If I was hit by a drunk driver, what is a good amount to settle? 15 Answers as of July 03, 2013

I was side swiped by a drunk teen who was doing an illegal U turn. It was a hit and run and the teen's bumper fell off along with her license plate. She was followed by an off duty police officer who witnessed the accident. I saw a doctor for my neck pain and was recommended to a chiropractor. He treated me weekly for 5 months and then released me. The teen was uninsured. The adjuster for my own auto insurance wants to settle for $1,500. Is this a good figure?

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The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
I am so sorry to hear about your collision and injuries. Each person's case is different and, thus, is valued differently. I would need to review your medical records and bills, as well as review the type of insurance coverage you have in order to properly advise you.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 7/3/2013
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Maybe you can get another $500 or $1,000
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/28/2013
John Russo | John Russo
No one is going to give you an answer on this too many unknowns, you made the cardinal mistake many people do , "No Attorney" the only thing I will tell you is that they receive nothing unless you do, and you would receive on average 3 times more with them without. And the other thing I will tell you is this the $ 1,500.00 that is for the total settlement, so after the doctor is paid and the chiropractor is paid and what ever other MEDs you had what's left, also sounds like you don't even have enough to cover the meds, so who pays the balance on those, and don't say your health insurance paid they want the money back also. If the 1,500 is after MEDs its low but better than nothing.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 6/27/2013
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
Was the teenager driving her own car or that of her parents, who would also then be responsible? Since your insurance company is treating it as being an uninsured vehicle accident I presume there was no one else legally responsible. I also assume that the $1,500 is above the amount of the treatment bills which were all paid, that you need no further treatment, and there was no wag loss or residual pain and suffering or disability. Even so, $1,500 sounds low. Often carriers will pay three times the medical bills and wage loss, but they look down on chiropractic treatment, especially for such a long time and number of visits.I would need to know more details.You may need to hire an attorney just to write a demand letter [which I could do].
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/27/2013
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
It appears as though you have made a claim for uninsured motorist benefits with your own company. Bear in mind that your adjustor is in a potentially adversarial relationship with yourself and may have an interest in getting you to settle for this amount. That said, a person ultimately decides to settle for a particular amount based on a number of factors such as the likelihood of recovering a higher amount than being offered and the amount of time, effort and money involved in litigating the matter. I suggest that you check your local county law journal to see if it publishes local jury or bench verdicts to see how much might be recovered for a case similar to yours after going the full distance of a trial.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 6/27/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    No, you our responsible for your medical bills and this amount will not cover that nor give you anything for pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Law Offices of Stanley S. Lopata
    Law Offices of Stanley S. Lopata | Stan Lopata
    Probably not a good offer. A good offer would reflect your medical expenses (chiropractic for weeks is a lot more than $1500) PLUS your loss of income plus your pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Law Offices of Jill K. Whitbeck
    Law Offices of Jill K. Whitbeck | Jill K. Whitbeck
    Sounds like a horribly low figure, unless all of your medical bills have been paid and you have no health insurance lien or any other liens against your recovery. Even then, $1,500 for 5 months of pain and suffering, running to the doctor every week, limitations on your activities, etc. doesn't sound like enough. Would you willingly do this all again for $1500?
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Insurance companies often try to settle with folks by offering 500 or 600 up to 1200 to settle a soft tissue claim. I don't know what your bills are but if you were treated for 5 months your bills are probably 5000 or more. ask the adjuster for 10 times your bills and settle for what you can get. Juries don't get excited with chiro cases and they wont do much for you. if you continue to be abused by the adjuster, get you a PI lawyer for help
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Caldwell Law Group, PLLC
    Caldwell Law Group, PLLC | Christopher Caldwell
    The value of a personal injury case varies significantly with the facts of each case. There are several issues to consider in determining the value of a personal injury case. The following are only for general consideration as each case may present additional facts that need to be considered: First, what are the liability aspects of the case. In other words, is any fault attributed to you? If you are found to be at greater than 50% at fault in Idaho, it will eliminate any recovery for you. Second, did you have any pre-existing conditions that are similar to those you now suffer from the accident? Pre-existing conditions, can, but don't always, reduce the value of a case. Third, what are the extent of your economic damages? Economic damages can include medical bills and lost wages. Typically, you are entitled to recover medical bills incurred and wages lost as a result of an accident. Fourth, what is your present condition? Have you suffered a permanent injury? If so, will you need medical care into the future? Permanent injuries typically increase the value of a case. Fifth, what pain and suffering have you endured? Typically, a minor soft tissue injury will be worth less than a broken bone or surgery caused by the accident. Do you have scarring or other visible injuries? Those can also increase the value of a claim. It has been my experience in having handled hundreds of personal injury cases that insurance companies will try and settle cheaply if they can. Generally, injury lawyers will provide initial consultations and take phone calls for free. Consider calling an experienced injury attorney and talking the case over. It will only take your time.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    If this is a Michigan question, as it says it is, you may be misunderstanding how Michigan auto crash claims are handled per the Michigan No Fault Law. Your own insurer pays for your collision related car damage. Your own insurer pays for your Michigan No Fault Benefits, which consist of wage loss, medical expenses and replacement services. The insurer of the owner/driver of the other vehicle pays for your pain and suffering, if you have suffered a threshold injury of a serious impairment of a body function, permanent serious disfigurement or death. Your insurer would only offer a pain and suffering, 3rd party settlement if the other owner/driver were uninsured and you were making an uninsured motorist claims. There is also the possibility of a dramshop action in regards to the other driver being drunk, but same will depend on the facts and also requires timely notice.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    The Lariscy Law Firm, PC
    The Lariscy Law Firm, PC | Joseph E. Lariscy, III
    You should never attempt to handle your own claim. Do you know what the policy limits are? How much were your bills? Did you miss any work? Is there another way to pay your bills other than auto insurance? There are so many factors that should be accounted for in your claim that you may or may not be including. These factors will maximize the compensation for your claim, and an attorney is trained to help you investigate these factors.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    It's hard to tell without knowing the exact diagnosis and prognosis as well as past and future medical bills. Run it by a personal injury lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Furniss, Shearer and Leineweber | Glen Shearer
    It is probably low. I assume he is saying $1,500 plus medical bills. I would start high and see what you can work him up to.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
    Do not settle for that amount. This is insultingly low. Please retain an attorney to help you hold the drunk accountable.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/27/2013
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