Thank you very much for your reply.
Given the recency of the accident, valuation of your wife's general damages is going to be a bit premature. This is because neck and back injuries can take weeks to fully manifest and at this stage, it is difficult to know the true extent of the harm.
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to attempt "quick settlements" like this precisely because it gets them off the hook if the claimant's injuries turn out to be more severe than they initially suspected. While it may seem as though the insurance company is trying to accommodate you by acting promptly, they are doing this purely out of self interest. In Iowa, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is 2 years (Iowa Code Ann. § 614.1), so there is no need to settle your claim in the first weeks following an accident unless you have some urgent financial need to obtain compensation.
For the sake of providing you with something more concrete, and assuming that your wife's injuries are purely "soft tissue" (meaning no disc bulges, fractures, or other structural damage to her spine), a commonly-applied rule of thumb is that general damages should equal 1-2 times the total amount of reasonable medical expenses incurred.
Assuming $150 per chiro visit and 18 total visits, your wife would be looking at total medical expenses in the amount of $2,700. Thus, reasonable general damages should be somewhere in the area of $2,500-5,000. Of course, this means that the offer the insurance company has made your wife is pitifully low and an individual in your wife's circumstance would be wise to reject it.
Your wife would be wise to refrain from attempting to settle her claim until she has concluded treatment. The fact is, until she is done treating she does not know what her total accident-related medical expenses will be. Since that relates directly to her claim for general damages, it is hard to provide an accurate valuation. Furthermore, and as noted above, it can take several weeks for spinal injuries to fully manifest, and so any assessment of general damages is likely premature at this stage.
The insurance company is not going to make any assumptions in your wife's favor. Right now your wife has incurred only minimal medical expenses and is not presently displaying signs of a more serious spinal injury, such as a disc bulge. The insurance company has no reason to offer your wife more than they have at this stage, other than to try and wrap up the claim before she realizes what it is truly worth.
If it were me, I would hold off on any further negotiation with the insurance company until I have concluded treatment and, only at that point, would I apply the formula described above as a starting point to determine my general damages.
Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
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