Should I take someone to court to pursue additional compensation for an auto accident for which I was the passenger in the car driven by a driver found to be not at fault?

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Should I take someone to court to pursue additional compensation for an auto accident for which I was the passenger in the car driven by a driver found to be not at fault?

I was involved in an automobile accident in December where I was a passenger in an automobile in which the driver of the other vehicle involved did not yield at a stop sign. I was offered a 1000 settlement fee for pain and suffering. Is this a standard/expected settlement award? I have sustained minor injuries and I am wondering if I should just take the settlement or if I should proceed with asking for further compensation.

Asked on April 11, 2018 under Personal Injury, Washington

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There isn't any "standard/expected settlement".  Each case is different.
If you have completed your medical treatment and been released by the doctor, your claim filed with the at-fault party's insurance carrier should include your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document your injury and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  
There isn't any mathematical formula for determining compensation for pain and suffering. It depends on the nature and extent of your injuries and whether you have fully recovered or have residual complaints.  Someone who has fully recovered would receive less compensation for pain and suffering than someone who has residual complaints after completion of medical treatment and being released by the doctor.
If the case is settled, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit against the at-fault party must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.
One thousand for pain and suffering sounds low, but without seeing your medical reports and medical bills, no conclusions can be drawn.


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