Visitor Question

Will previous back injuries or RSDI affect my current settlement?

Submitted By: Dennis (Mckinney, TX)

I was injured while standing at a gas station next to a major retail store. A 5ft rack loaded with hard candy blew over in 30 mph winds and the handle with candy fell on my back (approximately 200lbs was on the rack as estimated by the attendant).

I am already receiving RSDI benefits (Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance) monthly due to previous back and knee failure. I have chronic pain disease as well. My back has been operated on 5 times prior with permanent neuralgia.

An MRI was done after this recent incident and showed an injury to the L-4 with more permanent nerve damage. The entire incident was all captured on camera as well.

The insurance company has been cooperative and they paid for the MRI. I am dealing with an adjuster from the company and I haven’t received a settlement offer yet, but I should get one soon. I’m not sure how much to ask for when they want to settle.

What’s an approximate payout in a similar situation to mine? Will my previous injuries or my RSDI affect the amount? What do you think I should ask for? 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 Dennis,

A good starting point for determining a fair settlement amount would be to take all your medical bills and multiply them by anywhere from 1.5x to 3x or higher, depending on a number of factors.

The multiplier will represent not only your medical bills, but your out of pocket expenses directly related to the incident, any wages you lost during the time of your treatment and recovery, and an additional amount for your pain and suffering.

The insurance company’s claims adjuster may attempt to limit your settlement because of your pre-existing injuries. To fully support your claim it will be quite helpful to have a medical narrative including a diagnosis and prognosis for your injury. That narrative should make clear your most recent injury was an independent from your previous injuries.

Be sure before settling your claim the amount will be sufficient to cover any future medical treatment, out of pocket expenses or lost wages.

Because the statute of limitations in Texas is 2 years, you have plenty of time to settle your case or file a lawsuit. So don’t let the adjuster prod you to settle until you are ready.

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: November 29, 2012

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