Can I negotiate more if the other party has a high insurance policy limit?

In short, I was involve in a car accident. I was not at all liable. My ankle has severe injuries as it was a compound dislocation with a fracture, other injuries included nerve damage, torn ligaments, and the doctor said I was 100 percent going to have arthritis. I also lost movement in my toes, as well as range of motion around my ankle.

The other party's insurance company told me their policy limits which is really high. After reviewing how much my case is worth, can I negotiate more than what the case is worth (in a reasonable range) but still within the policy limit?

Is post traumatic arthritis considered a permanent injury?

Answer by Guy Parrinello

I’m sorry to hear about your accident and injuries. The short answer to your first question is no. Your injury is not worth more simply because the insurance policy limit is high. You can, however, recover more than you would if the policy would not cover your injury.

Here is an oversimplified example: assume the defendant has no assets, no job, and no other source from which to pay for your injuries (other than insurance), and everyone in your case agrees your injury is worth $75,000.

If the insured in your case held a minimum insurance policy of $25,000, you would not be able to negotiate and collect $75,000 in insurance proceeds. Now assume the policy was $100,000.

You could settle for $75,000 and receive that much in insurance proceeds. So in that way, you can negotiate and recover more.

But if you are asking whether or not your injury is more valuable because the other party has a high insurance limit, the answer is no.

As for your second question, though it seems common knowledge that arthritis is a permanent condition, the only way to know this is to have your doctor provide a sworn statement containing his or her opinion on the permanency of your injury.

Their doctor will probably dispute that, or dispute the fact that you will have arthritis, and the outcome will be determined by a jury unless the parties can agree on a settlement amount.

Disclaimer: The author of this posting is a lawyer licensed to practice law in the State of New York. This posting is intended as general information only, is not provided as legal advice in connection with any specific case, and should not be construed to create an attorney-client relationship.

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