What is a fair amount to ask for on a car accident with $8000 in medical expenses?

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What is a fair amount to ask for on a car accident with $8000 in medical expenses?

Asked on July 12, 2013 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A fair amount would be the sum of--

1) the unreimbursed (e.g. not paid by health insurance) medical costs;

2) other unreimbursed out-of-pocket costs (e.g. towing; replacement car rental);

3) property damage--the cost to repair property (like a car) or it's fair market value (e.g. "blue book" value) if  not repairable.

4) Lost wages from not being able to work.

These costs can also be extrapolated into the future: say someone is a construction worker earning $27/hour, but because of an injury, can no longer work construction and can only get a sedantary job paying upt $15/hour; in that case, he or she could recover the expected future reduction in earning potential.

In addition, if the injured person has experienced an at-least moderately long-lasting (several weeks or a few months; or longer) diminution of quality of life or the ability to perform basic life functions, he or she may be able to recover an amount for "pain and suffering" as well. This amount is very variable, but as a *rough* rule of thumb, will be between 1x and 3x the medical costs, with longer-lasting and more severe impairment warranting larger awards.


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