What should I settle for if I was involved in a no-fault accident in which I was sitting idle at a red light and was rear-ended by a school bus which knocked me into the car in front of me?

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What should I settle for if I was involved in a no-fault accident in which I was sitting idle at a red light and was rear-ended by a school bus which knocked me into the car in front of me?

I would like to know if it is reasonable to assess the damages at a multiple of about 3 times the total damage (total car loss plus medical expenses) or if it is reasonable to **** the damages at a multiple of about 3 times only the medical expenses? I am trying to be fairly compensated without expecting an unreasonable amount.

Asked on December 28, 2015 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Leaving aside "pain and suffering" for the moment: you are only entitled to your actual economic losses or damage, so:
1) the reasonable cost to repair your car, if it can be economcally repaired, or the then-current fair market (blue book) value of it if it cannot--the lesser of these numbers;
2) your out-of-pocket (not paid by insurance) medical costs;
3) actual lost wages directly attributable to the accident, if any (if you didn't lose any wages, no compensation for this);
4) reasonable cost to rent a car, if you paid out of pocket, while your car is being fixed (or for a reasonable time while you are buying a replacement car).
You can't get compensation for your time or inconvenience; it doesn't matter how much time you spent on the phone, etc. to resolve the matter.
Pain and suffering: IF you experience weeks or months (or permanent) of significant life impairment or disability, you would be entitled to some amount of pain and suffering, which generally ranges from 1x to 3x medical costs.
The above is the most you'd get if you sued and won; if you settle ahead of trial, you generally get around 1/3 to 1/2 that, because you accept less money in order to get it faster, without spending money on a lawsuit, and to get it guaranteed (if you go to trial, sometimes you lose); and the incentive for the other side to settle (rather than making you go to trial) is to save money.
 
 
 


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