How do I determine if my settlement is fair?

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How do I determine if my settlement is fair?

I was in a hit and run car accident exactly 2 years ago. I had medical bills of $4500 and lost wages of $643. I was offered a settlement of $7500. How do I determine if that is fair? And I am being told I must settle the claim today because I only have 2 years to file the claim.

Asked on May 17, 2012 under Personal Injury, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  There isn't any mathematical formula for determining compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  It just depends on the facts of the case.  For example, someone who has completed medical treatment and has residual complaints of pain or other medical problems due to the injury would receive additional compensation for pain and suffering  over someone who did not have any residual problems after completing medical treatment.

There is a two year statute of limitations in VA in personal injury cases.  This means that if you reject the settlement offer, a lawsuit must be filed prior to the two year anniversary of the accident.  If the lawsuit is not filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, you will receive nothing because it will be too late to file a lawsuit, and you will lose your rights in the matter forever.  If the case is settled, NO lawsuit is filed.  It is too late now since it is the last day to prepare and file a lawsuit, therefore you should accept the settlement.  The settlement appears to be reasonable.  If you don't accept the settlement or file a lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, you will lose your rights forever in the matter and won't receive any compensation.


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