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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20029
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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I was rear-ended on March 20th, 2013. Sustained moderate damage

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I was rear-ended on March 20th, 2013. Sustained moderate damage to my car which has been repaired by the offenders auto insurance. I did not go to the ED although I had headaches and neck pain daily. I did not miss work because my job is fairly sedentary and I could perform my duties even with pain. Because my primary MD had dropped his practice and I had not selected a new doctor, I delayed seeing an MD for the neck pain. However, on April 19th I did go see a dr who evaluated me and said I had cervical neck strain and recommended physical therapy to assist in healing. I had 5 sessions of physical therapy and one "dry needling" treatment. I felt much better byMay 21st and discontinued the physical therapy treatment. My total medical charges for this injury were $1446.00. My health insurance paid $ 602.55 and I paid out of pocket $ 145.00. There were no lost wages from missed work. The offenders auto insurance carrier has offerred to settle for $1500.00 What is your advice? Thank you Suzanne Pepper

Thank you for the information and your question. Unfortunately, because of the Terms of Service that you and I have had to agree to as Users of this Site, I am not allowed to give legal advice or a legal opinion, since we cannot form an attorney client relationship. I can give you legal information as it relates to your issue though. That would include discussion of your options and the "normal" ranges of bodily injury settlements.

If you would like that information, if you could let me know what automobile insurance company you are dealing with and how much the damage to your vehicle was, then I can assist you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The insurance company is USAA and total amount to fix my car was 1356.81
Thank you for the additional information. Generally speaking, assuming that the injuries are soft tissue injuries, which this appears to be, an insurance company will ultimately settle for anywhere from 2 to 3 times the medical bills if there is damage to the vehicle that is reasonably related to the injuries. In other words, had you had no damage to your vehicle, then a low offer, such as what you received, might be the best you could hope for. But since there was damage to your vehicle that is no out of line with your medical bills/injuries, then you might consider going back to the company and asking for a higher offer.

This is all about negotiation at this point. You can either go back and ask for a particular amount, for example three times your medical costs, so about $4500, and then expect them to offer you more than they did before but not what you asked for, or you can go back to them and say that the offer is too low and see if they will bump it up without a counteroffer on your part. Usually though, they don't want to keep bumping it up without a counter by the other party. This really is about negotiating. It is in your interest to try to get more without having to have an attorney who will end up taking most of the additional settlement anyway and it is in the insurance company's interest to get this settled so they can avoid litigation and more expenses.

I asked about the insurance company because some are known for lowballing and not being easy to work with. USAA is not usually that way, but they don't just throw money at claimant's either.

Please let me know if you have a specific follow up question. I would be glad to assist you further if possible.
Marsha411JD and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you very much. I will try to counter offer and see what they say. I appreciate your advice, I had no idea if what they were offering was fair.
You're very welcome and best of luck to you!