Settlement for Fractured Knee Cap in Car Accident?
by Anonymous (USA)
My 15 year old daughter was involved in a car accident that was solely the other drivers fault. She fractured her knee cap. She was on crutches for 8 days and in a knee brace for 50 days. She could not participate in PE at school during that time. She also missed Halloween with her friends and her homecoming dance at school.
She was in quite a bit of pain for about a month and a half, and she still has some pain if she walks too much. The doctor doesn't believe she will need any further treatment or physical therapy. The other insurance company is meeting with us to offer a settlement. What is a good amount?
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ANSWER for "Settlement for Fractured Knee Cap in Car Accident?":
A reasonable settlement amount would be a minimum of at least 3 times the total amount of your daughter's medical bills. The reason personal injury settlements are based on multiples of 3x or more is to attempt to take care of all matters at one time. Without the use of the "multiples" insurance settlements would have to be based on agreements between the insurance companies and the victims about the exact cost of every single item.
Those usually are the total of medical bills, the total amount of the victim's out of pocket expenses, items such as prescription and over the counter medications, and other aids necessary for the treatment and recovery of the victims. It also would have to be based on an amount for the victims' pain and suffering.
Because those different items are very difficult to evaluate individually, long ago insurance companies decided to just "throw all the items in one basket". That way there would only have to be one negotiation for a settlement amount instead of two or three different ones.
It's entirely up to you whether you need the services of a personal injury attorney. If you think you can convince the insurance company to settle your daughter's case for a multiple of at least 3x, 4x or more, then you might be able to settle the case yourself.
If the insurance company balks at your demand of multiplying the entire amount of medical bills by 3x, 4x or 5x, then it wouldn't hurt to consult with a personal injury attorney. Most won't charge you any fee for an initial office consultation.
When meeting with the insurance company make sure you don't agree to anything at first. Tell them your demand and see what their counter-offer will be. They will probably tell you your demand is way too high - beyond their "authority" is what they may say.
Tell them you appreciate their offer but need time to consider it. There is no rush. Legally you have up to 2 years to either settle the case or file a lawsuit.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.