What kind of injury settlement should be be asking for after an auto accident?

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What kind of injury settlement should be be asking for after an auto accident?

While driving on an expressway, my daughter was rear-ended. The accident was totally the fault of the other driver. Her car was totaled and we have settled on that part of the claim. She suffered headaches for a week and did go to doctor and got X-rays to make sure all was OK. She had a slight whip-lash injury and was prescribed medication. She missed a day of work immediately following the accident and I believe another to go to see doctor. She was stiff

and sore with neck ache for a week or so. Our insurance company cannot recommend a settlement but I do want a fair and just amount to the trauma and pain she endured. Is there a way to know what I should expect to be fair and just?

Asked on October 13, 2016 under Personal Injury, Iowa

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When your daughter completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor, obtain her medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.  Her 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 her 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 just depends on the facts of the case and documented injury in the medical report(s).  Someone who has residual complaints of pain after completing medical treatment would receive more than someone who made a complete recovery.
If your daughter does not have any residual complaints, I would ask for quadruple the medical bills to compensate for pain and suffering, but NOT expecting to get that.  The at-fault party's insurance carrier will respond with a much lower offer and negotiations can continue.  Don't take the first figure offered because it will be quite low.
Continue negotiating, but if your daughter (or you if she is a minor) is/ are dissatisfied with settlement offers, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.
If the case is settled, NO lawsuit is filed.
If the case is NOT settled, the lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your daughter will lose her rights forever in the matter.
If your daughter is a minor, you will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on her behalf because a minor cannot file a lawsuit herself.


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