my mother was hit by another driver who was at fault, it totaled her car, she went to ER in ambulance but she had no broken bones. Chest was badly bruised from accident and she is 78 and had cancer so is a bit frail therefore she was in pain and stayed in bed for 10 days. $5500 was given for her 2003 Ford Focus and we had to borrow money from my brother to buy her a new car so she wouldn't have car payments because she can't afford them. Now the other insurance agency is trying to settle for $5340 to her medical bills and only $1500 to her personally. It's persposterous! Her life was dramatically changed because of this. I don't know how to deal with the ins. agency and demand more for her car and pain and suffering. I can't afford to take it to court. What is my next step?
State/Country relating to question: New Mexico
Just said no to their latest offer.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. Insurance companies are notorious for attempting to lowball accident victims not represented by attorneys. An individual in your mother's circumstance needs to retain the services of a local personal injury attorney to protect her interests and negotiate a bodily injury settlement with the insurance company.Fortunately, most personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that no money is paid up front and the attorney gets compensated only if and when a settlement/award is obtained. Their compensation is a fixed percentage of the recovery--typically 1/3.Contingency fee agreements enable parties who would not ordinarily be able to afford an attorney the chance to be represented. While the attorney will take a portion of the settlement, the settlement will probably be much larger than the claimant would have received if they proceeded on their own, and so represented parties often "net" much more than they would if they didn't have an attorney at all.For attorney referrals, you can contact the New Mexico Bar Referral Service here: http://www.nmbar.org/public/referralprograms.html You can also find an attorney on MartinDale.com here: http://www.martindale.com I particularly like Martin Dale because the site allows you to search attorneys by practice area and also provides attorney ratings. Again, an individual in your mother's circumstance would benefit tremendously by retaining a local personal injury attorney to advocate on her behalf. Personal injuries attorneys will work on a contingency basis, meaning no money needs to be paid up front.I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.Please remember to only rate my answer once you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either "Helped a little" or "I expected more," please stop and reply to me via the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with the issue you have. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.Thank you and very kindest regards.
Attorney with significant personal injury experience
I just spoke with my mother again and she said that she did try to contact lawyers and nobody would call her back. She gave all the information about her case to the intake person, took a lot of time doing so with several attorney offices, then nobody gets back to her. She believes it is because they do not think they will make money off the case. So I know that is the best way to handle the case but apparently we aren't able to get one to take the case so what do we do?
If the other insurance company has accepted liability on behalf of their insured (the person who hit your mother), then I truly can't imagine that no attorney would be willing to take on the case, as they would get 1/3 fee of the recovered amount, which is guaranteed to be something. I would continue calling around because she shoudl be able to find someone.If that doesn't work, then your mother can inquire about "pro bono" (free) legal service through organizations such as legal aid here: http://www.nmlegalaid.org/ They will be concerned purely with providing legal assistance and not in earning a fee, so would be more likely to accept your mother's case.Again, my number one goal is that I address your answer thoroughly and completely. If you still require further clarification, I am happy to continue assisting you.
But it is a small city with few to call and we've already done that and legal aid does not help with traffic cases and she isn't considered low income according to their guidelines. So what can we do without a lawyer? And what about the medical bills? Other company won't pay doctors etc. until I make deal
Thank you again for your reply.You will need to provide the insurance company with documentation that substantiates a higher settlement. If there is a public law library near you, you can go and ask the librarian to direct you to the jury verdict reports. You can use these reports to compile a case comparison of similar cases that settled for higher amounts and use that to justify your demand.You can also attempt to negotiate a reduced sum for payment in full from the medical providers. You can let them know that in order to settle your case, a reduction on the bill is required. Most medical providers will be receptive to this sort of request, and a reduction on medical bills will result in a larger net sum in your mother's pocket.The other option is to file a lawsuit "pro se," meaning on your own without the assistance of an attorney. The insurance company may take your claim more seriously once you have demonstrated the wilingness to file suit and they know that they will now have to incur attorney fees defending the action if they don't settle.These are really the best options if hiring an attorney is simply not possible.Again, I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.
Some companies have already sent my mom to collections. Do I have to pay all the bills until I negotiate with ins. Company? Last question
An individual in your mother's circumstance does not need to pay the bills before negotiating with the insurance company. In fact, negotiation typically must take place first, otherwise the medical providers have little incentive to reduce their bill, since they know you've gotten the money. The incentive to reduce the bill comes from the fact that if they reduce, it will facilitate settlement and they will get paid.Again, I do hope that this addresses your concerns and I wish both you and your mother the very best in resolving this matter.Kindest regards.
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