Uninsured Car Accident with Drunk Driver...
So long story short, I was at a stop light and was rear-ended at about 60mph by an uninsured driver #1 and he was hit by another uninsured driver #2.
I drive a full size 4x4 pickup and he was in a ford focus and it knocked me from one intersection to the other. Driver s#1 & 2 were related and both were uninsured, driver #2 was drunk and tried to flee the scene. The police report, of which all information came from drivers 1 & 2, claims that driver #2 hit driver #1 into me which isn't the case according to witnesses.
I have uninsured motorist and no fault coverage on my insurance. I received soft tissue injuries to my neck and back, and a concussion with recurring headaches, doctors call it post concussive syndrome.
The insurance company is not handling this claim very well at all. My truck was taken from the lot to a repair shop where the insurance company told them to fix the truck (with USED parts). Then they cut the shop a check without even consulting me, which I am not very happy about.
Now I recently met with the insurance company and they wanted to settle it. They offered me $1,500 as a settlement which I declined. The adjuster claims she didn't even know there was a drunk driver involved. So they "re-evaluated" it and then they offered $2,000 as a settlement.
So take into account my injuries, especially the head injury, the fact a drunk driver was involved and all they offer is $2,000? At this point that doesn't even cover the aggravation that their insured caused.
So what's a ballpark figure I should shoot for as a reference? Is there anything I should do short of getting a lawyer to make this process go easier and get the insurance company to stop messing around, trying to lowball me? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Uninsured Car Accident with Drunk Driver...":
Caleb (Houston, TX):
We hope you insisted your truck be “re-repaired”. And when it is re-repaired you should insist on only OEM parts being used in it’s repair. OEM parts are Original Equipment Manufactured parts. You have an absolute right to have your truck repaired with the same original parts with which the truck was built.
Additionally, a settlement figure in a vehicular collision is always based first on the amount of your medical bills, called “Hard Costs”. The fact that these drivers were uninsured, and that one even ran from the scene is terrible. Regrettably though, these things do not figure into insurance settlements.
You must also be realistic about your settlement. From the facts you present it appears your injuries were what are called “soft tissue" injuries, meaning there were no broken bones, but only muscle tears or sprains, and even a concussion.
Take a look at your medical bills. Then take a look at any out of pocket expenses – they might be pain medication, bandages and the like. Add to that figure an amount for your lost wages.
Then multiply your medical bills, called “Hard Costs” by 3. The 3 will include your out of pocket expenses, and lost wages. If you think your pain and discomfort merit more than a multiple of 3, then go to 4, or even higher.
Skilled Personal Injury Attorneys are expert at these types of negotiations. From the facts you present it doesn’t seem your case really needs their expertise. You can probably settle it just as well buy yourself but it never hurts to get a free consultation.
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,
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