I am sorry to hear of this;
first, the statute of limitations for personal injury is 2 years:
Actions for injuries to the person shall be brought within two years after the right of action accrues, except for injuries to the reputation, which shall be brought within one year after the right of action accrues, and except for actions for injuries to the person involving loss of consortium, which shall be brought within four years after the right of action accrues.
So if a settlement is not reached a complaint must be filed and served by then or it is forever barred. Sometimes defendants will drag their feet in the negotiations process, hoping the plaintiff is not aware of the timeline, and then reject the claim after the time period is up.
It is best to have a medical doctor provide an analysis of lifetime cost; presumably the issue will only be able to be delayed; so that eventually surgery will be necessary. As such, one would want a professional estimate as to what life time treatment will cost i.e. ongoing care, and then surgery if necessary. Then the idea would be to make sure the settlement satisfies this amount. The plaintiff can also sue for pain and suffering but that depends on the discretion of the individual judge.
So generally for personal injury it is best to hire an attorney-they usually work on contingency, meaning they only get paid if their client is successful. They will be able to do a jury verdict search to determine the fair settlement value for the injuries, based on the particular locale in which one is located (jury verdicts vary by location, judge, etc)
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.