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Got rear-ended, insurance co offers me settlement. What to do?

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  1. Jan 14, 2014 #1
    Its that time of my life again, where I conjure up the expertise of PF!

    I was not to seriously injured in the accident, to put that issue way right off the bat. (I am okay. And so is everyone who was involved.) Except the little inconvenient, nagging, pestering, sensation in my lower back. Lower back?! you say. I know, you don't mess around that area.

    Geico is the insurance company of the driver who ran into me. They called me this morning. (The call was for more than 15 mins, mind you. And no, it didn't sound like the Gekko, surprise surpise!) The audacity of the adjuster to offer me mere $500 at first and enormous sum of $750, after which I refused to be belittled by an evil insurance giant, was astounding. She even had he nerve to tell me that my back pain "probably something that I should just walk off" (not in those exact words, but you get the aura). Speaking of nerves, what if my spinal nerve got damaged beyond repair? Would $500 or $500k, or any amound for that matter, be enough to compensate for my loss of livelihood, or my whole life?! Absolutely No.

    Ok all kidding aside, I feel fine, the "soreness" is probably something stemming from me being not as active as I should. But I really need the cash. How much should I ask from the evil insurance co?
    I figure, since they are offering $750, $1.5k is well within their ballpark.

    Sorry about the long rant. But I need some inputs.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2014 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Here's some good advice:

    http://voices.yahoo.com/tips-resolving-bodily-injury-insurance-claim-27240.html

    Get a doctor to check out your injury as soon as possible. Its important to have it substantiated with documentation. Sometimes these injuries appear hours or days after an accident so you shouldn't settle quickly.

    You should record your conversations with the agent (especially if they are nasty like this) and you should find out if they recorded you and that you'd like a copy too.

    If it gets too complicated fast then you need to get an attorney.

    There are books to help:

    http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/personal-injury-claims-handle-own-30140.html

    Lastly, you need to get rid of the ranting humor and any tendency to exaggerate. This will give them the impression that you aren't serious or you're trying to put one over on them.
     
  4. Jan 14, 2014 #3
    They recorded my conversation with my consent on which I told them what happened according to my recollection. The adjuster was both extremely cordial and especially sneaky: she kept putting me hold as to connive with her superiors on how much to lowball me.

    Should I go to a chiropractor or a "real" doctor like a board certified Doctor of Osteopathy? Chiropractic's and its founder's wiki pages make me wonder how does it even exist as an accepted medical branch?
     
  5. Jan 14, 2014 #4

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Go to your regular doctor to get the evaluation. Ask your doctor if an MRI would be helpful. It's good to use your regular doctor so it doesn't look like you are trying to find a doctor who specializes in getting more money from insurance companies.

    Depending on your health insurance plan and deductibles, you may want to ask Geico to pay for this doctor evaluation...
     
  6. Jan 14, 2014 #5

    BobG

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Their responsibility is to pay for your medical bills. If your injury is serious enough to see a doctor, then they should pay your doctor (and if you're suffering pain from the accident, then you really should see a doctor).

    If you're not injured, then they have no obligation to give you anything.

    On the other hand, if you're one of macho guys that normally just rub dirt on a broken back and walk it off, it's probably better to toss you a couple hundred dollars just so you won't get ticked off, visit a doctor, and discover your back is broken.

    It sounds like they think you're scamming them, but they don't really care as long as it's a small enough amount.

    At least Geico is a real insurance company. Some of the bargain companies charge those low prices by finding ways to get out of paying insurance claims - especially claims less than the deductible on your own insurance policy (it's easier to bully a person than a competitor insurance company).
     
  7. Jan 14, 2014 #6
    Um... no. They owe you, at minimum, whatever it costs to get your car repaired. Even if it's just a minor scratch on the rear bumper, if that ends up being $5000 to fix, they owe you $5000. Period.

    Medical bills are in addition to whatever damage is done to the car. This is the whole point of paying car insurance, you don't pay them so that they owe people nothing when you crash into them.
     
  8. Jan 14, 2014 #7
    How much damage was done to your vehicle? You can probably get a free estimate. How much damage was done to the vehicle that hit you? It is a good indicator of potential injury.

    My daughter in law was low balled by a person's insurance company until I sent them a copy of a $5,600 repair bill. They eventually paid the $5,600 for the repairs, yet they tried to settle with her before any estimates had been done.

    Did you take pictures of the damage?

    BTW they do a lot of things to get an idea of how much you might settle for. That fifteen minute phone call was in part to see if you could stay on the phone for fifteen minutes without mentioning that you were experiencing continuous discomfort.
     
  9. Jan 14, 2014 #8
    And if your vehicle is paid for and you can live with that scratch on the bumper they have to pay you that 5 grand and not a body shop.
     
  10. Jan 14, 2014 #9

    Evo

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    Staff: Mentor

    It's illegal to commit insurance fraud. Period.

    If you think you may have a problem, go to your doctor and get checked.
     
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