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Sheila

by Sheila
(Los Angeles )

I was stopped at a traffic light when I was hit from the rear. The impact to my body appeared to be more damage than to the car. When I was hit my body when forward then back then forward again. I looked back and saw that I was definitely hit. I immediately felt nauseated. I got out of the car to access the situation and basically the two lights were smashed out and the bumper was damaged. The estimate for the car was only $1600 but the medical bills from my back, neck and headaches totaled to $9600. To this day 8 months later I still have problems with my neck and headaches. The Insurance company has had the paperwork for 2 months and still haven't made an offer. Not sure what to expect.

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Aug 26, 2010
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What to expect?
by: Mike

An insurance company that may owe you money might not contact you back. It's in their best interest not to keep things rolling, especially since there is a statute of limitations in your state that they would like to run over. Once the statute is passed, you're out of luck to get paid on your claim. The statute is at least a year, but it's best to check with legal groups in your state to know exactly how long you have. So, it's in your best interest to pick up the phone and call yourself. Before you do, write down every question you want answered. Don't assume everything they tell you is absolute and correct either. You might be talking to the nicest person, but remember the entire time, that this very kind person has one overwhelming interest at heart --- TO SAVE THE INSURANCE COMPANY MONEY! I've had insurance agents stall in order to cost me my case. I've had them lie to me, too. I'm sure they are all great people, but that won't help get your insurance claim paid. If you have almost $10,000 in health injury claims, I recommend that you talk with an attorney for a few legitimate reasons. 1) Your injuries could cause long-term problems you know nothing about today...sign off early and you can't come back to make another claim. 2) The attorney has more experience and will know whether you deserve more compensation than just having the insurance company pay your basic bills. 3) The attorney can front some payments to you that the medical people could be calling for. 4) The attorney will watch the case to make sure that it doesn't slip past the statute of limitations.
The downside to this is that the attorney will take about 1/3 of your settlement. Before you sign with the attorney, make sure that you will absolutely get your bills paid, because you can do at least that on your own. You can probably negotiate additional money in your settlement on your own depending on how severe your injuries are, so the attorney should at the very least obtain more than that. What's fair for your situation? Add up all the expenses...all of them that you would be expected to pay...then add more for pain and suffering. That's the tough one. Sometimes 2x the medical is fair, sometimes it's way too little. Generalized calculations are no longer reliable. I hope this helps.

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