Car accident settlement

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Latest post Thu, Aug 28 2008 3:47 PM by annie22. 7 replies.
  • Wed, Aug 27 2008 1:37 PM

    • annie22
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    • Joined on Wed, Aug 27 2008
    • Posts 3

    Question [=?] Car accident settlement

    I was involved in a car accident July 31st at the fault of another person which she admitted. My concern is that her insurance adjuster is going to be calling me this afternoon with a settlement price. I suffered a concussion and neck sprain. My doctor has informed me that he can not guarantee if I will heal 100% or not so I'm worried about future medical bills. I was to be starting a new job 2 days after the accident. I had just recently quit my prior job 2 weeks before the accident but I wasn't on payroll yet with the new job (general contracting) so can I still claim loss of income? At the present time, I am receiving physical therapy and my doctor also wants me to see a chiropractor (not covered by my medical insurance). My doctor says because of my job which I would've had, he suggested for me not to start for another 2-3 months to be safe. How much is a fair amount to ask for? I only want what I've been putting out for co-payments, future medical bills, etc. I know too many people who are still suffering years after a car accident and I just want to ask for a fair amount for future pain and suffering. Thank you.
  • Wed, Aug 27 2008 5:09 PM In reply to

    re: Car accident settlement

    "I suffered a concussion and neck sprain. My doctor has informed me that he can not guarantee if I will heal 100% or not so I'm worried about future medical bills."

    That's why you shouldn't even entertain the notion of settling less than a month after an accident.

    "... so can I still claim loss of income?"

    Why would you think not if you were starting a new job in a couple of days?

    You don't say what kind of doctor you're seeing (general practitioner?), but I'd ask him-her why I should be seeing a chiropractor if I'm involved in a good PT program. Chiropractor bills send up red flags to insurance companies.

    "My doctor says because of my job which I would've had, he suggested for me not to start for another 2-3 months to be safe."

    Not sure what this is supposed to mean (info about type of job??), but you don't say why you shouldn't be working for 3 months based on a concussion and "neck sprain".

    "How much is a fair amount to ask for?"

    You shouldn't be asking strangers here to speculate.

    I wouldn't be settling this until I'd reached maximum medical improvement. I would expect the insurance adjuster to play hard ball and not agree to cough up for medical expenses unless you're willing to settle the entire matter.

    You have two years to sue the lady in question if you can't reach an agreement with her insurance company (they will low-ball you).
  • Wed, Aug 27 2008 5:10 PM In reply to

    By the way ...

    You don't bother to mention why you haven't made a claim against your own insurance policy meanwhile.
  • Thu, Aug 28 2008 11:09 AM In reply to

    re: Car accident settlement

    "can I still claim loss of income?"

    If you lost income as a result of the accident, then you are entitled to be compensated.

    "How much is a fair amount to ask for?"

    Do you think, perhaps, that we have a crystal ball that we can use to figure out what your salary is/would have been and how much your medical bills are?

    It sounds to me like your recovery is not yet at the point where you should be settling. It's only been 4 weeks since the accident; there's no rush. You probably would be well-advised to consult with a personal injury lawyer.
  • Thu, Aug 28 2008 3:47 PM In reply to

    • annie22
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    • Joined on Wed, Aug 27 2008
    • Posts 3

    re: Car accident settlement

    I appreciate your quick response. The reason I questioned the loss of income was because I was not on payroll yet. This is very overwhelming to me & my life has been turned upside down & I apologize that I do not know how to proceed with such a matter. I know you don't have a crystal ball but friends & family have informed me that the other womans insurance company is probably going to want to settle for less than $3,000. My income would've been $1200-$1500 (before taxes) per week as a general contractor. I assumed I needed to settle asap but according to you, I do not. I will begin physical therapy next week (2-3 times per week) until my next doctor visit in a month. That will be $15 each visit for co-payment plus gas. Again, I thank you for your help and I will contact a lawyer so I'm not taken advantage of.
  • Thu, Aug 28 2008 3:55 PM In reply to

    • annie22
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, Aug 27 2008
    • Posts 3

    re: Car accident settlement

    I didn't think I could claim loss of income because I wasn't on payroll yet.
    My doctor is a general practitioner and yesterday informed me that I will be seeing a PT 2-3 times per week until my next visit with him in a month.
    I was to be working alongside my dad (General Contractor)at his company. His boss is willing to hold the position for me but will not let me start for at least 3-4 months due to lifting drywall, gutting the houses, etc so as not to re-injure myself.
    I did not know that I could settle later. I assumed I had to settle right away so I appreciate your answers. This is a first for me and very emotional and frustrating to go from a non-stop hardworking mom to being laid up in bed with nothing to do. It's just taking a toll on me and my family so thank you for answering so quickly.
  • Thu, Aug 28 2008 5:46 PM In reply to

    Agree [=|=] re: Car accident settlement

    I agree with the other responses.

    1 - Defer settling till you are fully recovered. You have plenty of time.

    2 - Avoid chiropractors and stick with the PT. Have your doctor send you to an orthopedic specialist (MD) if you aren't showing improvement in a month or so.

    3 - Yes, you can definitely claim loss of income.

    But there's a couple of things I want to comment on.

    "My doctor says because of my job which I would've had, he suggested for me not to start for another 2-3 months to be safe."

    That should be evaluated on an "as you go" basis.

    You could be able to do that kind of work in 2-3 months or you could be able to do it in 2-3 weeks. You'll need to submit a medical report to the insurance company so you don't want the doctor to just put guesswork in it.

    You'll also be expected to mitigate your loss. The insurance company won't want to pay you your full construction wages if your injury didn't prevent you from working in an office answering phones or doing paperwork. The insurance company would look at the wages for the work you couldn't do and subtract the wages from the work you could do (even if you didn't) and just offer the difference.

    "I only want what I've been putting out for co-payments,"

    Your medical insurance is likely going to want reimbursement for what it pays so your full medical costs will have to be in the claim. Read your medical insurance plan booklet or policy and see what it says about reimbursement.

    "future medical bills, etc. and I just want to ask for a fair amount for future pain and suffering."

    Sorry, you don't get anything for the "future" unless there is a medical certainty of future issues, not just because you know people who are still suffering.

    Again, that's why you wait till you are fully recovered before settling.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Fri, Sep 5 2008 2:26 AM In reply to

    Idea [I] re: Car accident settlement

    Hello, and I am sorry about your injury incident. Since it only happened less than 2 weeks ago, it's way to early for you to accept settlement. First, you are far from done treating. Second, there is no way to know what kind of future treatment you will require as only qualified expert can be in a position to determine that. Also, it would be impossible at this point to calculate your pain and suffering, wage loss and perspective wage loss. Thus, it would not be prudent to settle that early.
    For obvious reasons, the insurance company is eager to settle to close the file and not be exposed to a far more significant liability in the future.
    Do not shortchange yourself, especially due to the fact that you sustained such a serious injury.

    Thanks, and feel free to follow up.

    Arkady Itkin, Esq.
    California Injury Lawyer
    http://sanfranciscoaccidentinjurylawyer.com
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