My daughter & I were rear ended as we sat on a congested freway exit, by a speeding truck whose driver wasnt paying attention – or stopping . . .

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Sep 30, 2010

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Insurance Question from Redlands, CA

Asked on 09/30/2010

My daughter & I were rear ended as we sat on a congested freway exit, by a speeding truck whose driver wasnt paying attention – or stopping . . . My daughter & I were rear ended as we sat on a congested freeway exit, by a speeding truck whose driver wasn't paying attention - or stopping. Light turned, saw in RV mirror he was coming @ me sideways & fast, hitting mid trunk/right rear panel - 13K in damages. Result: Lower back injury & sciatica pain X 13 mos. Ortho Surgeon x-rayed C5/6 - slight vertibrile RA dis. & L5-S1 - degen disc w/diffussion vertibrile spurring & said severe pain triggered by accident. Prog: ultimate surgery & pain meds w/massage therapy X 13 severely painful mos. Please advise settlement amount for us. Thank You

Answer given on September 30, 2010

You’re going to have to talk to an attorney on this one.  


When I used to do accident investigations for a local attorney, we would help the client gather up all of their expenses.  These would include, lost wages, ALL of your medical bills (ER, X-ray, hospital, doctors, massage therapy, chiropractor, meds, you name it it went in the file ).  Any other related expenses you can directly relate to your injuries, throw them in, attorney’s fees, too ( if allowed in your particular case ).

When we would get this total, he would typically multiply it by ten and send a letter to the other party or their attorney, and negotiate from there.  ( he got a third of whatever amount is awarded ).  Your attorney may proceed differently, but that’s a ballpark estimate on how mine worked cases like this for his clients.  

Your case sounds quite serious, so I can’t see the other party wanting to go to actual trial, so they would probably settle.  The bad news is, it can take a long time to settle. The time restraints and other legal phone tag ( motions for this, motions for that ) that is involved can take quite a long time, so don’t get too frustrated if you decide to sue them.    The good news is, California is not a “no fault” state, so you are able to sue for pain and suffering, of which it sounds like you’ve done quite a bit.

Good luck.

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