How to determine if a settlement offer is fair?

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How to determine if a settlement offer is fair?

I am in the process of negotiating a settlement with an insurance company. I only recieved soft tissue neck and back injuries. I have also had recurring headaches since the accident. I did not recieve any X-rays but I did go to the E.R. the morning after the incident. I only missed 1 full day of work. They are offering me $1,100. Is that enough? It does not seem as though it is enough for the amount of pain and suffering, and inconveniences. Also, can they include the amount for medical bills in my settlement, since my office visits will be self pay and then paid later?

Asked on April 16, 2012 under Personal Injury, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What you are typically entitled to in personal injury cases is--

1) Your actual out-of-pocket medical costs (e.g. any part that will not be reimbursed by health insurance or otherwise).

2) Future medical costs, if reasoanbly foreseeable (e.g. if you'll need surgery or ongoing medication later).

3) Lost wages, if any.

4) Reduction in earning potential, if  any.

5) Pain and suffering, if it is prolonged and severe. For recurring headaches, if they are interferring with work or your life, a reasonable amount might be equal to your medical costs.

If the total of the above is even somewhat close to the offer (say, you are being offered between 50% and 70% of the total you might otherwise be entitled to), then given that you will not have to go to court to get the settlement (and not have to spend money, take time, or run the risk of losing), the settlement is probably fair.


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