Accident settlement: Factors that determine your claim

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 4:49 am   Post subject: Accident settlement: Factors that determine your claim  

Hi!

I am hoping someone can help me on this!

I was involved in an accident on Dec. 1 07. I was rearended by a Hummer going approx 45 mph. My minivan had approx 11,500 in damage (it is a custom 07 Sienna) and I had a rental car for 12 weeks. After the accident, I had to take my 4 kids (ages 6,4, 2, 6 mths) to the er and then one to the pediatrician 4 days later. Two were treated with whiplash and had chiro for about 5 months. Medical bills totaled 2950. Lost wages to take the kids were approx 680, diminished value on my vehicle is about 4K. They also didn't pay the car rental bill for 6 weeks and it was charged to me so I paid an over the limit fee and lost my 0% promotional rate due to default (even though the charge has been reversed.) The insurance company offered me an accident settlement of 2,150 and then they were going to pay the 1500 of chiro (there is a lein and that is included in the 2950) I told them I was looking for around 16300 (four times medical bills, 4K in diminished value, lost wages and over the limit fee.) Am I asking too much? They told me I was being unreasonable and that Missouri doesn't recognize diminished value. My insurance company says they do. What is a fair accident settlement amount?


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 5:01 am   Post subject:   

Also, I was reading another thread and it says that in MO you can double dip with medpay? What's that? I do have 10K in medical on my auto insurance. Do I file against my own auto policy too?


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 10:53 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
The insurance company offered me a settlement of 2,150 and then they were going to pay the 1500 of chiro (there is a lein and that is included in the 2950)
I'm confused, Would you break this down for me per kid and then you...All of these claims should be (HAVE TO BE) separate. What did they offer you each? What were the injuries and the bills for each person?



Quote:
I told them I was looking for around 16300 (four times medical bills, 4K in diminished value, lost wages and over the limit fee.) Am I asking too much?
I don't know yet, but what YOU think is the important thing....please break these up as I requested above...
Quote:
They told me I was being unreasonable and that Missouri doesn't recognize diminished value. My insurance company says they do.
Missouri does not recognize first party diminished value...(with your carrier) they do recognize third party....How did you arrive at that figure? You will have to PROVE you diminished value claim....but it is difficult especially with certain carriers...
Quote:
Also, I was reading another thread and it says that in MO you can double dip with medpay? What's that? I do have 10K in medical on my auto insurance. Do I file against my own auto policy too?
Yes, Missouri does allow double dipping with med pay, meaning you can be paid by your carrier for medical bills under your medpay coverage, then collect the same medical bills under the at fault carrier's bodily injury coverage.



Let us know the break down and what the diagnosis etc was...also what's the deal on this rental ? Doubleful you can collect on this.....if I'm understanding it...however, I agree it's bull.....please explain the ramifications..


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 1:00 pm   Post subject:   

child 1 had 804 in med w/whiplash, child 2 had 1314 in med w/whiplash, child 3 had 419 and was okay, chils 4 had 349 and was okay, I had just 70. they all had to be taken to the ER per the paramedics. I was offered 500 for child 1, 750 for child 2, 300 for child 3, 300 for child 4 and 300 for myself. I don't understand first party diminished value and third party diminished value, could you explain? I looked up the value of the vehicle on Kelley BB, the difference between excellent, which it was and fair, which it is now and there was a difference of about 3300, on Edmunds, I looked up outstanding, average and rough and there was about 4420 difference. I took a halfway number. So I guess it's not absolute but a rough figure. On the rental, they just didn't pay for so long, I was charged. They did reverse the charges about 2 weeks later but I already lost the interest rate and had to pay the over the limit fees. I just got used on this one. On the med pay, do I just call my insurance carrier and submit my bills?


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:22 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
On the med pay, do I just call my insurance carrier and submit my bills?
Yes, sounds like you have a 10k limit (your medpay) which means 10k per person per accident, and you cannot (in MO) suffer a rate increase for using medpay(unless I guess your carrier gives some hit for ''any'' claim which I don't think MO allows anyway)..
Quote:
I don't understand first party diminished value and third party diminished value, could you explain?
I meant that most (all I've seen) MO policys exclude first party (the insured) from diminished value...If you were attempting to collect a diminished value claim from your carrier you could not...you are first party when you file a claim under your own policy...But in this case you are filing against another party's policy so you are third party...(you are first party on the med pay claim-third on the vehicle damage, and injuries)...You have went about this diminished value thing wrong....You have to contact several dealers get it in writing what they would've given you for your vehicle prior to the wreck and what they will give you now that it has been wrecked and repair....Also no company I know of uses the KKB, forget that number, most if using a book use NADA, which still doesn't matter, you have to get hard evidence in writing that the vehicle has suffered dim.value (which personally I have a bit of a problem with if it was repaired correctly, but that doesn't matter some carriers will pay it)...contact dealers etc...then submit this 'proof' to the adjuster..you can't just pull numbers out of the air....you have to have actual proof that the vehicles values has diminished..



Are all of these number (offers) in addition to the medical bills? What did the adjuster say re: the chiro bills have they negotiated the charges down to the amount they said they were going to pay? Are they going to pay the chiro direct and these figures are what they have offered above the medical charges?


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 12:46 pm   Post subject:   

Thanks for explaining this stuff to me!

I'll go about the diminished value the other way-thanks!! The ER bills for everyone were covered 100% under my personal medical insurance because we hit our deductable. They were going to pay the chiro bills direct,in addition to the car accident settlement offer. I don't know if they negotiated a different chiro amount or not. I really do appreciate your help!!


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 8:28 pm   Post subject:   

Ok so then are you saying (for example) they offered child one 500 bucks plus their 804 in bills? (and same down the line)



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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 3:18 am   Post subject:   

Child 1, er bill was 349, chiro was 455, he was offered 500 and to pay the chiro bill, the er was covered. child 2, er was 349, dr. 110, chiro 855, they offered 750 and to pay the chiro bill, er and dr were covered. child 3 er was 349, chiro 79, they offered 300 and to pay the chiro bill, er was covered. child 4 er was 349 they offered 300, the er was covered, me chiro was 70 they offered 300 and to pay the chiro. the er and dr. were covered by my personal medical insurance.

I did talk to the claims guy again today and he was going to check on monday about recognizing third pary diminished value on the vehicle. he also told me he was going to revisit the settlement offer amounts. he didn't throw out any number though.

my question is, what is fair? also, should I expect an additional 700 in lost wages (I don't have paid vacation) or is that included in the settlement amount? What is a fair settlement amount per person?

I really do appricate your help!


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 11:09 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
my question is, what is fair?
(IMO) as a MO adjuster no it wasn't he owes you the total amount of the bills whether they were paid or not, unless he is paying your health carrier their subro claim direct....were it me I would've probably offer kid 1and2 500=1k in addition to the bills, kid 3and4 300-500, again in addition to the bills...you about the same, PLUS your loss of wages that you could document, and i would certainly deny the diminished value unless and until you could prove it then, maybe still deny it, I'd have to kick that up higher to get approval, (the company I work for RARELY if EVER pays this)...All companies however, aren't quite so hard on that topic...it worries me that your adjuster didn't know that MO has only banned first party (thru the policy language) diminished value. Confused


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 6:39 pm   Post subject: On the matter of Diminished Value  

Plp, type in diminished value or diminishment of value and Missouri in Google. You will find several companies that offer to help you collect your loss. There are some attorneys that will work on contingency to help you collect your loss of value. Be wary of companies that claim they have representation in every state. Their ads look slick and professional, but in essence they hire independent appraisers to look at your property. You want to ask that DV person if they have legal co-counsel in Missouri and if they will give you a free consultation. If they do not, cross them from the list. If they tell you that you will have to hire your own attorney cross them from your list as well.



You most certainly are entitled to the inherent loss of value to your car from the negligent party, but you may also be entitled to any diminishment due to bad repairs, or insufficient repairs that did not return your vehicle to preloss condition. Insurance companies that mandated the use of inferior used, reconditioned, or cheap generic parts will certainly give increase to the amount of loss.



You should have your vehicle inspected if you have any doubts about the quality of the work, by an independent shop that does not have a contract with the carrier that paid for your damages. There are firms in Missouri that perform post repair inspections, and loss of value (DV) assessments that could help you in the event additional repairs are required to put your vehicle into the condition it was prior to the accident.



Most importantly, select a company or firm that has an inspector that resides in Missouri that is willing to be deposed by attorneys to defend the loss in value report, in the event it requires litigation. The report is worthless if the inspector is not available to defend their report in court or deposition.



I know of several insurance companies that will fight you to the court house steps to force litigation in order for you to collect your loss in value. In those cases you will need an attorney. I am of the opinion they do this intentionally to discourage you from attempting to collect. If you retain an attorney, they are less likely to force litigation.



As a DV inspector, I have seen losses paid from 3000 to 10,000 depending on the pre loss value of the vehicle and severity of damage involved.

What kind of vehicle was damaged and what were the repair costs? Two thirds of a substantial settlement negotiated by an attorney is significantly more than the small amount an insurer will offer you for your loss when they finally admit they do owe you for loss in value. All these information are truly vital towards an auto accident settlement.



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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 7:59 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
Plp, type in diminished value or diminishment of value and Missouri in Google. You will find several companies that offer to help you collect your loss.
You certainly will for a fee anywhere from 125-1k from what I've seen Mike works for may companies that do this...
Quote:
As a DV inspector, I have seen losses paid from 3000 to 10,000 depending on the pre loss value of the vehicle and severity of damage involved.
Are you stating here Mike that you have NEVER seen one denied successfully or paid less than three thousand dollars?
Quote:
What kind of vehicle was damaged and what were the repair costs?
It's right there in the first two lines of her OP..........


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 9:55 pm   Post subject:   

Independent appraisers make anywhere from 50 to 150 and up for inspections and appraisals for insurers. Why would you expect to pay anything less to assess the proper cost of repairs in addition to what the supposed independent appraiser working under insurance company criteria missed. Make note of the flaws and poor repairs made by some shop looking to cut corners to work for what the insurer was willing to pay. In addition research comps, prepare a report in a manner that can be introduced and not refuted in court as evidence and to have someone that is willing to be deposed to justify those figures.



PLP,,,,You will want to use an attorney after reviewing your original post that Lori was quickly inclined to point out that I overlooked. Your case for diminished value in excess of 7500.00 will require a professional to seek a demand for your damages. Even with attorneys, the nimrods that have been assigned to handle the diminished value losses only speak in terms of circular logic and do not believe it exists but will eventually extend a putrid embarrassing offer to make you go away.



In addition, an attorney that works thousands of these cases annually would pay for the assessment up front and you would not be required any out of pocket expenses. This is definately a case that at least one attorney I work for would take on contingency.



I would post my services or the attorney's website but that is prohibited according to forum rules I believe. You will want to consult an attorney, before you settle on your personal injury as well. In Missouri, if you are going to sue for personal injury you must sue for other losses at the same time. You cannot sue someone twice for the same damages.



Your claims handler may even admit they owe you some loss of value and they will use a formula to calculate the loss that has been easily proved to be erroneous in court. The Georgia 17c formula that they use, was only meant to be used in absence of any other calculations and not as the standard for assessing the loss.



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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 9:14 am   Post subject:   

I'm only going to point out one of the huge inaccuracy in Mike's last post, you already know he personally gains by these claims whether they are paid or not..

Quote:
In Missouri, if you are going to sue for personal injury you must sue for other losses at the same time. You cannot sue someone twice for the same damages.
This is TOTALLY incorrect....you have TWO SEPARATE claims in this state (to my knowledge Mike repairs cars for a fee and will type up a diminished value claim for a fee, but has never settled a claim in his life nor worked for an insurance company)....Your vehicle damage including any diminished value claim are Property Damage claims, yours and your childrens injuries are Bodily Injury claims, not only are they required by law to be kept separate, it happens daily. A person may settle the PD portion and then want rep'd for a BI portion or visa versa. To say that you
Quote:
In Missouri, if you are going to sue for personal injury you must sue for other losses at the same time.
Is a ridiculously incorrect statement.



This statement is true
Quote:
You cannot sue someone twice for the same damages.
However they are not the same damages...



You'll have to decide if you want to hire an attorney figure what his fee and all the ''other'' fees will be an if you are more comfortable going that way, then you certainly should.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:22 pm   Post subject: You could be wrong?  

I think you are incorrect, you might want to discuss it with your legal department in Missouri. The loss of value and the collision claim and the personal injury all occured at the moment of impact and is due to the negligence of one act. How can you sue for personal injury and then sue later for DV or the property damage. You would be suing a party for essentially the same negligent act twice. You might settle at different times but if there is not potentiality for litigation, what would motivate an insurer to pay for additional DV losses later.



It is true I am compensated for my work in cases in which I do not perform the collision repair. I am supposed to donate my time to help people recover moneys rightly owed to them by your insured's negligence?

In cases where I repair vehicles and the owners are seeking for loss of value due to the inherent loss of value, I waive my fee and additional four hours of work as a courtesy to my valued customer. Why should I extend the same waiver to a vehicle I was never employed to repair.



Good grief Lori, you certainly have the mentality that capitalism, sole proprietorship, or collision repar owners only should be compensated for what you feel is merited. Profit is not a dirty word apparently, if you are in the collision repair business trying to help vehicle owners recover what is rightfully owed them. Typical notions of those who sit in positions of authority to make decisions for their employer in order to safeguard and shepherd the billiions in insurance profits.



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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 11:35 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
I think you are incorrect, you might want to discuss it with your legal department in Missouri. The loss of value and the collision claim and the personal injury all occured at the moment of impact and is due to the negligence of one act. How can you sue for personal injury and then sue later for DV or the property damage.
Well I'm not, this isn't double jeopardy Mike...In fact it is against every states fair claims practice to combine the two (injury and physcial damage)....I'm not saying that a person cannot sue for all at the same time, I am saying it is not required....



Quote:
Good grief Lori, you certainly have the mentality that capitalism, sole proprietorship, or collision repar owners only should be compensated for what you feel is merited.
Nope, for what they do and is required to do to repair a vehicle....However, I will never understand how a body shop owner (especially) thinks that they cannot restore a vehicle to pre-loss condition (thus diminished value)...unless...oh yeah there's money in it for them.


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