How do I know if I’m getting a fair settlement?

UPDATED: Dec 10, 2013

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How do I know if I’m getting a fair settlement?

I was in a wreck that totaled my car; a man cut across street in front of me. He told everyone that it was his fault. I was not hurt just banged up but went to the hospital just in case; they did not find anything. The insurance company has agreed to pay all hospital bills, paid me for the car and is now offering me $900. I got rental car 2 days later and kept most of the time until received money for the car. However, due to of no car and not feeling well I missed a job interview that was the next day. It took me about 6 weeks to really feel better and my car insurance has gone up about $50 a month. My old car was a ’95 and had only liability. Now bought an ’06 which has full coverage. Is this a far settlement?

Asked on December 10, 2013 under Personal Injury, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, it does seem fair:

1) You had your medical costs paid.

2) You had the car paid for.

3) You received $900 over and above that.

4) No court would give you any compensation for missing a job interview, because since that it is hardly a given to get a new job, the causal link between the accident and not getting a new job is far too tenuous to support compensation.

5) You car insurance has evidentally gone up because you have a newer car and better coverage, which is not the other driver's fault.

Arguably, you might be  entitled to more than $900 for six weeks of pain/discomfort; on the other hand, depending on the level of discomfort or pain, you might even be entitled to less. Given that your major costs were covered and you did not have to go to court (spending time and money), this settlement seems reasonable.

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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