If I was in an accident with an 18-wheeler hitting me full speed and got an insurance settlement for the car but now I’m dealing for a settlement on medical coverage, is there a certain amount I should ask for?

My car was totaled and I was left with a scar on my upper forehead. I’ve read some places that if there has been medical bills and scarring injury, you should ask for 3 times as much as the medical bills.

Asked on February 5, 2016 under Personal Injury, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  Your claim filed with the at-fault party's insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
There isn't any mathematical formula for determining compensation for pain and suffering.  It depends on the facts of the case.
I would ask for more than quadruple the medical bills to compensate for pain and suffering since you have a scar, but not expecting to get that.  This would be a starting point in negotiations and depending on the severity of your scar might ask for more.  Again, don't expect to get a huge amount because the insurance company will respond with a much lower offer.  You can continue negotiating to try to get the insurance company to increase its offer.
If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for negligence.
If the case is NOT settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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