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Auto Insurance Claims/Car accident settlement


Three months ago I was rear ended. I was stopped at a red light, the girl who rear ended me was looking down and didn't see the red light according to her. She made no attempt to stop at all. The force at which she hit me bent the back doors of the car, popped my dash board out and totaled the car. Do to a delay in the police and EMS I ended up having my boyfriend take me to the urgent care as soon as the car was towed. I missed four days of work and was on light duty for slightly over 2 weeks. The orthopedic doctor I saw recommended physical therapy 2 to 3 times a week for a C-spine strain and thoracic strain. When I had my consultation with the physical therapist he recommended PT 3 times a week for six weeks. I have followed through with all my appointments for six weeks and been cleared by the doctor.
From the start I have had nothing but trouble with the insurance company. My first phone call with them was fighting with them about the fact that I needed a rental car, and he told me to just use my own collision coverage and medical insurance. I was so furious because the accident was 100% her fault which they had accepted. I am using a friend who is an attorney, but does not usually take insurance claim cases. She has said she is not sure what the settlement will be in the range of. I had to resign from my job because it took the insurance company 2 months to pay me the money for the property damage claim, and would not cover a rental car for longer then 2 weeks. I was unable to get to work on time.
My PT therapy totaled $5064.00 My Dr. bill will be about $900.  I spent $970 out of pocket on urgent care, Rxs, lost wages and additional rental car expenses. My car was totaled out for $8000.
When I use the car accident estimation calculator the range is between $15,000- $45,000. I am just curious of the range my claim may fall in to. I understand there is no way to guess a number and have it be correct. I am just try to get a range that is accurate. I am out a job, and try to sort through bills and expenses. Its a terrible time to be out a job and just waiting for a settlement. It would be helpful to know a range of a settlement. Do you have any suggestions? Or to you have an idea of what my settlement may be?
Thank you for the help.


  There is no way to say what your claim is worth.  Until a jury has awarded damages, everybody is guessing.  Some people endure pain better than others, so their suffering seems less.  Sometimes, there is a person (or two) on the jury that has endured a lot of pain before and they think you're a wimp and won't award you any money for having "pain".  

  It is YOU that has to determine what your injury is worth, nobody else can.  As an injury adjuster for years, and because I have super limited information (just what's in your question) I would offer you about $10K, and you'd just have to take it or leave it or sue.  Soft tissue injuries are hard to prove, and unless you are just the most likable person in the world, most juries don't like to give much money for injuries that don't show up on an Xray and are purely based on somebody saying and acting like that they hurt.  Also, soft tissue injuries generally heal on their own in 4 to 6 weeks (so says most Doctors), so it is easy for a Dr. to argue that the Chiro's offered medically unnecessary treatment.        

   I am sorry to be so blunt, but I think it's the answer you need.  Unless you had a severe injury that can be proven, it is going to be hard to get very much money, and you'll be lucky if you can get all the medical costs paid.  My best suggestion for you is to quit worrying about how much the settlement should be and start focusing on moving on with your life.    


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Justin Petty


Challenge me! I promise that I will provide you with the most honest answer I can muster, and I will base it on nearly 20 years of complex claims experience. My strength is shooting it straight and seeing through BS. I do not bluff and I can tell when somebody is. I've handled claims in almost every State in the U.S. and adjusted claims and consulted attorneys and CEO's on recovery and special claims tactics for over a decade. I am the founder and President of Petty Details, LLC. We provide the highest quality claim services to insurance companies, attorneys and individuals all exactly in the same way, by paying attention to the details and doing the right thing.


Nearly 20 years of combined claim company management, litigation, all lines adjusting, claim auditing, damage assessment, subrogation, small claims, tort recovery, collection, skip-tracing, tactical investigations, and contribution claim recovery experience across the United States of America.

NASP (National Association of Subrogation Professionals) (Auto Insurance Expert) Diminished Value Appraisers Group (LinkedIn)

10 years experience in writing and developing technical claims correspondence for litigation and unique scenarios at insurance companies and as a consultant to attorneys assisting with legal briefs and research. 42 published articles relating to auto insurance and claims. Self Published e-books entitled "How Much is My Injury Worth" and "Diminished Value - How Do I Get Paid?".

School of hard knocks, 3 years college, NO DEGREE, years of real world experience running a claims service company and adjusting claims for carriers. Speaks English and Spanish, Limited Portuguese & Italian.

Awards and Honors
Platinum Author ( All Lines Adjuster (TX, 1998 - 2008) TX Public Adjuster (2009 - 2011)

Past/Present Clients
State Farm Insurance, Endeavor GA, MileMeter Ins., American Recreational Markets, Gainsco Ins. Co., Safeway Ins., Home State County Mutual Insurance, Old American County Mutual Insurance, FCCI, Farm Bureau, Liberty Mutual, and Pronto General Agency, LTD just to name a few! On top of insurance companies and attorneys, I have personally helped thousands of accident victims with the difficult and stressful process of navigating their claim to a successful resolution.

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