Legal Question in Personal Injury in Maine

My daughter was rear ended 6 months ago and had some minor neck pain and back pain which she went to the hospital for. She then followed up with her Dr. and is feeling okay today with some occassional lower back pain. She had no therapy or anything medical care other than the x-rays at the hospital. She has started working out and has had a trainer show her excercises to get that area stronger. The other drivers insurance company has paid rental car and the repair on her car and they have follwed up to see how she is feeling. They now want to close the claim. Should she expect or ask for any compensation for pain and suffering? I was told they will make an offer, but not to take the first offer? My fear is they will offer less the more time goes by and the better she is feeling? How long does she have to have medical expenses covered if the pain flares up again in the future? Thank you

Asked on 2/20/12, 8:09 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Marchese Drummond & Drummond, LLP

The good thing is that she was not seriously injured. However, value of the case depends on both the extent of injury and medical treatment providers making objective findings and documenting the treatment and symptoms. You have little to work with, unless you have a doctor or therapist following the length of her care, or at a minimum, seeing her at various stages of her self-recovery. The insurance company will make a low ball offer (or you can make a demand), and that commences negotiations. You can negotiate to an agreed upon settlement amount. Medical expenses need to be paid, in addition to pain and suffering. You should pursue $2,000+/-per month for the pain/suffering as a starting point, although I can't evaluate this fully without review of her medical records. If her medical care was paid by her health insurance, there's a chance that you will have to repay them as a requirement of your policy. If your auto insurance medical payment coverage paid, then you do not have to repay them if your total settlement (add everything up, i.e. rental car, repairs, medical, pain/suffering, and any lost income) does not exceed $19,999.99. If your daughter is fully recovered, then there is no time like the present to try to negotiate a resolution. Feel free to contact me directly for advice.

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Answered on 2/21/12, 6:22 am

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