How much compensation should I get from my insurance company? 45 Answers as of July 08, 2013

I have a lawyer for an auto accident and they recently sent off a compensation demand to the insurance company on my behalf. This would be the first request; I would like to know what is the usual compensation asked for in percentage at this point of litigation and do I have the right to request to stay informed by my lawyer of any and all offers from my lawyer or the insurance adjusters?

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Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
Your attorney is obligated to convey all offers to you. You should not have to demand it. At this stage in the game your attorney has probably done a lot of work behind the scenes. He's probably asking for 33.3% if it settles at this stage. That is standard. If you are unhappy with your attorney you are free to fire him/her and seek a new attorney, but your attorney is entitled to put a lien on the case for the value of the services he/she performed. It is impossible for me to tell you how much that would be. Still you are always free to switch attorneys. Your file belongs to you and you can take it with you if you want.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/1/2011
David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
your lawyer should discuss any and all offers with you
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/1/2011
ROWE LAW FIRM
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
You have the right to always be informed of any settlement offers whenever they are made. Your attorney should proceed only with your authority to settle for any given amount, and the law requires that he or she inform you of any offer of settlement made by the other side. There is no set "percentage" at which the parties begin negotiation, but your attorney should let you in on what his tactics will be.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 7/29/2011
Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
You definitely have a right to be informed of any and all offers, and your attorney should not make or accept any offers without your approval. As far as the amount of the offer, there's insufficient information to answer that.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 7/28/2011
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
Your lawyer has an absolute duty to only make offers with your approval and to promptly advise you of offers made to you. There is no way of predicting how much you should get nor how much the initial offer should be. Each case is different and depends on how easy to prove liability, amount of damages, future damages, amount of policy, assets of defendant, potential jury pool and many other factors that cannot be included in your email.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/28/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    The first part of your question cannot be answered without more information. You should be fully informed of all demands and offers. That should help with your first question. Your lawyer will be willing to discuss this matter with you.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    It's based on a percentage of my medical bills as well as how much pain and suffering you have. Speak to your attorney about why she may have asked for the amount she did ask.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    Unfortunately, there is no "percentage" computation for what you are describing. Your case has a value that your attorney has determined based on similar cases, venue, liability and damages considerations, among others. Now, you do have a right to know what your attorney demanded as compensation and what his range of settlement is. It is possible he/she sent the evaluation and demand package and will speak with adjuster to get a feel for where the case may go and then speak with you to get a feel from you. In short, give your attorney a call or set up a time to meet with him.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You have a right to participate fully in the decisions about the value of your case and any demand made of the carrier. What your case is worth is based on the liability (strong or weak or debated?) the amount of property damage(small accident or large) your injuries, your medical bills, whether you have permanent injuries, whether you have wage or income loss. Your PI lawyer should be familiar with all these things and discuss them with you if you have questions.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Communicate and express allyour concerns with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    The amount of compensation you should get depends on the particulars of your case, including out-of-pocket expenses, loss of income and long-term effects of your injuries, as well as the circumstances of the accident, the credibility of the witnesses and the expense of litigation. There is no "usual" percentage asked for in a first demand. There are many factors and negotiating strategies. You can request to stay informed, but you should promise your lawyer that you won't interfere in the negotiations if you want your request to be honored.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    I do not understand what you mean "amount of compensation asked for in percentage.". If you are asking - what is normal attorney's fee at this point in litigation? - Many attorneys charge 1/3 of the settlement regardless of what point in litigation the case is settled. Some charge 25% If it is settled before suit is filed. There may be other percentages, but these are the most common. If you mean - what percentage of my total damages should I be asking for? - This can depend a lot on the particulars of your case. Two important factors are whether liability is clear, and what are the insurance limits (if the limits are known at this point). If liability is not certain, you would normally ask for a lower percentage of your total cognizable damages than if liability is certain. I would say that most attorneys ask for at least the total cost of your medical bills and lost wages. Based on this, and many other factors particular to your case, the attorney would normally come up with a probable high and low value that a jury might likely award on your case. Most attorneys make the initial demand on the high side of this range, expecting that the adjuster will initially make a low offer and engage in some back and forth offers before arriving somewhere between the two extremes. Some attorneys would rather determine a fair settlement somewhere between the high and low extremes and cut right to the chase and demand that figure and stick to that figure. Where you are willing to settle between the two extremes depends on how much of a gamble you are willing to take. The harder job is determining the highest and lowest potential verdicts. You do have a right to be informed of demands and offers. This is not intended to be legal advice for your particular case, but general information on personal injury law. For advice on your case, you should consult your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Offices of Steven R. Kuhn & Associates
    Law Offices of Steven R. Kuhn & Associates | Steven R. Kuhn
    The value of your case cannot be determined without more information. Your attorney should advise you of all settlement offers and get your settlement authority.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Your lawyer has an ethical obligation to immediately inform you of any offers made by the insurance company; as for the value of the case, you have given totally insufficient information for me to base an opinion.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    You have a right to stay informed up the point that the lawyer can provide you information. Insurance companies have many cases and can take 30 to 60 days to respond to a demand. In some instances, it will require the lawyer to follow up many times to get a response. As for what figure should be requested, it is tough call. Usually it based on the extent of your injuries which are determined by review of the medical records and maybe discussions with the doctor who treated you. Without evaluating the case, there is no way to provide an estimate for the demand.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    You have a right to be kept informed. As to the value of the case it depends on numerous factors. Impossible to give you a value. Ask your lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    You ask for 100% of the value of your losses at any stage. And, yes, your lawyer is ethically obligated to keep you aware of what is going on.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    Yes you have the right to be kept informed of all conversations and communications, written or oral between your attorney and the defendant(s).
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Harris Personal Injury Lawyer
    Harris Personal Injury Lawyer | Philip C. Alexander
    Are you asking for the percentage of contingency fee a lawyer takes, or what he/she should ask for? You should read your contract if you would like to know the contingency fee percentage. As to how much compensation you would get, this depends on so many different variables, such as the extent of your injuries, how much treatment you received, your medical bills, any future medical treatment recommended, whether you had any prior injuries or treatment, whether you had any gaps in treatment, etc. Yes, your lawyer has an obligation to communicate with you, and is required to inform you of any settlement offers he/she receives.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    The value of your case will depend on your injuries, prior treatment, treatment following this accident, the impact from the accident, etc. You do have a right to be informed by your attorney. You should work out when he/she will contact you and what will happen once you start negotiating.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    I am not sure I understand your question about the percentage. If you are referring to attorneys fees, the insurance company is never apprised or even cares about attorneys fees. The attorney gets his or her percentage based on the contract you have with the attorney. Most auto cases start at 33% and go up at some point to 40%, plus costs. So you need to see what your fee agreement says what the percentage is at this point. The attorney should get your approval on all offers made on your behalf, and MUST communicate all offers made to you before a counteroffer is made. Most fee agreements cover this topic. You are absolutely entitled to know what is going on with your case, particularly when it comes to settlement negotiations.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Depends on your injuries and what the case is worth. It also depends on the amount of insurance coverage. If the insurance is only for $10,000 then you wont be able to get more even if it is worth more. You should ask your attorney about each response.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    The lawyer is required by law to promptly notify you of any and all offers. The lawyer usually gets a third of the recovery "whether by suit, settlement or otherwise". You have to read your retainer agreement again. He can't take more than a third unless he signed you up under a sliding scale.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    There is not a specific formula for this type of calculation. Every case is different. You should be able to trust your lawyer enough to get a straight answer from him or her. I certainly couldn't tell you what to expect. Speak to your attorney. I hope you trust him or her. If not, you shouldn't be with that attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    There is an insufficient amount of information (as nothing) to even guess what a settlement offer should be in your case. As to making them, I do not extend an offer without client's approval.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Your lawyer represents you and must advise you of any offer before he accepts an offer and needs your permission to accept an offer. It is very difficult to give a value for a case without having all the information concerning your case.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    The Law Firm of Shawn M. Murray
    The Law Firm of Shawn M. Murray | Shawn M. Murray
    Generally speaking, how much a personal injury claim is worth is determined by considering a number of factors: 1) how much pain and suffering the person has already endured/will likely have to endure in the future, 2) the type, length and frequency of the medical treatment received and the total amount of medical expenses incurred, 3) the past and future wages lost as a result of the injury and any permanent disability, 4) other damages which may or may not be applicable, e.g. for "loss of enjoyment of life" if the person can no longer do things that he or she used to enjoy doing, such as playing sports, dancing, hunting, fishing, etc. An attorney is supposed to advise his client regarding any settlement offers made, and it is the client's call whether or not to accept a particular offer.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    How much a case is "worth" is a difficult evaluation that involves an analysis of all of the facts of your case. There is no formula for how much is usually asked for at any point in the process; that is a matter of negotiation style and tactics. Generally speaking, once I know all of the facts of the case and a doctor has determined that my client is medically stationary and I know what the limits on the insurance policy are I talk to my client about what I think a case is worth at settlement and what I think a jury would award. I then prepare a demand packet that includes all of the facts of the case and usually some evidence to attempt the persuade an adjuster that our demand amount is reasonable. The demand amount is usually higher than where I think the case will settle, but generally close to what I think is possible after a jury trial. If you think the case is worth X and you demand X out of the gate, you are usually not going to get X. You have a right to be informed by your lawyer of all offers from the insurance company and / or defense lawyer. You lawyer has an ethical obligation to disclose all offers to you and may not accept an offer without your approval.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
    Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
    You not only have the right to be informed as to offers and counter offers, you should be the one who authorizes any demand. You should discuss this with your attorney
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    There is no standard answer to the amount you would seek in settlement at this stage. Every case is different. It all depends on your injuries and losses, the extent of insurance or other funds available from the responsible party, whether the driver has a viable defense, and many other considerations. It is generally true that you will spend money pursuing a case, so it makes sense to settle for a lower amount near the outset of a case (before you spend a lot of expenses pursuing the claim). You do have an absolute right to stay informed by your lawyer. You should be asked to approve any settlement demand your lawyer makes, and you should be told of any offer from the other driver or his insurance company. It would be a violation of your lawyer's ethical duties to negotiate "behind your back" without your consent.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    Unfortunately, each person's case is different depending on various factors. Everything from where the accident occurred, to where the at-fault party resides, to the severity of the accident, to the type of injuries, to the amount of medical bills and lost wages, etc. all play a part in the value of your case. Because I am not familiar with the particulars of your case, I am unable to advise as to what the value of your case may be. As far as your right to stay informed of any and all offers, attorneys are under an obligation to present all offers to their clients.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    C Meryl Murphy, Attorney-at-Law, LLC
    C Meryl Murphy, Attorney-at-Law, LLC | Candace M Murphy
    Your compensation is not a hard and fast rule, or a hard and fast percentage. Your compensation for your auto accident depends a myriad of factors which may include: your injuries sustained as a result of the accident, your treatment received (i.e. doctor's visits, surgeries, et.), amount of time lost from work, and a host of other considerations that go into determining how much you will be paid. Please keep in mind that insurance companies also have a way of evaluating your claim and assigning their own value. Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule to calculate your damages. Thank you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    You should talk with your attorney about what is in a demand. The amount of compensation depends on your case - what type of injury, how much in past and future medical expenses, whether there is any comparative fault - and can't be answered without additional information. Also, you should be informed of the other side's every offer and counteroffer in the case, and you should approve the amounts your side offers or counteroffers before the offers are made.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    Unfortunately, there is no such thing as "usual compensation." Every case is unique and must be considered individually. Factors that go into determining value would include things like: type of injury, length of treatment (as you can imagine, the longer one needs treatment arguably the more "pain and suffering" they have), lost wages, medical bills, intangibles like how it affects a person's life - what could they do before that they cannot do now?, and medical permanency. Also, one must look at how the accident happened. Is the defendant 100% at fault or something less. All of these impact value. Your attorney should have discussed with you what he or she feels your case is worth at this point. Moving forward, you are certainly entitled to know every offer made and the negotiation details.... It is your case and you are the boss!
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    While generally you have a right to be kept informed, we recommend that you contact your own attorney and address these issues with him or her. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    you have a right to stay informed by your lawyer and your lawyer should discuss the attorney compensation with you; you should have all this spelled out in a retainer agreement
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Magnuson Lowell P.S.
    Magnuson Lowell P.S. | Richard S. Lowell
    There is no "usual compensation asked for." Each case has its own negotiation strategy and own value, based on many variables and circumstances. That is why it is important to have a qualified personal injury attorney who is familiar with the variables and values. But in response to your second question; the answer is definitely 'yes.' You have an absolute right to be informed of any and all offers. In fact, your attorney is REQUIRED to advise you of all offers received. And you have the absolute and sole authority (although, presumably, based on recommendations from your attorney) to accept or reject any such offers.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    This question really makes very little sense. There is no standard percentage to ask for. The demand is based on medical bills, permanency of injury and degree of fault. You do have the right to be informed of offers and decisions.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Holzer Edwards
    Holzer Edwards | Kurt Holzer
    There is no percentage or other calculation applicable to a damage claim. Yes you have an absolute right to be involved in the negotiation. The fact that you are asking this question means that there is a problem in your relationship with your lawyer. You need to sit down with your lawyer and review the complete negotiation process and your duties to each other.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 7/27/2011
    Anderson & Bliven, P.C.
    Anderson & Bliven, P.C. | Alex Evans
    You should ask your attorney these questions. As you are represented, it would be irresponsible for anyone to give you legal advice other than your legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 7/27/2011
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