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I was rear-ended in my compact car by a Ford 250 truck at a red light back in October. The truck was a fleet vehicle from a company contracted by our local power company. The driver was not paying attention and was on his cell phone at the time (illegal in Maryland). He immediately admitted fault to me, his supervisor, and their insurance carrier. We did not file a police report, but everything went smoothly. Their insurance company got me a rental vehicle for a week and paid all the autobody work (~$2000) - both paid directly to the respective companies. I ended up taking about 9 hrs of Leave from work for a medical check up and precautionary recovery (as suggested by Dr.), which equated to loosing about ~$400 and another $116 for Dr's visit. Luckily, no other visits for medical treatments. Anyway, their insurance company has finally called to offer me a settlement of ~$616 ($116 for Dr's visit and $500 for inconvenience, etc.). Basically, do you think this is a fair settlement offer or is it a lowball first offer? I can't claim diminish value as my compact is now ~10 years old.

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I was in an accident as a kid and remember the panic for years after the incident. I think it delayed my desire to get ... (more)

SUCKISSTAPLES (Jul. 18, 2012 @ 4:27a) |


Very lowball offer. What if you have medical issues related to this accident in the future?

My first thought is "Is there a name for something lower than a lowball offer?"

Okay, if the offer really is lowball, what should I counter with and what rationale would I use? Obviously, I'm completely clueless in this matter, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

What do you believe you should be compensated for in addition to what they are offering?

They are paying you for vacation, the doctor visits, autobody and rental. What other damages do you have?

Melvin said:   I was rear-ended in my compact car

Eww.

Seriously, very low ball, you should call them back and tell them your neck brace & attorney consultation will cost more than that.

kranky said:   My first thought is "Is there a name for something lower than a lowball offer?"

Mariana Trench offer

elektronic said:   What do you believe you should be compensated for in addition to what they are offering?

They are paying you for vacation, the doctor visits, autobody and rental. What other damages do you have?


Future medical

elektronic said:   What do you believe you should be compensated for in addition to what they are offering?

They are paying you for vacation, the doctor visits, autobody and rental. What other damages do you have?


I don't know. Never been through this before hence the original post and questions. I don't intend on doing anything frivilous, just want to make sure the settlement is fair to all parties, including me and not just something that benefits only the insurance company.

Melvin said:   Okay, if the offer really is lowball, what should I counter with and what rationale would I use? Obviously, I'm completely clueless in this matter, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Do you feel you should get more? If yes, then why? That's your rationale.

But it sounds more like you are just wanting to soak the insurance company for the sake of soaking the insurance company. This is why insurance premiums get so high; you shouldnt score a windfall, you should get whatever it takes to make you "whole" with where you'd stand the accident never occured.

That said, I'm not saying you shouldnt get more; given a rear-end accident, doctor visit, etc, and the fact a settlement means you are waiving any future claim, you probably should get more. About the time you start having back/neck issues that can be traced back to this accident, $500 isnt going to go far. For that amount, I'd just decline the settlement due to the potential for lingering injuries (which in itself will probably cause the insurance to ratchet up the offer).

Melvin said:   Okay, if the offer really is lowball, what should I counter with and what rationale would I use? Obviously, I'm completely clueless in this matter, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Do you wish to keep your future medical rights?

Glitch99 said:   Melvin said:   Okay, if the offer really is lowball, what should I counter with and what rationale would I use? Obviously, I'm completely clueless in this matter, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Do you feel you should get more? If yes, then why? That's your rationale.

But it sounds more like you are just wanting to soak the insurance company for the sake of soaking the insurance company. This is why insurance premiums get so high; you shouldnt score a windfall, you should get whatever it takes to make you "whole" with where you'd stand the accident never occured.

That said, I'm not saying you shouldnt get more; given a rear-end accident, doctor visit, etc, and the fact a settlement means you are waiving any future claim, you probably should get more. About the time you start having back/neck issues that can be traced back to this accident, $500 isnt going to go far. For that amount, I'd just decline the settlement due to the potential for lingering injuries (which in itself will probably cause the insurance to ratchet up the offer).


$500 is probably in the ballpark for non future medical. You can settle without waiving your rights.

Glitch99 said:   Melvin said:   Okay, if the offer really is lowball, what should I counter with and what rationale would I use? Obviously, I'm completely clueless in this matter, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Do you feel you should get more? If yes, then why? That's your rationale.

But it sounds more like you are just wanting to soak the insurance company for the sake of soaking the insurance company. This is why insurance premiums get so high; you shouldnt score a windfall, you should get whatever it takes to make you "whole" with where you'd stand the accident never occured.

That said, I'm not saying you shouldnt get more; given a rear-end accident, doctor visit, etc, and the fact a settlement means you are waiving any future claim, you probably should get more. About the time you start having back/neck issues that can be traced back to this accident, $500 isnt going to go far. For that amount, I'd just decline the settlement due to the potential for lingering injuries (which in itself will probably cause the insurance to ratchet up the offer).


Thanks for your reply. Actually, no, I'm not looking for a wind-fall at all. As I said, I just want to make sure I'm covered in case something crops up. Again, as someone who had never experienced a car accident before, I don't know what needs to be accounted for before agreeing to a settlement that is fair to all.

kranky said:   My first thought is "Is there a name for something lower than a lowball offer?"scumball offer

062703 said:   
$500 is probably in the ballpark for non future medical. You can settle without waiving your rights.

They most likely wont pay without including a waiver; they arent going to offer "go away" money without ensuring you go away for good.

Glitch99 said:   062703 said:   
$500 is probably in the ballpark for non future medical. You can settle without waiving your rights.

They most likely wont pay without including a waiver; they arent going to offer "go away" money without ensuring you go away for good.


They aren't offering 'go away' money. They are offering roughly the cost incurred.

INS companies make settlements all the time that don't include a waiver.

Glitch99 said:   Do you feel you should get more? If yes, then why? That's your rationale.

But it sounds more like you are just wanting to soak the insurance company for the sake of soaking the insurance company.



Why is it that when people come here and post about the bad decisions they've already made, they get hounded for having made bad decisions before seeking advice, but then people like OP come here asking for advice so they don't make a bad decision and they get accused of trying to take advantage of the situation?

From everything you have described, this is not a low-ball offer at all. This is a minor impact, soft tissue case where you received very minimal treatment and perhaps most importantly, have not treated in roughly 8 months. Some questions, though:

1. Did you tell the police officer you were hurt?

2. What state are you in?

3. How old are you?

4. Who is the other driver's insurance carrier?

5. What parts of body did you injure (if anything was injured) and have you ever had any prior treatment for those body parts?

6. Have you had any subsequent accidents or injuries?

7. How have the injuries you sustained from this accident impacted you since the accident?

They have already paid the economic damages that were incurred (property damage, rental car etc.)

Anything they offer now would be contingent on the injured signing off on a full release of claims.

062703 said:   Glitch99 said:   062703 said:   
$500 is probably in the ballpark for non future medical. You can settle without waiving your rights.

They most likely wont pay without including a waiver; they arent going to offer "go away" money without ensuring you go away for good.


They aren't offering 'go away' money. They are offering roughly the cost incurred.

INS companies make settlements all the time that don't include a waiver.


I'd like to see an example of an insurance company offering a settlement which goes beyond certain economic damages that does not require a release of claims

It's been almost 8 months, and you said yourself, "Luckily, no other visits for medical treatments.". From what you wrote, it sounds like they've made you "whole" again. If that's the case, it sounds like a fair offer to me. Otherwise, your question should be, "How much more of a windfall do you think I can gain from the insurance company?"

I've been in 2 accidents where the other driver was at fault. 1 made an illegal left turn in my right of way and another rear ended me. The attorney I used basically told me if it's muscle strains, they will pay for treatment, but they will only pay to a point. If you sustained broken bones, that's a different story. If you wanted to milk it, like some of the advice you've been offered above. I think it's a little late. At 8 months with no documented addition medical visits, I don't think you have much of a case. Now if you had been visiting a chiropractor for the last 8 months for your injuries, that's a different story.

Good luck with your decision. As long you can look yourself in the mirror and can say that you treated the other party fairly (or how you would have liked to be treated), you've done the right thing.

Ajohn32 said:   062703 said:   Glitch99 said:   062703 said:   
$500 is probably in the ballpark for non future medical. You can settle without waiving your rights.

They most likely wont pay without including a waiver; they arent going to offer "go away" money without ensuring you go away for good.


They aren't offering 'go away' money. They are offering roughly the cost incurred.

INS companies make settlements all the time that don't include a waiver.


I'd like to see an example of an insurance company offering a settlement which goes beyond certain economic damages that does not require a release of claims


They haven't paid all economic damages. He had a doctor's visit and loss of work that he hasn't been compensated for.

They've paid all the economic damages that normally would not go in front of a jury or other fact-finder. Medical treatment and lost wages, while "out of pocket" expenses, are held to a "fair, just and reasonable" standard that can only be determined by a fact-finder.

If an insurance company has paid for the auto-body damage and rental car, then they would expect a full release of claims for any additional payment.

They are setting themselves up for a nasty bad faith or malpractice claim from their policy-holder otherwise.

Seems low to me, same state, similar accident. There was a police report though since the guy who hit me needed a tow, and probably totaled his car. They offered me something like $1600 plus all repairs (I think it came to about $3500) and rental car. I considered going after them for more since my neck did sort of hurt for a few days, but whatevs.

Do you experience any pain at all on a regular basis?

Ajohn32 said:   They've paid all the economic damages that normally would not go in front of a jury or other fact-finder. Medical treatment and lost wages, while "out of pocket" expenses, are held to a "fair, just and reasonable" standard that can only be determined by a fact-finder.

If an insurance company has paid for the auto-body damage and rental car, then they would expect a full release of claims for any additional payment.

They are setting themselves up for a nasty bad faith or malpractice claim from their policy-holder otherwise.


So they havn't paid all economic damages. Thanks for clearing that up.


Also, there are ways of determining what he is allowed for lost wages (a formula perhaps) all of which he can find out himself without the need of a special 'fact finder'.

Melvin said:   My Settlement Offer from being Rear-Ended

A reach around? A Kiss?

I am still trying to figure out WHY you registered 8 years ago, yet all your posts are in this 1 topic, which you started. Whatcha been doing all this time???

IANAL, but something you may want to consider is that they may want to include some form of confidentiality clause in the settlement agreement.

Also, you may be able to find some information about how the particular insurance company operates.

Anyway, if you feel you deserve more or you want more (for whatever reason), ask for more. You may want to consider the fact that making a counteroffer may result in them pulling their offer off the table. I don't know anything about how insurance companies operate, but in most negotiations, the first offer is not the final offer. The goal of each party in a negotiation is to get what they want while leaving the other party feeling as if they gave up as little as they had to.

You mentioned that they finally decided to call you. What were the circumstances that led to that call? Were you communicating with them over the last couple months and they finally decided to make an offer, or did they just randomly call you up to offer you money?

I'm sure it is state specific, but we settled on an accident in Louisiana a few years back and you had 1 year to either (a) settle the claim or (b) file suit, due to a statute of limitations of some type. This could factor into them contacting him at this time-frame, or just to get it 'off the books'.

062703 said:   Ajohn32 said:   They've paid all the economic damages that normally would not go in front of a jury or other fact-finder. Medical treatment and lost wages, while "out of pocket" expenses, are held to a "fair, just and reasonable" standard that can only be determined by a fact-finder.

If an insurance company has paid for the auto-body damage and rental car, then they would expect a full release of claims for any additional payment.

They are setting themselves up for a nasty bad faith or malpractice claim from their policy-holder otherwise.


So they havn't paid all economic damages. Thanks for clearing that up.


Also, there are ways of determining what he is allowed for lost wages (a formula perhaps) all of which he can find out himself without the need of a special 'fact finder'.



Again, they would not pay any medical bills without securing a release of all claims. We're not splitting the atom, here.

And I believe the "ways" you are referring to are "discovery" and "interrogatories". There is no "formula" for computing lost wage claims.

062703 said:   Glitch99 said:   062703 said:   
$500 is probably in the ballpark for non future medical. You can settle without waiving your rights.

They most likely wont pay without including a waiver; they arent going to offer "go away" money without ensuring you go away for good.


They aren't offering 'go away' money. They are offering roughly the cost incurred.

INS companies make settlements all the time that don't include a waiver.


I'd still LOVE to see an example of an insurance company's offer to settle a claim that does not include a release (you're incorrectly using the word "waiver" here, btw)

FKAKS said:   Seems low to me, same state, similar accident. There was a police report though since the guy who hit me needed a tow, and probably totaled his car. They offered me something like $1600 plus all repairs (I think it came to about $3500) and rental car. I considered going after them for more since my neck did sort of hurt for a few days, but whatevs.

Did you have medical expenses? What was the $1600 for. I was also rear-ended recently and I'm waiting to hear from the insurance company on what they are going to offer me. My expectation is that they'll pay me for my (totaled) jeep and my rental car. I didn't go to the hospital and haven't had any lingering issues. I don't feel like I need or deserve medical comp, but if they want to give it to me, who am I to say no?

Ajohn32 said:   062703 said:   Glitch99 said:   062703 said:   
$500 is probably in the ballpark for non future medical. You can settle without waiving your rights.

They most likely wont pay without including a waiver; they arent going to offer "go away" money without ensuring you go away for good.


They aren't offering 'go away' money. They are offering roughly the cost incurred.

INS companies make settlements all the time that don't include a waiver.


I'd still LOVE to see an example of an insurance company's offer to settle a claim that does not include a release (you're incorrectly using the word "waiver" here, btw)




It was injected into the conversation by another poster, so I used it in response for clarity. Thank you for pointing that out.

LordKronos said:   
Why is it that when people come here and post about the bad decisions they've already made, they get hounded for having made bad decisions before seeking advice, but then people like OP come here asking for advice so they don't make a bad decision and they get accused of trying to take advantage of the situation?
I'd give more greens if I could.

To the OP: I doubt you will do much better than the initial offer. You could balk at signing the release, and see if they up the ante, if you want to.

But to address your legitimate worry about future medical bills: To hold this insurer responsible for any future medical issues, you're going to have to establish the accident is directly causing whatever problems you are suffering. It's been eight months, and you've been pretty much fine. I think you'd have a very tough time proving the necessary causation. That significantly devalues the benefit to the insurance company of having you "go away," which might explain why the offer is so low - and might be withdrawn if they think you are fishing for significantly more.

You have the following losses that you can quantify:

$116 medical expense
$400 lost wages (if you take leave - sick leave or vacation - that's the same as losing wages in my book).

Were there any other expenses, for medications, neck brace, mileage for lengthy travel to your doctor's office (55.5 cents/mile, the official IRS rate, adds up)? Did you have to hire a neighbor kid to mow your lawn/shovel snow for a few weeks or have a cleaning lady do your cleaning that month? Add those numbers in, too.

They offered you $100 more than that sum, for what you called "inconvenience."

What about your pain? How long did it last, where was it, did you have headaches, did you need any prescription muscle relaxers or pain killers? Did your pain interfere with your sleep? For how long? Did you have to cancel any plans, such as a vacation, camping trip, bike ride, softball game, ski trip, attending your kid's extracurricular event, or, even more egregiously, did it prevent you from playing golf for several weeks or months , etc....? Be candid, not stoic. How much money do you think a typical person would have to accept to repeat the pain you suffered from the day of the accident until you recovered fully and how much would they take to forego their regularly scheduled activities during the period it took for you to heal? If you have no idea, talk to a half dozen friends and family members and see what numbers they have in mind, to get an average figure. Add that amount to your total.

Write a letter setting forth all of this information and respond to the insurance company with a counter. The more details you provide (at least up to a point), the more credible your demand will be. Keep in mind that a lot of people begin negotiations by offering half or a third of what they'll pay or by demanding 100% to 200% more than they'll accept.

If the insurance company balks, contact your local courthouse and obtain small claims forms for filing a small claims lawsuit, fill them out and send a draft copy to the insurance company to show that you are serious about suing if they don't agree to a reasonable settlement. It will probably cost the insurer more than double what they are presently offering you just to pay a lawyer to defend a lawsuit through a trial, not counting the amount you may be awarded. Don't hesitate to point out that fact.

Good luck.

If you had $116 medical and $400 lost wages I'd imagine you can get $2-3k pain and suffering .

I'd demand $3500 and compromise somewhere in the $1500-2000 range . In CA you can file a small claims action and if the amount is less than $2500 the insurer cannot appeal it , they must pay it

Re/ medical costs, how fast was the truck going when it hit you? As others have pointed out, make sure you don't waive your rights for future if the symptoms haven't surfaced yet.

Re/ repair costs, did you go to the insurance company's DRP shop? How long do they warranty their work? Did the insurance company reimburse you for the depreciated value of your vehicle as a result of being in a collision?

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   If you had $116 medical and $400 lost wages I'd imagine you can get $2-3k pain and suffering .

I'd demand $3500 and compromise somewhere in the $1500-2000 range . In CA you can file a small claims action and if the amount is less than $2500 the insurer cannot appeal it , they must pay it


Keyword "Imagine." The general rule-of-thumb is that pain and suffering is 3x medical bills (or thereabouts). However, that assumes an injury. In this case, the medical bill (singular) arises from a "precautionary" check-up, with no complaints of pain or otherwise from the OP. By being difficult, the OP may get more than the original offer, but if so, it is going to be incremental and based upon nuisance value-- not because of any pain and suffering. And of course, there is also the chance they decide to pay him nothing and make him prove that a doctor's appointment when there was no complaint or injury is something other than his responsibility to pay.

I think you can ask for 1K-2K.

A few years ago my husband and I were rear ended. On the way to the birth center. While I was in labor. We were okay, it was very minor, and there was no damage to the vehicle. But, it was scary because I was in active labor, and it ground to a complete halt when we got hit and didn't resume for several hours.

The guy's insurance co. called up my husband at work later that week, and my husband was psyched to hear they were offering $250 to each of us to release liability on future claims, or whatever the terminology was. I was busy in "my first baby" land, so I didn't take the call. Later when my husband told me the big news ($500!) I felt like that was a serious lowball offer. I called back and asked him to triple it. Which he did. And then I was immediately sorry I had not asked for more. I feel like if they are asking you to sign a release, they better pony up, depending on the situation.

Skipping 40 Messages...
cheapdad00 said:   
Fast forward a few years and the neck pain begins, nothing terribly serious but enough for her to whine about when there is a flare up. The worst is the panic which rises in her every time we are stopped/slowing down for a light and a car approaches from behind (whether there is a realistic chance we would ever be hit or not). The panic is real and the anxiety has crept into other facets of her life as well. These are things which did not present themselves soon after the accident but are related and for which we must pay for ourselves.
.

I was in an accident as a kid and remember the panic for years after the incident. I think it delayed my desire to get a license till I was 17 and starting college, and had to start driving... rather than 16. Luckily it faded away, but did last for years.



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