off topic: car accident,need advice

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by nursie, Jun 22, 2001.

  1. nursie

    nursie Well-Known Member

    Sorry to post this here, but it doesn't look like many people go to the off topic board.
    We were on our way to pick up our new vehicle (yippee) when we were rear-ended. (in our probe, hit by a 1-ton work company truck). Hubby & I have hurt necks, & we're going to a chiropractor today.
    I just got the estimate on repairs, & it's $2000. The retail blue book on the car is $3800, but checking the papers I see mostly $2500 retail value. His agent mentioned they might total it. How does all this work? How much should I settle for? How much are injuries worth? Hubby's not too bad, my back & neck are worse, not to mention the headache I've had since the accident last Tuesday.
    I was going to sell the car anyway, so I won't be sad if they pay me off.
  2. tom65432

    tom65432 Well-Known Member

    It all depends on your insurer. Some are good, some are bad.

    GEICO gave me a real good deal when my car was totaled. On the other hand, dealing with the other insurer (for the bad guy) has been terrible. They said we will be glad to pay your hospital bills but you have to sue us first.

    My car retailed for $14,000 new. I paid $12,000. It was four years old with about 50,000 miles and they gave me $8,000. That was the high end of the retail value in the books (not wholesale).

    Treat the other insurance company reps like you would treat someone from a collection agency. They are deceitful and out to get you. They are not your friend, they are the enemy. Never tell them you are getting better. They will use it against you in the future.

    You are better off dealing with them only in writing. It is very possible that your injuries may get worse.
    Above all, do not settle until you are absolutely sure of your injuries. I would wait close to a year. But, some states have a very short SOL, sometimes only one year, so you may have to sue before the year is up.

    You may want to see a regular doctor. There may be serious injuries. My back and neck pain resulted in medical bills of $80,000 and an operation that resulted in three months of recovery. I missed two years of work.
  3. sam

    sam Well-Known Member

    Getting book value of your car will be hard. If it is that old. go to and put in your car with the features/etc and mileage. Insurance companies will usually pay low-to-mid book valuve to get you off their backs.

    If the damage exceeds 60% of that value, they will total the car out.

    Insurance companies are responsible for at least 1 year of any injuries or subsequently detected damage.

    Get a lawyer, preferably a friend, who doesn't charge 40% for the case. Regardless, get a lawyer, or you won't see a dime for at least a year or so.. Thats the big benefit of having a lawyer, they will move to get their money, quick.
  4. tom65432

    tom65432 Well-Known Member

    Who is the insurer for the guy who hit you? Are you in a no fault state?
  5. nursie

    nursie Well-Known Member

    Initially I was trying to get in to a Dr, but I can't get in (started calling yesterday am). This chiropractor works together with my MD, so I feel somewhat comfortable. I definately want an xray, since I'm getting worse not better. I'm kinda nervous, 'cause I really can't take time off work.
    The guy's insurance is Uniguard. I believe it's a commercial policy. I don't know if I'm in a no-fault state. I'm in CA. Ummmmm....what exactly is no-fault? My insurance (Allstate) said that I could always do a claim thru them & let them go after the other insurance.
    The high kbb is 3800. They don't show a low. I was going to 'hope' for 2000 when I sold it, would've taken a little less (new motor, new trans, new paint job 2 weeks ago). The average advertised is 2500 private party.
    A lawyer? I hadn't considered it. I do know a personal injury one. Not a friend, but someone I used years ago. He's on his own now. I was thinking that I'd only need one if I was getting hassled.
  6. tom65432

    tom65432 Well-Known Member

    Having been through this before, here is my opinion. It will probably get worse for at least a few days. I had a lot of pain and then my whole left side went numb after 18 months. I had to have surgery more than 1 1/2 years after the accident. It was brutal and I never fully recovered. It is now three years later.

    The other insurance company rep played the part of my new best friend. Always calling me to see how I was doing. He also always lied. Kept telling me the doctors and hospitals were being paid when they were not.

    Kept promising to pay when it was all over. I knew there was a one year SOL so I kept pressing. I finally got an attorney to sue. I think the rep wanted to string me out beyond the SOL so I would get nothing. His best offer was $18,000 when my bills totaled $80,000 plus two years of lost wages, and pain and suffering.

    If you are not hurt too badly, I suggest you deal with your insurer for the payment of bills. But, if it looks like a long term problem, you need to get an attorney.

    In any case, I would never again deal directly with the other insurer.

    People who work for insurance companies are the people who are to mean and dishonest to work for collection agencies.
  7. nursie

    nursie Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much for your advice. I'm hoping the chiropractor will have a good idea to the extend of dmg.
    BTW, what exactly is a no fault? Is it something I have to worry about?
  8. godaddyo

    godaddyo Well-Known Member

    Many insurers will have a clause that make you helpless when it comes to legal action, it requires you to arbitration with someone that they pick to arbitrate. Take a deep breath, and do not settle for anything that is not amicable. If you have to many problems you can get government agencies involved. Good luck!!
  9. tom65432

    tom65432 Well-Known Member

    No fault was passed in some states, but not all. The idea is to cut down on litigation. Basically it says you have to look to your insurer for relief unless you go over a certain threshhold. Then you can sue. It does make it easier.

    This is the best I can explain it. Maybe someone else can do a better job. The theory is that your company will be easier to deal with because they have an interest in keeping you happy. The other company does not care about you because you are not a customer.

    Since there are less lawsuits, there should be less costs involved, and less cost for insurance.

    Even without no fault, your insurer should pay the bills if you have that coverage. They can go after the other insurer.

    I do not know if California has it or not.
  10. sam

    sam Well-Known Member

    yes cali is no-fault.

    but still get a lawyer, and sue. Otherwise you'll be paying off those medical bills and waiting forever to get any $$. True they take 30-40% but they do go to bat to get it done quickly. Most insurance companies will not speak to you unless they have been slapped with a lawsuit. Then they will settle.
  11. NanaC

    NanaC Well-Known Member

    I just (I mean one week ago) settled a lawsuit for being rear-ended in a car (while sitting at a stoplight)..I was the passenger of the car that was was totaled. I just got a HORRIBLE settlement 4 years after the stupid accident. I had 53,000 in actual damages alone (not to mention pain and suffering ,etc)..the whole stupid thing sucks..I had a hurt neck, dislocated jaw, wore mouth braces for 9 months, etc..out of work for 9 months..hospitalized twice..and I mean my settlement was bad!! My injuries were so substantial that the money ran out and my insurance had to pick up on it...we lost my income in the 9 months, had to move (after having just moved 9 months before) for hubby to take a higher paying job..our life basically fell apart!

    You need a lawyer....sooner, not later....but be smart...ask around and see who has had a good experience on such a situation..for instance, I wouldn't recommend was a comedy of errors...

    A couple of good check with a regular MD as well..just to substantiate any kind of injuries such as dislocations, etc. I also used a chiro..but the jaw required a different kind of specialist...keep copies of everything..and most importantly, write a sentence or two daily of how you are feeling and significant will help so much if this thing drags on as mine has...

    Best of luck to you..I'm so sorry for your accident!
  12. nursie

    nursie Well-Known Member

    I just went to the chiropractor, & they asked me if I had a lawyer yet. Then they made an appt. with my MD, who again asked me if I had a lawyer yet. Seems to be the general plan.
    I'm very grateful for the advice. It's going to be a long recoup, it sounds like.
    Thanks, guys. :)
  13. tom65432

    tom65432 Well-Known Member

    NanaC had a great idea. Take notes every day on how you feel. I did it for a while but did not keep up with it. Try writing a paragraph or so on how everything feels every day - back, neck, legs, arm, headaches, how well you sleep. And, keep a journal on doctor visits, hospital visits, tests, prescriptions, and everything else. I wish I had been more meticulous.

    After three years, I got an offer of $100,000. Not enough to pay the doctors, hospital and lawyer.
  14. godaddyo

    godaddyo Well-Known Member

    written journals can be very effective. I would reccomend using Outlooks. I believe that it is permissable and well liked in courts...
  15. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    Nursie!! Email me I'm an agent

    and I'm licensed in CA. My email is enabled on this site, just click on my name.

  16. NanaC

    NanaC Well-Known Member did better than me..I got taken royally..

  17. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

  18. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    Excuse me????????????????????????????????

    Yes, I am taking offense at this comment. You are talking about me.

  19. NanaC

    NanaC Well-Known Member

    Well, I blame my situation on an ineffective case was solid..(sheesh, how much at fault can you be as a passenger in a rear-ended car..LOL)..

    Though I had the same insurance as the guy who hit us..they weren't exactly concerned about me..LOL

    Oh, well, it's over now! Except for the painful jaw..and oh, my neck..and..
  20. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    Nana, most of the time, the company will pay the limits of the policy without batting an eyelash. If you try to get more from them you are SOL. That is why everyone should carry higher liability than most states require. Virginia only requires you to carry $50,000 total liability. Needless to say that is not going to cover much these days. Most people don't want to pay for the higher coverage.

    But I look at it this way - if I should be at fault in an accident, wouldn't I want the other person's medical problems taken care of? I carry the highest liability limit my insurance company offers. It isn't that much more expensive.

    After the company has paid out the policy limit, you have to sue the individual. In a lot of cases, the lawyers know they aren't going to get much even if they win, and since they work on contingency, they won't do it. What results is the lawyer gets part of the money you would have gotten anyway.

    I am not knocking having a lawyer - I have one myself ;) But if the company is going to pay anyway..........

    Also, IMHO, the no fault states are screwing their residents in favor of the insurance companies.


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