Personal Injury Law
Personal Injury Law Questions? Ask Personal Injury Lawyers.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Personal Injury litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist you.
Generally, pain and suffering claims associated with a physical injury are hard to value because there are no guidelines on the matter. Instead, it's a subjective view of the impact the injury has had on the person.
That said, the rule of thumb is that pain and suffering claims are generally 1/2 the amount of the actual damages (medical expenses).
If you add the pain and suffering amount to the lost wages amount, you'll probably be close (or even over) 1/2 of your medical expenses. If that is the case, then the settlement offer is likely reasonable.
But, before settling on a figure, you should consult your physician about FUTURE medical treatment you may need as a result of this injury. If there is none, then that's fine. However, if there is a likelihood of additional treatment in the future, then you should consider making a demand for future medical treatment as well.
You could likely get the insurance to come up some as the cost of defending a claim like this if you were to sue would be much greater, so there should be room to negotiate - - especially if future treatment is a real possibility.
Here is something i read about online - "When the injuries are relatively minor, the adjuster multiplies the amount of special damages by 1.5 or 2". Is this not true? Here is the source - http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/how-do-insurers-value-injury-29976.html
It is not true that the special damages are multiplied by the actual damages.
For instance, it would not be likely that the insurance company would offer you MORE for your pain and suffering than your medical bills.
It's usually the opposite in injuries where there is no long term pain and suffering. This is the case in instances where the injury could cause long-term/lifetime disabilities, issues, etc.
Frankly, MOST insurance companies aren't willing to offer anything for pain and suffering unless the injured person gets an attorney and sues.
I read the article and I think we're on the same page basically in our thinking - - the author is using different terms for damages than I am.
Actual damages are the medical expenses, lost work, etc.
Special damages are for pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.
BUT, the author is using special damages when referring to the medical bills.
can stick with the author's terminology in order to be clear.
got it. The MRI revealed a bulge in c4 and c5. And the insurance agent is saying that it is pre existing and may not have caused because of this accident...as the repair cost to fix my car was less than 2000
I never had a neck pain before not did recieve any treatment before the accident
but the MRI which was taken after 3-4 weeks showed that
the insurance negotiator does not want to take that into account and ruled out as pre-existing
Insurance companies are notorious for claiming that there was a pre-existing condition. However, if there are no medical records, proof, etc., that this was there before the accident, they'd have a tough time proving that in court.
Also, the pre-existing condition SHOULD NOT relieve them of their responsibility to cover your damages.
There is a legal theory known as the "egg shell rule", and it basically says that you take an injured party as they are - - injuries, pre-existing conditions and all.
Here's a good link about the rule: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggshell_skull
she is willing to pay for my medical expenses...but she is relating the bulge on c4 and c5 as pre existing.
i mean this could have a huge impact on the long term right?
that is where i was getting at
Ok. Well, IF they can PROVE that this was a pre-existing injury, then they would not be responsible for that.
I do not have any medical history of any neck pain..or anything like that
BUT this is hard to prove, and it would take medical proof to establish this. However, it would also take evidence/proof/testimony, etc. from you or your medical providers that the bulging discs weren't there before the wreck.
So, if you want to seek damages for the bulging discs, and they won't agree to cover it or pay you for the long term injuries, you'd have to sue and try to prove it with medical proof/testimony from a medical doctor.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).