Visitor Question

Fair settlement for partial amputation of finger?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Wichita, Kansas)

While cleaning out a large commercial smoker for a church pancake feed, the door gave way and slammed down on my husband’s finger, partially amputating it (it was hanging by skin). He had surgery to reattach the finger, which was successful, but the finger is still very tender and gets cold and numb very easily. This happened 8 months ago.

The insurance company wants to only give $20,000 but I don’t believe that is enough. Medical bills are $17,000 and lost wages is $2,000. I have read about the multiplier but I don’t know which figure would be used in this case.

Do you have a calculator or a way to determine what settlement would be fair? I don’t want to be greedy but I also don’t want to get screwed over. 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 Anonymous,

When one causes an injury to another, and the injury results in medical bills and resulting losses, the one causing the injury is normally responsible, or “liable” to pay for the injured person’s medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

There are varying ways to calculate settlement offers. As you mentioned, one of the most relied upon is the “Multiplier.”  Using the multiplier, the insurance company claims adjuster will have added up your husband’s total medical expenses, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages. These expenses are referred to as “Special Damages.” That’s the base figure the claims adjuster will rely upon to calculate how much to offer for pain and suffering, which is referred to as “General Damages.”

The multiplier then applied by the claims adjuster will be from 1.5 to 5. In very serious cases such as permanent facial scarring, 3rd degree burns, or death, the multiplier may rise well above 5.

Some general guidelines to rely upon when determining a fair settlement are as follows:

  • The more evidence of liability, the higher the multiplier
  • The more painful your husband’s injury, the higher the multiplier
  • The more invasive and long lasting your husband’s treatment was, the higher the multiplier
  • The longer the recovery period, the higher the multiplier

With this in mind, you should be able to calculate a settlement amount you and your husband believe is a fair.

Learn more here: Churches/Synagogues

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 with your claim,

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