Visitor Question

Traumatic Brain Injury from Auto Accident While Working…

Submitted By: Terry (Pittsburgh, PA)

The short version is that I was working and driving my own car.

I was stopped at a red light when a large commercial vehicle rear ended me.

I suffered multiple injuries, including:

– Traumatic Brain Injury – Loss of memory

– Loss of cognitive ability – Balance issues, Inner ear on left will never work – Inner ear on right partially hurt. – I suffer Migraine headaches – I had bad whiplash – 2 protruding discs in my neck – 2 herniated discs in my lower back – Surgery to repair right shoulder

This happened May 19th, 2010. I’m wondering if there is a time limit in Pennsylvania for an insurance company to settle a personal injury case? Do you have any thoughts on the kind of settlement I should get for such serious injuries? 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.


Dear Terry,

THERE IS A TIME LIMIT within which an insurance company has to settle a case. In the State of Pennsylvania that time limit is within two (2) years from the date of your injury.

The time limit is referred to as the “Statute of Limitations”. BE VERY CAREFUL!

If your case isn’t settled within two years from the date you sustained those terrible injuries you may lose your right to a settlement, whether with or without legal action.

Make sure you monitor the time period. If the case isn’t settled by at least May of 2012, you better seek the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney.

Your settlement amount will depend on many factors. Normally the basis for beginning a settlement is the medical bills you incurred and may have to incur in the future. The settlement first relies upon the medical bills and then many other factors influence additional settlement amounts.

Those additional factors may include, but not be limited to:

– Your Lost Wages

– Your Out of Pocket Expenses during your treatment and recovery period

– Your Loss of Consortium with your spouse or partner; and

– Your Pain and Suffering

A very basic way to begin theorizing about a settlement amount is a derivative of your medical bills. That derivative is usually a multiple of 3 or more times the amount of your medical bills.

In your case the derivative may be much greater than 3x.

There isn’t any definitive way to gauge the approximate amount of your settlement without having access to all the information accumulated since the collision. Hopefully the information we are giving you will help you to understand the basis of the negotiation process.

It would also be a good idea to sit down with a personal injury attorney to discuss your options. There’s too much at stake in a case like this to go it alone.

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 1, 2011

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