Our Durham Injury Attorneys and Greensboro Injury Attorneys (sorry for the search engine optimization) receive a couple calls a week from visitors of this site who are looking for our opinion on whether the visitor should accept their settlement offer from the insurance company and, if not, how the visitor can get the insurance company to increase its settlement offer. I received this type of a call today, and it prompted me to write this blog post in case there are a bunch of visitors looking for this information, but do not want to pick up the phone and call.
Most of these calls involve individuals who have “soft tissue” injuries (whiplash, cervical/lumbar strain/sprain, etc.), have been to the emergency room, and have some chiropractic treatment or some physical therapy treatment. If your injury case involves more serious injuries, or more permanent injuries, then please consult with a personal injury attorney to get a more customized opinion on the fairness of your settlement offer.
If you fit into this category, my general recommendation is that if you have been discharged from treatment by your primary care physician and from your physical therapist/chiropractor and you are generally feeling no permanent injuries from the accident, then you should expect a settlement of full reimbursement for your medical expenses plus pain and suffering of about $1,000 to $3,000 per month of your treatment. Generally, if you sought treatment for 3 months (which is pretty standard, but slightly on the long side) then this range will result in a settlement of your medical bills plus $3,000 to $9,000 for your pain and suffering.
Despite what you might read in books or online about handling your own personal injury, insurance companies do not use a formula that involves multiplying your medical bills by a factor of 2 or 3 to determine your pain and suffering.
Of course, where you fall in the spectrum of $3,000 to $9,000 depends on the merits of your case and your individual circumstances. For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver, then you may receive a higher settlement. If the rate of speed of your accident was extremely high, you may receive a higher settlement. If you are pregnant or have extremely young children, you may receive a higher settlement. If you had some special difficulties or inconveniences related to your injuries (such as losing a job, being unable to deploy in the military, losing out on a long-planned vacation, losing out on time with a terminally ill relative, etc.), you may receive a higher settlement.
The strategy to receive a higher settlement from the insurance company is to explain to the insurance adjuster how your injuries impacted your life. The insurance company does not put a whole lot of value on your pain; however, they will put some value on the difficulties you encountered due to your pain.
Please give our Durham Injury Lawyers and Greensboro Injury Lawyers a call if you would like to discuss your case or would like to discuss strategy on how to increase the settlement offer you have received from the insurance company. You can reach our Durham Attorneys directly at (919) 200-6630 and our Greensboro Attorneys directly at (336) 790-1990. You can also email our Personal Injury Attorneys at email@example.com.