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legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10484
Experience:  Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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I was rearended in auto accident and I incurred $4184.09

Customer Question

I was rearended in auto accident and I incurred $4184.09 medical bill the at fault driver insurance offered to pay $5000 including pains and suffering. Is this offer right? How do you calculate pain and suffering when the medical bill is $4184.09?
JA: What state is this in? And how old is the car?
Customer: Texas, car year is 2004
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no court filing yet
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I demanded $19804.78 to settle
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.

I am sorry to hear this;

the amount of pain and suffering requested depends on the severity of the injuries, and how long the pain will last.

The courts often use a scale of 1 to 5, so that if the injury is extreme and long lasting, they will multiply actual damages (medical costs) times 5; if minor, then 1.5

If the defendant acted with gross negligence, (ie speeding and driving erratically, driving under the influence) the court can impose punitive or exemplary damages, designed to punish the defendant; this monetary sum is in addition to any other damages.

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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.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I had whiplash, shoulders and severe lower back pains, severe headaches. The injury lasted for 6 weeks. The impact damaged and condemned rear bumper and the tailgate/doors of my SUV. I believe the driver was doing 40-45 mph while I was standing on a stop sign.. The driver was issued a citation by APD. What will I do to counter offer? What is your advise for a counter offer?
Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.

We can only provide legal information not legal advice, particularly since an attorney would normally recommend a settlement sum after interviewing the medical providers. So based on the extent of the injury (the degree of pain) the party would need to determine where they are on the scale of 1 to 5 in order to estimate an amount.

Punitives are based on the defendant's financials, as they are designed to punish-so that requires information as to the defendant's net worth, insurance, etc.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
If the insurance insist on settling with $5000 which is below scale of 1.5, can I file claim in a small claim court and if so can both spouses represent themselves even though one was involved in the accident.
Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.

If the settlement is accepted they will usually require a release which prevents further litigation; so generally the settlement would need to be declined in order to proceed in small claims.

A plaintiff can represent themselves-there is no requirement for an attorney; the plaintiff would be the spouse involved in the accident, or the party that is on title for the car that was damaged (they can sue for damages as owner).

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
both of us own the car and our names are ***** ***** title so what information do you have as to both of us representing ourselves for personal injury damages
Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.

If both parties are injured they can be co-plaintiffs and then sue the defendant in that capacity. For damages over $10,000 one needs to sue in civil court; normally a demand letter is first sent before filing suit.

Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;
if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answerand I will do my best to get you the requested information.
Thanks!

The above information is for educational purposes only. A consultation with a private attorney is recommended so they can apply the law to your specific facts, and suggest the best course of action. An attorney can be located here:
http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/public-information/how-do-i-find-a-lawyer-.html