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Ok, I followed up with the insurance company and countered with $3116. $3000 for 'damages' (their term) and $116 for medical bill. Rationales were lost wages, some diminished value, emotional distress). They countered that with a $250 increase to the original $616, for a total of $866 (with ". . .understand I have little room to move. Please note any offer we make will require a signed release releasing all parties from any and all claims, current and future)."

For those asking for more details,
1) Had no idea how fast truck was going, I was sitting at a red light behind 4-5 other cars. I looked up at the last second and saw the grill of this big truck rushing towards me in my rear view mirror plus a glimpse of the guy with a cell phone to his head.
2) As soon as he hit me, I slammed my forehead into the steering wheel (airbag did not deploy)
3) He admitted fault right away, blaming the anti-lock brakes of his company's fleet trucks. Had me speak to his supervisor on his phone almost immediately.
4) They wanted to pay without going through insurance, but I declined (due to too many horror stories).
5) Repair was performed at a shop I chose with their insurance company's approval
6) Had no issue except for slight headache the rest of the day. Woke up next morning still with headache and slight dizziness, took some ibuprofen and went to work. Headache got worst and my supervisor advised I go to doctors for check up. Doc said to take next couple of days off just in case (apparently since I did not get doc's note, that insurance company said I have no proof doc said I couldn't work).
7) This was in Maryland.
8) The other person's insurance company is Chartis Insurance
9) According to Chartis, settlement would require a signed release releasing all parties from any and all claims, current and future.

Does the dr report indicate head injury?

You had a concussion and possible latent brain injury and you're going to settle for $800?

Have you seen what's happening to football players and boxers 10-20 years down the line?

Melvin said:   Ok, I followed up with the insurance company and countered with $3116. $3000 for 'damages' (their term) and $116 for medical bill. Rationales were lost wages, some diminished value, emotional distress). They countered that with a $250 increase to the original $616, for a total of $866 (with ". . .understand I have little room to move. Please note any offer we make will require a signed release releasing all parties from any and all claims, current and future)."

For those asking for more details,
1) Had no idea how fast truck was going, I was sitting at a red light behind 4-5 other cars. I looked up at the last second and saw the grill of this big truck rushing towards me in my rear view mirror plus a glimpse of the guy with a cell phone to his head.
2) As soon as he hit me, I slammed my forehead into the steering wheel (airbag did not deploy)
3) He admitted fault right away, blaming the anti-lock brakes of his company's fleet trucks. Had me speak to his supervisor on his phone almost immediately.
4) They wanted to pay without going through insurance, but I declined (due to too many horror stories).
5) Repair was performed at a shop I chose with their insurance company's approval
6) Had no issue except for slight headache the rest of the day. Woke up next morning still with headache and slight dizziness, took some ibuprofen and went to work. Headache got worst and my supervisor advised I go to doctors for check up. Doc said to take next couple of days off just in case (apparently since I did not get doc's note, that insurance company said I have no proof doc said I couldn't work).
7) This was in Maryland.
8) The other person's insurance company is Chartis Insurance
9) According to Chartis, settlement would require a signed release releasing all parties from any and all claims, current and future.



$3k was a good counter-offer because it shows that you're serious and not just looking for an outrageous pay-day. Insurance companies typically have a "nuisance value" bottom line that they will offer on smaller cases as to avoid the costs associated with litigation.

I think you may be able to squeeze $1500 out of them.

The "problem" for you here is that you haven't been actively treating.

There's not much you can do to actively treat a brain injury, it's not like a back or neck sprain where physical therapy would be warranted

I'd respond to the offer saying due to the fact I suffered a head injury, $800 is an unreasonable amount to release your insured from future medical costs I may incur relating to the brain trauma . I am informed such brain injuries often do not manifest for quite some time.

Either their offer will shoot up or you can hire a lawyer.

catccc said:   I called back and asked him to triple it. Which he did. And then I was immediately sorry I had not asked for more.

The psychological aspect of negotiations is actually quite interesting. It shows that humans aren't truly rational creatures as many people think we are (and then we get into the argument of whether it's rational to be irrational). If they would have countered your tripled offer and you accepted that, your happiness level would've been higher than if they just accept your offer.

What happens then is the person who's offer was accepted will fight to get more in some other part of the negotiation than they otherwise would have been asking for. That's why it's important to make sure the other side feels they're getting the best deal they possibly can (while you give them as little as you possibly can).

AIM AS HIGH AS YOU CAN... Simple Math=

Insurance company will try to pay you the LEAST possible
+
You try to get as much as you possibly can
divided by 2
=
AVG or fair compensation

If all else fails, lawyer up... I have seen case settle for $10K+with less damage...

This really is an easy thing. There is NO WAY they want lawyers going through all this. Tell them the number is $5k, anything less and you will forward them your lawyers info and they will have to communicate directly with him. They want this settled, believe me.
The same kind of thing happened to me about 15 years ago, I was rear ended but suffered very little damage. I told the insurance company I wanted $2k or it would go to my lawyer. They sent the check the next week.

$500 $1,500 is child's play to an insurance company.

You were REAR ended and not moving. 100% fault of their insured.

IF you were injured, you work record (3-5 weeks off immediately after the accident) and
medical claims (MRIs, Chiro, PT easily totalling $7 to $20 K or more in bills )would support your request.

These items and attorney will get you real money.

If not, they have heard it all before. You threats mean nothing.

I was told by a well-seasoned civil litigator to never settle an injury accident in less than a year. He said to tell the insurer that you want to monitor your medical condition further and will contact them when you are ready to settle. He said they will likely offer you money to settle now in the face of that level of massive uncertainty.

SigX said:   I was told by a well-seasoned civil litigator to never settle an injury accident in less than a year. He said to tell the insurer that you want to monitor your medical condition further and will contact them when you are ready to settle. He said they will likely offer you money to settle now in the face of that level of massive uncertainty.This is the most important consideration, in my opinion.

A couple of years ago a friend's car, plus another car, was side swiped while stopped at a stoplight. No question that my friend was not at fault in the slightest, even though the other driver (17 year old girl in a new Lexus) never accepted responsibility. My friend's old Honda was totaled and she wanted to settle right away. Her young daughter was also in the car. Neither one of them initially thought there were any injuries because they felt OK. I urged them to wait before accepting any offer. A few weeks later both mother and daughter were in pain. Long story short: mother needed minor hand surgery and daughter's knee was damaged. Doctors' reports and tests confirmed the injuries were a direct result of the accident. Mother had a pre-existing back problem that was severely exacerbated by the accident. Doctors' x-rays, etc. also confirmed this. Mother will probably need back surgery, but wants to delay it as long as possible.

I convinced her to talk to a lawyer, who told her, in plain language, that if she has back surgery the insurance company will almost certainly agree to low six figures. Otherwise, she should expect much less. Nevertheless, my friend would rather settle now (it's been about two years) for less money, even though she is convinced she will not be able to avoid surgery. Her daughter will probably also require surgery if she is to continue participating in school sports.

Wait a while OP, before agreeing to anything. If you still feel OK in a few months you might want to think about settling then. But I would suggest waiting at least a few months before signing away your future rights or cashing any insurance checks. And oh yes, I'm not a lawyer.

yankees4life said:   This really is an easy thing. There is NO WAY they want lawyers going through all this. Tell them the number is $5k, anything less and you will forward them your lawyers info and they will have to communicate directly with him. They want this settled, believe me.

.

He already set the bar at $3116. Unless his condition actually worsens , needing more treatment , he is going to need to settle for something between $800-3116. I'm estimating the $1500-2000 range

SIS is on target, but I'd hold out until they include the reach around.

OP, I was driving my fiance's compact older car a few months ago and was rear ended at a stop light as well by a woman in a large SUV on her cellphone. Impact probably 10-15 MPH, but similar injury occured. Head slammed forward and although there was no evidence of concussion I still had a check-up. Woman admitted fault at scene, no police necessary, very similar circumstance.

End results was car deemed Totaled, settled on car value at $2.1K (very fair in my book, had 181k miles). For 'damages' we settled on another ~$2000. I said I wouldn't sign a release waiving the other liable for any future medical expenses unless that amount was met directly relating to what SIS said above about brain trauma not becoming apparent for years.

I believe that I was right to this money given the bruise on my forehead and understanding basic head-trauma. If you believe that you are entitled to a larger settlement than I suggest you don't budge. The insurance company is simply a business trying to save as much money as they possibly can. They have probably already made the ~$850 they offered you by increasing the fleet insurance premium.

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   There's not much you can do to actively treat a brain injury, it's not like a back or neck sprain where physical therapy would be warranted

I'd respond to the offer saying due to the fact I suffered a head injury, $800 is an unreasonable amount to release your insured from future medical costs I may incur relating to the brain trauma . I am informed such brain injuries often do not manifest for quite some time.

Either their offer will shoot up or you can hire a lawyer.


Yes, the dr's report does indicate head injury, more specifically, "patient was in car accident and experiencing headache and dizziness." Anyway, I responded with something along the line of your comment, and they basically responded with, "have your lawyer contact us when you're ready." Guess that's the next step plus longer monitoring?

How is the situation affected if the accident occurs in a no-fault state?

This collision was at low speed, you can do 2K damage to a car by just backing into a wall. OP is just being greedy for the sake of grabbing some cash. My car was rear-ended at a stop, by a pickup, had 5K damage to it. Of course no airbags deploy since its a rear end, but I had my seatbelt on so no head slap.
I got a rental for 30 days, and my car repaired for free, there was never a thought to try to squeeze $$ from the insurance co. wouldn't have felt right, since I had no injuries to treat.

BlueSeaLake said:   This collision was at low speed, you can do 2K damage to a car by just backing into a wall. OP is just being greedy for the sake of grabbing some cash. My car was rear-ended at a stop, by a pickup, had 5K damage to it. Of course no airbags deploy since its a rear end, but I had my seatbelt on so no head slap.
I got a rental for 30 days, and my car repaired for free, there was never a thought to try to squeeze $$ from the insurance co. wouldn't have felt right, since I had no injuries to treat.



Just because you (or anyone) wore a seatbelt doesn't mean you can't have an injury. Whiplash is very common in these types of situations.

BlueSeaLake said:   This collision was at low speed, you can do 2K damage to a car by just backing into a wall. OP is just being greedy for the sake of grabbing some cash. My car was rear-ended at a stop, by a pickup, had 5K damage to it. Of course no airbags deploy since its a rear end, but I had my seatbelt on so no head slap.
I got a rental for 30 days, and my car repaired for free, there was never a thought to try to squeeze $$ from the insurance co. wouldn't have felt right, since I had no injuries to treat.


That's a perfectly valid and understandable position. However, I guarantee you that at any chance the insurance company gets, they'll try to squeeze money out of you. They don't care what "feels right". On the other hand, I do understand the "two wrongs don't make a right" argument.

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.

When I worked for an insurance company handling claims in the past, we were schooled on using logic when it came to claimants asking for more money. And yes, they ALWAYS wanted more money, and understandably in many cases. Essentially you should not just pull a number out of thin air, but base it on facts, and remove as much emotion from the situation as possible.

First, before doing anything else, think logically. What are YOU 'worth' to society, your family, your job, etc (sounds harsh, but thinking about it that way will help you later).

Then, determine an approximately HONEST calculation of the amount of time you've been out of your 'normal routine.' This includes going to the doctor, missing your children's sport games, laying in bed resting when you could otherwise be productive, and time off work. These type of items score at 100% compensation.

Next, determine a REASONABLE percentage that your life and activities have been diminished, and for how long. For example, you feel you were only able to physically function to 90% of your normal ability during this recovery time. So for this item you should be expected to be compensated for that diminished capacity as an inconvenience or 'pain and suffering' (in my mild example, you would be due 10%).

Finally, here is where you take your 'worth' and multiply it by the factors presented above. Your worth is a number you determine based mostly on how much you make in your career plus a reasonable addition to that. You multiply it by its percentage, if any, and the number of days it took you to recover.

This is a formula I used many times in the past when dealing with a very difficult claimant that would not accept initial offers. It helps to give the claimant reassurance that you're not just picking numbers out of a hat, with thought and logic going into the end amount offered.

It is too late. You should have called Jackie. He would have set you up an appointment with Dr. Bison.


gene
Disclaimer
Tell them you will accept their offer, assuming they allow you to slam their testicles in a door.

Time to lawyer up, they won't budge any other way.


Barry
Disclaimer
410.547.8568

Modern said:   How is the situation affected if the accident occurs in a no-fault state?

There are variations. No fault generally refers to mandatory first party medical coverage. The idea is that if you are injured you can seek treatment immediately and payment is through your insurance. Each venue is a little different. Kentucky for example requires 1k in medical bills, or some permanent injury to make a claim for "pain and suffering" against the tortfeasor.

I am going to interject here, My rear end accident was 7/2. SUV hit my 2004 Saturn Ion, we were stopped at a red light. I am 51, CA is my state, and we are both insured. We both are seeing chiropractors, My car is currently being repaired $2000 in damages, I have a rent a car, and my neck, shoulders, and upper back are sore. Had headache the first 2 days. They already offered my $800 for pain and suffering and 2 mos of medical treatment up to $2500 ( This was even before the Chiro. had the exrays back ). Sylvia

Several years ago I was rear-ended by a work van while sitting at a red light. I filed a police report and the driver of the van was cited. The work van was owned by a midsize company with office throughout my state. The insurance adjuster came out to my home and cut me a check for $800 for the rear end damage to my vehicle. I didn't get the damage fixed since it was merely a golf ball side dent in the metal bumper that was 1" deep.

I called up a lawyer, signed the 33% fee retainer and then went to an accident clinic. Three months later, my medical bills were $13K! After all the outstanding medical and lawyer fees, I got a check for $4k.

eBayMaster said:   Several years ago I was rear-ended by a work van while sitting at a red light. I filed a police report and the driver of the van was cited. The work van was owned by a midsize company with office throughout my state. The insurance adjuster came out to my home and cut me a check for $800 for the rear end damage to my vehicle. I didn't get the damage fixed since it was merely a golf ball side dent in the metal bumper that was 1" deep.

I called up a lawyer, signed the 33% fee retainer and then went to an accident clinic. Three months later, my medical bills were $13K! After all the outstanding medical and lawyer fees, I got a check for $4k.


Did you receive 13k in medical treatments or did you just game the system? Lots of chiro work with lawyers to do that kind of stuff.

sounds like a typical PI scam to inflate meds.

getting a check for $4k on $13k in med treatment means you got hosed. The settlement was probably for 30k with 13k going to the fake accident clinic and 13k in legal fees and costs, 4k left to the victim. I know you were probably happy with getting any check at all, but thats just wrong. His claim just benefited the medical and legal vendors over his own injury.

If I get a $30k settlement with 13k in med bills, I classify the settlement as entirely for pain and suffering so its not taxable, then get the med bills reduced to 2-3k in complete satisfaction, and the victim would end up with $20k+ after my fees.

Does anyone know how I should handle my claim? Since I don't know if my injuries can be repaired in the 2 mos and the $2500 they are offering, how do they manage an open claim?

slashjns said:   Does anyone know how I should handle my claim? Since I don't know if my injuries can be repaired in the 2 mos and the $2500 they are offering, how do they manage an open claim?

See my previous post; call an injury lawyer. $2500 is way too low.

The chiro. that I am seeing says he deals with this all the time and he works with attorneys, etc. He said because they made you an offer, that I should take it because the attorneys might get you more, but they'll eat it all up.

slashjns said:   The chiro. that I am seeing says he deals with this all the time and he works with attorneys, etc. He said because they made you an offer, that I should take it because the attorneys might get you more, but they'll eat it all up.

Yeah, take the $800, even though eBayMaster posted right below you that he had a 1" dent and profited 4k...AND you are worried that your injuries cannot be fixed in 2 months and $2500. Why are you posting here asking for advice again?

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   sounds like a typical PI scam to inflate meds.

getting a check for $4k on $13k in med treatment means you got hosed. The settlement was probably for 30k with 13k going to the fake accident clinic and 13k in legal fees and costs, 4k left to the victim. I know you were probably happy with getting any check at all, but thats just wrong. His claim just benefited the medical and legal vendors over his own injury.

If I get a $30k settlement with 13k in med bills, I classify the settlement as entirely for pain and suffering so its not taxable, then get the med bills reduced to 2-3k in complete satisfaction, and the victim would end up with $20k+ after my fees.

(In Mr. Rogers' voice - with abject apologies to the late Fred Rogers): Will you be my lawyer?

This whole thread is depressing. The OP is fine medically. This whole "the insurance company would hose you so get as much as you can blah blah blah" is what's wrong with this country. I think beer costs too much at a football game but I don't jump behind the counter and steal my own and use the excuse they are hosing me as justification.

Those of you claiming he needs to be compensated because he might get head injury dementia in 40 years are just using it as an excuse, that is ridiculous medically speaking.

Get reimbursed for your actual monetary damages and nothing more. "emotional distress" - ridiculous. I mean, really?????

I am an ER doctor and I get people coming to the ER a month after an accident with a note from their lawyer or some quack chiro with a list of imaging studies they want so they can inflate their bill.

The mentality exhibited by most in this thread is why insurance costs so much and why lawyers are ruining this country.

Red me all you want.

We're going through this now, barely begun. We're waiting for the final repair bill on my wife's vehicle this week(?) then submitting the claim form to the state (she was rear-ended at 50-55 by a state employee, they self-insure) which I guess is "intent to sue", the first step for some board to see you have a case against them, getting the ball rolling. I really don't know what to request/expect beyond what I've outlined here... diminished value is a guess, my wife does have some back/neck pain she's still going to the chiropractor for..tricky thing being she's historically a mess with the chiropractic issues as it was...she hadn't gone in for quite a while though...so much for that.

Repair of 2006 Tucson rear-end/body/exhaust/front seat reclines/center console/iinterior detail $6,250.00
Diminshed value of 2006 Tucson if retained $3,000.00
Rental vehicle, 6-22 thru 7-19 $840.00
Her co-pay for PCP visit 6/22 + prescriptions $30.20
Chiropractic care in 4 weeks following 6/21 $800.00
3 work shifts missed for her at 14 hrs each and $24.85/hr $1,043.70
1 work shift for husband, on 6/22 $270.00
1 Apple iPod "classic" 30 GB broken in crash $249.00
1 Griffin RoadTrip 12v Car adapter for iPod, broken in crash $80.00
Restaurant lunch for 6 (went all over the inside) $60
Pain and suffering, gas/time spent, etc (2.5-3x medical expenses????) $2,400.00
....little under 15k in total.

Agree 1000% here. The mentality that treats an auto accident as a winning lottery ticket is one of the biggest problems with this country. I got rear ended by a drunk driver while I was at a stoplight. Car was totaled but his insurance company paid for my rental car and fair value for my vehicle. I had some soreness the next day, but took advil for a few days and was fine. It never crossed my mind to go seek nonsense medical care or sue for damages. They made me whole, stuff happens, etc. Why should I be entitled to lots of cash? You didn't get lucky because someone hit you. All that eventually does is end up as a massive tax on all economic activity in this country that goes to the insurance and legal industry. Its disgusting.

growlers said:   This whole thread is depressing. The OP is fine medically. This whole "the insurance company would hose you so get as much as you can blah blah blah" is what's wrong with this country. I think beer costs too much at a football game but I don't jump behind the counter and steal my own and use the excuse they are hosing me as justification.

Those of you claiming he needs to be compensated because he might get head injury dementia in 40 years are just using it as an excuse, that is ridiculous medically speaking.

Get reimbursed for your actual monetary damages and nothing more. "emotional distress" - ridiculous. I mean, really?????

I am an ER doctor and I get people coming to the ER a month after an accident with a note from their lawyer or some quack chiro with a list of imaging studies they want so they can inflate their bill.

The mentality exhibited by most in this thread is why insurance costs so much and why lawyers are ruining this country.

Red me all you want.

This is my answer to Ahearnb on 7-16...
Ebaymaster's situation has nothing to do with mine, and his situation clearly is not the same as mine. To answer your
condescending question - I reposted because new information developed so now perhaps the final answer or members advice to me may change. Thanks for making my first week here so enjoyable, I hope you never get hurt and rear ended.:

slashjns said:   I hope you never get hurt and rear ended.:

I have, which is why I responded to your question with "See my previous post; call an injury lawyer. $2500 is way too low." to which you ignored and instead listened to your chiropractor.

Congrats on the $800 windfall!

My wife had something similar happen to her ~20 years ago, before I knew her. Person rear ended her car and hit my wife to the point that her neck snapped so that there was a lipstick imprint on her chest. She went to ER in an ambulance and checked out OK - sore for a few days but only soft tissue injuries at the time. They elected not to sue the driver/his insurance company for some of the reasons mentioned in this thread (her dad was a periodontist and hated paying increased malpractice insurance premiums due to frivolous lawsuits, etc.). I assume they were made whole on the property damage and medical expenses incurred (waiving their rights to any further action on their part).

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.

In the OP's case, I would just choose to let the claim stay open as long as he can while still retaining his rights, just to see how his health progressed. Especially if we are talking a settlement in the range of hundreds of dollars - not worth the risk in my mind.

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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