If I was rear-ended in a car accident, how do I get a fair settlement?

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If I was rear-ended in a car accident, how do I get a fair settlement?

I immediately felt discomfort and trouble sleeping and reaching across my chest. Discomfort within the month became lower back pain. Week by week the pain started to get worse. When I decided to see a doctor it had been about 2 months. The Doctor recommended I see a chiropractor, which I did. 26 days. After the initial consult with this chiropractor we started treatment. My bills total $1300. The car insurance company is offering me $600 for medical treatment and $1400 for pain and suffering. The insurance company is saying that my treatment should not have taken 2.5 monthsand instaed should have taken closer to 2-3 weeks. I just want a claim settlement that’s fair.

Asked on April 10, 2013 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you have incurred $1,300 in out-of-pocket medical treatment (to date; that may go up over time) and have endured several mont's of pain, you probably should be entitled to somewhere between $2,600 and $3,900 (rough estimate; every case is different) of compensation related to the injury. In addition, if you lost any wages, you would entitled to compensation for their loss; and if there was any property damage (i.e. your car) not paid for by your insurance (e.g. even if you had collision insurance, the amount of your deductible), you'd be entitled to that, too. Therefore, it may be that you could be entitled to, if you lost wages and/or had car damage, upwards of $5,000 in compensation. Given that, you may be best served by retaining an attorney to help you. If you don't want to retain a lawyer--and note: lawyer fees are themselves generally not recoverable, so whatever you pay the lawyer will reduce what you take home--you may wish to file a lawsuit yourself, acting as your own attorney, for a larger amount, to put more pressure on the insurer to settle.


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