If I got hurt at a department store, should I settle for $500?

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If I got hurt at a department store, should I settle for $500?

I was shopping at a department store. There was a chair I wanted to check the price on I bent down to look for the price. When I did that the top shelf holding about 8 mettle and glass lamps fell on my head, left shoulder and back. The insurance company representing the department store is wanting for me to settle for $500. Don’t know if this is a fair amount or not.

Asked on October 18, 2011 under Personal Injury, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you were injured and had medical treatment, then that settlement offer is too low.  If you have completed your medical treatment, obtain your medical bills and medical reports and if applicable, documentation of any 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.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.

If you did not have medical treatment, you won't recover much in this case.  You don't have to accept the $500 settlement offer.  You can continue negotiating with the insurance carrier to obtain more.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, you can file a lawsuit for negligence against the store.  If you did not have medical treatment, try to negotiate more than the $500, but you are probably not going to be able to get a significant increase in that amount.  Again, if you are dissatisfied with settlement offers, file your lawsuit for negligence against the store.  If you did not have medical treatment, it may not be worth filing a lawsuit because the amount of compensation you will receive is not going to be that much.


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