How to determine if a settlement offer is fair?

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How to determine if a settlement offer is fair?

I am in the process of negotiating a settlement with an insurance company. I only recieved soft tissue neck and back injuries. I have also had recurring headaches since the accident. I did not recieve any X-rays but I did go to the E.R. the morning after the incident. I only missed 1 full day of work. They are offering me $1,100. Is that enough? It does not seem as though it is enough for the amount of pain and suffering, and inconveniences. Also, can they include the amount for medical bills in my settlement, since my office visits will be self pay and then paid later?

Asked on April 16, 2012 under Personal Injury, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What you are typically entitled to in personal injury cases is--

1) Your actual out-of-pocket medical costs (e.g. any part that will not be reimbursed by health insurance or otherwise).

2) Future medical costs, if reasoanbly foreseeable (e.g. if you'll need surgery or ongoing medication later).

3) Lost wages, if any.

4) Reduction in earning potential, if  any.

5) Pain and suffering, if it is prolonged and severe. For recurring headaches, if they are interferring with work or your life, a reasonable amount might be equal to your medical costs.

If the total of the above is even somewhat close to the offer (say, you are being offered between 50% and 70% of the total you might otherwise be entitled to), then given that you will not have to go to court to get the settlement (and not have to spend money, take time, or run the risk of losing), the settlement is probably fair.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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