How much should we settle for on an auto accident?

My son was injured in an auto accident, he received, concussion, a cut on his head that required 4 staples, lower back a cut on other side of head that did not require staples, he pulled the tendons in his lower back, and now suffers for lower back pain, and headaches almost daily. Insurance wants to give him $1000 for his pain and suffering. Should we speak with a personal injury attorney? In Johnson County, TX.

Asked on October 12, 2011 under Accident Law, Indiana

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to speak with a personal injury attorney.

The one thousand being offered is completely inadequate considering that your son has residual complaints of back pain and daily headaches.  There isn't any mathematical formula for determining compensation for pain and suffering.  I would normally ask for quadruple the medical bills to compensate for pain and suffering but NOT expecting to get that.  This would be a starting point in negotiations.  The insurance company will respond with a much lower figure as a starting point in negotiations.  Try to negotiate a larger amount.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault driver.

If your son is a minor, you will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on his behalf because a minor cannot file a lawsuit himself.

If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance company, the lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault driver must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your son will lose his rights forever in the matter.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.