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Author Topic: Off topic  (Read 1158 times)

Kent

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Off topic
« on: Dec 14, 2005, 09:04:28 AM »
Soc,

In short:
Wife's car got rear-ended 2 weeks ago at approx. 30 mph, estimate = $ 4,000.00
She has a whiplash, serious head ache, and backpain ever since.
Police report faults the other (young) driver, but the cop didn't cite him (I think the cop knew his daddy).

Other driver claims he just rolled into her after he came to a full stop, and claims all damage was pre-existing.
(In all fairness, there was a small dent in the trunk lid. New damage: Trunk won't close, crumple zones crumpled, rear door opening smaller, fender ripped, trunk floor buckled)

I had her car assessed next day by Honda dealership bodyshop, who will testify that all damage was undeniable fresh damage.

Other insurance now claims "pre-existing damage", and refuses to pay for repair nor medical bills.

Our insurance is not really giving us any info as to what to do, or who will pay for what.

1) Should we hire an attorney?

2) Should we hire just any attorney, or call those "Car wreck? We'll get you cash"-kinda lawyers? I think they're also known as ambulance chasers?

We're not looking to "hit it big" with this, we just want our car damage repaired, medical bills paid, and evt. attorney cost reimbursed.

Thank you!

Kent!


socrateaser

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RE: Off topic
« Reply #1 on: Dec 14, 2005, 07:08:30 AM »
>Soc,
>
>In short:
>Wife's car got rear-ended 2 weeks ago at approx. 30 mph,
>estimate = $ 4,000.00
>She has a whiplash, serious head ache, and backpain ever
>since.
>Police report faults the other (young) driver, but the cop
>didn't cite him (I think the cop knew his daddy).
>
>Other driver claims he just rolled into her after he came to a
>full stop, and claims all damage was pre-existing.
>(In all fairness, there was a small dent in the trunk lid. New
>damage: Trunk won't close, crumple zones crumpled, rear door
>opening smaller, fender ripped, trunk floor buckled)
>
>I had her car assessed next day by Honda dealership bodyshop,
>who will testify that all damage was undeniable fresh damage.
>
>Other insurance now claims "pre-existing damage", and refuses
>to pay for repair nor medical bills.
>
>Our insurance is not really giving us any info as to what to
>do, or who will pay for what.
>
>1) Should we hire an attorney?

When the other insurance company refuses to pay, then your insurance company must cover you, but only as far as your deductable and medical limits permit.

Your insurance company has an interest in getting the other insurance company to pay, but, as soon as that requires hiring an attorney, your insurance company will balance the cost of legal services against the cost of reimbursement for the damage to the vehicle and your likely medical expenses, and all of a sudden, you're on the losing end of the debate.

However, if your wife is genuinely injuried, then you can either send a letter to the other insurance company stating that you have evidence that the accident has caused an injury to your wife that will require considerable rehabilitation, based upon her physician's findings, and that unless the insurance company is prepared to settle on fair terms without resort to litigation, that you will seek legal relief (the damage to the vehicle is insufficient, by itself, to interest most attorneys, unless this is a totaled Mercedes 560SL or the like).

Or, you can go to an attorney now, and let him/her write the same letter, which will almost certainly result in some settlement offer, for which the attorney will receive 1/3 of that amount, should you accept.

If you decide to write the letter, do NOT be specific about the exact nature of the inuries or damage. You are simply trying to encourage the claims adjuster to play his/her next card and either offer you a bone, meaning that they agree to some liability, or tell you to go fish, in which case, they're calling your hand, and you'll need to kick it up a notch and involve an attorney.
>
>2) Should we hire just any attorney, or call those "Car wreck?
>We'll get you cash"-kinda lawyers? I think they're also known
>as ambulance chasers?

You want a personal injury lawyer. Call the State lawyer referral hotline and see who pops up (the names are randomly chosen, but the attorneys must agree to certain rules to get the referralls). You should interview several. It doesn't need to be some bigshot firm -- who you're looking for is someone who routinely deals with the other party's auto insurance company, because that person will have a "relationship" with the claims adjuster and the adjuster will know that the attorney would not be involved if there weren't real injuries and risk to the insurer.

Stirling

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My personal experience...
« Reply #2 on: Dec 14, 2005, 07:41:29 AM »
I was in an auto accident a number of years ago that was the other drivers fault.  My car was totaled and I was injured in the accident.  This occurred in CT which is/was a no fault insurance state.  The other insurance company‚Äôs compensation offer related to the totaled auto was unacceptable and they refused to negotiate.  So I went through my own insurance company and got a better deal.  

As far as the injuries go (severe whip-lash and a small puncture wound to my back which resulted in a scar), I did contact an attorney at the time and was told to keep track of the medical expenses, keep a journal of how I felt each day.  I was told not to file a law suit right away since the full extent of my injuries my not manifest fully for some time and that I had three years to file a suit related to the accident before the statute expired.  This proved to be good advice since I never completely regained my range of motion related to the whip-lash and the scar I now have was not evident at the time of the accident.  I did have to consult with an orthopedic surgeon to determine the percentage of permanent disability/loss of range of motion that I received as a result of the accident.  I did file a suit for these permanent damages right before the statute expired and recovered a modest settlement from the insurance company.  The attorney took the case on a contingency fee basis where he received 1/3rd of the settlement.  

 

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