Visitor Question

Ankle injured in car crash, could be permanent…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Mishawaka, Indiana)

A driver pulled out of a parking lot in front of me. I slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting her, but couldn’t stop in time. I struck her car broadside. The crash was determined to be wholly her fault. The driver was insured by State Farm.  State Farm paid for the damage to my truck.

I was injured in the crash. The tendons in my right ankle were torn and bruised. Since then I have been receiving physical therapy. Initially the therapy worked, but I still favor my left leg and limp slightly when standing or walking for longer periods.

My specialist told me he doesn’t know if the my ankle will get better in time. He wants to give me cortisone shots to relieve the pain. I don’t want the injections.

I am an insurance agent and familiar with the process of dealing with adjusters. I do not want to hire an attorney. I need to know what figure to start with when dealing with State Farm. Thank you.

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 Anonymous,

When it comes to car accidents, insurance companies normally assign two (2) claims adjusters to the claim. One adjuster deals with property damage, the other with injuries sustained in the accident.

Today, most insurance companies and their claims adjusters rely on sophisticated computer software programs to help determine the amount of compensation to be paid to injured persons. Unfortunately, private parties and their attorneys do not have access to the same information. For them, there are no computer programs, rules, or reference charts to rely on when trying to assign a value to their injuries.

There is a basic formula to determine the worth of an injury claim. This is referred to as the “multiplier method.” For soft tissue injuries like yours, the multiplier method would include taking your medical or therapy bills and multiplying them by anywhere from 1-3 times. For more serious injuries such as fractures, head trauma, scarring, etc., the multiple can be anywhere from 4-5x or even higher for the most serious injuries.

Unfortunately, most insurance adjusters do not assign the same credibility to chiropractic or therapeutic care care as they do to medical care. As a result, the amount of compensation offered is lower. For you, a good starting point would likely be 3 times your therapy bills, plus expenses and lost wages.  From there, you can negotiate a settlement acceptable to both parties.

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: October 19, 2017

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