Post # 1
Hi Bees! I have been on these boards for awhile now, and I can’t believe I haven’t thought to ask you bees for help!
Fiance and I were in a car accident about 3 months ago 🙁 we were sitting at a light and a car came flying up behind us and ran into the back of us going about 40 mph. We think the guy was texting, but that is a whole nother’ story.
Anyway, I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance because I had severe neck pain. I was in the hospital all night and got CT scans and x-rays done. Since then, I have had horrible headaches and neck pain. I have been seeing a manipulation therapist that my doctor recommeded for about a month now.
I just had another appointment with the MT this morning, and they said that he could probably release me within the next few weeks.
Now, this is the tricky part. It’s time for me to start working out a settlement with the other guys insurance company.
His insurance company has been calling me weekly since the accident, to ask how I’m feeling and how my healing process is coming along. (Some people say I shouldn’t even be communicating with his insurance company myself)
His insurance company said that they will be paying me for all medical expenses, missed work, & pain and suffering.
Now, I don’t know how to go about this whole settlement process. Some people are telling me to contact my insurance company and have them work out the settlement. Others are telling me to hire a lawyer. Others are telling me to just settle myself, and see how much they offer me.
I just want to make sure that I don’t get jipped during this process.
What should I do??? Any advice at all would be wonderful!
Post # 3
I would STOP talking to his insurance company. Everything that you say will be used against you so that they can give you the smallest settlement possible. I would really consider hiring a lawyer. Everyone who I’ve known to get in an accident when the other party was clearly at fault made out SO much better with the assistance of legal council than going at it alone.
ETA: Where are you located? In my area (Upstate, NY), even those lawyers who advertise on TV would suffice. “Been in an accident? Don’t trust the other guys insurance company. Call us!”.
Post # 4
I’d definitely second getting a lawyer. Fiance was hit by a drunk driver a few years ago….totaled his car and he had a lot of back pain for a while. The insurance wanted to give him nothing above medical costs and missed work.
He ended up getting a lawyer and received around $12k after the lawyer took his part, that included a few thousand the lawyer managed to get from the bar that served the guy and let him drive off. It was a huge nightmare and the guys insurance company was awful.
I couldn’t imagine him doing it without a lawyer. The whole thing was awful. He was without a car for a few days before he could get a rental, plus he was 3 hours from home so he missed a day of work not being able to get home. Then his insurance company forgot to file proof of insurance so FI’s licence ended up getting suspended so he had to take more time off work because he didn’t want to drive an hour to work with a suspended license even though it was a mistake. Then his agent went on maternity leave and somehow no one took over his case so a lot wasn’t done for a while! Needless to say after it was all over he switched companies.
Did I mention the guy was wasted at 4 in the afternoon. : /
Post # 5
Get an attorney..they will help you with everything you need. I would hate to see you get screwed out of the settlement you deserve….many times when you settle without a lawyer you get next to nothing. Good luck!!
Post # 6
Do NOT talk to his insurance company. You are not required to tell them anything and they will use everything possible against you, despite how nice they may sound at the time. I would recommend hiring a lawyer, or at the very least let your insurance company deal with it.
Post # 7
As an attorney, I can say…hire an attorney. Your insurance company is concerned with getting their costs covered, not your pain and suffering. His insurance company wants to pay out as little as possible. Yes, a lawyer has his own interests too, but most cases like this work on a contingent fee (lawyer will get a % of whatever you recover) so its in their best interest to get you as much as possible. Contact your state’s bar association and ask for recommendations or visit the website.
Post # 8
I am an insurance agent.
With that said, I personally think you would be wasting your time and money getting an attorney. No matter what these people say, DO NOT SETTLE UNTIL YOU ARE NO LONGER BEING SEEN BY A DOCTOR. Even if that’s a year from now, so be it. The only problem with that is, you won’t get any money until then. Have you gotten your medical bills submitted to your own insurance company to be paid under your PIP?
Please PM with questions, I can go into more detail if you would like (please include what state you are in)
Post # 9
Thank you everyone!!! It looks like I will start looking into a lawyer today.
Post # 10
We had the exact same thing happen to us about 2 years ago. I know what you are going through. The only advice I have is you should have gotten an attorney thats what we did because insurance companys can reword what you say. You can attempt to see if an attorney will take your case on now, some are not so lucky :/ Good luck though!
Post # 11
Lawyer!!! Do not say another word to them, becuase they will use it to screw you in the end. If they contact you and ask how you are, simply say that they can direct this and all other calls to your lawyer at (phone number). Unfortunately if you say “fine” or “okay” this could truly come back to haunt you.
Post # 12
I was in a similar rear-end accident and had medical expenses for about a year. It was about 15 years ago – but, I agree with NOT communicating with their insurance company. Do you have auto insurance? Your company should be acting on your behalf. You should NOT be talking with their company. All they want is for the case to be closed and to move on (no matter how ‘nice’ whomever has been talking to you is!). They are not looking out for your interests! You have to advocate for youself (even with your ins company!)
I would also seek legal advice (from someone reputable!) but not necessarily retain a lawyer at this point. There’s usually a length of time you have (varies from state to state) where you can file a lawsuit. But, it may not need to get to that point.
I’d also say that I was advised multiple times that soft tissue type damange (even with a lot of residual pain) does not get much compensation (pain and suffering type stuff). I would not even begin to think about settling until you are 110% sure you are done with any medical treatment you need. I was seeing a good chiropractor for a long time as my body healed from the trauma. At the end of it all, I just wanted my medical bills covered. I think I got a tiny bit of extra compensation, but it wasn’t much.
Post # 14
Good I was about to say hire a lawyer haha
Post # 15
My only advice is to not take their first offer. They will low-ball you in the begining expecting you to come back and ask for more..so do it! I was in a car accident about 5 years ago and stupidly took the first settlement they offered. My friend who was also in the car negotiated to a much higher settlement, even though neither of us had much injuries. I still kick myself for that.
Post # 16
Definitely stop talking to his insurance company. You will always get more money with a lawyer, but they will take a large percentage.
DONT get released! as soon as you get released, that is all they will pay for, even it you keep going. The doctor wants to release you because he doesn’t get paid until you do. So don’t do it until you are ready to pay the bills yourself. Also, if you have any future symptoms that surface later, your out of luck if you are released. Just be patient, trust me.
Also, submit your claims to your insurance company. They will pay for your current care which will get your doctor off your back, but heres the best part: his insurance will still pay for the medical care, and you don’t have to pay back your insurance for what they paid (aka, thats more money in your pocket).
Also, with your lawyer, be careful. A lot of them make thier money on the quanity of these cases they do. They want to make it as short as possible. they will say to get released so you can start settling. You can start now without being released, it is just more cut and dry for them if are released because there is a clear line to when the insurance stops paying. Good luck! Unfortunately, I know exactly what your going through.