How much shouldI receive for a motorcycle accident?

The insurance company representing the party at fault has offered me $1600 pain and suffering on a $3340 hospital bill. Should I ask for more and is it OK to do so? Should I speak with a personal injury attorney? in Tucson, AZ.

Asked on September 15, 2011 under Personal Injury, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with experienced personal injury counsel. Valuing an injury is an art, not a science--there are no firm guidelines to follow, and an experienced lawyer is best positioned to determine if you are being low-balled, and by how much.

That said:

1) A reasonable rule of thumb is that if you suffered long-lasting or permanent disability (even minor), pain, disfigurement, or insability to do normal routines of living, that you might receive at least 1 times, possibly up to 3 times, the medical costs. So if you have suffered as described, offering you 50% of the medical costs may be too low.

2) If you don't accept the offer made but instead counter, the offer technically is rejected and comes off the table. (It's like selling a house; if you counter, the buyer does not need to honor his original offer.) However, while you need to bear that in mind, you are allowed to counter or ask for more if you think you can get a better deal. Just be aware that it could theoretically result in them no longer being willing to pay the first offer.


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