Can I estimate my own settlement and push for it? 55 Answers as of July 02, 2013

Can I estimate my own settlement and push for it? Are there regulations about the amount of compensation possible for personal injury claims?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Douglas Johnson, PA | Douglas Johnson, Esq.
Would you sell your car if you didn't know what it was worth? Smarten up!
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/9/2012
Hynum Law Office, LLC
Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
You can estimate your own settlement and push for it, but if you have don't experience in handling personal injury cases your estimate will probably be wrong. There are no regulations per se on the amount of compensation for personal injury claims. The insurance adjusters have the training and experience to know what your claim is worth, but also their goal is to pay you as little as possible, so they are not going to offer you what your claim is worth. You need a lawyer fighting for you who has the experience necessary to properly evaluate and negotiate your claim.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 5/4/2012
Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
Depending on what the claim is for- there is a limit on the amount of damages you can recover for "non-economic" damages, i.e. things like pain and suffering, you are free to estimate your damages but they generally have to have some relation to costs etc.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 5/4/2012
Lapin Law Offices
Lapin Law Offices | Jeffrey Lapin
To answer your questions: 1. Can I estimate my own settlement and push for it? Yes. You can make a settlement demand (offer) to an at-fault party or his/her insurance company on your own. Assuming it is not accepted, you can negotiate with the other side until either you get an amount you will accept or you reach an impasse. If you cannot settle, the only way to get more money would be to file suit and obtain a judgment in excess of the other side's last offer was. 2. Are there regulations about the amount of compensation possible for personal injury claims? Generally there is no limit to the amount of money you can demand or offer to accept in a settlement. There are statutory limits in medical malpractice cases and claims against the government, political subdivisions and their employees. Although not technically a limit, you may be limited to the amount of insurance coverage the at-fault person/entity has in insurance coverage, as well as any applicable coverage you might have. In many personal injury cases, if you obtain a judgment in far excess of a person's insurance coverage limits, that person can file bankruptcy as to all amounts over their insurance coverage. You may want to contact an attorney to discuss your case and what it might be worth. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation. DISCLAIMER: This response should be considered general in nature and for information purposes only and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. It is based on the limited information provided and, in some instances, makes certain assumptions. It is intended only for cases involving Nebraska and Nebraska law and is not applicable to any other state or jurisdiction. The author does not warrant the accuracy or validity of the information contained within this response, and hereby disclaims any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions. In addition, this response is not a substitute for professional legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor should it be considered a solicitation for additional legal advice or legal representation. If you ignore this warning and convey confidential information in a private message or comment, there is no duty to keep that information confidential or forego representation adverse to your interests. You should seek the advice of a licensed attorney in the appropriate jurisdiction to fully discuss your case. You should be aware that there are Statute of Limitations (the deadline imposed by law within which you may bring a lawsuit) as well as other requirements and/or limitations that limit the time you have to file any potential claims you may have. This response may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules. The listing of any area of practice that the author practices in does not indicate any certification or expertise therein, nor does it represent that the quality of legal services to be performed would be greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. It is merely an indication by the author of areas of law in which he practices. The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. Readers are urged to make their own independent investigation and evaluation of any lawyer being considered.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 5/2/2012
Conway Law Pllc.
Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
Yes, you can: You have every right to do so. It is your claim. However, i bet ya i can get more $$$$s.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 5/1/2012
    The Woods Law Firm
    The Woods Law Firm | F.W. Woods Jr.
    No. It varies case to case. There is no way to estimate it without establishing a case.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    You can estimate your own settlement, but it doesn't mean you will get it. You are much better off speaking with an expert in the field to determine a fair value. There are technically no limitations to what you can obtain in a judgment in court (although a judge has the discretion to raise or lower it if patently unfair), but you are often limited by the amount of insurance available. You can get a judgment against someone personally for a million dollars, but if they have no money, it is not worth the paper it was written on.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C.
    Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C. | Faye Riva Cohen
    Generally people think their cases are worth more than they may be able to receive.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC | Matthew R. Kober
    There are not laws against what you can pursue except for possibly the maximum amount of punitive damages in relation to your compensatory damages. Practically speaking, the amount you are most likely to recover is mostly determined by the maximum amount of insurance available under the other person's policy and your policies combined. Although you would be allowed to represent yourself, it is not advisable to do so. Insurance companies use many tactics to trick you and you would never know if you are getting what you deserve and if what they are saying is legitimate.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Ford, Howard & Cornett, P.C. | Bradley Cornett
    You may certainly proceed "pro se" and act as your own lawyer. The fact that you have additional questions, however, may indicate that you need a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Joseph F. Hook, Attorney at Law
    Joseph F. Hook, Attorney at Law | Joseph F. Hook
    There are many elements that go into your damage claim, including, lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and permanent physical impairments. Consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    You can do anything you want! Just remember that a person that represents themself has a fool for a lawyer and a fool for a client. Do yourself a favor; get a professional and rely on their judgment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    Yes, you can make up any number you want. It will likely be completely wrong but, maybe you'll get lucky. The best thing you can do is find comparable cases in your venue to use as a range and negotiate to there. There are no regulations on dollar amounts for PI cases, just precedent. You may want to get an attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    There are insurance policy limits and facts of the case that put limits on how much you can request. There are some cases with caps on recovery.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    You can do it yourself. This is not always a good idea. There are regulations for some types of cases. For example, there is a cap of $300,000.00 for suits against the SC State Government. There is a cap of $250,000.00 for non-economic damages in Medical malpractice Claims. For most general personal injury claims, there are no regulations. What we call "case Law" (ie appellate court decisions) specifies what elements of damages you can seek, and what arguments can be made for certain types of damage.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    If you proceed without an attorney, the insurance carrier will generally lowball you on the settlement offers.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    C Meryl Murphy, Attorney-at-Law, LLC
    C Meryl Murphy, Attorney-at-Law, LLC | Candace M Murphy
    While it is not recommended, anyone and everyone can always evaluate their own claim and push for what they feel the claim is worth. However, that may not be the best course of action unless you are experienced at negotiating and settling personal injury claims. An attorney can evaluate your claim and give you a possible range of recovery based on their experience, as well as prior cases that are similar to your case. To better determine what your case is worth, you should consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Sure. Whatever you can negotiate.keep in mind the adjuster is a pro and you are not. Hire a lawyer if you have a decent claim.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Law Office of Ronald G. Draper | Ronald G. Draper
    I don't recommend you do anything on your own because of the vast laws and complications. Consult a lawyer
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Johnson & Associates
    Johnson & Associates | Randall K Johnson
    There are no regulations about what is fair and adequate compensation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Merdes & Merdes, P.C.
    Merdes & Merdes, P.C. | Ward Merdes
    Yes, you can represent yourself in a personal injury claim. No, there are normally no "regulations about the amount of compensation possible for personal injury claims" - unless they are Worker's Compensation claim. In that case, you should talk to a WC lawyer. In any case, remember the two-year Statute of Limitations for injuries to adults in Alaska. Adults must normally settle their claims, or file a lawsuit within two years from the date of injury, or lose valuable legal rights, including the right to compensation. This is VERY important. Take immediate action. -
    Answer Applies to: Alaska
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    Yes. You can always negotiate with an insurance company -or- responsible party to try to recover your damages. However, you will generally get more with an experienced attorney representing you. Insurance companies usually settle for a lot less without the threat of a lawsuit to follow. Additionally, you may not know all the types of damage(s) -or- awards entitled to you. Don't shortchange yourself, talk to an attorney before you settle.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray | Ronald D. Reemsnyder
    There are damage caps but if you are handling your own claim I am guessing that you don't have a large dollar claim. The other side will no doubt tell you if you ask for too much. Sent from my iPhone Confidentiality Notice: This email is intended only for those addressees shown in the " to" and "cc" headers. Please delete this email if you are not such an intended recipient. Review of this email by other than the intended recipients does not waive the attorney client , work product or other privileges. Only clients may rely on this email- if you are not my client, please be advised that I am not providing legal advice to you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    There are no regulations on the amounts, just a list of the elements and some damages can be calculated easily such as actual medical bills, lost wages, etc. You can try an value your own claim and demand it from the responsible party (the one that hurt you) but you must have evidence to back it up.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    There are no regulations unless it is a medical malpractice case or you are involved in an automobile accient and you do not have coverage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    Yes, you can attempt to estimate your own settlement value and attempt recovery. However, I do not recommend doing so. I suggest you consult with an attorney who has experience in these matters. Additionally you will generally be limited by the policy limits of the insurance policy.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    No. Best of luck to you. Adjusters will never give you fair compensation if you case is serious.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Trust your lawyer's advice; you have no frame of reference by which to judge what is the right amount of your damages.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers | Andrew D. Myers
    Yes, you can bludgeon your way through a botched attempt at settling your own case. You can also go to the store and buy a knife to perform your own heart surgery. If you think that my language is too strong, consider this: (1) I have seen many clients come to me after unwittingly damaging their own cases by making statements that solidify a low insurance reserve or otherwise do permanent damage to their own case (2) experienced personal injury attorneys have 3 years of law school plus years of continuing legal education plus literally thousands of hours working in pursuit of successful claims. Would you want to fly on a jet aircraft piloted by someone who has never flown before, or the seasoned experienced veteran pilot? If you are serious about your own personal injury claim, you will stop fiddling around and retain counsel.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    You can, but settlements are based on numerous factors. They are also based on knowledge of jury verdicts and laws on collateral source and medical paybacks. An Insurance company will use a lack of legal knowledge against you in a settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    Yes you can, but not being experienced in assessing the value of personal injury claims and negotiating with insurance companies, you are at a distinct disadvantage.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. | Steven Fairlie
    Yes. No, other than governmental defendants.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    There are caps on medical malpractice damages. No caps on most negligence cases. Insurance companies will attempt to short change you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    There are some upper limits. But, otherwise no.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    Law Offices of David W. Hibbert
    Law Offices of David W. Hibbert | David W. Hibbert
    Of course you don't have to hire an attorney . However, if you are fighting with an insurance company , you will have several layers of trained claims professionals opposing you in the matter. They will know the procedures and tactics necessary in court, you probably will not. You may also remove your own appendix , though that is not recommended either. There's an old saying "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer." Most folks are too close to the incident to see it objectively and properly present the case and facts. It's your claim and you resolve it as you see fit. Just be aware that you do not get any more compensation for your claim once a settlement is reached.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
    One can estimate their own settlement and push for it. The problem with this estimate is that you may be too low. If your estimate is too high don't worry the insurance adjuster will not settle the case with you.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    Your question has a funny sound to it. You don't "push for it", you negotiate it. You argue the facts, which to someone not used to doing it is someone pushing for it. If you needed a heart transplant would you try to be the surgeon? How about liver disease would you prescribe your own home remedies? You get my point. You wouldn't be on this site if you knew what you were doing. You're trying DIY law practice and that usually ends not so well.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    It all depends on your injuries, medical bills, wages and subrogation issues. You can try it yourself, but I would at least talk to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    You can ask for anything. The question is what can you prove.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    It's all subjective. Insurance companies have their formulas to establish ranges of settlement, but the public is not privy to that information. An attorney might be able to assist you in making such a determination, but it is based on a variety of factors. In a car accident case, the speed, impact and damage to the cars is a big factor. Soft tissue vs. broken bones is a factor. The medical treatment and related expenses are huge factors, as are your loss of earnings, any alteration to your life, plus pain, suffering and inconvenience.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Frank Law Group, P.C.
    Frank Law Group, P.C. | Brett E. Rosenthal
    You can estimate, but without benefit of jury verdicts or years of experience handling same type claims don't really have anything to draw from with which to estimate. Moreover, if you're unrepresented carriers will lowball you, because know it is unlikely you will file an action. As for cap, unless medmal no real cap on damages aslong as you suffered it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm | Reza Torkzadeh
    You certainly can but studies show that having an attorney substantially increases your settlement award.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/5/2012
    Goodman & Goodman PA | Bruce Elliott Goodman
    Unless you have experience with settling accident cases you have no way to evaluate the settlement offer that has been made. there is no law or regulation that sets the amount of compensation possible for a personal injury claim, except for a cap on non-economic damages.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    You can, but you will be seen as a baby whose candy is being taken by the insurance company. There are too many regulations regarding compensation to recite here. If you have a legitimate personal injury claim, do yourself a favor and get a good lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    The old saying is: "He who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client". Seriously, this is a tricky business and there is no room for do-it-yourselfers. You would be up against professional insurance people, lawyers who know what they're doing and rules upon rules upon rules that you don't know anything about. If you retain a lawyer you will be much more likely to get the right result. Assessment of an appropriate settlement requires detailed analysis of liability and damages, including application of legal principles, evidenciary factors, medical documentation and experience in your jurisdiction as to likely range of prospective jury awards There are no "regulations" as such, but any experienced lawyer or claim representative knows what is realistic. For example, you can claim a million dollars for a broken toe, but no jury is going to award anything close to that and the defendant's representatives know that. If you demand an unrealistic amount, they will know that you don't know what you are doing and they won't take you seriously.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Timothy Jones, Attorney at Law
    Timothy Jones, Attorney at Law | Timothy Jones
    Yes. However, I would advise that you speak with an Attorney to get some ballpark figures as to the value of your claim.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    Yes, you can. However, unless you have experience in valuing personal injury claims, you will probably find it difficult to get the value you believe the case is worth. The insurance company has handled thousands of claims and is very experienced in pushing people around when they try to make a claim. Contact an attorney for help.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Oliver Law Office
    Oliver Law Office | Jami Oliver
    Any person can attempt to resolve his or her own personal injury claim and make a settlement demand to the negligent party or his/her insurance carrier. However, if you have documented your damages and you do not feel the offer is fair, it is time to hire a lawyer. There is no real legal guideline on how much your case is worth; that is something that an experienced personal injury attorney is usually able to estimate after a thorough review of your claim. However, even a lawyer's estimate is no guarantee of what a jury's value may be.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Koning & Jilek, P.C.
    Koning & Jilek, P.C. | Jonathan Neal Jilek
    You should not settle a case on your own. You should contact a lawyer. There may exist issues with lien repayment or you may have missed other potential claims. A non-lawyer settling a matter with the insurance company is equivalent to a non-doctor performing surgery on his or herself.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Andersen Staab PLLC
    Andersen Staab PLLC | F. Dayle Andersen
    For bodily injury claims there are no specific rules that establish the amount you can recover. You should seek payment for medical expenses, future medical expense, mileage, lost wages, lost future earnings, loss of consortium of your spouse, and general damages which are not otherwise specified, i.e. pain and suffering, inconvenience, aggravation, scarring, and disability.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Shaw Law Firm
    Shaw Law Firm | Steven L. Shaw
    Without knowing more about your claim, it is difficult to answer your question. That being said, there aren't any limitations on the amount of money you can demand or receive that I am aware of in the context of a typical injury claim. I would suggest at least talking to an attorney with experience handling injury claims to get an idea of whether what you are estimating is realistic.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Dogan & Wilkinson, PLLC | David Dogan
    You certainly can, just as you can also repair your own plumbing or re roof your house.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 4/30/2012
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney