6, 2013

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