What is a reasonable settlement for a slip and fall resulting in reconstructive knee surgery? - Injury Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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What is a reasonable settlement for a slip and fall resulting in reconstructive knee surgery?

I was injured in a slip and fall accident in a commercial parking lot. The lot was covered in ice, and had not been plowed or salted by the property owner or renter. As a result of the fall, I suffered a ruptured patellar tendon and torn ACL. I had reconstructive surgery on my knee, and underwent 9 months of physical rehabilitation, 2-3 days per week. The injury resulted in my knee mobility being reduced to about 70%. During this time, I was completely unable to work, as I work as a delivery driver. I lost approximately $25,000 in income. My medical bills have totaled about $60,000. The insurance made an offer of $90,000 to settle, with no further liability for future medical expenses in relation to this injury. I have had to borrow money to survive over these months, and want to resolve this matter, so I can repay the loans. I am just not sure if that is a reasonable offer, or would I be foolish in accepting it?

Answer By Edwin K. Niles

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Almost every day we get a request for evaluation of a claim. We cannot respond to such a request, as there are simply too many elements to be considered. These include percentage of fault, age and health and background of the claimant, the nature of the injury, the treatment, the diagnosis, the prognosis, the cost of the treatment, and the outcome. Also to be taken into account in some cases are the amount and type of insurance coverage and the name of the company. Most attorneys offer a free conference. We suggest that you talk to a few lawyers. Also, you should know that an independent study showed that claimants did better, even after fees, with a lawyer than without.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/19/2014

Answer By Russell Gregory
The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C.
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I'm concerned about how you'll do in the future. The sooner you settle, the less information you'll have in this regard, to know how much you'll really need. I assume your matter is not in suit. Proceeding by lawsuit will give you time to see how you're doing. Also, if you are currently pre-suit, and particularly if you're not represented, it's very unlikely that the offer is really anywhere near what they'd pay if you sued.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/19/2014

Answer By Jim Hasser
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
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Case values differ significantly from case to case and place to place. Experienced injury lawyers are familiar with such values. Consider consulting one. Good luck.

Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 2/18/2014

Answer By John Benson
Penglase & Benson, Inc.
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There are many things that go into a settlement amount. Given the information you provided it sounds like a small amount. A good rule of thumb is to take your medical bills and multiply them by 3 and then add your lost income. Most insurance companies will offer you money in the hopes that you won't go and see an attorney. If they are offering this much money they must think that it is worth a lot more.

Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 2/18/2014


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There is no real way to determine value seeing that juries are always unpredictable. A value for your case is whatever someone is willing to pay and whatever you are willing to accept. As an attorney I always try to maximize recovery and would push for more until a point where you can no longer push.

Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 2/18/2014

Answer By David Hoines
David Hoines Law
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This is a serious case requiring an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/18/2014

Answer By Wayne J. Wimer
Wayne J. Wimer, Inc. P.S.
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Your medical expenses are $60,000 and your wage loss is $25,000, so their offer is $5,000 more than your special damages which gives you nothing for your non-economic damages and gives you nothing for any future medical expenses, future pain and suffering/disability and/or loss of future earnings capacity. Settlement seems grossly inadequate if liability is not contested.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 2/18/2014

The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
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Unfortunately you did not provide enough information as to how the accident occurred. In a ice and snow case, it cannot be snowing at the time of the fall, there must be given enough time after said cease of snow and the owner had to make an attempt to shovel and did not do an adequate job of removing same. Your description said that they did not remove snow or ice from area. This could be a problem in factoring in responsibility. You should contact your attorney and discuss your thoughts. There is no exact number of any settlement but always within a range.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/18/2014

Peters Law, PLLC
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You have to pay back the people that paid for your surgery or the people that provided the services. Your actual out of pocket is $85000, so the insurance company is only offering $5,000 for pain and suffering. I would think that you are more likely entitled to $205,000. However, without an attorney taking a third, you could probably drop down to about $150,000 and still be ahead. However, you probably ought to talk with a local personal injury attorney because the amount you recover may very well be dependent on where you live.

Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 2/18/2014

Answer By Kirby G. Moss

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If you are not represented by an attorney, the insurance company knows this and is offering less than your injuries are worth. I would get a lawyer who can represent your interests and file suit if negotiations don't go anywhere. It is impossible to say what a case is worth without all facts, including those regarding liability, prognosis etc.

Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 2/18/2014

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