What to do if I was a passenger in an auto accident almost 2 months ago and incurred back pain but did not seek medical attention because I didn’t have insurance?

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What to do if I was a passenger in an auto accident almost 2 months ago and incurred back pain but did not seek medical attention because I didn’t have insurance?

The claims adjuster offered me $750, plus medical coverage up to $1000. Should I accept this or fight for more? The driver of the car was also injured and in physical therapy.

Asked on April 18, 2012 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What you are potentially entitled to, in the event your injuries are caused by another's fault (that is, either intentionally or due to another's negligence, or carelessness) are:

1) Your unreimbursed or out-of-pocket (not paid for by health insurance) medical costs, both to date and projected future;

2) Lost wages, if any--both to date, and for a projected future loss or diminution of earnings;

3) Other out-of-pocket costs caused by the injury (for example, if you could not do housekeeping due to injuries and had to hire someone); and

4) For injuries that cause significant impairment of life functions or quality of life, some amount for pain and suffering. A very quick and rough rule of thumb is that pain and suffering, if due compensation for it, would be--for non-disabling injury--more or less equal to your medical costs.

As to whether you should accept the offer or fight for more--if you fight, it will take time; you will incur legal costs; and winning is not certain. If you are being offered an amount equal to around half or more of the sum of 1) - 4) above, you should think seriously about settling.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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