How much should I ask for in a car accident?

by admini on July 29, 2010

The other person’s insurance company is accepting full liability and that’s a good thing since my own insurance had lapsed. This teenager was speeding through a residential neighborhood in an effort to see how fast he could go and he blew through a stop sign(I didn’t have a stop sign) and struck my passenger side door. I wasn’t belted in and suffered some bruises and back pain which is keeping me off work now for 2 weeks. I went to the ER on the first day and have seen a doctor 4 times since the accident. Things are getting better.
The claims adjuster wanted me to sign a release of medical records and I declined.
They have given us a rental and now tell us they have placed a value on our car of 1100 dollars. They also want to settle the bodily injury claim and scoffed at my first notion of a fair settlement which was a range I gave of 5000-10000 dollars depending on how long I’m injured.
She said they rarely go over 5000 for soft tissue injuries.
I kinda feel like they are playing a game with me when all I want is to be treated fairly and gain adequate compensation. I refuse to use a lawyer so save your comments on that one. I just want to know what I should do otherwise in dealing with the insurance provider.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

smithsmallbiz1 July 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I just finished dealing with a similar situation. I called some attorneys and got my questions answered by phone as free consultations. Here’s what I found out.
1. The insurance company picks up all medical expenses related to injuries, no matter how long it takes. You can get a note from doctor detailing any time line for recuperation as proof.
2. The insurance company has to pay you for trauma, shock, etc. as a result of the accident. My lawyer suggests anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 depending on the severity of your injuries and how long it will take to recover.
3. The insurance company has to pay you for lost income if you are working at the time of the accident. Time off for doctor visits, and any sick/disability time you take off.

I suggest you document all time and doctor visits, etc. and write a clear and detailed letter of what you are asking for. Good Luck.

just_me July 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

You were uninsured and not safely seat-belted. And then you refused to let them see your medical history (making it seem as if you have something to hide). You will be lucky to have your medical bills covered and time off work. How is 10,000 fair?

chevypride0310 July 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

all you need is enough to:
- cover medical bills (just fax all bills if the hospital won’t)
- lost wages from work (fax or send a copy of your)
- of course paying to fix your car or if its "totaled" then give you enough money to cover the value of your car

if you ask for anymore then you just sound and look selfish, no need to ask extra for suffering especially since you wasn’t even wearing a seat belt, if you was you wouldn’t have got the back pain

i know you don’t want to be short handed and given less to cover everything but my point is just that its no need to ask for more than you deserve and what i listed is what any person would deserve

Jifr July 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Hiya:

Are you asking about the injury or the car?

Regarding the Injury….

1. Do you have to sign a medical release? Ultimately, if you want your bills reviewed and paid? Yes you do – regardless of whether or not you get an attorney. The insurance company needs to obtain the records to see if your treatment is in line with the injuries claimed, if the treatment is appropriate and what the dollar amount of the bills are.

You need to be able to document that your treatment is related to the injuries sustained in the accident.

2. is your $5000-$10000 injury evaluation/demand fair? Well – how much are your medical bills? Soft tissue injuries are really expected to resolve without much medical treatment. That’s based on basic medical guidelines – not just what the insurance company says.

When they get bills – they are reviewed for what’s called UC&R – usual, customary and reasonable. If you treat in excess of UC&R – they may not owe for all of your treatment in excess of UC&R. They need to see where you are.

So – present your evidence to make your case. Back it up with documentation. Generalities can be ambigious. You want to have support in your negotiations.

Glad to hear you’re getting better. Good luck.

Accounting Nerd July 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

It is always smart not to take the first offer because they do low ball you. You can play cat and mouse for a while. In the long run, they will get tired of it and give you nothing. However, if you do accept an offer, cashing the check is the same as signing a contract, you can not go back for more money. If you turn down too many offers, their lawyer can take it to court and have it settled. A judge will want to know why you turned down the offers. Usually, a settlement is three times your doctor bills. In other words if your doctor bill is $1000, you will get $3000. This it to cover medical, time off from work, and damages to your vehicle. I would accept a reasonable offer before they revoke the offer and the judge sides with them because he felt you were being greedy.

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