Ask an Attorney a Question for FREE!

Auto accident damages and issues

by Alan

I hope this isn't too long but I don't want to have to go back and forth due to my leaving out info. you may need to know. So, fiancee was rear-ended in my vehicle while 8 months pregnant.

It wasn't a devastating accident but she was hit fairly hard. I'd guess a 20 - 30 mph collision however due to the vehicles involved and the point of impact, there was minimal damage to either vehicle.

Still, my fiancee was taken to the emergency room by ambulance. Once she was checked into a room at the hospital and her usual doctor arrived to examine her and the unborn, her doctor decided it best that she remain overnight.

Its been 19 months since then, we seem to have a healthy baby boy and my fiancee sometimes says her back hurts but it doesn't immobilize her.

For the record, we are not greedy or the "sue them for what they're worth type". Back to the point, we feel insulted that the insurance company is only trying to pay the medical bills, the ambulance fee, and $250 for being out of work for two days. I can personally attest to the fact that we were sincerely stressed as she spent the night in the hospital.

We know the hospital stay was a precaution but the doctor felt it necessary. The degree of stress subsided substantially when she was released on schedule the next day but we still had a small "what if" in the back of our minds until our son was born (and a bit after).

Now the actual questions, do you have any suggestion on how we can get a fair settlement for my fiancee's suffering (I'm not seeking any sort of inclusion for myself except one small thing I'll explain later).

The second question is to the validity of what the other vehicle's insurance agent has told us. My fiancee's insurance has paid the majority of her medical bills at the lower negotiate insurance company rate (I'm sure you know what I mean even if I haven't used the correct terminology).

The other vehicles insurance agent is telling us that they will have to pay us the full hospital charges; that they are not allowed to reimburse the reduced / negotiated rate that my fiancee's insurance company paid.

Is this true? ----

Some additional info: We are in North Carolina.

The other party's insurance agent is unaware but we happened to discover a witness to the accident (I of course can give you details if you'd like).

The other party is saying the impact was not severe enough to cause any injury because of the lack of damage. However, my vehicle had a hitch cover made of solid pewter that was simply bent into a crescent (that's the one reimbursement I seek for myself).

One study by experts on material strength will be able to determine the force of impact needed to bend that hitch cover. Thank you very much for your time.


Hello Allan,

I am sorry to hear the situation. I will try to outline the "normal" process for you. You are in North Carolina, and this is somewhat of a foreign state to me, so you are strongly encourage to talk to an attorney.

With that being said, there are two issues that insurance companies try to keep separate when it is convenient to them. That is the vehicle damages and the bodily injury.

When damages are lower or they do not look that bad, insurance companies argue that on those damages you cannot possibly be injured. This is of course not true. There are several accidents where people can be very injured and damages do not really exists. There are also accidents where vehicles are completely destroy and people walk unharmed.

When damages are significant, insurance companies are quick to point out that the vehicle damages do not have anything to do with your injury. They are settling for the neck pain and not for the tail gate damage. So , they use these type of arguments when it is in their best interest.

However, regardless of what insurance says or argues; damages are essential to a bodily injury claim. You (or your fiancee) are trying to "settle or to sell" a lawsuit against the person that caused the damages or the injury. In an exchange for a contract (a release of all claims), you agree to get certain amount of money ($250 that they offered) in exchange of not presenting a formal lawsuit against the person that hit her.

My question is, would the damages of the car affect the way a jury looks at the accident? Probably yes. So damages must be taken into account when looking at an injury claim.

You can drop the argument and not really point this out to adjusters. You can simply argue that theory of "you get your plaintiff as you find her." This basically means that the person that you hit might have special circumstances (a pregnancy) that a "normal person" might not have, but that being the case, the law will make the responsible party pay to put that person in the position they were before the accident.

Even if the damages are minimal and there is no actual injury to your fiancee (which only the medical records can show), you have the strong argument of stress, pain and suffering, mental distress, etc. for the time that she was in the hospital and the time after that.

Would you say that this would case levels of stress to raise in the eyes of a reasonable person? Would you say this would be accounted for in the eyes of a jury? It is hard to say, but I would think probably yes.

Now, the question is would that stress be worth $250? Is that included her loss wages so really she is only getting less than that? Very questionable, but only you know. Visit:

for more information about what type of claim she can make. This can help you see if she is getting a fair deal.

You ask about how insurance companies deal with medical bills, your auto insurance pay for your medical bills, They pay what ever they owe per their agreement with the medical providers.

The insurance company of the person that hit you will pay (reimburse) you insurance company for the bills actually paid (this would include any discounts, or agreements made).

Please note that his is the 99% rule. North Carolina might have a different situation that might allow you to "get" the different between the actual bill and what they paid.

I hope this clears confusion and helps you. I am glad the baby is doing great.

Good Luck,

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Got Questions?.

Please see more answers to recent personal injury and auto accident questions below:

For a Free Review of Your Case
Please Call (866) 878-2432