Should I accept the claim the insurance company is offering me?

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Should I accept the claim the insurance company is offering me?

I was in a car accident where I was the passenger. As a result of the accident my
right wrist and index finger were broken. I had surgery for my index finger. I will
have limited movement of my middle finger from now on. The insurance company
is offering me a 15,000 settlement. I have medical and they will take the money
they used to pay for my surgery from the settlement. Is this fair? Should I accept
the claim, or is there more I can do?

Asked on August 2, 2017 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

That settlement offer is low considering that you have to reimburse the insurance company for your surgery.
Your settlement amount should be enough to leave you with a sufficient amount after reimbursement and payment of any other liens.
The settlement offer should be enough to compensate you for the medical bills, pain and suffering (an amount in addition to the medical bills) and wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document your injury and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills. Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
Since your wrist and index finger were broken and you will have limited movement of your finger for the rest of your life, I would ask for $100,000 but NOT expecting to get that.  That would be for negotiation purposes.  The insurance company will respond with a much lower figure.  You can continue negotiations to try to get the insurance company to increase its settlement offer.
If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers, reject them and file a lawsuit for negligenca against the at-fault party.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit against the at-fault party must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.
CA has a two year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in a personal injury case.  This means the lawsuit must be filed prior to the two year anniversary of the accident.


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