What I am entitled to if I got rear-ended and the other driver was 100% at fault?

My bills are: loss wages $878 and medical $4,314, totaling $5,192. His insurance company offered me $7,000 for everything as well as pain and suffering. I feel that this offer is too low. What do you think my claim is really worth as this has been going on for just about 2 years?

Asked on February 12, 2013 under Personal Injury, North Carolina


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you do not have any residual complaints of pain  and won't need future treatment according to the medical reports, try for at least $8,000 and possibly $9,000.  There isn't any mathematical formula for determining compensation for pain and suffering.  It depends on the information in the medical report which documents the nature and extent of your injury.  I would usually ask for quadruple the medical bills to compensate for pain and suffering, but NOT expecting to get anything close to that.  This would be a starting point in negotiations.  The insurance company responds with a much lower figure and negotiations continue from there to try to get the insurance company to offer something reasonable.  I would say $8000 + in your case would be reasonable if you don't have any residual complaints.  You can reject settlement offers from the insurance carrier.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party / registered owner of the car (if the registered owner is someone other than the at-fault driver.

If the insurance company's offer is only a few hundred below what you are requesting, it is probably not worth litigating the case.

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