In September of 2014, I was T-boned by an unlicensed driver (3rd citation) after he ran a red light, totaling both our vehicles. The insurance paid me for the damages to my car, but I feel like they are taking advantage of me as far as the personal injury settlement.
I did not, and do not have medical insurance. I initially went to the ER as the pain was severe. They did X-rays, and an EKG, and found nothing. I never went back because I was fearful of putting myself in debt and could not afford any upfront payment.
The guy hit me so hard he pushed me two lanes over. The impact slammed my left shoulder into my door frame. Along with the shoulder I had/have neck and back pain. My medical bill was $2500, my lost wages are in the amount of $612. The insurance wants to settle with $3780.
I cannot lift my arm above my chest, and I can’t reach for things. Even washing my hair has become a task. I have a 9yr old daughter and a house to take care of. I have been physically limited with my work duties, house duties, and my mommy duties.
What should I be asking for? I don’t know if this matters, but the insurance of the at-fault vehicle (I say that because he was driving someone else’s truck) was just your basic 10/15. Thank you kindly in advance for any perspective.
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.
Without an attorney representing you, you have little leverage in your pursuit of a higher settlement offer. Without an attorney, the insurance company can continue to offer you $3780.00, and not a penny more. There is little you can do on your own to force the insurance company to offer you more.
Second to having an attorney, your main challenge is overcoming the lack of medical narratives and treatment notes from doctors confirming the seriousness of your injuries and their relationship to the collision. You have medical bills, but as you stated, no injuries were found in your initial visit to the ER.
Without medical documentation supporting your injuries and their direct relationship to the collision, you are fortunate the insurance company has offered you more than your actual medical bills and lost wages.
Your injuries are considered “soft tissue” injuries. These normally include sprains and strains to muscles, ligaments and tendons, minor burns, minor cuts and abrasions, and the like. Soft tissue injuries normally settle anywhere from 1½ to 3 times the amount of medical bills.
In your case, it appears the insurance company has offered you about 1½ times your medical bills. While low, you shouldn’t expect to receive much more without more medical documentations and bills to your demand. With that said, it would not be unreasonable for you to demand 2 times your medicals, or $5,000. With the facts you’ve presented, if you receive that amount, you’ve hit a home run.
Learn more here: California Car Accident Guide
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
Best of luck with your claim,
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