Q: How much should I ask for in a car accident settlement that I was at no fault for?
My 9 year old son and I were in a car accident Monday. The other driver was at fault; he crossed the center line and hit us head-on. I got a bloody nose from the airbag and bruise on my shoulder from the seatbelt. My son got a burn/scrape on his neck from the seatbelt. We went to the doctor the next day to be checked out because my neck began to hurt. My son was cleared as he had no pain, the dr ordered an x-ray of my neck and diagnosed me with whiplash and prescribed muscle relaxers. Thursday my back started hurting so I went back and an x-ray of my back was ordered and I was started in physical therapy. The other drivers insurance company will have to get back to me but I think my truck, will be totaled. The accident happened in VA, I live in KY. Between my truck damage, medical bills and injury, how much should I ask for or expect to get in my settlement? I have never been thru anything like this before so I don’t really know how it all works.
A: The truck loss will be handled separately. You should receive the fair market value for your truck close to Kelley’s Or NADA book value. You should also be reimbursed fully for your medical expenses. Unfortunately, soft tissue injuries are very hard to quantify and even harder to get compensated for. You may want to talk to a lawyer in Va and see if her or she can squeeze a little money out of them for pain and suffering.
A: The value of a case depends on a number of factors. Most attorneys will advise you to consult with an attorney as to your legal rights AND to hire an attorney to represent you. It may be too early to value the case if there is sufficient insurance in place to cover the property damage and personal injuries. At this point in time, you do not know what medical treatment will be provided over the next few months or longer. You also have not undergone diagnostic testing in the form of a MRI and other procedures to further document the extent / severity of the injuries. Do not settle the case OR engage in settlement discussions until you have gotten advice from an attorney in the geographic region where the accident took place / where the case needs to be filed if a lawsuit needs to be filed down the line. Good luck.
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