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Auto Insurance Claims/Bodily Injury Claim,Policy Limits and UIM

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Question
Policy facts :Party at fault and injured party ( I ) have same auto insurance carrier.
Party at fault policy's limit : $25,000/$50,000 ( per adjuster )
Under Insured Motorist :$ 100,000/$300,000 ( Our policy )
I was rear ended 3/3/12. Was taken to emergency, x-rays were taken and release with medications and instructions to follow up with PCP.My Car was totaled. My Insurance sent me check for $4593.00 for my 2000 Altima GXE.
I followed up with my doctor and placed on PT, Massage and medications. I had burning pain in left arm, neck,  between shoulders and in base of skull and back of head ( trigger points ).MRI was recommended and taken.Was recomended  and been to Neurologist and Medicine Rehabilition. Diagnosed with Herinated Disc in Neck and mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Neuro-Psychology test was taken as well.Still under Medications,Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Neuro Muscular Massage and under Dr's care.
Cost of Medical Treatment ending 9/30/12 = $22326.55 (Includes $10,000 Med Pay)Cost of Medical Treatment medical ending 11/30/12 = $24764.16 (Includes $10,000 Med Pay)
On 10/9/12, I was offered $25,000 in writing ( So far my husband is handling  all correspondence )  and was asked for Complete Release ( EVERYONE ) & Settlement and forfeiting all my rights to sue anyone, so adjuster can close claim against other party at fault and release us check in the amount of $19091.03. And another claim can not  be opened under our UIM, until we sign release and settlement form
Adjuster's settlement calculation :
$25,000-$5907.97(Reimbursement of out of pocket expenses) =$19091.03 Adjuster told us that all outstanding medical bills past and future will be paid under UIM claim.
My husband told him we need time (due to Sunita's pain, focus and concentration) to discuss among ourselves.
My Questions:
1. How he can offer us $19091.03 when cost of medical alone exceeds $22326.55 until 9/30/12 and $24764.16 until 11/30/12, respectively.
2. How carrier recovers Med Pay and Car Totaled cost.
3. Is Release and Settlement form needs to be signed as we have same carrier
4. In my case,do we settle in 2 phases,( both parties insured under same Carrier), once under party at fault's policy limit and then our's UIM.
5. Should I sign Release and Settlement Form.
Is there anything more which I need to ask.
I really need an expert's guidance and advise.


thank you
*I will donate, shortly*

Answer
I'm sorry to hear of your injury.  Your case is fairly complex and you may wish to consider hiring an attorney.  However, an attorney will take 30-40% of your award, so this is a judgment call for you to make.  I'll try to answer your questions based on my experience.  Keep in mind I am not an attorney and cannot provide legal advice:

1. How he can offer us $19091.03 when cost of medical alone exceeds $22326.55 until 9/30/12 and $24764.16 until 11/30/12, respectively.

I also do not understand this calculation based on the information you provided.  Before you sign any release, make sure the adjuster has explained this in a way you understand.

2. How carrier recovers Med Pay and Car Totaled cost.

In most states, Med pay is not recoverable, so your policy pays this and gets no reimbursement.  I'm not familiar with Connecticut law, but I would assume this is the case there.  Regarding the total loss, the other driver's claim will reimburse your claim.  This is an internal procedure you do not need to be involved in.

3. Is Release and Settlement form needs to be signed as we have same carrier

Yes, they will expect you to sign a release that precludes you from suing the other driver, who is also their insured.  They need to protect this customer.  But you should get permission from your own policy's claim in writing before doing this, stating it will not preclude you from making the UIM claim.  Make sure you have this in writing, because if you sign a release without their permission, they lose subrogation (recovery rights) against the other driver, and this could extinguish your UIM claim.  They probably will not pursue the other driver because he is their customer, but technically you must have their permission.  As long as they are being honest, this should not be a problem.


4. In my case,do we settle in 2 phases,( both parties insured under same Carrier), once under party at fault's policy limit and then our's UIM.

Yes.  Make sure you understand what they are offering under UIM coverage before you agree to anything.

5. Should I sign Release and Settlement Form.  

See #3.

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Expertise

I am currently an Auto Claims Manager for a large insurance company. I have 20 years experience in the industry, having worked as a Claims Adjuster, Injury Settlement Negotiator, Claims Manager, SIU/Fraud Investigator, and Compliance Officer......I can answer questions related to any aspect of Automobile insurance claims and coverages. I can provide an inside look at how insurers operate. I always treat my customers fairly and want to help make sure you are treated fairly. However, please keep in mind that being treated fairly according to the law does not guarantee that you will get what you want. I can also answer some questions regarding Homeowner's and other types of insurance claims. I have handled all types of auto insurance claims and coverages. I am NOT an automotive repair expert but can give advice re how insurers handle complex repair issues. Please keep in mind that every state has its own set of laws pertaining to rules of the road, liability, and insurance. No one is an expert on every state. I am most familiar with laws in Maryland, DC, West Virginia, and Virginia, but will attempt to answer questions for other states. I am not an attorney an cannot provide legal advice. My advice will be my opinion based on my experience.

Experience

I am currently an Auto Claims Manager for a large insurance company. I have 20 years experience in the industry, having worked as a Claims Adjuster, Injury Settlement Negotiator, Claims Manager, SIU/Fraud Investigator, and Compliance Officer. I am not an attorney an cannot provide legal advice. My advice will be my opinion based on my experience.

Organizations
CPCU Society. Adjusters license in multiple states. International Association of Specal Investigators

Education/Credentials
I have a B.S. in Finance and have completed the AIC and CPCU designations.

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