If Iwas in an auto accident and it was the other guys fault, what can I do if my insurance company is low balling me?

Was in an auto accident, it was the other guys fault, he had insurance but is considered uncovered (long story), I am having to go through my insurance to receive a settlement for my injuries/car repair. I suffered a concussion, several severely torn muscles in my neck and back which has caused blood clotting, swelling in my back, neck, and the base of my skull. My insurance company is trying to low ball me I am sure, what type of settlement would normally come with these injuries if I got an attorney? The max payout on my insurance is $25,000, they are offering me $4000.

Asked on February 24, 2012 under Personal Injury, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The settlement offer does seem to be low.  It is not possible to give you a precise figure without knowing your total medical bills and seeing your medical reports.  Your personal injury claim should include the medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.

There isn't any mathematical formula for determining compensation for pain and suffering.  If you are having residual problems after completing treatment, then you would be entitled to more compensation for pain and suffering than someone who is not having any residual complaints.  If your medical reports state that you will need future medical treatment, that should be included in your settlement discounted to present value.

I would normally ask for quadruple the medical bills to compensate for pain and suffering, but NOT expecting to get that amount.  This would be a starting point in negotiations and the insurance carrier will respond with a lower offer.  You can continue negotiations and if negotiations are unsuccessful and you are dissatisfied with settlement offers, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.  If the case is settled with the insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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