I am being offered 3,500 for my injuries in an auto accident, is that a fair offer?

Almost 2 years ago I was stopped at a
red light and a drunk driver hit me
from behind. I fractured my wrist and
my car was a total loss. The money they
are trying to give me is for my
injuries. He went to jail and I went to
ER.. Not sure what other info to say.
Thank you for your time

Asked on March 29, 2016 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The amount of the settlement offer should include compensation for the medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills, and compensation for wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is based on the information in the medical reports.  There isn't any mathematical formula for determining pain and suffering.  It just depends on the facts of the case.  For example, your fractured wrist would receive more compensation than someone who only had a sprain.
I would usually ask for quadruple the medical bills to compensate for pain and suffering, but NOT expecting to get that.  That would be a starting point in negotiations.  The insurance company will come back with a much lower offer and negotiations can continue to try to get them to increase their offer.  A fracture should be worth a significant amount of compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
Since your accident happened almost two years ago, you need to either immediately settle the case or file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party because CA has a two year statute of limitations in personal injury cases.  This means that if the case is NOT settled, you must file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party BEFORE the two year anniversary of the accident.  If you don't, you will miss the statute of limitations and lose your rights forever in the matter.


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