Take Advantage Of Consultations
Many attorneys offer free consultation appointments for prospective clients. These appointments serve as introductory meetings to explain your case and get insight. They also give you an opportunity to interview the attorney and get a feel for their experience. During a consultation, dont be shy to ask about their past cases and their outcomes. How an attorney replies can give you a good idea of their success rate.
Consultation appointments can determine how comfortable you feel with a particular lawyer. Trust between a client and their attorney is paramount. If any of the answers to your questions make you feel uncomfortable or if you dont trust their opinion, look elsewhere for representation. Only when you feel comfortable with a lawyer should you make the choice to hire them.
Overall Effect Of The Injury Determines Settlement Amount
As you can imagine, the effect of your injury on your daily activities will determine the value of your pain and suffering.
For example, lets say that someone fractures his leg. He or she is confined to a wheelchair for a few weeks. That persons claim is worth more than if he or she wasnt limited to using a wheelchair to get around.
The pain and suffering damages component of the settlement was about $292,000 .
Workers compensation paid most of the medical bills. We only had to pay workers comp back $3,842 from my clients settlement.
Basically, Travelers Insurance used the following accident settlement formula:
They assigned around $292,000 for his pain and suffering for his broken leg and detached meniscus. Next, they added his out of pocket medical bills. That equals approximately $300,000.
Since Allstate paid $100,000 to settle, Travelers only owed $200,000.
After my attorneys fees, costs, and paying the workers compensation lien and medical bills, Ryan got about $187,370 in his pocket.
This chart shows the breakdown:
His pain and suffering claim was worth more because he needed a wheelchair for some time after the crash.
As a result, the adjuster may pay you more for your pain and suffering.
Basically, the pain and suffering multiplier was around 39.
What If The Insurance Company Refuses To Offer A Fair Settlement
After youve been through the ordeal of a car accident and been in contact with the insurance companies, you might receive an insultingly low offer from them.
Never settle for less than you deserve.
Your settlement amount can increase depending on the negotiating skills of your attorney. A good personal injury lawyer will keep negotiating until a fair offer is received, and not just settle immediately. Why? Because the amount of a car accident settlement is determined by looking at averages of other settlements and resolutions for similar incidents with similar injuries in the same venue. A car accident attorney can significantly increase your settlement offer. Best of all, we work on a contingency basis. This means we charge you nothing upfront we only get paid if you get paid!
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How Much Did The Motorcycle Rider Get In His Pocket After Attorney Fees And Medical Bills
Pats health insurance paid a little over $3,700 to the hospital and his doctors. His out of pocket medical bills were under $380.
Pat got 59% of the settlement in his pocket after my attorneys fees and costs, and paying his medical bills and health insurance lien.
The chart below shows this:
After my attorneys fees, costs and paying his medical bills/liens, Pat got $29,235 in his pocket.
He was thrilled.
Soft Tissue Injuries Overview
Generally, minor, soft tissue injuries in car accident refer to damage to muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Contusions and abrasions are soft tissue injuries. Also included are minor sprains, 1st degree burns and herniated back disks that do not need surgery. If you are experiencing minor to moderate discomfort from a whiplash injury, this is a soft tissue injury as well. Some injuries to soft tissues, such as herniated back disks, can cause a lot of pain and can often result in large back injury settlements after a car accident.
On the other hand, a serious car accident injury is a hard injury. This can be a traumatic brain injury, broken bones, damage to organs, severe burns and cuts, and generally injuries that require surgery and major hospital time.
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Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement
Once youve signed for a cash settlement for a car accident, youll never again be able to pursue compensation for your damages. This can be problematic because with some injuries, you may not even realize the full extent of your injuries before youre offered a car accident settlement. While its reasonable to want to settle and put the whole thing behind you, taking the first offer extended to you isnt always the best course of action. Most attorneys will advise you to wait until youve reached something called Maximum Medical Improvement, or MMI, before accepting a car accident settlement offer.
Should you sustain a traumatic brain injury in the wreck, for example, youll want to take your time healing. It can take many months to see specialists, have surgery, take medication and get physical therapy before you have a true idea of what a life post-accident will cost. While its impossible to predict the future, youll have a much clearer picture once the dust of the collision has settled.
There’s No Such Things As A Typical Settlement
Theres no such thing as a typical car accident. There are minor accidents that cause major physical damages, and once in a while, even a serious accident where everyone walks away mostly unharmed. Due to the varying nature of each accident, its impossible to put even a ballpark number on the average car accident settlement. However, we are going to break it all down below so that you can get a better idea of what to expect from your car accident settlement.
We have worked on minor accidents with high payouts based on unforeseen contingencies and major accidents with relatively low recovery, with settlements ranging anywhere from $15,000 to over $1,000,000. Many attorneys will give you estimates of $20,000 to $30,000 for the average minor accident but that can be very deceiving just like the lawyers on TV who claim to be able to get you $500,000 for your accident. These claims are baseless and you should always question the integrity of any law firm that quotes exact numbers on such vague questions.
Only an experienced attorney that has fully evaluated all the evidence in your case, as well as the available coverage can give you a reasonably accurate estimate of what your settlement may turn into, so make sure to contact our Colorado auto accident attorneys for an in depth consultation of your case.
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How Much Do Lawyers Take From A Car Accident Settlement
While the precise cost of hiring a lawyer in your case will depend on the firm you choose and whether or not your case goes to trial, most personal injury lawyers take up to one-third of the final settlement or damage award. So if you were awarded $100,000 in damages from the at-fault driver or their insurance company, you might take home $70,000 and your attorney might take $30,000.
Do Insurers Use Recent Jury Verdicts And Settlements To Calculate Pain And Suffering
Yes. However, the recent trend is taht I look at past jury verdicts to get the full settlement value of the pain and suffering component in a personal injury case. I then adjust the full value as necessary.
Some attorneys list their past verdicts on their websites. Of course, knowing about a verdict is better than nothing. However, to understand a verdict you must know the amount of money that was awarded for pain and suffering.
This is because most jury verdicts in personal injury cases also awarded money for medical bills. In some others, the jury also gives money for lost wages.
Many verdict summaries online do not say how much money was awarded for pain and suffering. As a result, there are of limited value.
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$33000 Car Accident Settlement
A car hit a 48 year old mans bike in Brooklyn, NY. He broke his lower leg specifically atibial plateau fracture. His physician said the fracture healed perfectly, and no more treatment was needed.
State Farm insured the vehicle that hit the biker. Personal Injury Protection paid $10,000 to the mans doctors for his medical costs. The other drivers State Farm coverage paid the rest of the leg injury car accident settlement.
Whiplash Injuries Can Require Future Medical Treatment
One collision scenario often treated as minor is a rear-end collision. Whether you were hit from behind at a stop sign or struck while slowing down to turn, you may find that your car didnt sustain much damage. Unfortunately, that can mean your body absorbed the damage instead.
The classic consequence of rear-ending is whiplash, caused by a sudden jerking that snaps the head forward and back. Even low-speed rear-end collisions with no visible vehicle damage can cause whiplash in fact, the human head can accelerate 2.5 times more than the vehicle when struck.
Whiplash can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for recovery pain can last even longer. This is because whiplash injuries involve:
Every whiplash case will be different, depending on how hard you were struck, whether you were fully stopped when you were hit, and even how you were sitting in your vehicle. You may need months of chiropractic adjustment or therapeutic massage to return to normal, bills that pile up quickly. Moreover, if your pain interferes with your job, you could also lose income.
The distinctive nature of just one possible injury illustrates that no two settlements are the same because no two injuries are the same.
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Get The Settlement Offer In Writing
As negotiations continue, emphasize the emotional weight of your argument.. No dollar amount can be assigned to the emotional impact the crash has had on you . The weight of sharing an upsetting accident scene photo or a story of the impact the accident had on your child can sway even the most experienced of claims adjuster. Dont stray from the facts, but dont be afraid to appeal to the human nature of the person on the end of the line, either.
Once you get to a number you feel good about, be sure to get the agreement in writing. Outline the settlement youve agreed upon in a short letter to the adjuster. Include details about how much youve settled on, what the money covers, and the date you expect to receive compensation.
What Kind Of Payout Should I Expect From A Car Accident Settlement
A variety of factors go into deciding the average payout for a car accident. A judge or jury who hears your case will take into account:
- The types of injuries
- Severity of the wreck
In most cases, a payout is only offered when the medical treatment is complete. Permanent injuries will influence the amount of compensation that you receive. If youre working with an insurance company after a car wreck, let them know if youre still going through medical treatment.
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$100k Settlement For Back Surgery
They claimed that the woman hit the car in front of her before the truck driver hit her car. Liberty Mutual put 50% blame for causing the accident on the woman.
MGA Insurance Company insured the claimants car.
Is It Possible To File A Car Accident Lawsuit In A No
Injured drivers and passengers in no-fault states can file a car accident lawsuit provided that their claim satisfies the following thresholds specified under the state law:
It is best to discuss any car accident situation with a lawyer. Discussing car-accident-related concerns with a lawyer allows victims to thoroughly understand their options and receive fair car accident settlement amounts.
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How Much Will I Get From Pain And Suffering From A Car Accident
Nevada is an at-fault state, which means that everyone always has the ability to claim pain and suffering after a car accident. This is not always the case in a no-fault state. These other states may prevent injured victims from claiming pain and suffering unless they have suffered a serious injury. The definition of a serious injury isnt always clear, and it becomes a somewhat vague threshold that victims need to overcome. Its easier to claim pain and suffering in a state like Nevada. As previously mentioned, your pain and suffering becomes a multiplier. It does not represent a monetary value, but rather the extent to which your economic damages will be multiplied.
% Of A $445k Settlement Was For Pain And Suffering
A young man was riding a motorcycle in Hialeah, Florida. A tractor trailer was heading in the opposite direction.
The truck driver made a left turn and hit the motorcyclist.
As a result of the impact, the rider was thrown off his motorcycle. The truck driver got a ticket for causing the accident.
He broke his leg and finger. Specifically, he had a tibial plateau fracture. Doctors operated on both his leg and finger. He spent about a week at the hospital. While in the hospital, he called me for a free consultation.
I met him at the hospital and he hired me immediately.
I settled his personal injury case for $445,000. When looking at his final out of pocket hospital and medical bills, 93% of the total settlement was for pain and suffering.
The pain and suffering multiplier was 14.7 times the final out of pocket medical bills.
After my attorneys fees, costs and paying his medical bills, he received $263,522.
This does not factor in interest on a loan that he took.
Basic Information About Punitive Damages
The basis for punitive damages from a car accident are a much different standard. In personal injury tort, the court hears the evidence and determines the damages the plaintiff receives. Punitive damages are unique in that this award is not meant to compensate the driver for losses. Instead, punitive damages punish the defendant and discourage others from acting similarly.
A personal injury lawsuit goes through the civil court system and cannot result in jail time. The courts recourse when it deems the defendants behavior negligent is to hand down a punitive damages award. The sum of this award typically does not exceed four times the amount of compensatory damages.
Your Need For Ongoing Medical Care
After a car crash, you may need to see specialists, surgeons, and physical therapists. You might even need help with basic needs, like using the bathroom and getting dressed. Your medical expenses could include:
- Diagnostic studies, like MRIs, CT scans, and EMGs
- Surgeries, such as fusions, discectomies, and laminectomies
- Physical therapy
- Injections to reduce swelling and pain
- Back and neck braces
- Medication and pain management services
- Wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility devices
All your medical care, including future treatment, should be included in your personal injury claim.
Its also important to remember that accident victims with serious injuries sometimes need multiple surgeries, and complications can occur. Your lawyer should take all these factors into account and consult with your doctors before they start settlement negotiations.
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What Is The Average Settlement For A Minor Car Accident
Lawyers hesitate to name a generic settlement amount for any car crash because too many variables can affect each individuals case. In other words, there is no average settlement amount.
Instead, damages are based on what you need to treat your injuries, replace lost income, and compensate you for future expenses. Even for so-called minor accidents, the true cost will vary.
$10k Car Accident Injury Settlement
For a Michigan woman who was injured while driving her car in Florida. She treated at the hospital and then with a chiropractor for several months.
Her injuries were soft tissue. The driver who was at fault was insured with GEICO.
For a Cuban-American 30-year-old who was rear ended on I-95 by a driver insured by State Farm Insurance. My clients injuries included back pain and a serious eye injury.
He was treated at the Anne Bates Leach eye center, Jackson Memorial Hospital, and Bascon Palmer in Miami, Florida.
Unfortunately, the driver and owner of the car that rear ended my client were underinsured. My client did not have underinsured motorist insurance which would have resulted in a much larger payout for my client.
Lady claimed soft tissue injuries after she was driving her, which was hit by another car in Venice, Lee County, Florida. The at fault driver had bodily injury insurance through American International Group .
Her hands were burned by her cars airbag. The burns went after a few months.
Lady Gets $10,000 after Driver Fails to Yield Right of Way and Hits Her
My client, a woman, was driving her car. A driver failed to yield the right of way to incoming traffic and struck her.
Zurich Insurance Company handled the claim for the at fault driver. My client had soft tissue injuries.
Empire Fire and Marine Insurance Company issued the at fault drivers insurance policy.
Passenger Gets $10,000 After Car Hits Pole That Crushes Car
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