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Car Accident Rear Ended Accident Settlement

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Just looking for some advice. I was on vacation in Florida traveling back to the airport in my rental car. I was stopped at a red light when I was rear ended by a kid doing 70mph. I was knocked out and don't remember anything from the accident. I was in the hospital for around six hours and then released. I have been battling concussion symptoms and major neck pain. The accident happened close to three months ago. His insurance company keeps a close eye on me as they want to settle which of course I won't. I am still receiving medical treatment as my medical bills are over $40,000 so far. What kind of settlement would anyone think this would be worth. I did end up getting a lawyer but I want to be 100% healthy before I settle with them. Thanks for reading!

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I used to work for a Personal Injury attorney, and everything varies state to state. As a general rule, your attorney is going to get 25-33% of the settlement and this can be before your medical expenses are paid or after, it depends on the contract you signed. Here is a calculator that is similar to what attorneys use, but they figure their fee in and start higher and they negotiate the settlement with the insurance company. Something to remember is that they have a fiduciary duty to you, by law and it is to their advantage as well to get you the best settlement possible as they get a % of it. The larger the share, the more money they make. If you have a pretty good attorney who specializes in PI, you should get a very fair settlement.

As far as your actual settlement amount, there are a few factors involved. If the kid only has the bare minimum of insurance, they are not going to offer more. If they have "Cadillac insurance" (great insurance with very high limits) you can expect more. Did you miss time from work? Do they expect you to have long term damage? There is the car rental issue, did you have insurance on it or are they covering the expenses? How bad is the pain or discomfort and is it frequent or off and on? It also depends on the insurance company. There are some insurance companies that have a set rate for specified injuries and others that negotiate and are pretty generous.

Here is a basic calculator, the compensation factor is the gray area. Minor injuries are 1.5 and life long, injuries or multiple fractures, etc are a 5. You are probably a 2.5 -3 considering you were released after 6 hours and sounds like you are improving. If you are needing funds to pay bills because you cannot work or are missing work, you can ask your attorney for a partial settlement. Both parties agree that the kid is liable (which it sounds like they have done) and that you have incurred considerable expenses and this is impacting you life. They can agree that at a minimum you would receive $10K for pain and suffering and they can give you a portion now (typically 1/3 because your attorney will hold back some for his cut). We used to do this quite often, but attorneys do not typically offer it. It is more work for them, they have to work out the deal, draw up papers and get the insurance company to sign, have their accountant cut a check, and you have to come in and get the check and sign documents. It is a hassle, but if you need it, ask and see!

Something else, is your attorney in Florida or your home state? That can make a difference in your amount as every state has different limits. Florida has very low limits, so hopefully if you have a Florida attorney, the kid has a good insurance plan. https://usinsuranceagents.com/florida-car-insurance-requirements

Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!

http://injuryclaimcalculator.us/ 

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Sounds like you're going to hit policy limits and have to go after the kid or parents personally.

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Thanks for the reply! I got a Florida attorney as the company I work for has a benefit to take legal out if needed. I wanted to get a "will" made this year and if there was a bright spot on this whole mess I ended up getting a lawyer for $16 a month. The cost of the benefit from my company. He is an accident lawyer with good credentials. I have missed close to 2 weeks of work on and off for feeling crummy. I just want to get back to regular life style stuff! I did the basic calculator and it says $206,000! I doubt that happens! I'll keep you posted how my case goes.

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I am not a lawyer, but I am also in the process of settling an accident where I was rear ended while on vacation in Florida.

Almost everyone in Florida is driving around with the minimum amount of personal injury insurance required by law--$10,000. (Some are driving around with none.) The driver may be carrying more though, but you may not find out until it's time to talk settlement. What sort of vehicle did the driver have? If it was nicer, they might have higher limits and/or recoverable assets (including the car) should you need to sue beyond the limits. If the car was junk, the "kid" may be "judgement proof," and you won't get much beyond the $10k (or whatever the policy limit is). Your attorney should be able to get more information on limits as well as the possibility of other assets should the case go beyond insurance. Also, was this truly a "kid" kid who may be covered under their parents? Look up the property records for the driver's address and see who the owner is. Google Map the house and look for boats, motorcycles, nice cars, etc.

Have you signed anything with the lawyer through your work suggesting they get some percentage of your payout? Generally if the case is settled out of court, they may get 30-33%. If it goes to trial, that amount goes up to 40%. If you find out the kid has no assets and you're only getting $10k (or some other low limit) from the insurance, you can get that yourself fairly easily from the insurer without using an attorney and giving them a third or more.

Do you have PIP on your insurance? They should be helping pay for this up to your coverage limits, and it shouldn't impact your premiums. After that, your own medical insurance should pay, though they will expect to be reimbursed from any settlement you receive (google "subrogation").

All that said, if the driver has assets and low insurance limits, lawyer up and go after them. For $40k+ of medical bills, you may easily net a 6-figure settlement or judgement. If nothing else, that might help keep another driver who has no business being behind the wheel off the road.

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Floridah through Republican leadership...makes it hard to sue anyone...the court system is poorly funded and takes forever to go to court...mostly you have to go to arbitration first.......then get permission to file with the court.....this is Republican "tort reform"....where you lose the right to sue.

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The first thing you or your lawyer needs to do is find out what the kid's insurance coverage is. If he/she has minimum coverage, do they have any assets? You can't get blood from a stone.

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Yep they are getting all that information as we speak.  This ordeal is such a mess!
 

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I'm not sure about the details of Florida's insurance laws, but in some other states, if the other party's policy limits are low, your under-insured motorist coverage should kick in for your expenses, income loss, and for pain and suffering. (As long as you are carrying under-insured)

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Yep the lawyer asked about my under insured policy. They are getting all the facts!
 

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So did you really get 200k?

I just had this kind of rear ended and got settled in 40k..still going through minor pain. But we had settlement so anything after is on me

Just curious.

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Heck no I am far from settling. The lawyer is still getting the facts plus my health is not where I want it.  It will be awhile yet! I will post some updates as I go through the process.

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