Auto Insurance Claims/whiplash injury

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Question
On April 12th I was in a head on collision which I was not at fault. My car was totalled but the insurance company paid me for it right away. Initially I was very stiff and in quit a bit of pain but now I have been suffering mildly with neck pain on one side of my neck. It has been six months now and it seems like I havent gotten better over the last 2 months. My doctor says I might be as good as I can get and that I might have to live with some discomfort. If he does close my case where should I start as a monetary amount in settling with the insurance company?


Thank you
Raul Meza

Answer
Hello,

Word of warning from personal experience--be very careful on assessing a number for your injury. I would highly recommend an attorney with a bunch of doctors to back you and possibly a reconstructionist for the accident.

I saw the writing on the wall in 2000 from my 1997 crash in which I was hit from behind, parked at a redlight on the end of an expressway off ramp. I predicted I would be disabled for life, be divorced, lose my business because I could no longer do physical work.
15 years later, I can tell you I am on disability, lost my previous business costing me millions my former business millions in income and I am divorced because my ex claimed I had to quickly because of something I had no control of. Also remember, you will be responsible for all medical payments on your behalf.

I would recommend having your doctor ordering MRIs, for soft tissue damage and I can tell you from your description, you will never be 100% again. You will live with this the rest of your life.
In Wisconsins statute only allows 3 years for the case to go to court. Others are less, but from my experience, all the injuries do not show up for years after that. I have 12 herniated discs in my spine and c-3,-c-6 are inoperable because the discs are pressing against the spinal cord.

That relates to neck injuries. My spine has now fused itself into an abnormal position. The only thing I can do these days is write.

To deal directly with the insurance company in my opinion is foolish because they will low ball you. They have the best attorneys on their side. I know because I oppose these jerks on a daily basis as it relates to theft claims. They are not your friend and you need a good attorney specializing in only personal injury.

Good luck and I am truly sorry for you. I can relate to your situation more than you would know.

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Rob Painter, Ase, CFEI, CAFATE

Expertise

Please remember. I am not an attorney and cannot legal advice. My answers are based on my experience due to litigation I have been involved in as an expert, for both insurance companies and while oposing them opposing them. I deal with only comprehensive claims on autos related to fire and theft. I have even had the opportunity to rewrite policy coverage language as it relates to vehicle theft and forced entry for insurance defense attorneys.

Experience

Experience in the area: Working with insurance companies and attorneys on these issues for over 20 years. It is very common to have a reported stolen car with a so-called factory anti-theft system to have the theft claim denied. I have served successfully as an expert witness in the courts across the US representing the insured and their attorney revealing that the insurance expert did not take all known theories into consideration before rendering their "Forensic" conclusion. Many insurance carriers us independent "Forensic" experts to examine reported stolen vehicles commonly using flawed methodology implicating the innocent insured with the theft. My job is to determine if the insurance expert reached his conclusions based on accepted scientific principals or just net opinion with no basis other than opinion. My case record against such experts is very compelling.My resume can be seen at the catagory "Auto Theft and Prevention." In "Forensics" the scientific method must be employed. In the forensic locksmith field determining how a reported stolen vehicle was last operated, many processes cannot be duplicated and are conveniently not addressed. If they were, juries would have the opportunity to make a fair and impartial opinion at least about what the expert could or could not prove. There is a purported process determining the last key used. The chances of determining such is very rare uless the key is found in the ignition lock. Experts commonly destroy evidence as well and are rarely questioned on this event. I reveal the weakness in their testimony on such instances.

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