What to do if I was in a car accident almost a year ago and the other driver is at fault but his insurer is only offering me $600 for personal injuries?

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What to do if I was in a car accident almost a year ago and the other driver is at fault but his insurer is only offering me $600 for personal injuries?

I was sitting at a red light, it was raining out, and this man’s breaks stopped working. He was pulling up behind me and since he could not stop, he hit my car going around 40 mph and ripped off my bumper. I suffered from a neck sprain and tingling/numbness to the right side of my body for a little over a month. They paid my hospital bill, for my repairs and rental car. Now they are offering me only $600 dollars for personal injuries and pain and suffering. Is that too low of an amount? How should I persuade them to raise it, if so?

Asked on February 17, 2012 under Personal Injury, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no hard and fast rule for what is an appropriate amount of pain and suffering; every case is different.

That said, if you "only" suffered from a neck sprain and tingling/numbness for one month, $600 may be reasonable. This is not to belittle what you went through, but to put it in the context of permant disfigurement, dismemberment, disability, loss of function, etc., which is what supports significant damage awards.

You have the right to reject to the settleement and sue, but then you will incur the cost of the lawsuit, the inconvenience, and the uncertainty. While you can always try to negotiate--and if you can find, such as through "Google" searches, awards in like cases which are higher,  that will help you in your negotiations--at the end of the day, the only way to get more money, if the insurer does not want to offer more, is to sue and win.


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