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Insurance payouts in the USA

Insurance payouts in the USA

Old Oct 31st 2006, 1:16 am
  #1  
Tim
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Default Insurance payouts in the USA

Last Friday was a little mad, and what has happened since has made me a little mad too, here's the abridged version:

After having an accident at work last Wednesday, on Friday my wife had to drive me to a clinic, and then onto another clinic to have ultrasound tests done on my injury, she took the day off work to do so. On the way home from the tests, we was stopped at a red light, my wife driving, me in the passenger seat, off me head on paid medication, when a lady too busy chatting on her cell to notice the red light ploughed into the back of my grand cherokee, taking out the bumper and wrapping the exhaust around the rear tyre. Police came, gave the lady a verbal warning, she was hoping we would handle the issue without informing her insurance co, but my wife insisted as we have heard tales of people not paying up.

An hour afterwards, I was still off me head, but the misses started getting bad pains in her back, so we went off to ER, and was there for just shy of 7 hours, finally leaving after extensive x-rays done on my wife and the diagnosis of a bad back strain, enough to say we have spent all weekend both blurry on our respective pain reliefs.

Then this morning, I was awoke by the ladys insurance claims rep, and 90 mins later he was at my door, I am still on medication from my work injury, my back's a bit stiff but i feel half drunk most of the time anyways cos of the painkillers, and my wife is signed off work and been referred to a orthapedist this Friday for further assessment, I thought this guy was a bit too eager.

His offer,- our car to be repaired, courtesy one to cover it (bear in mind neither of us can drive anyways cos of the med) $800 to my wife, $500 to me, and upto $2500 towards my wifes medical bills, only claimable for the first 6 months.

Now I have no idea how things work over here, but that seems piss poor to me, any advice on the matter would be more than welcomed, I'm clueless as to what I should do?????
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 1:21 am
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

depends on how much time you wish to put into it.
Know a couple of lawyers who would advise against taking the immediate payout. But you are then in the area of having to find a lawyer etc who will probably get you more but will take a lot of your time up.
Also if you do take the money and down the road you find your condition or your wifes' worsen due to the accident (ie long term back pain) you would be worse off!
then again if you know you are fine re physically from it and don't have time take it and run.
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 1:22 am
  #3  
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

Originally Posted by magilla442
Last Friday was a little mad, and what has happened since has made me a little mad too, here's the abridged version:

After having an accident at work last Wednesday, on Friday my wife had to drive me to a clinic, and then onto another clinic to have ultrasound tests done on my injury, she took the day off work to do so. On the way home from the tests, we was stopped at a red light, my wife driving, me in the passenger seat, off me head on paid medication, when a lady too busy chatting on her cell to notice the red light ploughed into the back of my grand cherokee, taking out the bumper and wrapping the exhaust around the rear tyre. Police came, gave the lady a verbal warning, she was hoping we would handle the issue without informing her insurance co, but my wife insisted as we have heard tales of people not paying up.

An hour afterwards, I was still off me head, but the misses started getting bad pains in her back, so we went off to ER, and was there for just shy of 7 hours, finally leaving after extensive x-rays done on my wife and the diagnosis of a bad back strain, enough to say we have spent all weekend both blurry on our respective pain reliefs.

Then this morning, I was awoke by the ladys insurance claims rep, and 90 mins later he was at my door, I am still on medication from my work injury, my back's a bit stiff but i feel half drunk most of the time anyways cos of the painkillers, and my wife is signed off work and been referred to a orthapedist this Friday for further assessment, I thought this guy was a bit too eager.

His offer,- our car to be repaired, courtesy one to cover it (bear in mind neither of us can drive anyways cos of the med) $800 to my wife, $500 to me, and upto $2500 towards my wifes medical bills, only claimable for the first 6 months.

Now I have no idea how things work over here, but that seems piss poor to me, any advice on the matter would be more than welcomed, I'm clueless as to what I should do?????
Dont take it - not until you know the extent of your costs - a friend in an RTA had an offer to settle - luckily didnt as the bills that have come in are way high. you are entitled to car and repairs and all your medical bills. The system over here is wierd and you probably wont get to even talk with your insurance!!! Get some advice from someone whose been through it - but dont settle unless its REALLY good!!!
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 1:23 am
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

Get a solicitor/lawyer/shark whatever you like to call them.
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 1:41 am
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

Hi Tim

I was wondering how you were getting on, sorry to hear you've been in the wars. I don't know how the system works, I just know I was judged at fault when someone drove into me at school - apparently you have a duty to prevent an accident even if the other driver is a prat.

Will some of your decision be based on how much medical cover your wife already has?

I hope you are both back to full strength soon.
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 1:47 am
  #6  
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

Originally Posted by Sally
Hi Tim

I was wondering how you were getting on, sorry to hear you've been in the wars. I don't know how the system works, I just know I was judged at fault when someone drove into me at school - apparently you have a duty to prevent an accident even if the other driver is a prat.

Will some of your decision be based on how much medical cover your wife already has?

I hope you are both back to full strength soon.

Hi Sally, Hope you are well, not chatted with you for ages!

I dont think our medical cover comes into it, he didnt ask, altho we have put the prescriptions through it already.

Something I forgot, he also told me to claim $1000 through my own auto cover as I have full coverage!! I think thats really cheeky as it will surely put my premiums up as a result.

Thanks for the advice sent so far, think I am really going to need a shark
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 1:51 am
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

I think there are some insurance people around on here who can advise you. You paying $1000 doesn't sound right.
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 1:54 am
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

Your own Medical Insurers will wish to subrogate their losses.

I would perosnally wait it out a bit, bear in mind that a Lawyer will take their cut out of any settlement, so if it is pure bills rather than pain and suffering you will be out. Or your pain an suffering will disappear into the lawyers pockets rather than your own.
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 1:54 am
  #9  
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

Originally Posted by magilla442

Something I forgot, he also told me to claim $1000 through my own auto cover as I have full coverage!! I think thats really cheeky as it will surely put my premiums up as a result.

Thanks for the advice sent so far, think I am really going to need a shark
get a big shark with huge teeth! that is unbelievable re the $1000. :scared: that alone would make me want to go after him!
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 1:59 am
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

I experienced something similar awhile back (with my sister-in-law).

Do not accept the first offer--this is why they show up at your door right away. She received an offer similar to yours, but a lawyer friend helped her out...and let's just say she got a much higher amount. She didn't do this out of greed, but to pay her bills and cover her physio, and of course pain and suffering. (she had a concusion, back injury, was off work, etc).

In accepting any offer you will need to sign that you accept their offer and case is closed...so you'll want to be sure of your injuries, your medical bills, car bills, etc before you sign.

The standard attorney fee for this is for them to take 1/3 of the damages for managing this for you.

Don't call one of the cowboys who advertise on telly. Ask around for a reco and see if you can get a referral. The consult should be free.
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 2:03 am
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

Beware and be wary: The insurance company is trying to lowball you, and to get you to sign a waiver of its responsibility before the full extent of your damages is known. Don't fall for it, don't sign anything and don't cash any checks until you are satisfied with the total payout, and you are aware of your injuries and damages.

Ultimately, be sure to get the following:

-Assuming the car isn't totalled, full payment for repairs at a body shop of your choice. (The insurer can "recommend" a body shop, but you are not obliged to use it.) Be sure that the estimates allow room for more repairs based upon a teardown (not all damage is evident until the body work is dismantled).

Be sure that your estimate is not using non-OEM parts (you want parts specified by the automaker, not generic aftermarket parts), and that as many new parts -- not wrecking yard used parts -- are being used for the repair. A hard blow will potentially require many hours of frame straightening, so be sure that this is adequate -- those machines are billed hourly and aren't cheap.

-You'll also want the rental car for the full period that your car is in for repairs. Get them to pay for rental of a car similar to yours, not the cheapest one on the rental lot.

-If the car is totalled (not likely true in your case, but this may benefit others), get paid out based upon its retail Kelley Blue Book value, inclusive of any additions or reductions to value due to mileage, options, etc., plus the sales taxes, doc fees, etc. typical in your market area. (Do not use KBB wholesale or private party values, or prices in the newspaper, which are not relevant -- KBB is a standard industry guide.) Combined, KBB retail + taxes, fees, etc. comprise the aggregate replacement cost of your vehicle, which is an amount much higher than what a dealer would offer at trade-in.

-Quantify all of your medical damages. The eager adjuster is trying to get you to settle now, in the hopes that the insurance company won't be obliged to pay for other treatment.

-Quantify all of your other economic losses, such as unpaid time off, use of vacation time, etc. Base it on the full cost of treatment, including whatever is paid by your health insurer -- don't value it based just upon the amount of your deductibles, as technically speaking, your health insurer may reserve the right to seek reimbursement from your settlement in order to recover its losses.

Overall, you don't want to rush into a settlement. If you think you're going to have significant costs -- not desire for cash, but genuine expenses and quantifiable verifiable losses -- then prepare yourself for potentially getting an attorney.

Do not trust the other party's insurer, it's goal is to protect itself and reduce its costs. This one sounds particularly dodgy, given its eagerness to settle so quickly, so be careful. And good luck.

Last edited by RoadWarriorFromLP; Oct 31st 2006 at 2:08 am.
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 2:12 am
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

Depends on how willing you are to be out of pocket.

I was rear ended in Berkeley a couple of months ago, stopped at a Zebra Crossing, silly me.

Other side were insured with State Farm, in the end I used their approved repairer network.

Car took 4 days to be repaired, durring which time wife had some econo box to drive around in, but so what.

No hassle and no layout up front, bills settled direct.

Yes you can use your repairer, how many people have one?, but do not expect them to pay Porsche labour rates to repair your Ford.
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 2:44 am
  #13  
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

Originally Posted by Sally
I was wondering how you were getting on, sorry to hear you've been in the wars. I don't know how the system works, I just know I was judged at fault when someone drove into me at school - apparently you have a duty to prevent an accident even if the other driver is a prat.
That's a state by state thing, mass is another at fault state...it sucks...part of why it's so expensive..
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 2:13 pm
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

Originally Posted by magilla442
Now I have no idea how things work over here, but that seems piss poor to me, any advice on the matter would be more than welcomed, I'm clueless as to what I should do?????
they're not the only party in this case that can make an offer.

counter claim.
(or get an attorney to do it, but obviously, this costs.)
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Old Oct 31st 2006, 2:26 pm
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Default Re: Insurance payouts in the USA

I would call your insurance company up, especially if you have an agent. Inquiring costs nothing and your company has lawyers and claim adjusters just like the other one. It's also surprising what free advice and insurance agent can give you as well, especially if you get some half-ass settlement and have to end up claiming against your policy in the future because of it.
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