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NSW Personal Injury Settlement with Insurance Company - Seek Legal Advice?

Discussion in 'Personal Injury Law Forum' started by eli, 15 February 2016.

  1. eli

    eli Active Member

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    A pedestrian was hit by a car and the driver was considered to be at fault due to not seeing the pedestrian crossing the road at the time. The insurance company has accepted liability, however, a personal injury settlement is still being reviewed/decided.

    Should the pedestrian seek legal advice?

    When the insurance company makes an offer for a settlement and the pedestrian accepts it, will that end their legal liability to cover any further medical costs in relation to the injuries received in accident? There is no loss of wages to consider in the settlement as the person is retired, however, they spent about 8 weeks in the hospital and had extensive surgery due to the horrific injuries received.

    How does one determine what is a reasonable personal injury settlement in this case?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi eli,

    Determining a reasonable personal injury settlement for a particular case is a rigorous exercise which is best entrusted to a good lawyer. It depends on an array of factors, and methods of calculating damages vary from state to state.

    Generally, if there is no loss of wages involved and the person is elderly settlements are not huge. But they should at a minimum cover any out of pocket expenses you have incurred as a result of the injuries and future expenses you anticipate you will reasonably incur, including medication, walking aids and costs for adjustments that need to be made to your home.

    And yes once you agree on a settlement and sign the settlement agreement you will be signing away any further right to claim from the defendant. Therefore, you have to get it right the first time.

    I would consider speaking with a lawyer about it.
     
  3. eli

    eli Active Member

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    Dear Sophea,

    Thank you, you have been very helpful. I really appreciate the fact that you were very specific and clear about it all. Yes, you are right and I kind of knew that once the settlement is made - case closed - so, of course, you would want to make sure that you have all your angles.

    Thank you again.



    Regards
     
  4. Serge Gorval

    Serge Gorval Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely!!

    Just a friendly tip from the inside. I have a close friend who works in CTP claims for a major insurer and her advice is to always get legal representation. Unrepresented claims get settled for far less than they are actually worth.

    Is your friend claiming NEL ( non -economic loss) ?
     
  5. eli

    eli Active Member

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    Hi Serge

    The pedestrian involved in this accident is now in the capable hands of a lawyer. Wouldn't they know about what you are talking about? They also talked about how one can claim for when a member of a family was needed to take care of this person's needs during the time of hospitalisation and after discharge, where a judge would consider 6 hours per week reasonable and anything over that would be considered as being the time that would be considered a valid for compensation. Is that what you mean by NEL?

    Thanks for your help.

    I can assure you that things will be much easier now that there is legal representation and less stress for all concerned.

    Regards
     
  6. Serge Gorval

    Serge Gorval Well-Known Member

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    No, Non-economic loss is a separate head of damage...
    e.g. something that can't be measured.

    It becomes payable upon a certain % of physical impairment. As the person is now legally represented, I trust (hope) they're in good hands. Just tell your friend to be clear on legal costs. There is quite a reputation in compo law firms on unreasonable costs billed.
     
  7. eli

    eli Active Member

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    Hi Serge

    The pedestrian involved in this accident is now in the capable hands of a lawyer. Wouldn't they know about what you are talking about? They also talked about how one can claim for when a member of a family was needed to take care of this person's needs during the time of hospitalisation and after discharge, where a judge would consider 6 hours per week reasonable and anything over that would be considered as being the time that would be considered a valid for compensation. Is that what you mean by NEL?

    Thanks for your help.

    I can assure you that things will be much easier now that there is legal representation and less stress for all concerned.

    Regards
     
  8. eli

    eli Active Member

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    Hello again

    Thank you for your explanation of the NEL. The pedestrian is still mobile with a walker. The lawyer has a 'No win No fee"*conditions apply - does not include other party costs in their advertisement in the telephone book. They have organised an assessment with a neurologist, as I guess some of the physical problems need to be separated from what was caused by the accident and what is from old age. The person is 79 years old. Prior to the accident, they used a cane but now they need a walker to get around. There is no permanent physical impairment, they were very fortunate.

    When one is presented with a list for the legal costs, surely one can question? They did say we could and come to some agreement at that time if there were any issues.

    Thanks again, you have been very helpful. I feel like a duck stuck in the desert...where is my pond?

    Regards
     

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