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Old September 9, 2006, 12:16 PM   #1
Rene McDaniel
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Ouch! Got Rear Ended & My Back is Killing Me

Two weeks ago, when I was picking up my daughter on the first day of school another mom rear-ended me and HARD. To make matters worse, she jumped out of her enormous SUV and read me the riot-act, telling me it was MY fault, because she thought I had already pulled out. Never apologized once. Anyways, she did about $1000 of damage to the rearend of my car (bent the frame) so that my trunk bubbles up a little. Actually, my car doesn't look bad at all, my problem is that my back has been killing me, nonstop 24/7.

I called her insurance (Wauwanesa) the next morning, and told them I was having constant back & neck pain. They told me she had admitted it was her fault, and to see a doctor/chiropractor, and they would reimburse me for my expenses. So, I found a chiropractor and I've been going 3 times a week for the last couple of weeks, and it is improving some -- but I still live on Motrin day & night.

When the insurance claims guy called me yesterday, I asked him about my not being able to work. I'm a substitute teacher and I've had to turn down jobs day after day because I can't stand up very long without terrible back pain. As a Sub I have no paid sick leave, so I am only paid when I work. The agent explained "the process" is that once my chiropractor and I feel I'm able to go back to work, we tally up all the bills, income lost, etc. and "we" (don't know exactly who this "we" is -- the Wawanesa agent & I?) agree upon a "settlement" amount. Meanwhile, they are in the process of cutting me a check for the $1000 car repair (written estimate from their repair guy). But, the car is almost 10 years old, has 130,000 miles, and a rusting paint. It's not worth putting even $1000 into.

I've never been through anything like this before, and I wonder if any Tuggers can give me any advice on this. Beyond my lost income, which is now starting into the 3rd week, and the chiropractor bills --- I've had "pain and suffering" big time. How do I calculate that? I couldn't go out to dinner on my anniversary... I couldn't enjoy Labor Day weekend at the beach (all I could do was lay there -- no bikes, no sunset walks -- I was just miserable the whole 3 days). I really feel like I've been robbed!

I been asking people I know, and one friend told me that when her husband hit someone the insurance company told him, that anything under $10,000 they just "settle". She says they guy they hit sued and got $10,000. But I don't have an attorney, or even know one. And I'd really rather not get involved with one -- but I do want to be compensated. It didn't help matters when the woman hopped out & chewed me out when she was clearly wrong. The big thing is that now I need to replace the car, and for about $5,000 I could get a very nice used Honda Civic or Accord.

Anyone have advice for me? I've been hit before, but never injured -- so, I'm not sure how to proceed. Thanks!

-- Rene
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Old September 9, 2006, 01:11 PM   #2
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I see "RED FLAGS" everywhere. What do you have "in writing" from the other person's insurance company? What they "say" doesn't mean anyting !!! ("They", whoever "they" are, said that they will pay for your Chiropractor bills--- what if they don't?-- You don't have it in writing---"they" can say that "they" didn't authorize that expense; etc.; etc.)

What did YOUR insurance company say? What about a "police report"? You "DID" call the police and get a report, didn't you?

Insurance people like to "settle" for the LEAST amount possible. If they are sending you a check, DO NOT cash it !!! Many times, by cashing the check (look at the "extremely fine print") you are settling your claim "in full". You will get NO MORE $$$ !!!

Even though you said that you don't know an attorney, it might be better to contact your local bar association, and find a "good" accident attorney. Many of them will work on contingency basis.

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Old September 9, 2006, 01:25 PM   #3
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Rene -- we have just gone thru something similar. We were hit by a 22 year old in Las Vegas last December and have recently settled our bodily injury claims with his insurance company. There is a learning curve you will need to go thru, whether you handle your claim yourself or get a lawyer. I wish I could explain it all here but I would suggest you start by downloading this book: http://www.autoaccidentclaims.com/aboutbook.asp and/or going to your public library for books on how to settle your own personal injury claims. You are on the right path getting all the treatment you need, but there are mistakes that can be made.

The better you document and prepare your claim the higher your settlement will be. That includes police report, medical reports, your own log as to your activites etc, receipts for cold packs and the like. It will be a pain in itself, but don't expect the other party's insurance company step up to the plate unless you demonstate that you know how their game is played. Feel free to post any other questions you might have and, best wishes.

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Old September 9, 2006, 01:30 PM   #4
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Get a lawyer!

Please, please, please get a lawyer. Don't accept a settlement from the insurance company until a lawyer tells you to. You may be feeling just fine next week, but what if you're not? What if your back is still killing you six months from now or five or twenty years from now? What if you can never work again? $10000 would not begin to cover your losses. In these types of cases, a lawyer would get a percentage of the settlement and you wouldn't have to pay upfront.

Also, please see an MD. It would be much better from a treatment and documentation standpoint.

I've been rear-ended several times, including by a huge SUV. I walked away from the accident and didn't see an MD. I didn't sue. It's not "what i do". In retrospect, I should have. I most likely had a concussion that I didn't recognize. I was disoriented for a month. My neck has never quite been the same.

As a former teacher, I know the physical demands of the job, especially if you're an elementary teacher. Even if you can stand and walk around, you may not be able to perform your former job again.

I do hope that you feel all better soon. But... one should hope for the best and plan for the worst.

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Old September 9, 2006, 08:47 PM   #5
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Happy to help

As a paralegal who specializes in personal injury and someone whose been rear-ended twice I'll be happy to help you-I'm not sure what state you are in but I am in Southern California. Even though I totally knew how to handle a PI claim both times I got hit I hired an attorney because when you are in pain the last thing you want to do is pile on the stress. If you get a decent attorney you will still do better "in your pocket" with one than you would on your own. Make sure the insurance company pays you for a rental car during the time your vehicle is getting fixed or for the days it would have taken to get your car fixed per the estimate. Keep track of all the jobs you lost as they will be part of your settlement demand. You will need to have the school district confirm that you were offered these jobs but had to turn them down, because ins. companies won't just take your word for it. IMHO I've worked in this field for over 20 years and I've worked on both sides of it, the plaintiff attorney and the insurance defense side. DONT TRUST THE INS. COMPANY. They will act like your best friend to begin with but when it comes time to compensate you, you will find the wolf in sheep clothing. There is not an exact science to "pain and suffering" but you will do better if you keep a diary of all the things you missed out on or a diary of the pain you were in. My first rear-end accident honestly screwed my life up for over a year because I had significant back pain on a daily basis and entire weekends lost where I could only lay there in pain (months after the accident). To this day I cannot wear high heel shoes since that accident. I sued (it was a 5 car freeway accident) and I had "my day in court" to tell them just how much this accident had made me suffer. I settled without having to go to trial because I was believable (they didn't want to take a chance with me w/a jury). I was believable because I was telling the truth-that damn accident caused me a lot of pain and suffering! (including a morphine shot for pain in ER when I was 5 months pregnant...obviously not making it up) Oddly enough my second rear-end accident when I got hit harder caused me severe pain for 2 days but I felt better after a few months and I credit that to early, consistent treatment. Make sure you see an MD - After I didn't get better several months later I had an MRI and I had 2 disc bulges...a chiropractor would have never caught that (x-rays only show fractures). As for the lady who hit you and was so unapologetic and rude--make sure you write down exactly what she said after she rammed in to you near a school. If you ever litigate this claim make sure you get this information in to the record (deposition or in responses to interrogatories). Reason being the ins. co. knows this wouldn't play well in front of a jury, especially being that she was driving so carelessly around children-they won't want to take this to trial. Sorry this is so long but I empathize with you and don't want you to get the short end of the stick here. Do be very careful in what you sign and if you deposit that check-don't sign anything that says it is a final release of all claims until it really is. If you are in California you have to file a lawsuit within 2 years from the date of the accident or you forever lose the right to recover damages from the responsible party. Take it easy and make sure you get all the proper treatment you need. In short a settlement is based on 3 things: Liability (not an issue here as you were rear-ended), your injury (for now you only think it is soft-tissue but if you don't get better make sure you get an MD to order an MRI, you may be more hurt than you realize), and the amount of medical treatment/wage loss. What helped me finally get better after months of chiropractic treatment was massage therapy, yoga and pilates to strengthen my back to what it had been (well, almost, other than the high heel shoe thing). Ice packs really help when you flare up and a neck brace really helps if you feel like your head is a bowling ball and your neck is a noodle. If you are on a computer a lot make sure your screen is high enough that your head is tilted upward as that will take a lot of strain off your neck. Lumbar support pillow on chair also helps. Hope you are on your way to feeling better sooner rather than later and that this email helps take some of the stress off. If you have any other questions feel free to private message me and I will help all I can. If you are in Southern California I work for a really kind trustworthy A-rated attorney.
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Old September 9, 2006, 11:53 PM   #6
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Renee, sorry to hear about your wreck. Since you know me, I'm just going to tell you one thing, Rember my feet & shoes? That was from a car wreck 35 yrs ago. I settled for a mere $4000 !! Need I say more? GET A LAWYER !!!Hugs, Shaggy
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Old September 10, 2006, 08:42 AM   #7
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I'm involved in a similar situation now: was stopped at a redlight in December, when a tractor trailer rear-ended me. Destroyed the car, but surprisingly I was relatively unhurt. Did physically therapy for about 5 months afterwards, that seemed to have helped. Have a hernia in my groin which appeared (or reappeared, had it corrected a few years ago) which I'm waiting to get an independent medical exam for them to approve paying for the operation (no reason to burden my health insurance with it).

I've sent them documentation on replacement costs for personal items in my car which were damaged, mileage costs for use of a replacement vehicle, and compensation for work time for any doctors visits, all theraphy visits, travel time, etc. They haven't paid anything towards it yet (they did pay for the theraphy sessions after my auto insurance coverage was exhausted), so I'm assuming it will be covered by one final settlement.

I haven't hired a lawyer (yet) but have been in contact with two via email (one my wife knows, one I know), both of whom said had I had full tort coverage (vs limited tort), I would have had a pretty good case. With limited tort I can't sue for minor pain and suffering, so I think I'm sort of limited by how much the other insurance (representing a trucking firm) will give me (I'm hoping to be as persuasive as possible).

One thing I have heard, and am considering, is to hire a lawyer (on an hourly basis) to review the final settlement the insurance company wants to settle with you, and have them give you an opinion on whether it's fair, or if you could try to get more.

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Old September 10, 2006, 09:21 AM   #8
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Get a GOOD LAWYER who specializes it this type of work, DON"T SIGN ANYTHING with the insurnace company, infact don't even talk to them, let your lawyer handle it, and go see a good orthopaedic specialist. The insurance company will use your words against you. The sooner you start therapy, the better your recovery will be. Sounds like you may well have a serious condition that may take treatment to resolve and her insurance is liable to pay for all of it. Having had a back injury myself from a fall ( my fault) I took, it was 18 months of therapy before I was even close to normal and I still have residual problems. You don't know how extensive your problem is or how long it is going to take to recover.

Good Luck,

Itís these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of our running and all of our cunning
If we couldnít laugh we would all go insane
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Old September 10, 2006, 01:45 PM   #9
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I wanted to comment on the difference in handling injury claims in the various states (based on my personal experience). In California you can sue for a minor fender bender (under $5k in small claims court without an attorney) and you can get medical treatment relatively easy on a lien basis (meaning the doctor will agree to wait to get paid until your case settles-but an attorney has to sign it also) and you get the treatment you need per doctor's orders.

When I was living in New Jersey I was rear-ended in California while on a short trip here so I had the misfortune of flying back home to New Jersey where the automobile insurance company regulates your treatment! Can you say "conflict of interest"! I worked for an insurance company at the time and had excellent health insurance coverage but no doctor would treat me because I had been injured in an auto accident and they did not want to deal with getting paid by auto insurance. Can you imagine being in extreme pain and having doctors turn you away, especially when you have excellent health insurance coverage. My only option was to go to ER again, because they could not turn me away. Then the ins. company authorized 3 physical therapy treatments! What a joke. Having worked in personal injury in California for over 15 years at that point and knowing the excellent care in treatment I would be having in California I was appalled at the backwardness of the New Jersey auto accident system. And the biggest joke was my ins. premium rates were higher in New Jersey than in California, so who is pocketing all that money they are saving while screwing the insured injured people? I may sound really angry here but just remembering that time period when I was in awful, daily pain and couldn't get treatment (I ended up paying for massage therapy out of pocket-very expensive). At least I moved back to California (that experience being a final straw) and settled my case here in California so I wasn't totally ripped off for my suffering like I would have been in New Jersey. I can't tell you how many people I spoke with in NJ who got rear-ended and were only "authorized" 3 or 5 chiro visits and years later they were still living in pain but could not sue because they were considered minor injuries. Again, there is something really wrong there-I think NJ has one of the highest ins. premium rates in the country...who is pocketing the money? Not injured people who need treatment, that's for sure!

My next rear-end accident was as I was leaving Maui. Hawaii is a no-fault state so 100% medical treatment gets paid by your own auto ins (or in my case, the rental car company) and my doctors here in California got their bills paid relatively easily at 100% (I'm sure they were happy cuz they are used to having to reduce their bills). It was a fairly easy claim to settle and while I'm glad California isn't a no-fault state I would prefer the way Hawaii handled my claim as opposed to New Jersey. The Maui accident was a much harder impact than my first rear-end accident and I credit early, consistent medical treatment for my quick recovery. I honestly believe the delay in proper treatment in NJ was one of the main reasons I had back pain for so long after that accident. Whenever you are in an auto accident-don't just "wait to see if you'll get better". You'll feel better if you get treatment right away.
Long story short: Where you live will greatly affect the way your claim is handled (beware of the statute of limitations for your state-the deadline by which you must sue or lose the right to sue) and if you are not going to hire an attorney you will do better for yourself if you remember that the ins. company is not your friend and is not on your side. Document everything. Read the fine print on everything you sign and most importantly get the treatment you need. Don't settle until your injuries are resolved or until a doctor confirms "this is as well as you are going to get". I strongly suggest if you are going to hire an attorney to get a recommendation from someone you know who has used that attorney before. This is always the best way to get an attorney for anything and it will keep you from hiring that attorney who is such a bad attorney he makes you hate all attorneys My boss does zero advertising because we get all our clients from referrals...that is the kind of attorney you want to get in your area. Beware the attorneys who spend a lot of money on tv commercials and huge ads. IMHO these attorneys have the secretaries do most of the work and your case will be one of hundreds that just gets put through as quickly as possible with very little attorney input.

Last edited by mepiccolo; September 10, 2006 at 02:02 PM.
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Old September 10, 2006, 03:38 PM   #10
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See a doctor immediately

You've already received some great advice. I have just a little to add, thinking about your position as a substitute teacher where you have no "sick days" to fall back on and perhaps limited health insurance.

First, even if your health insurance coverage is limited, don't skimp on good medical care beyond chiropractors, and do it NOW. Studies support what other posters have said--that EARLY physical therapy (and other care, as needed) makes a huge difference to later outcomes. The problem is that there are a lot of approaches to back pain diagnosis and especially back care. But physical therapy, and probably an MRI to help diagnosis, would likely be part of any intial treatment plan.

You need to know what you're doing to deal with the insurance companies. It would be great if you could hire a good attorney, but if that's not possible, maybe a law school near your home would have a "legal clinic" where advanced students can give you some legal assistance. Then you could use an attorney only minimally. Of course, if you can find an attorney you trust who will take your case on a contingency fee basis, that is the best option.

Nolo Press has self-help books for those wanting more information about legal issues.
How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim might help you decide what steps to take next. Most good bookstores probably carry it.

Would your child's school (particularly if other parents witnessed the accident) be of any help later on? You might want to pursue any possibilites there asap while memories are still fresh. (Or maybe not if this could backfire in any way. Perhaps that is an issue where legal advice would be useful.)

But don't forget that your first priority must be seeing a good doctor who will refer you appropriately. I wish you the best.

Last edited by jtui; September 10, 2006 at 07:49 PM.
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Old September 19, 2006, 03:50 PM   #11
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I'm in the process of reading the Auto Accident Personal Injury Insurance Claim ebook, but so far it doesn't have an answer to my current situation.

As part of my rear-end accident, I developed a hernia. I previous had one repaired a few years ago, and it had been fine. Within 2 days after the accident, I had had a lot of discomfort. I went to see my primary and previous surgeon, who eventually stated, "... it is likely a tramautic hernia caused by the accident..."

I'm trying to get the insurance company of the trucker who hit me to pay for it. That would eliminate using my health insurance, hoping later to get reimbursed for out of pocket costs (deductible, etc), as well as getting reimbursed for lost work time, and increase the bodily injury settlement they say they are willing to give me. They've already paid for some of my physical theraphy.

They wanted me to go to an IME (Independent Medical Exam), which ironically probably isn't too independent. The initial news back is that their doctor does NOT think the hernia is related to the accident. I asked for a full copy of his report which they are sending me.

My question is where do I go from here? I have my doctor saying it is caused by the accident, they have their doctor saying it isn't. This is probably going to stretch out for 10+ months after the accident, so the 'pain and suffering' I could be compensated for if they can be held accountable could be significant. Unforunately as previously mentioned I have limited tort insurance, which I believe limits how much I can push the issue.

Is there such a thing as medical arbitration, where a truely independent doctor could evaluate me and/or the other doctor's findings?


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Old September 19, 2006, 08:35 PM   #12
Denise L
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This has been an educational thread.

My mini-van was rear-ended in March. I was so shaken up, and it was raining, so I got the name and address and phone number of the woman who hit me, but nothing else. She didn't write down her insurance information.

Long story short, I developed spasms and pain in my back. I tried to call her many times to get her insurance information, but she did not return my calls or my husband's calls. I called my insurance company and filed a claim, and gave them what information I had. They tracked her down (turns out she is insured by the same company).

Aside from locating her, my insurance agent/company has been close to useless. I think in CA, they aren't allowed to get involved? The burden lies on the injured person, maybe? I don't know. I yelled at them and threatened to change companies (haven't done that yet, but I still think about it). The whole ordeal has been pretty stressful. Her agent called me and made me feel like they would end up covering nothing if I could still function. I went to the doctor and he recommended PT for 12 sessions. I have had to pay for all the visits up front and can't settle the claim until I am "cured," which I think I have up to 2-3 years to file all the paperwork? My agent did tell me that typical settlements would be 2-3x the actual expenses, with adjustments for pain and suffering, etc. I've had to hire babysitters to go to PT sessions and basically use a lot of my time up. Gas, etc., should be considered. Then just the pain in the bottom as well as the pain in the back. I'm still upset about it. I'll be seeing my doctor (physiatrist) for a follow-up next week.

A claims adjuster (sp?) came out to look at the van and assess the small tiny amount of damage.

I'm supposed to keep the insurance folks up to date on my progress...

I think I'll check out those books if I can find them in the library!

Good luck!
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Old September 19, 2006, 10:29 PM   #13
Carol C
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I've been in two car accidents (caused by others) where my cars were totalled and I had back injuries. I was reimbursed for medical and chiropractic but never pain and suffering. And now I've got two neck vertabrae deteriorating and my L4 is deteriorating. That's on top of lifelong scoliosis. Then two years ago I was in a pulmonia in Mexico and we were rear-ended by a big truck. I had a whiplash then but it was the first day of my vacation and I didn't want to deal with hospitalization and the vagaries of insurance claims in Mexico. So, I can surely empathize with you in your situation. A life of back pain is no fun. Good luck Rene!
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Old September 19, 2006, 10:43 PM   #14
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My husband has this (much older) friend at work who has had some back problems over the years. Anyway, when she went in, they did an exam of her neck and her spinal column was just floating around waiting for the first person to rear end her and end her life or make her a permanent invalid. They went in a did surgery to strengthen the connection. Sometimes, I am amazed at what medical science can do and how any of us survive.
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Old September 21, 2006, 01:28 AM   #15
Rene McDaniel
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Thanks for all the great advice!

Well, I have gotten so much great advice from you all -- so I just wanted to do a quick update post and tell everyone who replied THANK YOU !!

Diane, I ordered the online book you recommended for auto accident claims, and it was really, really helpful. It answered a lot of questions, and helped me understand the process. Also, I am lucky to have found a very good chiropractor. Auto and sports injuries are a big part of his business, so both he and his office staff have been very knowledgeable and helpful. They told me I needed to get my own insurance involved since my auto insurance policy includes $5,000 for "medical payments". I never knew what it meant before. But now I understand how it works. To keep the chiropractor from having to wait a year to get paid from Wawanesa (insurance of the woman who hit me), he is now submits bills to my insurance, as we go. I have yet to pay anything out of pocket, even though I have been going 3 times a week. At the end when the final medical bill is tallied (6-12 months?), and I "settle" my claim with Wawanesa. The chiropractor will have already been paid, so Wawanesa will be reimbursing my auto insurance. It makes sense. Who would want to treat someone month-after-month, possibly waiting 12-24 months for the auto insurance "settlement".

It's actually rather comforting having my auto insurance involved. Teepeeca posted that she was worried about a lot of red flags -- I was too -- but now with the chiropractor being paid by my insurance company, I'm sure they will MAKE SURE they get reimbursed for anything they paid out. I bet that that (eventual) reimbursement check will come DIRECTLY to them from Wawanesa -- not as a check for me to sign over.

Diane, I want to thank you for your suggestions to keep a log/journal. That was an excellent idea and I have been ever since your post. I have a terrible memory, and when it comes time to eventually calculate the "costs" of my lost wages, expenses, mileage, and "pain & suffering" --- I certainly do not want to leave anything out! My chiropractor has even been kind enough to write a letter documenting the period I was totally unable to work.

So, ever so slowly my back and neck are recovering. I am even back to work for the first time this week -- but I have to take it easy and choose the jobs I take carefully. But so far, so good. It has been nice to start getting part of my life back.

JeffW, mepiccolo, Tony, charford, Shaggy,
I am planning to heed your advice and have an attorney help me negotiate the settlement at the end. My chiropractor seems to think we'll be spending the upcoming year together.... so it will be quite a few months before I have the final tally on the medical bills. After reading the book on the web site that Diane gave me (Auto Accident Claims), it sounds like it is in my best interest to take my time and not rush my medical treatment. Besides, I can't afford to go through life with back pain -- I want all the help I can get!

There is a lot of good information in this thread and in the Auto Claims book that you should read up on. Just like me, you need to keep a log/journal. If you have a claim number with the insurance company, then it sounds to me like you have an open claim -- and you should be able to see whatever doctor you'd like. I would suggest a chiropractor who helps people with auto injuries and knows how to navigate you through auto insurance claims. It does not help that you both have the same insurance. Instead of "us" and "them". It's just "us", and your insurance is going to need to do all the paying out. You need to find someone to give you guidance for your situation. You are truly in a situation where your insurance company is not your friend, yet I'm not sure if dropping them while you are in the middle of a claim is a good idea either. Anyone know????

Well, I know this is long-winded... but once again, my thanks to everyone who posted. If I'm sounded a lot more cheerful, it is probably the result of my once-a-week 1-hour massages by my chiropractor's massage therapist. Heavenly stuff for all that ailes ya (and she's got the best man-hands!) Hugs & well-wishes to long time Tugger friends Carol C and Shaggy.... TUGGERS ARE THE BEST !!!

--- Rene McD
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Old September 21, 2006, 01:36 PM   #16
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In regards to dropping your ins. co. while you are pursuing a claim I do not believe it will make a difference. The claim rep. is in a whole other department or probably even building than your insurance agent who sold you the policy. The claim rep. is only concerned with the fact that you were covered by them on the date of the accident. The claim rep. will probably not even be aware that you drop your insurance with them - it is "not his/her job" and they are too busy to be keeping track of stuff like that. I don't think they think twice of treating people better because they are their insured. For them a "good job done" is to save the ins. company as much money as they can when having to pay out on claims.

Your chiropractor may not like me for telling you this, and he may be one of the few who don't do this, but it is common practice for chiros who deal alot with personal injury to reduce their medical bills upon settlement because when they bill for your treatment it is often "padded". That is the bummer about your chiropractor getting your med pay directly from the ins. company (if in fact he is doing this common practice). Maybe you should look at your chiropractor's itemized bill before you just agree to have the ins. company pay him in full for his services. For example, look to see if your chiropractor is charging an outrageous amount for you to lay on a heated massage table (you know the kind with rollers). I often have clients exclaim outrage at the amount their chiropractor is billing. It sounds like you like your chiropractor and that is great, I've seen excellent chiropractors over the years, but I just want to give you a heads up that if you were represented by an attorney the attorney would collect the medical payments for you and keep it in trust to pay the medical providers upon settlement and would negotiate your medical bills so you end up with more in your pocket. Of course, this is only fair if the chiro. is padding his bill. I have found that mainly the chiropractors who don't are the ones who are not experienced with handling personal injury claims.

Massage therapy is fantastic and helpful and last year the ins. companies for workers comp. decided it was not a medical procedure so they refuse to pay for it. I'm not that familiar with workers comp. but I definitely know that massage has helped millions of people with back pain and to say it is not a useful means of treatment is ridiculous...but then again, as you can read from my prior posts, I believe ins. companies are...ridiculous

Last edited by mepiccolo; September 21, 2006 at 01:38 PM.
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Old September 22, 2006, 02:29 PM   #17
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Rene, I'm glad things seem to be working out for you. When I first started reading this thread, all I could see was a repeat of my son's experience.
He was rear ended on an interstate by a driver with the same ins. co. but from a different state. So they were going to payout no matter what.
He was in a soft collar for 6 months and lost a chance at a permanent placement at the state park at which he was a seasonal employee because they couldn't hire anyone on light duty. Since he was a seasonal employee he had no medical ins. and no paid leave. In order to pay his bills, he had to work. Since he went back to work (on light duty) they refused to pay for more than the initial doctors visit and days off.
His hobby is medivial re -enactment and his hand made armor was in the trunk, they refused to pay for the repairs to it. He couldn't wear it for almost a year, even after it wa repaired, because his back and neck would start aching.
He was working over an hour's drive from where he lived. The repair shop quit work at the same time he did. Rather than calling him at work to tell him his car was ready, they left a message on his home answering machine. This was on a Friday. Allstate refused to pay for the weekend rental.
Since I was also with this company, I asked my agent, who inherited me when my GOOD agent retired, what could be done. His words of wisdom were, " They do things differently in Louisianna."
When a person has to sue his own insurance company to get coverage that he is entitled to, something is wrong. And because of their actions with my son and that jerk of an agent I inherited, when I moved to Florida I told the insurance agent, "Anybody but Allstate", and I had Allstate for thirty years before that.
"If You Don't Know Where You're Goin' Any Road Will Take You There." - Jim Morris
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Old September 23, 2006, 12:36 AM   #18
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Don, I'm sorry to hear what a bad experience you had but it proves what I've been saying - the ins. co.'s are never out to help you-they are out to save as much money as they can on claims they have to pay out on.

I can't imagine any state where an insurance policy would not cover things damaged in a trunk. In California I get my client's things reimbursed all the time, including work equipment, photography equipment, gardening tools, etc. Property damage does not just reference your auto - it is all property damaged so they were really being jerks about that.

An attorney would have helped you force them to pay you for that armor, an attorney would have insisted that they reimburse you for the entire rental, his loss of income was surely compensable since he directly lost the job due to the injury and it just sounds like they gave your son the run around, which is really awful considering he was their own insured. Your son's case is one where I definitely would have gotten an attorney on the case to not have to deal with the stress of it and to get them to treat your son well or be sued for bad faith.

I can't tell you how often we get clients who tried to handle their own claim initially but they were treated so badly or just given such a runaround that they end up hiring an attorney to take it over. Good people who don't want to sue and so they cooperate with the ins. co. who treats them like they will be their best friend while they gather all the information they can against them (like recorded statements) and then when it is time to pay on the claim off comes the sheep's clothing. As long as insurance companies continue to behave badly my job is very secure and one of the reasons I really enjoy what I do is because, from my own experience with my first auto accident, I am fighting the enemy and getting paid for it

Last edited by mepiccolo; September 23, 2006 at 08:05 PM.
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Old November 13, 2006, 10:14 PM   #19
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I was hit by a woman talking on her cell phone!

I live in Orange county and could use a good attorney. I would appreciate your referral. Would you be so kind as email me the name and number of your office? My email is: homewithjoanna@cox.net Thanks.
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