by Guest » Fri Jun 21, 2013 09:23 pm

I am trying to figure out how settlement for a car injury is calculated. I was injured in a car accident and do have a lawyer. He has worked out my claim for me but I just want to make sure that he is getting me a fair amount. I have a permanent injury, a left thumb that will not bend at the distal joint, also have a concussion. Medical expenses totalled $26,000.00, lost wages = $1,600.00. Future medical bills = $12,500.00. Kansas has a cap of $250,000.00 for pain and suffering. He said my pain and suffering is worth $100,000. This is how he worked it out. $100,000 + $26,000 + $1,600 + $12,500 = 140,100.00. Medical expenses and loss wages amounts have to be paid back to my insurance company. $140,100 - $27,600 = $112,500.00. Lawyers fees = $37575.000 Lawyers expenses = $224.00 Subtract that from $112,500.00, leaves me with $74,701.00.

Is this how settlements are calculated? Even for a permanent injury? Are damages for a permanent disabiity part of the pain and suffering amount or should it be a separate amount? I still experience pain, stiffness and tingling in the thumb.

Would appreciate any advice given.
Thank you.

Total Comments: 17

Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 06:05 pm Post Subject:

My last response was intended for tcope.

If you received PIP payments for your injuries, which could include lost wages, that money is NOT subject to subrogation -- the insurance company cannot reclaim the money. PIP is a payment to you from your insurance company for monetary loss, not as compensation for personal injury. If you collected lost wages as part of a PIP payment, you cannot make a second claim for that same money from the at-fault party.

On the other hand, claims for personal injuries paid by an at-fault third party's liability insurance are subject to subrogation, which is why your medical bills, paid for with your personal health insurance, must be reimbursed to that insurance company (your health insurance is first-party coverage for injuries you cause to yourself, just like your auto insurance is first-party coverage, not for damages caused by others).

Be sure you know what claims were paid, and who paid them, before you make any demands for payment from the at-fault party or their insurance company. Are you sure that $12,000 is sufficient for future medical expenses? Sounds too low to me.

Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 09:53 pm Post Subject: Firing an Attorney

Maxherr will get back to you on that previous message but need some other advice. Is it a wise thing to fire your attorney after they've sent out a demand letter and hire another one?

Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:35 pm Post Subject: Settlement

I have no medical insurance. My medical bills plus lost wages were paid for by PIP. We were told that we will have to reinburse that money to the insurance company which is State Farm. My medical bills, surgery ,therapy and meds for my thumb came to a total of $15754.51.

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 05:42 am Post Subject:

Is it a wise thing to fire your attorney after they've sent out a demand letter and hire another one?

Only if the attorney you've already hired fails to represent you -- as in won't return calls, won't file legal actions, etc. It can be very problematic. You need to read your retainer agreement to see what it says about that.

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 06:21 am Post Subject:

My medical bills plus lost wages were paid for by PIP. We were told that we will have to reinburse that money to the insurance company

I have to backtrack on my prior post concerning subrogation of PIP. The law in Kansas is somewhat convoluted. The current collection of PIP statutes indicates that $4500 in medical payments must be available, and the $4500 might not be subject to subrogation, but the excess of $11255 definitely is subject to subrogation.

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 07:11 pm Post Subject: Settlement

We have a contingency agreement with our attorney. We feel that he is not presenting a strong enough case for us. My husband has three screws permanently placed in his knee. Attorney says he can't get future medical for that. As for the permanent injury and ongoing pain in my thumb, $74,701.00 after all expenses paid, I think is not enough.

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 08:35 pm Post Subject:

You can always consult another attorney -- usually at no cost. If that attorney believes he/she can do a better job for you, they will advise how to terminate your agreement with the other attorney. But you will probably owe that former attorney something for the a "work" he has done to date.

If a civil suit has already been filed, a simple substitution of counsel form will take care of changing your representation in court.

It's your case, and your prerogative to change counsel. It just won't be "free" to do that. If you don't have cash to pay off the existing attorney, you may have to give him a lien for a small %% of your settlement -- on top of what the new attorney will take.

Fun, isn't it?

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