Visitor Question

What multiplier should I use for settlement demand?

Submitted By: Monica (Columbia, SC)

My husband and I were in a car accident where the other driver was 100 percent at fault. My husband wasn’t hurt, but I was diagnosed with whiplash, upper and lower back strain, and a torn rotator cuff. I had surgery to repair the rotator cuff after having three months of therapy for my neck and back.

So far my bills total almost $30,000. I’ll be starting therapy for my shoulder in a week, and scheduled for 6-8 weeks. Would it be crazy for me to ask for a 5-6.5x multiplier for my pain and suffering? I just want to make sure that all bills are paid and I get the compensation I’m due for everything I’ve been through. 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 Monica,

Presuming the bills you speak of are medical, and/or chiropractic, it would not be unreasonable for you to make a settlement demand in the amount of $180,000.00, or 6 times the amount of your medical and chiropractic bills. That’s a high number, but is a plausible starting point for negotiations.

The amount of $180,000.00 is meant to cover not only your medical and chiropractic bills, but your out-of-pocket expenses for medications, slings, costs of transportation to and from treatment, etc., lost wages, future costs, and pain and suffering.

Alternately, you don’t have to settle now. Instead, you can wait until you compete your treatment, or reach a point where further treatment will not effectively improve your condition. Waiting until that point will better assure your settlement is comprehensive.

If you are going to wait, you must be sure you settle your claim or file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations period expires. In the State of South Carolina the statute of limitations is three (3) years. In your case, you’d be best served by meeting with an attorney. There’s a lot at stake to try and 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: July 9, 2014

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