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?

UPDATED: Feb 17, 2012

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

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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