What type of settlement should we get if my 2 year old daughter fell about 8 feet into an oil changing pit at an oil company?

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What type of settlement should we get if my 2 year old daughter fell about 8 feet into an oil changing pit at an oil company?

It wasn’t covered. She had very bad bruising, cuts, and scrapes on her face, eyes, neck and legs. The bills total were about $3800. The oil company’s insurer paid the bills and are ordering me a $2500 settlement. Is this fair? I thought the settlement was suppose to be 1.5 times the amount of the bills. My daughter still has scarring and it’s been over 2 months.

Asked on August 15, 2014 under Personal Injury, South Dakota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Why would the settlement be 1.5 times the amount of the bills? Unless there was permanent disability or impairment, typically, the amount of the bills would be the most you could typically get at trial--after all the uncertainty and cost of trial. A settlement will be *less* than you could get at trial: the other party offers less, to save money; and you accept less to get a guaranteed payment (trial is never certain--you could lose), to get paid sooner (rather than months or years later), and also save money (the costs of trial, which you would have to bear yourself). If your bills were $3,800, you were offered around 2/3 of that, which is a reasonable settlement.


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