Visitor Question

What’s a reasonable settlement offer when the other driver was at fault?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Benton, Illinois)

In March I was at a stop sign and got rear ended. The impact only made it necessary for a rear-end alignment on my car. However, I was treated by a chiropractor and a physical therapist for about 3½ months, 2 – 3 times a week.

I didn’t miss any work, because my job allowed me to continue to work. The pain, while uncomfortable, didn’t interfere with the job. I suffered soft tissue injuries to my neck and shoulders, otherwise known as “whiplash”.

The other driver was found completely at fault, and my medical bills have been paid and the damage to my car has also been taken care of. My total medical bills were $5186.87. I’m not all about the money, but when the insurance adjuster called me with an $800.00 settlement offer, I about fell out of my chair.

She asked me what number I had in mind, but I honestly have no clue what is reasonable, so I told her I would call her back. Any advice on this would be appreciated. Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Patients too often equate medical treatment with chiropractic treatment. They are, however, two distinct types of treatment. To be clear, chiropractic treatment is not considered medical treatment. As a result, insurance companies do not lend the same credibility to chiropractic treatment as they do to medical treatment.

Victims are often astonished to find insurance companies rarely pay for chiropractic treatment they believe to be excessive. It’s always best for a victim to keep in touch with the insurance company’s claims adjuster during the treatment phase. Doing so can avoid any problems down the line when it comes to settlement negotiations.

You may have overreached if the majority of your treatment is chiropractic and physical therapy, especially if it was not ordered by your treating physician. If that’s the case, you may be saddled with the amount of chiropractic bills the claim adjuster refuses to authorize.

If though, the majority of your bills are actually medical, and the claims adjuster refuses to compensate you for them, you would be best-served to seek the advice and counsel for several personal injury attorneys in your area.

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

Best of luck,

Published: October 19, 2017

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