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Need your opinion!

BigJim13

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So at the beginning of December my wife was in a car accident. She was not at fault, a woman ran a red light and plowed into her front end. The car was totaled. She was taken from the scene by ambulance to the hospital, treated for a concussion, given a Cat scan and released about 5 hrs later.

Our insurance company, Geico, has been nothing short of fantastic. We filed the claim with them and they have handled almost everything. All of the medical bills have been covered and we were paid the value of the car, less our deductible, within 10 days.

Fast forward to now, the person who hit my wife, their insurance company has taken responsibility and offered us a settlement. Up until now we have not involved a lawyer and did not expect a settlement. They offered her $2500 to settle the claim and they would no longer have liability. This seems low but we have no experience with this. For what its worth, my wife did miss 2 day of work and was put on half days for 2 weeks while recovering from the concussion.

So I guess what I am asking is, do I get a lawyer? Is dealing with the insurance company like buying a car with all the haggling involved?

Thanks!
 

eclark53520

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Do you NEED a lawyer? Probably not. Will they take half of whatever you get? Yes.

I would send them copies of all the costs incurred including lost wages and tell them they either pay that amount, or we will see you in court. Typically they will settle with whatever you send them proof of. They know they won't be able to fight it in court, so that would just be incurring more expense to themselves.

If you have documented proof of expenses incurred through the negligence of their client, it's very difficult to deny you the money.

IMO - I wouldn't be looking to score big off an insurance company. Just be made 'whole'. Now, if you want to go after some big amount of cash for 'pain and suffereing' or otherwise you will definitely need a lawyer.
 

mddubya

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Nov 6, 2007
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No expert here, but that amount seems REALLY low to me. Just my opinion.
 
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BigJim13

BigJim13

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Do you NEED a lawyer? Probably not. Will they take half of whatever you get? Yes.

I would send them copies of all the costs incurred including lost wages and tell them they either pay that amount, or we will see you in court. Typically they will settle with whatever you send them proof of. They know they won't be able to fight it in court, so that would just be incurring more expense to themselves.

If you have documented proof of expenses incurred through the negligence of their client, it's very difficult to deny you the money.

IMO - I wouldn't be looking to score big off an insurance company. Just be made 'whole'. Now, if you want to go after some big amount of cash for 'pain and suffereing' or otherwise you will definitely need a lawyer.


See, that's the thing. All of our costs have been covered. This is an offer for pain and suffering, which we were NOT expecting. The most I expected was to be reimbursed our deductible, which is $500 and lost wages which is like $700. The only real inconvieniece we had was that we borrowed a truck from her parents because we didnt want to lay out the cash for a rental and then wait to get reimbursed.
 

eclark53520

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See, that's the thing. All of our costs have been covered. This is an offer for pain and suffering, which we were NOT expecting. The most I expected was to be reimbursed our deductible, which is $500 and lost wages which is like $700. The only real inconvieniece we had was that we borrowed a truck from her parents because we didnt want to lay out the cash for a rental and then wait to get reimbursed.

O...Then i would probably just take it and run. That's just me though.

Could you get more? Probably. Enough more than you're net gain would be significantly more after paying the lawyer/fees/etc? I have my doubts.
 
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BigJim13

BigJim13

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O...Then i would probably just take it and run. That's just me though.

Could you get more? Probably. Enough more than you're net gain would be significantly more after paying the lawyer/fees/etc? I have my doubts.

Thats kind of what we were thinking, even if we get a lawyer and they double the offer to $5000 the lawyer woudl most likely get 30%. So we would end up with $3500 and it could take another 6 months. I just have never had to deal with this so have no idea.

There is also a part of me that thinks that it really was an accident and someday we could be in this position. No reason for us to try to screw the insurance company out of money because Karma can be a bitch!

Thanks!
 

MCDavis

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Unfortunately, I've been hit a few times...3 times in my current Yukon XL as a matter of fact. Every time, I simply asked for a rental car and the other person's insurance paid for it, no questions asked. Also, because we have 4 kids, I always got a large SUV that would carry 6+.

Other than that, I simply got the car fixed at their expense. My GMC dealer has a body shop, and does direct billing, so all I did was drop the car off and then pick it up fixed. I always made sure that any follow-ups were covered. Never got hurt and never missed work, so I didn't deal with those aspects.

IMHO if you're satisfied that ALL bills are paid, and that ALL potential future medical bills of your wife's that are a result of the accident will be paid, accept the check and move on.

btw, how did you handle replacing the car? You should have wound up in the same car (generally) at no expense to yourself.
 
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BigJim13

BigJim13

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Unfortunately, I've been hit a few times...3 times in my current Yukon XL as a matter of fact. Every time, I simply asked for a rental car and the other person's insurance paid for it, no questions asked. Also, because we have 4 kids, I always got a large SUV that would carry 6+.

Other than that, I simply got the car fixed at their expense. My GMC dealer has a body shop, and does direct billing, so all I did was drop the car off and then pick it up fixed. I always made sure that any follow-ups were covered. Never got hurt and never missed work, so I didn't deal with those aspects.

IMHO if you're satisfied that ALL bills are paid, and that ALL potential future medical bills of your wife's that are a result of the accident will be paid, accept the check and move on.

btw, how did you handle replacing the car? You should have wound up in the same car (generally) at no expense to yourself.

We would have asked the other insurance company to cover the rental. But, when I arrived at the scene about an hr after it happened they had already taken my wife to the hospital and the other lady was...who knows. I didnt think to ask what the other insurance company was. In VT we dont get an accident report right away, didnt get it until about a week ago actually and didnt get the crash overview until a few weeks after the accident, I suppose we could have asked for it from the state police officer but he was very tough to get ahold of.

As for the car, we filed the claim with our insurance company. They paid off the loan and sent us a check for the difference in value vs. what was owed. We used that as down payment on a new vehicle, it was 2 yrs older than what we had but had 40k less miles.
 

limpalong

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You mentioned Geico covered the car, less deductable. The at-fault party should cover the deductable, plus any "gap" you would incur between the insurance settlement and what it will cost to actually purchase a replacement vehicle. The at-fault party should cover any time it takes to shop for and purchase a replacement vehicle.

The real question is long term physical complications. How old is your wife... and what is her current physical condition? (I don't really want to know your wife's age!!!) As one ages, consequences from high impact shock can come back and haunt a body some time later. "Concussion"??? Will she have any neck or back problems a year down the line as a result of this impact? Why should she incur additional medical expenses one, two, three years from now as a result of this incident?

I despise attorneys!! However, in some cases they are a necessary evil. There are many out there who will take a case and only collect a fee if there is a settlement and from that settlement. If there is a chance of future financial costs as a result of this accident... protect yourself now!!!!!
 

Slingblade61

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OMG!

Of course you need a lawyer!
My son was in an accident last March and sustained serious injuries. I lawyered up the next day! We are suing the drivers ins. co. for $100,000 (the max allowable in CT). We have the deposition with the defense atty. next week. Should have the cash less the 30% fee by spring.

DO NOT ACCEPT THAT OFFER WITHOUT SPEAKING TO AN ATTORNEY!

The consultation is free.....a no brainer in my opinion, then go from there. At least get expert advice rather than advice from us.
 

SilverUberXeno

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I'm bewildered about why you made the claim with YOUR insurance company when you were not at fault. I imagine that's going to jack up your premium noticably. The OTHER driver's liability should have covered ALL of your costs, and whatever P&S you feel like collecting.

1.) I would absolutely check in with a lawyer. If your wife isn't hurt, you're not going to get $100,000. But you can realistically expect a lot more than $2,500. The other driver was CLEARLY negligent, and after my accident I was not comfortable driving in a car for a while. There is a value to be placed on that.

2.) Check with your insurance company and see if they're going to go to court with the @-fault driver's ins company to recover the losses. Like I said, you should not have made a claim through your company if you weren't at fault. If they're going to recover the funds, it may not affect your premiums. Or maybe you were misinformed and they channeled the money from that company to you. In essence, make sure GEICO is not paying out anything directly, because your wife did nothing wrong.
 
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BigJim13

BigJim13

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I'm bewildered about why you made the claim with YOUR insurance company when you were not at fault. I imagine that's going to jack up your premium noticably. The OTHER driver's liability should have covered ALL of your costs, and whatever P&S you feel like collecting.

1.) I would absolutely check in with a lawyer. If your wife isn't hurt, you're not going to get $100,000. But you can realistically expect a lot more than $2,500. The other driver was CLEARLY negligent, and after my accident I was not comfortable driving in a car for a while. There is a value to be placed on that.

2.) Check with your insurance company and see if they're going to go to court with the @-fault driver's ins company to recover the losses. Like I said, you should not have made a claim through your company if you weren't at fault. If they're going to recover the funds, it may not affect your premiums. Or maybe you were misinformed and they channeled the money from that company to you. In essence, make sure GEICO is not paying out anything directly, because your wife did nothing wrong.

We filed the claim with our insurance company to speed up the process. As it was we didnt even KNOW who the other insurance company was for about 2 weeks. Basically Geico has handled replacing the car and paying the medical bill and will then go after the other insurance company for those costs. Geico has the crash report and knows that my wife was not at fault so there should be no affect on our premium.

I know the $2500 seems low, at first it seemed low to us also. I just don't want to try to cash in on an accident. It could easily be us in this position at some point in the future. I guess I will need to get in touch with a lawyer just to make sure.
 

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