Legal Question in Personal Injury in Ohio

Auto Accident Liability Settlement Amount

My wife was involved in an auto

accident in which the other driver

was at fault. Safeco Insurance has

accepted liability for the claim. My

wife's 2008 Ford Fusion was a total

loss. They have already replaced

her vehicle. We have about $9200

in medical expenses from July to

her medical release in October. We

are now being offered a final

settlement of $10,000. I believe I

need an attorney. Should that

amount not be more like 20k-30k?

Asked on 12/12/08, 3:11 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Justin Smith J.M. Smith Co., LPA

Re: Auto Accident Liability Settlement Amount

Without knowing the facts it is hard to say, but this sounds far too low if the medical bills alone were over $9,000. It sounds as if you are being offered only compensatory damages with no recovery for pain and suffering. You should definitely talk to an attorney about your case before you settle. Many insurance companies will attempt to settle your claim quickly before you talk to an attorney and/or discourage you from hiring an attorney under the premise that you could "save on legal fees." However, in reality, an attorney will be able to help you achieve a complete recovery and ensure that you are not overlooking anything. There are several possible aspects to the recovery in a personal injury case that include (but are not limited to) compensatory damages (i.e., property damage, medical bills, continuing care, lost wages), pain and suffering and possibly even more obscure claims such as loss of consortium (a claim you would have as the husband) depending on the nature and scope of your wife's injuries. An attorney can also help you make sure you do not settle the claim before the full nature and extent of the injuries and any long-term or permanent effects are known. You do not want to settle prematurely now and then find out that your wife faces medication or therapy costs down the road that you did not account for. Most attorneys will provide a free consultation and handle the case on a contingent fee basis. The increased recovery will usually far exceed the percentage you will pay in attorney fees.

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Answered on 12/12/08, 11:54 pm

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