Car accident - was directed to sign release

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miamivice
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Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by miamivice » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:26 am

My wife was in a car accident (her car was rear ended while she was turning right at a stop light). Did maybe $1000 in damages to her car plus injured her hand. She had to take a few hours off work without pay as a result of the accident. We have incurred about $700 in medical bills so far. The medical provider did an evaluation and x-rays of her arm/hand, found an injury, and have her a splint to support her arm for a month, which was inconvenient for her. She had a carseat in the backseat, which should be replaced.

Today, she receives a release of liability form from the other parties' insurance company. It says they will pay her $600 cash plus reimbursement of medical bills, not to exceed $3000, for any medical care sought within 60 days of accident, as well as repair the car. By signing it, we would release the insurance company from all future claims relating to this accident.

To me, this sounds like a total ripoff. I think they should pay for all medical care until she is fully healed, with no dollar cap at the moment and no time limit at the moment.

I am thinking about asking for the following:
$700 - reimbursement for medical bills (we believe this to be all of the medical bills)
$1000 - pain, suffering, inconvenience
$1000 - car repair
$1000 - diminished value of vehicle due to accident
$125 - time off without pay from work due to accident
$300 - carseat replacement

Total - $4125 (some payable to us, some payable to repair shop, some payable to health insurance company).

Thoughts?

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lthenderson
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by lthenderson » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:36 am

Had the same thing occur to me a year and a half ago. I just threw the check they sent in a drawer until all my medical bills were over with and the car had been repaired. Once I was satisfied that I would have no more bills, I signed the paper, mailed it back and cashed the check even though it was two months passed the cut off date. Nothing was said and the check cleared.

ved
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by ved » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:36 am

Why are you dealing with the other party's insurance company?
You should have your insurance company represent you (that's what they are "hired" by you to do)

sport
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by sport » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:37 am

You do not know whether or not there will not be future medical bills or future pain and suffering. IMO, you would be letting them eliminate future possible liability for little cost. Before you agree to any fixed amount, you should allow for this possibility and get paid for it. However, IANAL.

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Alexa9
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by Alexa9 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:38 am

This is what lawyers are for. You could probably get more out of them than that.

bberris
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by bberris » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:42 am

ved wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:36 am
Why are you dealing with the other party's insurance company?
You should have your insurance company represent you (that's what they are "hired" by you to do)
Not really. They represent you if someone makes a claim against you, not when you have a claim against someone else. If the insurance company wants to, they are free to settle with the opposing party making a claim, even if this opens you up to the remainder. When people have minimum coverage, the insurance co will often settle for the limit.

miamivice
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by miamivice » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:46 am

ved wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:36 am
Why are you dealing with the other party's insurance company?
You should have your insurance company represent you (that's what they are "hired" by you to do)
My understanding is that I could have filed a collision claim against my own insurance company, they would have repaired my car, and then they would have pursued payment from the other parties insurance. But getting the car fixed has been simple and without argument.

I am not able to file for medical or diminished value with my own insurance company - that has to be filed with the other parties insurance.

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dm200
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by dm200 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:51 am

ved wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:36 am
Why are you dealing with the other party's insurance company?
You should have your insurance company represent you (that's what they are "hired" by you to do)
Could be wrong, but I don't think so. Your insurance company will only represent you for coverage you have with them. I do not see that the personal injury issues/costs/etc. would be matters normally on YOUR insurance.

Where this can normally come in is if you have collisoon coverage and the other at fault party/company balks at paying, then you file collision and your company goes after the other company.

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dm200
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by dm200 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:55 am

miamivice wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:26 am
My wife was in a car accident (her car was rear ended while she was turning right at a stop light). Did maybe $1000 in damages to her car plus injured her hand. She had to take a few hours off work without pay as a result of the accident. We have incurred about $700 in medical bills so far. The medical provider did an evaluation and x-rays of her arm/hand, found an injury, and have her a splint to support her arm for a month, which was inconvenient for her. She had a carseat in the backseat, which should be replaced.
Today, she receives a release of liability form from the other parties' insurance company. It says they will pay her $600 cash plus reimbursement of medical bills, not to exceed $3000, for any medical care sought within 60 days of accident, as well as repair the car. By signing it, we would release the insurance company from all future claims relating to this accident.
To me, this sounds like a total ripoff. I think they should pay for all medical care until she is fully healed, with no dollar cap at the moment and no time limit at the moment.
I am thinking about asking for the following:
$700 - reimbursement for medical bills (we believe this to be all of the medical bills)
$1000 - pain, suffering, inconvenience
$1000 - car repair
$1000 - diminished value of vehicle due to accident
$125 - time off without pay from work due to accident
$300 - carseat replacement
Total - $4125 (some payable to us, some payable to repair shop, some payable to health insurance company).
Thoughts?
Not sure about "pain and suffering", or "diminished value".

Was the carseat damaged/destroyed?

I agree, though, that you want to make 100% sure that there not be a short time limit on the medical issues. 60 days seems short.

STINGRAY75
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by STINGRAY75 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:59 am

Dealing direct with the at fault insurance company certainly feels like the responsible approach but they aren’t approaching the discussion with the same level of responsibility as you. They are in it to minimumize costs regardless of what’s faif for the injured. Get a lawyer involved and let them negotiate on your behalf.

miamivice
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by miamivice » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:00 am

Would a lawyer want to get involved with a minor auto accident, where the out of pocket costs are less than $2000?

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midareff
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by midareff » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:01 am

ved wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:36 am
Why are you dealing with the other party's insurance company?
You should have your insurance company represent you (that's what they are "hired" by you to do)
There are probably quite a few pictures of ambulance chasers on billboards around town. I'd guess they could do better for you after their fees, and would probably be willing to guarantee that.

miamivice
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by miamivice » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:06 am

dm200 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:55 am
miamivice wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:26 am
My wife was in a car accident (her car was rear ended while she was turning right at a stop light). Did maybe $1000 in damages to her car plus injured her hand. She had to take a few hours off work without pay as a result of the accident. We have incurred about $700 in medical bills so far. The medical provider did an evaluation and x-rays of her arm/hand, found an injury, and have her a splint to support her arm for a month, which was inconvenient for her. She had a carseat in the backseat, which should be replaced.
Today, she receives a release of liability form from the other parties' insurance company. It says they will pay her $600 cash plus reimbursement of medical bills, not to exceed $3000, for any medical care sought within 60 days of accident, as well as repair the car. By signing it, we would release the insurance company from all future claims relating to this accident.
To me, this sounds like a total ripoff. I think they should pay for all medical care until she is fully healed, with no dollar cap at the moment and no time limit at the moment.
I am thinking about asking for the following:
$700 - reimbursement for medical bills (we believe this to be all of the medical bills)
$1000 - pain, suffering, inconvenience
$1000 - car repair
$1000 - diminished value of vehicle due to accident
$125 - time off without pay from work due to accident
$300 - carseat replacement
Total - $4125 (some payable to us, some payable to repair shop, some payable to health insurance company).
Thoughts?
Not sure about "pain and suffering", or "diminished value".

Was the carseat damaged/destroyed?

I agree, though, that you want to make 100% sure that there not be a short time limit on the medical issues. 60 days seems short.
Pain & suffering is the inconvenience of wearing a split for a month. It created difficulties for my wife to perform normal work and household duties (answering the phone, typing on the computer, making dinner, etc) for the month while she wore it. Also her arm was sore for a while and the pain that she experience, while not lasting, was uncomfortable for her. Some compensation for this is reasonable.

The diminished value is the amount that the value of our car has declined since it has been in another accident. The accident will show up on CARFAX, and the first question a buyer would ask is if the car has been in an accident. Since it has, and it shows up on CARFAX, we should receive compensation for the decrease in vehicle value due to the accident.

The carseat was not "destroyed" in the accident but it is good practice to replace the carseat after an accident, especially since one of the occupants was injured. There may be hairline cracks in the carseat that will cause it not to protect the occupant properly in a future accident.

ved
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by ved » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:08 am

miamivice wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:46 am
ved wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:36 am
Why are you dealing with the other party's insurance company?
You should have your insurance company represent you (that's what they are "hired" by you to do)
My understanding is that I could have filed a collision claim against my own insurance company, they would have repaired my car, and then they would have pursued payment from the other parties insurance. But getting the car fixed has been simple and without argument.

I am not able to file for medical or diminished value with my own insurance company - that has to be filed with the other parties insurance.
I did not know that. Thank you.

JBTX
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by JBTX » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:11 am

miamivice wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:00 am
Would a lawyer want to get involved with a minor auto accident, where the out of pocket costs are less than $2000?
Lawyers typically don’t want to get involved unless there is injury. Since there was, at least make a call to one for a free consultation. I called for an accident but I was not injured and they weren’t interested.

I have heard even a letter from attorney letterhead can really grease the wheels.

My experience with insurance companies is they don’t expend a great deal of effort on your behalf trying to recover.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:17 am

The $700 in medical bills sounds low. Very low. Wait for more bills to come in.

Just because they want you to sign something soon, that doesn't mean you need to. Wait out the medical bills, for 2-3 months, then make the insurance company an offer. If you are specific about what you want they'll probably pay to make you go away. But once they pay they will go away, so make very sure you understand all your direct costs.

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djpeteski
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by djpeteski » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:27 am

miamivice wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:26 am
I am thinking about asking for the following:
$700 - reimbursement for medical bills (we believe this to be all of the medical bills)
$1000 - pain, suffering, inconvenience
$1000 - car repair
$1000 - diminished value of vehicle due to accident
$125 - time off without pay from work due to accident
$300 - carseat replacement

Total - $4125 (some payable to us, some payable to repair shop, some payable to health insurance company).
This is a negotiation, and they made the first pass. There is certainly nothing wrong with dialing them up and asking for what you want, however, I would go higher.

I would go a lot higher on the diminished value claim, probably start in the 3-5k range, however, you will be knocked down. You could also get justification on this by doing an estimate at Car Max and asking them to do a hypothetical one without the damage.

I would provide receipts for the car seat, and replace that out of pocket now. Include mileage to the store and back.

Time off from work should be a lot higher, however, with justification. This would include mileage and time spent at the doctors.

I doubt your pain and suffering will get a lot of traction. I would roll that up into some other line item or reword it. You may just want to itemize the other things say it comes to 6500, and say I will settle for 7500 without involving a lawyer.

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CAsage
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by CAsage » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:35 am

Why would you assume the car seat needs to be replaced? Was it damaged? Car seats typically sell for $50 to $100, so .... unclear on your basis for that claim. Was the frame or structure of the car damaged? Was the repair not good enough, and the car so high value, and you were planning on selling it shortly that you will actually realize a diminished value?

I do think you have a valid claim for the lost wages (clearly quantifiable and traceable). Would wait a month or two to ensure that all the medical costs are behind you and totalled up.... then move on with your life. Just my thoughts.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

neilpilot
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by neilpilot » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:38 am

CAsage wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:35 am
Why would you assume the car seat needs to be replaced? Was it damaged? Car seats typically sell for $50 to $100, so .... unclear on your basis for that claim. Was the frame or structure of the car damaged? Was the repair not good enough, and the car so high value, and you were planning on selling it shortly that you will actually realize a diminished value?

I do think you have a valid claim for the lost wages (clearly quantifiable and traceable). Would wait a month or two to ensure that all the medical costs are behind you and totalled up.... then move on with your life. Just my thoughts.
Agree. If the collision repair was really only $1000, you know that the collision impact must have been minimal. In fact, with that minimal damage the diminished value is negligible as well.
Last edited by neilpilot on Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

bgf
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by bgf » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:38 am

miamivice wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:26 am
My wife was in a car accident (her car was rear ended while she was turning right at a stop light). Did maybe $1000 in damages to her car plus injured her hand. She had to take a few hours off work without pay as a result of the accident. We have incurred about $700 in medical bills so far. The medical provider did an evaluation and x-rays of her arm/hand, found an injury, and have her a splint to support her arm for a month, which was inconvenient for her. She had a carseat in the backseat, which should be replaced.

Today, she receives a release of liability form from the other parties' insurance company. It says they will pay her $600 cash plus reimbursement of medical bills, not to exceed $3000, for any medical care sought within 60 days of accident, as well as repair the car. By signing it, we would release the insurance company from all future claims relating to this accident.

To me, this sounds like a total ripoff. I think they should pay for all medical care until she is fully healed, with no dollar cap at the moment and no time limit at the moment.

I am thinking about asking for the following:
$700 - reimbursement for medical bills (we believe this to be all of the medical bills)
$1000 - pain, suffering, inconvenience
$1000 - car repair
$1000 - diminished value of vehicle due to accident
$125 - time off without pay from work due to accident
$300 - carseat replacement

Total - $4125 (some payable to us, some payable to repair shop, some payable to health insurance company).

Thoughts?
as for the property damage, i doubt you have much wiggle room. they immediately send those off to 'experts' to do damage appraisals and gather sales comparisons/data.

make sure that you get compensated for the actual repair costs, the diminished value of the vehicle after repairs, and the car seat, which you are correct should be replaced due to the accident.

as for the medical bills and pain and suffering, i think you can do better, and this is where all the negotiations happen. as others have said, wait a while and make sure get ALL THE BILLS. you don't want to settle and then get another bill in the mail 45 days later. whatever that number comes to, try to get 1.5-2x that number for pain and suffering.

also, provide the insurance company documentation of your wife's work hours missed and her rate. she should be compensated for any lost wages/salary due to the accident as well as any work missed for treatment. this is separate and in addition to property damage, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
“TE OCCIDERE POSSUNT SED TE EDERE NON POSSUNT NEFAS EST"

miamivice
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by miamivice » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:42 am

CAsage wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:35 am
Why would you assume the car seat needs to be replaced? Was it damaged? Car seats typically sell for $50 to $100, so .... unclear on your basis for that claim.
You can google car seat accident and see that it's common to replace them when a car has been in an accident. I'm not sure where you pick up $50 car seats, but the one that we have cost $300 when it was new, and $300 to replace it. The insurance company has already agreed to pay that so it's a non-issue.

neilpilot
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by neilpilot » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:46 am

miamivice wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:42 am
CAsage wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:35 am
Why would you assume the car seat needs to be replaced? Was it damaged? Car seats typically sell for $50 to $100, so .... unclear on your basis for that claim.
You can google car seat accident and see that it's common to replace them when a car has been in an accident. I'm not sure where you pick up $50 car seats, but the one that we have cost $300 when it was new, and $300 to replace it. The insurance company has already agreed to pay that so it's a non-issue.
I guess it's a matter of opinion. I consider a $1000 rear end damage a minor crash.
"NHTSA recommends that child safety seats and boosters be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. NHTSA recommends that child safety seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash."

miamivice
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by miamivice » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:48 am

neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:46 am
miamivice wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:42 am
CAsage wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:35 am
Why would you assume the car seat needs to be replaced? Was it damaged? Car seats typically sell for $50 to $100, so .... unclear on your basis for that claim.
You can google car seat accident and see that it's common to replace them when a car has been in an accident. I'm not sure where you pick up $50 car seats, but the one that we have cost $300 when it was new, and $300 to replace it. The insurance company has already agreed to pay that so it's a non-issue.
I guess it's a matter of opinion. I consider a $1000 rear end damage a minor crash.
"NHTSA recommends that child safety seats and boosters be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. NHTSA recommends that child safety seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash."
And to keep quoting the NHTSA page. (Honestly, if you are going to quote a website, quote ALL of the relevant details, not leave out the important stuff to support your opinion.)

"Minor crashes are those that meet ALL of the following criteria:
•The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site;
•The vehicle door nearest the safety seat was undamaged;
•There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants;
•The air bags (if present) did not deploy; AND
•There is no visible damage to the safety seat"

Since the driver was injured in the accident, it is not considered minor per the NHTSA criteria.

neilpilot
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by neilpilot » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:53 am

Seems like there's a tendency here to milk the insurance company for the maximum payout, irrespective of actual damages. In addition to a new car seat, maybe you should have them replace all of your seat belts? Most auto manufacturers suggest that the seat belts be replaced in all occupied seating positions. Some, like Honda, go further and recommend all belts, occupied or not, be replaced.

I will now turn my sarcasm switch off.

bgf
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by bgf » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:56 am

neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:53 am
Seems like there's a tendency here to milk the insurance company for the maximum payout, irrespective of actual damages. In addition to a new car seat, maybe you should have them replace all of your seat belts? Most auto manufacturers suggest that the seat belts be replaced in all occupied seating positions. Some, like Honda, go further and recommend all belts, occupied or not, be replaced.

I will now turn my sarcasm switch off.
i don't think OP has mentioned anything so far that is not a legitimate item of damages. it was a rear end collision and OP's wife has a documented injury that required treatment. clearly, there was also property damage.
“TE OCCIDERE POSSUNT SED TE EDERE NON POSSUNT NEFAS EST"

neilpilot
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by neilpilot » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:57 am

bgf wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:56 am
neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:53 am
Seems like there's a tendency here to milk the insurance company for the maximum payout, irrespective of actual damages. In addition to a new car seat, maybe you should have them replace all of your seat belts? Most auto manufacturers suggest that the seat belts be replaced in all occupied seating positions. Some, like Honda, go further and recommend all belts, occupied or not, be replaced.

I will now turn my sarcasm switch off.
i don't think OP has mentioned anything so far that is not a legitimate item of damages.
I'm simply suggesting new seat belts are probably justified as well. :idea:

01spirit750
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by 01spirit750 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:58 am

So every case is different but I can relay what I was told when I had my motorcycle accident in 2005.

Oh, Yes the car seat must be replaced after an accident, no matter if there is no visible damage or if no one was in it at the time.

1. If you mention the word "lawyer" they might stop communicating with you since they now understand your intention to have a lawyer represent you.
2. Pain and suffering can be difficult to negotiate outside a formal lawsuit.
3. I consulted with a lawyer (friend) about my motorcycle accident and he provided examples of lawsuits and settlements in our area. What he suggested at the time was to take all of my documented damages (vehicle costs, medical bills, lost wages, etc, any documented costs related to my accident) and ask for 3x that amount as a fair settlement. He did say that 4x or 5x might be doable but would require more of a fight.
4. Most important take your time. Do not rush. The claims adjuster wants to close this to prevent any additional costs. They want to "clear their desk of this case".

Here is how it worked out in my case. Of course this is only my specific experience.
Facts: Other driver 100% at fault. Motorcycle totaled, broken fibula, surgery, metal plate, no driving for 2 months. I only missed 3 days of work and my wife drove me to work for the 2 months. After consulting with the lawyer (a friend) I decided I would first see what I could negotiate. I could always hire a lawyer later.

1. They offered 1x my documented losses and I told them I would have to think about it. They pushed VERY hard for me to give them a number and I told them I wanted time to think about it and see how I was doing over the next month.
2. I contacted them a few weeks later and told them I felt their offer was very low and my case was worth substantial more (the adjuster stated "yes we know"). They again pushed me hard to give the a $ number. I guess they thought I really needed the money. I told me I would have to think about it.
3. After another month or so I gave them my 3x number and they needed to review it with there "team".
4. A week or so later the called me back and offered me an annuity, I immediately declined.
5. My 3x settlement number was approved and I picked up my check the next day (and signed the release)
6. A few months later I received a bill from the ambulance company which I had to pay from my settlement

moghopper
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by moghopper » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:00 am

bberris wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:42 am
ved wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:36 am
Why are you dealing with the other party's insurance company?
You should have your insurance company represent you (that's what they are "hired" by you to do)
Not really. They represent you if someone makes a claim against you, not when you have a claim against someone else. If the insurance company wants to, they are free to settle with the opposing party making a claim, even if this opens you up to the remainder. When people have minimum coverage, the insurance co will often settle for the limit.
I would disagree - perhaps this varies by state. My insurance company has always represented me.

I have always gone to my insurance company - they have paid on the claim and then subrogated the claim with the other insurer. I've seen no increase in rates when I am not "at-fault".

Also, you should get the value of the damages, the value of the "loss in value", and you should probably get 3x your pay rate for any time off that you have had to take for doctors, PT, etc. My wife was in an accident about 10 years ago, and we received all the above without much argument.

miamivice
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by miamivice » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:00 am

neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:53 am
Seems like there's a tendency here to milk the insurance company for the maximum payout, irrespective of actual damages. In addition to a new car seat, maybe you should have them replace all of your seat belts? Most auto manufacturers suggest that the seat belts be replaced in all occupied seating positions. Some, like Honda, go further and recommend all belts, occupied or not, be replaced.

I will now turn my sarcasm switch off.
I'm not sure why you are being sarcastic about my desire to have the carseat replaced. Virtually every carseat manufacturer recommends that carseats be replaced after a crash. The engineering design of the carseat is that it fails preferentially in an effort to protect the occupant. The carseat was occupied at the time of crash, and fortunately, the occupant was not injured. My wife was injured during the accident, and said that it was a hard hit to the vehicle. I'm not qualified to inspect the carseat to look for any hairline cracks or other signs of impact damage, nor do I have the qualifications to know whether a "hard hit" to a vehicle was enough to cause any damage to the carseat. And honestly I don't really care - I want my children sitting in carseats that have not been in accidents, as moms and dads do everywhere.
Last edited by miamivice on Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

01spirit750
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by 01spirit750 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:09 am

I wanted to clarify one item, when I stated "medical bills" I meant the total dollar amount billed by the hospital. Not what my copay was or what my medical insurance actually paid.

Just an example:

Surgery to set broken leg and place metal plate on fibula:
Hospital bill $20k << This the number used to calculate your losses
Insurance paid $10k
My copay: $100

As I understand a lawyers fee might be:
Out of court settlement: 25%
Trial: 50%

My case was fairly simple (simple broken leg and no long term effects to my health and well being) and I had access to legal advice. My settlement was not exactly a small dollar about (just under $100k). My lawyer friend suggested I see what I could do to settle on my own first.
Last edited by 01spirit750 on Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

quantAndHold
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:11 am

miamivice wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:00 am
Would a lawyer want to get involved with a minor auto accident, where the out of pocket costs are less than $2000?
Yes. I have a friend who was one of those slimy personal injury lawyers. That’s really how he introduces himself. (He does something different now, but still has his law license.) One of our friends got into an accident similar to this one. Minor injury, trip to the ER, no lasting damage. Slimy lawyer friend says, “I’ll write a letter for you. You’ll get $20-25,000.” He wrote the letter. The insurance paid $25,000, with no other work.

OP. If the other guy’s insurance is going to lowball, then this is when you lawyer up.

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by jsapiandante » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:30 am

miamivice wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:26 am
My wife was in a car accident (her car was rear ended while she was turning right at a stop light). Did maybe $1000 in damages to her car plus injured her hand. She had to take a few hours off work without pay as a result of the accident. We have incurred about $700 in medical bills so far. The medical provider did an evaluation and x-rays of her arm/hand, found an injury, and have her a splint to support her arm for a month, which was inconvenient for her. She had a carseat in the backseat, which should be replaced.

Today, she receives a release of liability form from the other parties' insurance company. It says they will pay her $600 cash plus reimbursement of medical bills, not to exceed $3000, for any medical care sought within 60 days of accident, as well as repair the car. By signing it, we would release the insurance company from all future claims relating to this accident.

To me, this sounds like a total ripoff. I think they should pay for all medical care until she is fully healed, with no dollar cap at the moment and no time limit at the moment.

I am thinking about asking for the following:
$700 - reimbursement for medical bills (we believe this to be all of the medical bills)
$1000 - pain, suffering, inconvenience
$1000 - car repair
$1000 - diminished value of vehicle due to accident
$125 - time off without pay from work due to accident
$300 - carseat replacement

Total - $4125 (some payable to us, some payable to repair shop, some payable to health insurance company).

Thoughts?
I doubt you'll get anything for diminished value and car seat replacement. As for everything else, it's fair game. But, due to the low impact/damage to the vehicle (they consider damages below $2k to be minimal), you're fighting an uphill battle.

I'm all for maximizing your claim, but you'll need substantial evidence to prove that this is worth more than it is. They have lawyers/experts that can prove why your claim is worth what they offered. Can you? Your next move can have an impact on whether this increases or decreases your claim. Be careful what you wish for.

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bottlecap
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by bottlecap » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:55 pm

Your diminished value seems high. And the insurance co will likely fight it.

Pain and suffering seems low, given that your wife actually had an injury that required medical treatment, splint, and time to heal.

Unlikely to get lost wages unless you can prove it.

I would not settle the injury part until your wife’s doctor says she’s done healing.

Keep in mind that whatever you ask for, the insurance company will probably figure you’ll take half that.

JT

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by researcher » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:15 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:46 am
I guess it's a matter of opinion. I consider a $1000 rear end damage a minor crash.
"NHTSA recommends that child safety seats and boosters be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. NHTSA recommends that child safety seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash."
Why did you quote the first part of the NHTSA recommendation, but intentionally LEAVE OUT the part that explicitly indicates the OP's accident is NOT considered "minor"?

What defines a minor crash? A minor crash is one in which ALL of the following apply:
...None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injuries in the crash...
NEVER use a car seat that has been involved in a moderate to severe crash.

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by neilpilot » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:28 pm

researcher wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:15 pm
neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:46 am
I guess it's a matter of opinion. I consider a $1000 rear end damage a minor crash.
"NHTSA recommends that child safety seats and boosters be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. NHTSA recommends that child safety seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash."
Why did you quote the first part of the NHTSA recommendation, but intentionally LEAVE OUT the part that explicitly indicates the OP's accident is NOT considered "minor"?

What defines a minor crash? A minor crash is one in which ALL of the following apply:
...None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injuries in the crash...
NEVER use a car seat that has been involved in a moderate to severe crash.
Simple.....I googled the topic but failed to read the entire article. After more discussion, I did much more reading and PMed the OP with some of the original NHTSA proposals before their final recommendation. Seems that the definition of a minor crash was revised after a lobbing effort of the child seat manufacturers.

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by jbmitt » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:44 pm

moghopper wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:00 am
bberris wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:42 am
ved wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:36 am
Why are you dealing with the other party's insurance company?
You should have your insurance company represent you (that's what they are "hired" by you to do)
Not really. They represent you if someone makes a claim against you, not when you have a claim against someone else. If the insurance company wants to, they are free to settle with the opposing party making a claim, even if this opens you up to the remainder. When people have minimum coverage, the insurance co will often settle for the limit.
I would disagree - perhaps this varies by state. My insurance company has always represented me.

I have always gone to my insurance company - they have paid on the claim and then subrogated the claim with the other insurer. I've seen no increase in rates when I am not "at-fault".

Also, you should get the value of the damages, the value of the "loss in value", and you should probably get 3x your pay rate for any time off that you have had to take for doctors, PT, etc. My wife was in an accident about 10 years ago, and we received all the above without much argument.
Your insurance can handle your vehicle damages and subrogate provided you have the applicable coverage and are willing to be out of pocket the deductible until the at fault carrier reimburses it.

Medical is a different ballgame and is very much state specific. Your insurance will pay your medical bills if you have medpay coverage or live in a PIP state. With the exception of first party UM (uninsured motorist) or UIM (underinsured motorist) any claim for pain and suffering is brought against the insurance of the at fault party.

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by ADower » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:04 pm

I have a friend who is an insurance adjuster;

You will not get diminished value. The only time they ever even think about paying this is if you have a high end car. 100K+
Pain and suffering - Ask for 2-3X of the total medical costs and negotiate from there.
Medical Bills - They pay them all in full.
Last edited by ADower on Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by ADower » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:11 pm

researcher wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:15 pm
neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:46 am
I guess it's a matter of opinion. I consider a $1000 rear end damage a minor crash.
"NHTSA recommends that child safety seats and boosters be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. NHTSA recommends that child safety seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash."
Why did you quote the first part of the NHTSA recommendation, but intentionally LEAVE OUT the part that explicitly indicates the OP's accident is NOT considered "minor"?

What defines a minor crash? A minor crash is one in which ALL of the following apply:
...None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injuries in the crash...
NEVER use a car seat that has been involved in a moderate to severe crash.
My wife was in a 10 mph accident. Barely any damage at all to the car. The insurance company replaced our car seat no questions asked.

researcher
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by researcher » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:12 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:28 pm
Simple.....I googled the topic but failed to read the entire article. After more discussion, I did much more reading and PMed the OP with some of the original NHTSA proposals before their final recommendation. Seems that the definition of a minor crash was revised after a lobbing effort of the child seat manufacturers.
The entire NHTSA guidline is only 140 words.
Yet you couldn't be bothered to read more than the first 2 sentences before posting misleading/inaccurate information?
https://www.nhtsa.gov/car-seat-use-after-crash

You made a lazy attempt to show how ridiculous the OP is for wanting his carseat replaced after an accident.
When presented with the actual facts, you then do "much more reading" in a desperate attempt to question the validity of the NHTSA recommendation.

The OP didn't cause the accident or make up NHTSA guidelines.
He is simply following federal guidelines and attempting to keep his young child safe.

Why are you suggesting he ignore these guidelines, and risk the safety of his child, just to save the at-fault insurance company from paying for a new car seat? Isn't $300 is a small price to pay to "ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers"?

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by investordoc » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:35 pm

OP,

Are you guessing at "maybe $1000 in damage" or do you have an actual written estimate? Have you been to the body shop recently? There may be more to the repair than you think. The repair costs are very high and unless very very minor there is a chance it will cost more than $1000.
It is what it is until it isn't anymore

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by miamivice » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:49 pm

investordoc wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:35 pm
OP,

Are you guessing at "maybe $1000 in damage" or do you have an actual written estimate? Have you been to the body shop recently? There may be more to the repair than you think. The repair costs are very high and unless very very minor there is a chance it will cost more than $1000.
The repair shop estimate was right about $1000. I think $800 for the car plus per-invoice basis for a new hitch receiver which I think will run them $300. So somewhere between $800 and $1100.

The hitch receiver carried the brunt of the collision force, saving the bumper from excessive damage. Since the bumper's job is to absorb and deform preferential to the vehicle, and the hitch receiver bypassed the bumper, greater forces were probably distributed into the vehicle passenger compartments than if no hitch receiver was installed.

Based on the feedback above, we are making a proposal to the adjuster. I'll post an update after we have come to an agreement and everything has been signed.

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Kenkat
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by Kenkat » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:30 pm

01spirit750 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:09 am
I wanted to clarify one item, when I stated "medical bills" I meant the total dollar amount billed by the hospital. Not what my copay was or what my medical insurance actually paid.

Just an example:

Surgery to set broken leg and place metal plate on fibula:
Hospital bill $20k << This the number used to calculate your losses
Insurance paid $10k
My copay: $100

As I understand a lawyers fee might be:
Out of court settlement: 25%
Trial: 50%

My case was fairly simple (simple broken leg and no long term effects to my health and well being) and I had access to legal advice. My settlement was not exactly a small dollar about (just under $100k). My lawyer friend suggested I see what I could do to settle on my own first.
Was the insurance company reimbursed the $10k out of the settlement? Reason I ask is that usually the insurance company will ask if the injuries were the result of an accident and try to recoup payment from the responsible party.

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by runner3081 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:44 pm

miamivice wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:42 am
CAsage wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:35 am
Why would you assume the car seat needs to be replaced? Was it damaged? Car seats typically sell for $50 to $100, so .... unclear on your basis for that claim.
You can google car seat accident and see that it's common to replace them when a car has been in an accident. I'm not sure where you pick up $50 car seats, but the one that we have cost $300 when it was new, and $300 to replace it. The insurance company has already agreed to pay that so it's a non-issue.
Walmart has well rated ones for $40 (rated well for safety). We have never paid more than that for a car seat.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Cosco-Scener ... 3=&veh=sem

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by Rupert » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:59 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:44 pm
miamivice wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:42 am
CAsage wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:35 am
Why would you assume the car seat needs to be replaced? Was it damaged? Car seats typically sell for $50 to $100, so .... unclear on your basis for that claim.
You can google car seat accident and see that it's common to replace them when a car has been in an accident. I'm not sure where you pick up $50 car seats, but the one that we have cost $300 when it was new, and $300 to replace it. The insurance company has already agreed to pay that so it's a non-issue.
Walmart has well rated ones for $40 (rated well for safety). We have never paid more than that for a car seat.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Cosco-Scener ... 3=&veh=sem
C'mon. That's completely irrelevant, and this carseat discussion is getting ridiculous. The OP's carseat cost $300. It was OP's carseat, not a $40 Walmart carseat, that was damaged. If your Mercedes is totaled in an accident, do you expect the insurance company to reimburse you the value of a Kia?

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by mikep » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:08 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:46 am
miamivice wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:42 am
CAsage wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:35 am
Why would you assume the car seat needs to be replaced? Was it damaged? Car seats typically sell for $50 to $100, so .... unclear on your basis for that claim.
You can google car seat accident and see that it's common to replace them when a car has been in an accident. I'm not sure where you pick up $50 car seats, but the one that we have cost $300 when it was new, and $300 to replace it. The insurance company has already agreed to pay that so it's a non-issue.
I guess it's a matter of opinion. I consider a $1000 rear end damage a minor crash.
"NHTSA recommends that child safety seats and boosters be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. NHTSA recommends that child safety seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash."
Depending on the state, it may be state law the insurance company has to pay for a new carseat no matter what it looked like from the crash. There may be cracks you can't see in the internal carseat frame is the reason. You can certainly collect $300 and buy a $40 carseat or no carseat.

I would wait it out and make sure you are ok and there are no more bills that come. Get checked by a chiropractor also.

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:30 pm

Not sure of your state but where I live I have to choose "Full Tort" (very expensive) or "Limited Tort" (much less expensive) type of coverage. I chose Limited Tort. This means I can't sue any person or insurance company for "pain and suffering" relating to a car accident. You might want to check on this when deciding what to do.

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JaneyLH
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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by JaneyLH » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:11 pm

I was read-ended by a drunk at 10 am while stopped at a red light. The guy hit me at about 45 mph without braking. His airbag inflated but he was chased by a witness until pulled over for driving on the wrong side of the road. Uninsured, of course.

Car was totaled. I had whiplash injuries, went to a chiropractor for about 3 months plus an emergency room visit and doctor checkups. Since I had uninsured motorist coverage with State Farm, they eventually offered me 5x the amount of my medical expenses. Thought that was fair. They reimbursed me for the actual price I had paid for my used car 6 months earlier, after I faxed them a copy of my purchase agreement. My rates didn’t go up. I thought this was a fair settlement.

Oh yeah, the guy went to State prison. He had priors and the Good Samaritan who chased him down testified.

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by pivoprussia » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:33 pm

ADower wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:04 pm
I have a friend who is an insurance adjuster;

You will not get diminished value. The only time they ever even think about paying this is if you have a high end car. 100K+
Pain and suffering - Ask for 2-3X of the total medical costs and negotiate from there.
Medical Bills - They pay them all in full.
It's the law in many states.

There are companies who make it their job to assist you with this claim.

So, yes, it is very possible to get diminished value.

https://www.valuepenguin.com/auto-insur ... alue-claim

And years ago I received diminished value on a 60k car.

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by snackdog » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:42 pm

Please be fair and considerate to all parties. Consider your wife could have lingering issues which cause pain and suffering or require treatment. But also consider the insurance company is trying to keep claims and rates low by not paying frivolous claims. Asking for anything more than actual plus reasonable forecast damages doesn’t strike me as fair.

I wonder if you could settle now on the car claim but propose to wait 12 months on the injuries and follow up.

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Re: Car accident - was directed to sign release

Post by Clark Kent » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:35 pm

ADower wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:04 pm
I have a friend who is an insurance adjuster;

You will not get diminished value. The only time they ever even think about paying this is if you have a high end car. 100K+
Pain and suffering - Ask for 2-3X of the total medical costs and negotiate from there.
Medical Bills - They pay them all in full.
3 not-at-fault rear-end accidents in the past 4 years. Every one of the insurance companies immediately agreed to replace the car seats without hesitation, just needed to submit receipts for reimbursement. The first accident paid $2,500 diminished value on a 10 month old $25,000 car. Did not ask for it on the others as the car was 3+ years old in each and the value I could logically argue for would have been small and not worth the effort. Used a Car Max offer and dealer trade-in offer in combination with Nada and KBB to find a starting point.

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