Legal Question in Personal Injury in Florida

Underinsured motorist coverage settlement

In June 2007 I was in a car accident. As a result, I have two bulged discs and one herniated disk in my back, as well as some loss of range of motion. Because of this, I now have exclusionary riders on my personal health insurance that won't cover anything on my back whatsoever.

My auto insurance company is only offering $5K as a settlement without me filing suit and possibly going to court/mediation. I feel I'm being short changed because I now have to pay all medical expenses out of pocket for anything spine related.

My lawyer never asked me if this was acceptable, they just sent me forms to sign to accept.

I want this to be over but don't know if I should accept the $5K, or if I should decline it due to the expense I will incur over my lifetime (since I'm only 26).

Asked on 7/10/09, 11:13 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Jensen Grant Kanner & Pintaluga, P.A.

Re: Underinsured motorist coverage settlement

Though every case is different, this sounds like too small a sum for your injuries. To fully advise you however, I would need to know other aspects of your case.

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Answered on 7/10/09, 11:25 am
David Kotler Schwartz, Gold, Cohen, Zakarin, & Kotler

Re: Underinsured motorist coverage settlement

I agree with the other answer, this number sounds a little skinny unless you previously obtained a significant amount from the tortfeasor(person who caused crash). Are you making a claim agasint your uninsured/underinsured insurer? There are a number of factors that go into the analysis and for anyone to answer your question would require more information.

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Answered on 7/10/09, 11:43 am
Alan Wagner Wagner McLaughlin, P.A.

Re: Underinsured motorist coverage settlement

Go speak to your lawyer about why this is recommended, if it is. Consult with othe lawyers for a second opinion if you are not comfortable or question what your lawyer advises.

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Answered on 7/10/09, 11:59 am
David TenBrook Law Offices of David S. TenBrook, P.A.

Re: Underinsured motorist coverage settlement

Did the person or persons causing the accident have insurance? If so, was there a settlement with those parties or their insurers prior to the UM insurer offering the $5K? Unless liability is questionable or you had conditions pre-existing the collision, $5K seems incredibly low.

My suggestion is that you refuse to settle until you have had the opportunity to sit down and thoroughly discuss all aspects of the case with your attorney. Ask him or her questions - all the questions that are on your mind - so that you can satisfy yourself that you are doing the right thing by settling or satisfy yourself that your attorney is not providing the representation you seek.

It is your attorney's job to fully advise you. People, including some attorneys, often have an allergic reaction to litigation. It is costly, time-consuming, and seems endless, yet is sometimes the only option.

Make sure you are fully informed before making a decision and signing a release, even if that includes getting a second opinion from another attorney.

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Answered on 7/10/09, 12:00 pm

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