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Claim Settlement Question
Thanks for the excellent forum. I was rear ended by the company mini-truck nearly a year ago. The truck driver was at fault. Cops came on the scene and the other driver was find at fault. I did suffer back and neck injuries which were mentioned in the police report. My car was totaled.
In the past year, I have been to ER, Urgent care, CT-scan, MRI, Spine specialist, Chiropractor, Physical Therapy.. all this not at once but over the 1 year period. I suffer from severe low-back pain and the pain is just not going away. All reports say its strain/soft tissue injury (disk is fine). I am in Minnesota (no-fault state) and my insurance has paid for all the medical bills (close to $7000). The other insurance (Allied/Nationwide) paid for the car.
The adjuster from Allied called me the other day and asked me if I wanted to settle the claim and I said yes.. she asked me if there was a amount in my mind and I said 25K and told her everything I went through and still going through.. As an FYI, after reading these forums and some books I have gained fair amount of knowledge on how to handle the settlement myself. I have no attorney.
Did I ask too much? (25K).. The adjuster has been asking me to settle for the past 6 months but I told that person it was important for me to go through treatment and my back-pain prognosis was more important than settling the claim... but finally last week after nearly a year I said yes.
Wondering if I asked the right amount (too much or too less). I know that adjuster is going to low-ball me next time he calls me.
Thanks for your time.
Well, you are asking a hard question given the fact that I do not have your medical records or the exact detail of the extent of the injury. So I will give you an assessment risking to be wrong as I don't have all the facts. Please do not rely on this answer.
25K, I think too little for your first offer. Why? As you probably read in your research, the injury settlement negotiation is very similar to buying a used car. You will talk about the condition of the car, play up or down (depending in what side you are) the good/bad features of the car. It is the same with an injury claim.
However, by you being the one to open an offer at that amount, you have set the "sticker price". The insurance company next move will be to GREATLY attack your number. They might even offer you as low as 1k. I have seen this type of negotiation before where the insurance company starts negotiations low to hope for a low final settlement.
It is possible that with at $25K starting offer, you might end up settling for $10K (depending on your skills as a negotiator). However, as mentioned above, I don't know what your records say. There are things in there that can give you a "kicker". Something the doctor wrote that can make your claim be worth $30K. Or something that would make your case not be worth as much.
From the negotiation aspect of things, you want to start high (as high as you can without being completely unreasonable), and have the insurance company bargain you down to a point where you really feel comfortable.
For information about how to settle your injury claim, visit:
There a bunch of tips there for free.
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