I live in the state of Ohio and was involved in an accident in the state of Washington. The insurance company has now brought in their attorney. Do I need one and does it have to be in the state of Washington? Thanks!
State/Country relating to question: Washington
Talking with the insurance claims adjustor. The accident happend in October 2007. It was a hit and run so it is being handled through my brother-in-laws insurance. It went from their medical side to the uninsured side. I had asked that we try to work it out with out lawyers being involved. The claims adjustor feels we are at an impasse.
OK, a few preliminary questions.Were you just visiting at the time?Who's fault was the accident?Were you driving?Who's vehicle were you in?
My sister in law was dying of cancer and I was visiting them.
We were in the slow lane doing apx 55mph and hit from behind. We we thrown across the other lanes and stopped perpendcular in the far left lane. We missed other cars and the car in the fast lane managed to stop 5 feet from my door. The van that hit us pulled off in front and we managed to get his plate number. We along with other witnesses called he plate number in when he left the scene and drove off. His van was found later that night by an off duty officer in a bowling alley parking lot.
My brother in law was driving his Jeep. I was the only passenger with him.
Did the van driver have insurance and that's whom you are talking to - that insurance company's attorney?
No the owner of the van, not the driver, as we could not ID the man 6 months later when we got pictures to try to ID the driver, did not have insurance. The insurance company involved right now is my brother-in-laws company.
Ah, that is what I thought - just wanted to make sure of the facts and situation.That you are dealing with your brother-in-laws insurance company - the uninsured insurance.Yes, it has to be in Washington because that's where the accident occured.Do you need an attorney? Well that's another matter.What are your damages? Did you suffer serious injuries, wage loss, are you married?Are any of the injuries you suffered permanent?What are the policy limits of your brother-in-law's uninsured policy?
I claimed injury at the time of the accident in the police report. I did not seek medical because I was out of town. When I returned to Ohio, I looked into treatment, but because I was unemployed, and could not afford to pay out of my own pocket and wait for the insurance company to reimburse me, I waited to receive medical treatment. I have been seeing a chiropractor for treatment of my lower back and hip area along with my neck for 4 years now.
No wage loss. Not married. Because I live alone and planned to stay in my own home, I continue to do the things I can, which then causes discomfort and pain. ex. mowing my lawn. My Doctor says right now I am maintaining. I go for treatment every 3 weeks, sometimes sooner if I have worked around the house and it is causing me more back/neck pain.
Underinsured is 250,000/500,000 per accident.
I have received a letter from their attorneys asking me to go for an independed evaluation. This will be the 3 time, however, this time they are asking me to go for an eval. with doctors not in the same catagory as that which I am being treated. A foot doctor, I have nothing WRONG with my feet and an MD., again, I am being treated by a Chiropractic Doctor. The first two times I was evaluated by chrioprcatic physicians.,
You only have to go once for an IME (independent medical evaluation) unless they can show good cause.Moreover, those IME doctor's are really NOT independent but make their livelihood doing IME's for insurance companies - they are completely biased.Have they made any offers of settlement to you?
yes they have sent me a "good will check for $10,000. The first time the adjustor talked to me she stated the max would be $15,000.
Oh I never acknowledged receiving the check nor have I cashed it.
If you cash that check - that's settlement.If you said you would accept that amount - even verbally - that's a settlement.I'm going to be honest with you - chiropractors have little credibility with juries. In fact, physical therapists have more credibility and they aren't as highly educated.So, you have no wage loss.You have only seen a chiropractor.You don't have any medical opinion of a MD to say you are injured - only the chiropractor.They have a right to demand that you go to an IME - but only once unless they can show good cause.Have you been paying for the chiropractor bills yourself OR are they outstanding OR has the insurance carrier been paying them?
The insurance company paid the bills until the medical statue, 3 years in Washington, ended. I am now paying my own bills.
I never accepted the amount offered in any way.
Since I have been to an IME twice and am paying my own bills does that mean I do not have to be examined again unless they can show good cause, what would that be?
Since they already had you examined by a chiropractor - you can object to their sending you to some other form of doctor.Good cause is when you area being treated by multiple doctors for a variety of conditions - you are not.So you can object and refuse any further IME's.
When a plaintiff in personal injury litigation puts an aspect of his or her physical or mental health into issue, such as by claiming to suffer disability from a back injury, or claiming to suffer Emotional Distress and depression as a result of an accident, the defense will seek evidence to challenge the claimed damages or disability. In personal injury and workers' compensation cases, the defense will often seek to do this by obtaining what is commonly deemed an "IME" or "Independent Medical Examination". Within this context, a more accurate name would be "Defense Medical Examination" or "Adverse Medical Examination".
Sometimes, when more than one aspect of a plaintiff's health are at issue, the plaintiff may have to undergo more than one IME. For example, if the plaintiff is being treated by a neurologist, orthopedic surgeon, and an expert in physical medicine and rehabilitation, the defense may seek IME's performed by its own specialists in each of those fields.
The purpose of the IME is to obtain information and expert opinion for the purposes of litigation, not to provide you with a "second opinion" or with medical treatment. Thus, the IME doctor may have you sign a form indicating your understanding that the examination does not constitute medical treatment. [attorneys-usa.com]
PERSONAL INJURY DAMAGE EVALUATION CHECKLIST
___I. Medical Expenses
- if injury can be objectively proven (ie. broken bone) X 2, 3, 4 or 5 depending on length of time to heal
- if existence of previous injury reduce above factor
- if healed within 2 months with no residual problems use low figure such as 2 or 3 OR 4 or 5 if took 1 year or more to heal
___A. Physician's Fees
___B. Consultation with Specialist
___C. Cost of Hospitalization
___1. room and board
___2. special examinations and procedures
___3. medicines and drugs
___4. special nursing
___D. Surgeon's Fee
___E. Cost of Orthopedic Appliance
___F. Cost of Medicines and Drugs
___G. Ambulance Fee
___H. Cost of Nursing at Home
___I. Future Medical Expenses
___II. Loss of Earnings
- worst scenario is only the loss of actual wages but if well documented along with medical reports then X 2, 3 or 4 depending upon time of recovery
___A. Loss of Salary
___B. Future Loss of Salary
___C. Loss of Capacity to Earn Increased Wages
___III. Loss of Profits
___A. Loss of Actual Profits
___B. Loss of Contracts
___C. Loss of Credit and Reputation
___D. Loss of Investment Earnings
___IV. Loss of Consortium
___V. Loss of Nurture
___VI. Loss of Service
___A. Loss of Household Service From Injured
___B. Loss of Minor's Services
___VII. Pain & Suffering
___A. Pain and Suffering From Physical Injuries
___B. Pain and Suffering Likely to Occur in the Future
___VIII. Mental Anguish
___A. Loss of Appetite
___B. Loss of Sleep
___C. Anxiety and Depression
___D. Fright and Shock
___E. Humiliation and embarrassment
___F. Loss of Ability to Engage in Recreational Activities
___IX. Loss of Avocational Skills
___X. Past and future Impairment of Ability to Enjoy Life
- if permanent impairment is stated in terms of percentage then $1,000 or $2,000 per percentage point of impairment
- if no permanent impairment assessment but indication that the injury has some degree of permanency $500 to $1,000 for each decade of client's remaining life expectancy
___XI. Harm From Prolonged Inactivity
___XII. Cost of Physical Effect on House
___XIII. Interruption of Education
___XIV. Shortage of Life Expectancy
___XV. Legal Fees and Costs
___XVI. Prejudgment Interest
___XVII. Property Damage
___XVIII. Transportation Costs
___XIX. Exemplary or Punitive Damages
___XX. Loss of Employment or Self-Employment Benefit Plan
___A. Loss of Pension Plan
___B. Loss of Health and Welfare Benefits
___XXI. Child Care Costs
* add the value of the tangible figure of I, II, X & XVII plus another 20% to 50% and then ask yourself whether or not the figure arrived at would be an excellent A+ settlement
* the final demand for your first letter of demand to the insurance carrier must represent the very best you could do with the very best jury on the very best day assuming the case went as well as it could
* it must bear some reasonable degree of justification as an initial demand figure
* represent double the botXXXXX XXXXXne authority on the case
* a figure that would give you significant room to move if suit is commenced and proceeds towards trial
Should I show the reasons behind my request for settlement amount ? Like a spreadsheet of what I will have to pay for assistance with the things I do now that are causing more pain and may eventually have to have assistance with, ex. lawn care/ maintenance, snow removal, the more physical jobs.
You will need a Dr's statement to validate anything as to needing assistance or anything as to your injuries. You will need a statement from a doctor who will state, "Within a reasonable degree of medical certainty . . . ."Without that - you are only going to get past future medical bills and pain and suffering - nothing as to the future.Please - rate me with 3 happy faces or more for my answer! Thanks!!
The attorneys letter asks me to reply to the claim adjustor to schedule an appointment with one of their chosen doctors. As I will not be scheduling any appointment, so should I tell her that and what amount I will settle for? Or just answer the attorney's letter directly to them with my decison not to participate in another exam and offer my request for settlement?
I would say two things in a letter to the attorney - that you will not go to the IME but are offering settlement of $________.Good luck!!Please - rate me with 3 happy faces or more for my answer! Thanks!!
20 years experience in personal injury law - both plaintiff and defense
Thank you for this information.
It has been very helpful.
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