It is human nature to seek a quick fix and move on as fast as possible when we get injured. This is part of our fight or flight response, and it can last longer than the few minutes following a car wreck or embarrassing slip and fall. Additionally, you have medical bills to pay now, and the bill collectors do not care that you are injured and out of work. For these reasons, insurance companies will often try to settle a personal injury claim quickly, before you have a chance to hire an attorney. But beware: this settlement offer is far lower than what you are owed.
California has the highest hospital costs in the country, according to Debt.org. The average daily cost for hospital care in California is $3,726. If you have to stay overnight, the cost quadruples to a national average of $12,600. And, of course, if you have to undergo complicated surgery or stay in an Intensive Care Unit, the cost is even greater. As you can see, even a few days in the hospital can easily amount to between $50,000 and $100,000 in medical bills, depending on what you are treated for.
Pain and suffering (often the largest damage in a personal injury claim) is calculated based on the severity of your injuries and the cost of your medical expenses. This “multiplier method” multiplies your medical damages by a number between 1 and 5 (with 5 being the most severe injuries) to calculate your pain and suffering.
As such, your pain and suffering damages for an injury that costs $50,000 in medical bills could well be two or three times greater ($100,00 to $150,000 in pain and suffering alone). In addition to pain and suffering, you must also take into account your lost wages, lost earning ability, property damage, emotional distress, and other damages. You will never be offered this type of fair compensation by an insurance company if you do not have a lawyer.
If you were recently sent an offer to settle, do not take it. In fact, do not even discuss your injuries or your case with the insurance company or the at-fault party because anything you tell them can be used against you to devalue your claim. An attorney will help you gather evidence, determine the at-fault party’s policy limits, and negotiate a fair settlement.
If such an agreement cannot be reached, one of our experienced personal injury attorneys will try the lawsuit in court so that you get the compensation you deserve. Remember, you have options, and you do not have to take a settlement before you discuss the matter with one of our Encino personal injury lawyers. Call Ourfalian & Ourfalian today at (818) 550–7777 to schedule a free consultation.
Ourfalian & Ourfalian has successfully represented thousands of individuals and small businesses throughout the San Fernando Valley and Southern California over the last four decades. Our experienced attorneys focus on civil litigation which includes but is not limited to helping injury victims get just compensation after serious accidents. There is a distinct culture at Ourfalian & Ourfalian that is not easy to characterize but is felt everyday by the firm’s employees and clientele. Contact our Glendale Personal Injury & Civil Litigation law practice today to schedule a free initial consultation.