hit by drunk driver, new car

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I bought a new 2017 Elantra 3 months ago using the guide on this site.  2 Weeks ago I was rear ended by a drunk driver.  The police came and took him away, it was obviously his fault.

I have a claim against them and they are fixing my car.  However I had two questions about other claims, and I have hired a lawyer.  I live in Maryland, the accident was in PA, so the law firm I hired in MD transfered me to a lawyer in PA they work with I didn't have to sign any new papers.


1.  Loss of value claim.  Since when I go to sell this to carmax in 2 years as I usually do, and buy a new car, I will not get alot less for my car since it has been in an accident.  Carmax will not resell it but designate it as whole sale and send it to an auction, they do not sell accident vehicles as they are looked at as tainted in the auto industry.  Luckily I did get an appraisal a week after I bought it so maybe Carmax can dig it up and that will help me in my loss of value claim.  Are these claims usually given by the other guys insurance, or do they not pay out?  If so, then do I sue him or them?

2.  Injury. 2 days after the accident I went to patient first as I have some good whiplash like I did in an accident years ago. neck, upper  back traps.  patient first took xrays they were fine. After I hired my lawyer, they had me to to some physical therapy clinic (no referral needed).  Seems kinda like a run down shady place but they are helping it loosen up, I am going three times a week.  Do they usually send patients to places like this,and what can I expect from the injury claim?

THe only other time i had whiplash in an accident I didnt get a lawyer.  I went to PT for a few weeks till it felt better, then ended up getting 3k from the other guys insurance.  

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That varies by state. In some states (e.g. Mass.) uninsured coverage is mandatory, underinsured is optional.

NEDeals (Jan. 04, 2017 @ 1:56p) |

Ah, you are misunderstanding me.  The under-insured coverage apparently replaces the UIM policy in both Texas and NC.  I... (more)

RedWolfe01 (Jan. 04, 2017 @ 2:34p) |

Got it.  YMMV.  In some states/policies, under  insured doesn't cover uninsured and vice versa.

NEDeals (Jan. 04, 2017 @ 10:14p) |

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A)
You tell this to your PA lawyer and he sues the DD and his insurance company for as much as he can get.

This is for both questions.

Since you have retained an atty some of this info is moot.The atty sends you to his medical people because they know how to write a comprehensive and

technical report to present to the at fault drivers insurance .The atty takes 33 percent plus medical and other expenses paid by atty,if your claim is settled

within a year.They rarely if ever are settled within a year,after a year the atty gets 40 percent plus all expenses .The atty's doctors put a lien on your

settlement ,when it's settled with the at fault insurer the doctors get their money,then the atty gets his plus any expenses he has incurred ,you get whats

left.I suggest you ask your atty what coverage the at fault driver has and if your insurance has under/uninsured coverage .It's not unusual for accident

victims to walk away owing huge medical bills and not having the car repaired properly.The claims value is based on medical bills times times two to

five,depending on your situation.A dui driver would be the higher amount .But they will only pay the maximum of the policy regardless of your claims value.

higher number ,up to the policy limits. You should ask your atty directly about the policy limits and what your cut will be.Then ask your questions about the

cars value after repairs .All it takes for him to get policy info is a phone call or letter,they deal with the same adjusters on a daily basis.

yaknart33 said:   Since you have retained an atty some of this info is moot.The atty sends you to his medical people because they know how to write a comprehensive and

technical report to present to the at fault drivers insurance .The atty takes 33 percent plus medical and other expenses paid by atty,if your claim is settled

within a year.They rarely if ever are settled within a year,after a year the atty gets 40 percent plus all expenses .The atty's doctors put a lien on your

settlement ,when it's settled with the at fault insurer the doctors get their money,then the atty gets his plus any expenses he has incurred ,you get whats

left.I suggest you ask your atty what coverage the at fault driver has and if your insurance has under/uninsured coverage .It's not unusual for accident

victims to walk away owing huge medical bills and not having the car repaired properly.The claims value is based on medical bills times times two to

five,depending on your situation.A dui driver would be the higher amount .But they will only pay the maximum of the policy regardless of your claims value.

higher number ,up to the policy limits. You should ask your atty directly about the policy limits and what your cut will be.Then ask your questions about the

cars value after repairs .All it takes for him to get policy info is a phone call or letter,they deal with the same adjusters on a daily basis.

  
THank you for the reply. The guy who hit me has farmers insurance. You are correct on the numbers, the contract I signed says the lawyer gets 30% of my settlement, and 40% i believe if it goes to trial.  And the little clinic I go to I assume works with the lawyers, they dont speak to me very much just treat me and I go.

I guess my question, in this situation, is this how I should be going about it?  Let the lawyer take care of everything, except getting my car fixed.  The lawyer and the adjustor of the otehr guys insurance (farmers) are having my deal with the repairs.  They gave me a place to take it to and they will repair my car.

I just am hoping the loss of value claim can be done, and I will get a decent amount for pain and suffering.  IT is getting better so im not too concerned I will have any permanent neck or back pain, just tight and a little sore.

Thanks for the reply

Also, any idea how much a pain and suffering from a whiplash settlment is?  When i had this happen years ago, i went to PT for a while and settled with the adjustor on my own from the guy who hit me.  I believe it was 2-3k, what the hell do the lawyers shoot for?  Do they want it to go to trial, or do they just want to settle?  I wont end up owing money after all this will i?  

vansville said:   Also, any idea how much a pain and suffering from a whiplash settlment is?  When i had this happen years ago, i went to PT for a while and settled with the adjustor on my own from the guy who hit me.  I believe it was 2-3k, what the hell do the lawyers shoot for?  Do they want it to go to trial, or do they just want to settle?  I wont end up owing money after all this will i?  
  As the poster above indicated, pain and suffering is typically 2-5x medical bills. The attorney's job is to rack up the medical bills as much as is reasonably possible and still within the limits of the insured's policy. Out of that 2-5x the attorney still needs to take their fees.

As far as pain and suffering value goes ,it still goes back to the policy limits.Was the other driver cited /arrested? If so

follow his court proceedings to make sure he is charged with a dui not a plea deal to a reckless.It will lend more substance to

your claim.You can also work with the D A to have the at fault driver pay you as part of his sentence and a condition to get

his drivers license back.The main thing you need to know are policy limits . If they are minimum then does your insurance

under/uninsure policy cover what his doesn't.I would be cautious about all the doctor appts until you know what you have to

work with.In several states you have the legal right to sue the other driver for punitive damages because he chose to drive

impaired .The problem is most attys will not bother with it as the process is expensive and trying to collect a judgement is to

much work .They will pursue the insurance money only. You can look up insurance settlements and read about thew people that

didn't receive much or paid out of pocket medical costs after the atty fees and the medical fees were paid.

Out of curisosity, what led you to take the car to Carmax for an appraisal just a couple of months after buying? Personally, I wouldn't use that number at all, since it's discounted from what is essentially a new car. I'd start with what you paid as the value.

yaknart33 said:   As far as pain and suffering value goes ,it still goes back to the policy limits.Was the other driver cited /arrested? If so

follow his court proceedings to make sure he is charged with a dui not a plea deal to a reckless.It will lend more substance to

your claim.You can also work with the D A to have the at fault driver pay you as part of his sentence and a condition to get

his drivers license back.The main thing you need to know are policy limits . If they are minimum then does your insurance

under/uninsure policy cover what his doesn't.I would be cautious about all the doctor appts until you know what you have to

work with.In several states you have the legal right to sue the other driver for punitive damages because he chose to drive

impaired .The problem is most attys will not bother with it as the process is expensive and trying to collect a judgement is to

much work .They will pursue the insurance money only. You can look up insurance settlements and read about thew people that

didn't receive much or paid out of pocket medical costs after the atty fees and the medical fees were paid.

  
the guy who hit me was cited for following too close. he was taken to the hospital for blood testing, and his car towed. i will need to findout if he actually got charged with a DUI.

as For the policy limits, do you mean the guy who hit me?  and what is the best way to do this, ask my lawyer?  So from what it sounds, I want to keep my medical bills under his policy limits, or they will not be covered and will then be deducted from my pain and suffereing settlement?

Also, i thought i read somwhere that my own PIP (Geico) pays for my injuries, not his insurance.  I am in maryland, he is in PA, the accident is in PA.  Are you saying his policy actually pays my medical bills, or they always get deducted from a pain and suffering amount that is agreed to?

Sorry for all the questions I hope they made sense, if not let me know.

Sackajacka said:   Out of curisosity, what led you to take the car to Carmax for an appraisal just a couple of months after buying? Personally, I wouldn't use that number at all, since it's discounted from what is essentially a new car. I'd start with what you paid as the value.
  
It was a brand new elantra, i paid 16.5k out the door.  Meaning approx 15.1k on the vehicle price.  THat was about 900 under truecar.com price at the time, so i thought i got a pretty good deal.  I thought maybe I could flip it, then get another one.  Or use it to become a certified uber driver, then sell it, and use the 1.5k uber rebate on buying another one.  I didn't think it was realistic but figured id get an apprasial to see if possible.

Carmax ended up giving me about 12k on the appraisal, so it lost about 3k once I drove it off the lot, lol.

Your medical on your car insurance will pay for your items up to your policy limits.  After that, they will go after his insurance for anything above and beyond.  Also, make sure your policy has full tort.  That will allow you to sue for pain and suffering along with any items that cost something.  If you have limited tort, you cannot sue for pain and suffering.  

vansville said:   
 

as For the policy limits, do you mean the guy who hit me?  and what is the best way to do this, ask my lawyer?  So from what it sounds, I want to keep my medical bills under his policy limits, or they will not be covered and will then be deducted from my pain and suffereing settlement?

 

  
Yeah, if the guy only has 30K in liability (minimum in PA) and you don't have any uninsured/underinsured coverage then you are not likely to get very much -- the car will take up half of that.  After that you can sue the driver -assuming he has assets.  Also realize he is likely spending a lot of money on his DUI.

It is a basic question you can ask their insurance company as part of the claim (or have yours ask them.)  

That is why you should carry more than minimum insurance as well -- if they realize they are going to hit the limit and its clearly their fault (for example if you hit a very valuable car or multiple vehicles) they will pay it quickly and leave you to the sharks.  If you have 300K in the bucket they are MUCH more likely to fight every step of the way.  Under-insured coverage is critical if your vehicle is worth more than the states minimum coverage.  Surprisingly it is not much more expensive to carry.  The difference for me is a hundred dollars every 6 months or so.  (my policy is $440/6 months currently)

If the person blew an alch level that was off the charts I would go to town on them to make them suffer because if it wasn't you that got hit and were alive the next person could be dead. I don't know how bad I would go at them if it was the equivalent of 1 drink they had, mental fight in my head for that but drinking and driving is just idiotic with the availability of Lyft and Uber these days.

Not every area has Uber/etc but most areas at least have taxi's. Maybe its me but I wouldn't post too much here about how you are feeling in case some wise defense lawyer finds this and uses anything against you.

Since you have already signed a contract with an atty you are locked into paying their percentage of the settlements and using their doctors.You should ask

them your questions ,be direct .For your uninsured/under insured portion of your policy to pay anything ,your policy limits must exceed the at fault drivers

limits.The under/uninsured will cover medical only ,rarely covers property damage depending on your policy,Redwolfe is correct regarding your policy,most

people want low premiums but to upgrade to much higher limits is not that much more.It is worth the extra cost to cover your loss.The states that

allow you to pursue punitive damages against dui drivers are a joke.My guess is organizations like MADD lobbied for the change in law as P R .I do not

support or endorse MADD as in my experience with them has been negative after death of my wife from a dui caused accident.I feel it is run by uncaring

,unorganized ,uneducated ,fund raisers that make a bunch of noise to hear themselves talk.Based on my experience over many years they have not changed and

have not helped many ,if any,in dui collisions. I'll get off the soap box now .The collection of a judgement against dui driver ,that most likely has

nothing worth taking without legal sanctions ,penalties in addition to the initial charges makes this law a paper tiger .The fines that are paid to the

court,madd,victims restitution,dui schools ,etc should be given to the dui victims regardless of insurance coverage.Quite often the victim faces severe

financial,emotional,physical recovery ,loss of income .To anyone that is foolish enough to drive under the influence ,please don't ,arrange

transportation before you go out drinking ,if you get busted the cost of a limo will look like a bargain.

charges against the dui driver because it

involves more then some phone calls and negotiations to collect .You would have to pay out of pocket for everything .If the driver has minimal

coverage and you get a judgement collecting on it is expensive and requires more legal fees.

ZDog377 said:   Your medical on your car insurance will pay for your items up to your policy limits.  After that, they will go after his insurance for anything above and beyond.  Also, make sure your policy has full tort.  That will allow you to sue for pain and suffering along with any items that cost something.  If you have limited tort, you cannot sue for pain and suffering.  
  
I just logged into Geico, this is what im seeing..

PIP $2,500
Bodily Injury Liability $300,000 per person or injury (looks like this is for the other person if im at fault?)
Uninsured Driver Bodily Injury $300,000 (pays for my injuries if hit by an uninsured driver)

So im guessing, since my PIP is only $2,500 (this is considred low i assume?), that my Geico will pay for the first $2,500 in medical bills?  Then anything over, will come from my settlement?

So say i get $3,000 in bills, and a $6000 settlement.  $500 will go to pay the remaining part of my bills PIP doesn't cover, then of whats left, the attorney gets 33%, and i get the rest?  Is this correct?

Luniz97 said:   If the person blew an alch level that was off the charts I would go to town on them to make them suffer because if it wasn't you that got hit and were alive the next person could be dead. I don't know how bad I would go at them if it was the equivalent of 1 drink they had, mental fight in my head for that but drinking and driving is just idiotic with the availability of Lyft and Uber these days.
  
I agree, nothing I hate more than a drunk driver.  But how would I go about this? Im assuming since he has insurance they will pay, not him, and his insurance will just go up as a result, or he may lose his license.  I know one person above posted that I can contact the prosecutor and make him pay me back,  I will have to go reread the post again, not sure what I would be able to sue him personally for if his insurance coveres everything, maybe loss of value on a brand new car (i will not be able to resell it for as much when the time comes, its been in an accident so the carfax is tainted forever).  But im hoping to get a loss of value claim against his insurance too.

As an example -- 100/300 body injury uninsured is $77/6 months. 50K uninsured property damage is $1.50/6 months. (yes, less than two dollars) Unlike comp there is no deductible and its not on your record if you use uninsured coverage instead.

I have BEEN in a car accident where 4-5 vehicles were damaged by one vehicle that had only minimum insurance. My car was virtually undamaged, thankfully.

vansville said:   
ZDog377 said:   Your medical on your car insurance will pay for your items up to your policy limits.  After that, they will go after his insurance for anything above and beyond.  Also, make sure your policy has full tort.  That will allow you to sue for pain and suffering along with any items that cost something.  If you have limited tort, you cannot sue for pain and suffering.  
  
I just logged into Geico, this is what im seeing..

PIP $2,500
Bodily Injury Liability $300,000 per person or injury (looks like this is for the other person if im at fault?)
Uninsured Driver Bodily Injury $300,000 (pays for my injuries if hit by an uninsured driver)

So im guessing, since my PIP is only $2,500 (this is considred low i assume?), that my Geico will pay for the first $2,500 in medical bills?  Then anything over, will come from my settlement?

So say i get $3,000 in bills, and a $6000 settlement.  $500 will go to pay the remaining part of my bills PIP doesn't cover, then of whats left, the attorney gets 33%, and i get the rest?  Is this correct?

  
PIP pays no matter about fault. your Geico coverage can be used for your current accident.  (they may subrogate)  It is coverage on YOU, not them.  You are correct on the other two.

That PIP is fairly typical, in my current state its $1000 and mandatory (called Medpay).  Its mainly for ambulance and direct emergency care.  In Texas it was $2500 and optional.  

We can't tell you how your lawyer wrote it.  Most likely the $2500 PIP isn't considered either way. 

No underinsured coverage?

stanolshefski said:   No underinsured coverage?
  
To the insurance industry they are apparently the same thing.  Un is just a more extreme form of Under.

OK so I spoke to the case manager for the lawyer, this was what was said

First $2,500 in medical bills, the PIP for my own personal Geico pays for. THen after that, I use my personal health insurance (but they will want to be reimbursed). The other guys policy does not pay for my medical bills, it is my own insurance. Then at the end after I reach maximal medical improvement, they go after his insurance, and the unpaid medical bills or ones that my personal insurance was for are part of that and part of the amount of settlement. She said for whiplash people usually go months (longer than 2 months) and to go until I feel better.

I expressed to her my concern that I would have big unpaid bills at the end of this and it would eat up all my settlement she told me not to be concerned, they discuss discounts with the doctors.

This conversation left me wondering if it was a good idea to hire a lawyer? I guess they know what they are doing, or are they trying to get over on me? Everyone says hire a lawyer if you get injured in an accident, but are people better off on their own?

Does what she said make sense?

RedWolfe01 said:   
stanolshefski said:   No underinsured coverage?
  
To the insurance industry they are apparently the same thing.  Un is just a more extreme form of Under.

  That varies by state. In some states (e.g. Mass.) uninsured coverage is mandatory, underinsured is optional. 

NEDeals said:   
RedWolfe01 said:   
stanolshefski said:   No underinsured coverage?
  
To the insurance industry they are apparently the same thing.  Un is just a more extreme form of Under.

  That varies by state. In some states (e.g. Mass.) uninsured coverage is mandatory, underinsured is optional. 

  
Ah, you are misunderstanding me.  The under-insured coverage apparently replaces the UIM policy in both Texas and NC.  It is essentially an upgrade.  (I looked at the coverages on Ge*co while I was typing yesterday)  Then again NC is odd in how it does insurance, which is why a lot of companies don't do bidness here.  They could not directly move my coverages, and ended up getting a letter from TX about not having insurance on file.  Normally they get the transfer from CLUE and I don't hear from them.

RedWolfe01 said:   
NEDeals said:   
RedWolfe01 said:   
stanolshefski said:   No underinsured coverage?
  
To the insurance industry they are apparently the same thing.  Un is just a more extreme form of Under.

  That varies by state. In some states (e.g. Mass.) uninsured coverage is mandatory, underinsured is optional. 

  
Ah, you are misunderstanding me.  The under-insured coverage apparently replaces the UIM policy in both Texas and NC.  It is essentially an upgrade.  (I looked at the coverages on Ge*co while I was typing yesterday)  Then again NC is odd in how it does insurance, which is why a lot of companies don't do bidness here.  They could not directly move my coverages, and ended up getting a letter from TX about not having insurance on file.  Normally they get the transfer from CLUE and I don't hear from them.

  
Got it.  YMMV.  In some states/policies, under  insured doesn't cover uninsured and vice versa. 



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