I was involved in a no contact car accident 3 years ago. The other driver ran a stop sign and I had to take evasive action to miss him. I ended up in a yard with damage to my car (popped the two front tires) and the next day I developed low back pain. A MRI revealed I re-herniated L4=L5 disk from a previous micro-discectomy 4 years previous to the accident. My attorney is in settlement talks and the defendants attorneys are offering us 28K. After medical and attorney fees I'll have 10K. My attorney is encouraging me to settle since this was a no contact case. His opinion is that these are difficult cases to win at trial, and if we win we may only recover my medical costs (10K). I need another legal perspective. Does this sound like a reasonable settlement?
3 Answers from Attorneys
There is more to this than you are telling us. As long as the at-fault driver was identified, it makes no difference whether the driver had any contact with you or not.
If the at-fault driver was never identified, you have nobody to sue. You have only an under insurance claim against your own policy which means that you cannot have a trial because you cannot sue your own insurance company. The claim against your own insurance company will be resolved through one of three ways, only: 1.) Negotiation; 2.) Mediation; or 3.) Arbitration.
Is simply not possible to have any kind of a trial, with or without a jury, on an under insurance claim.
If you have two herniated lumbar disks which can be directly attributed to this accident, the settlement value which you suggest is ridiculously low. If you are misspeaking and by "herniated discs" you mean "bulging discs" or "protruding discs," the settlement may be eminently reasonable unless there is a recommendation for further surgery. Irrespective of how the damage may be classified, if you do need surgical intervention, the proposed settlement amount is ridiculously low.
I agree with the first answer... The offer is likely reasonable.
The fact that there was no contact between the two vehicle can in fact cause the jury to think that your injury are in fact partly caused by your own action.
But in the final analysis, the devil is always in the detail and we only have what you have written to go by and so this answer may in fact be wrong...
I hope this help-