Old lady turned into my car...

by SG

An 89 year old lady hit the back drivers side of my car. I was going straight and she turned left, right into me from the opposite direction. Her insurance has accepted fault and I went to urgent care that same night. I will be doing some therapy sessions to help the right side of my neck and top back area.

It's been a week and it still bothers me. The adjuster wants to meet to figure out the pain and suffering settlement. I honestly have no idea how much I should agree on. We have yet to meet, or speak on an amount. It's considered a minor accident, but she hit me as if I was invisible.

I have no clue what number to even start with. Can you provide any direction on this? What should I demand? How do I handle negotiations with the adjuster? Thanks for any information you can provide.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Old lady turned into my car...":

SG (Arizona):

From the facts you present, your injuries were "soft tissue." Soft tissue injuries can include sprains and strains to muscles, tendons, and ligaments, whiplash, minor burns, cuts and gashes and the like. More serious "hard injuries" include fractures, 3rd degree burns, disfigurement, head trauma, and other serious injuries.

You are not legally required to meet with the insurance company's claims adjuster. If you are still receiving medical treatment or therapy, tell the adjuster just that. But be very careful not to unintentionally "run up" your therapy bills.

Unfortunately, some chiropractors and therapists have a tendency to continue to suggest that their patients continue in treatment when in fact the patient has already reached a level of maximum medical improvement. When that occurs, insurance companies have a tendency to fully discount that excessive treatment, and in so doing, refuse to reimburse the injured party for those excessive amounts.

You must be realistic. Consult with your physician. Insurance company claims adjusters tend to give physicians more credibility than chiropractors or therapists. If your physician agrees that you still require medical care, chiropractic care, or therapy, then continue.

If your physician does not agree that you need additional medical care, chiropractic care, or therapy, and you choose to ignore your physician's opinion, then proceed at your own risk.

In the interim, make copies of your medical, chiropractic and therapy bills, receipts for your out of pocket expenses relating to your injury and treatment, and a written verification from you employer confirming your lost wages. Be sure to give those documents to the claims adjuster.

Once you have completed treatment, or your physician says you have reached a level of maximum medical improvement, you can begin to negotiate your settlement.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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