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Auto Insurance Claims/Pedestrian accident

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Question
Hey there,

About a month ago I was struck by a vehicle as I was walking to work. The driver has insurance, and his insurance has taken full liability.

I have seen my doctor who said I suffer minor soft tissue damage and he referred me to a chiropractor. So far I have about $4000 in medical bills.  The insurance of the guy who hit me is paying my medical bills. I have only lost 2 full days of work. I don't know how they calculate pain and suffering, but I have lost quality of life due to the pain and much sleep. My cost in travel has gone way up because I do not own a vehicle and usually walk everywhere. Which has also been a problem because now I don't want to work anymore due to being scared of getting hit again.

So my questions are this: how much is my claim worth? I am not involving a lawyer. I have wrote up a demand letter for when I have made a full recovery. Would it be too much to demand $9000 for a settlement? I know I won't get nearly that much, but I know it's better to have them shoot me down.

Thank you for your time, I look forward too seeing your answer!

Answer
Hello Nathan,

I'm sorry to say, but it is impossible for me to evaluate the actual value of your claim as I have none of the necessary information required to do so.  

You say you have only soft tissue injuries?  That is unusual after being hit by a car, but if that is your long term prognosis, great!  The problem is, what if you have some long term injuries?  This is why a speedy settlement can be detrimental.  Generally, speedy settlements are beneficial only for the insurance company.  Why so?  Because once you sign a release you are forever barred from any further recovery.

Writing your own demand letters is something I rarely support.  These matters should be handled by a well qualified personal injury attorney.  But if you are dead set against hiring an attorney to represent you, I can suggest only that you prepare to negotiate.  If you ask for $9000 - assuming there is that much coverage - I can almost certainly predict that you will get far less than that.

Make absolutely certain - before you send any demand letters - that you are in fact fully recovered.  Soft tissue injuries do resolve in weeks.  If you continue to experience legitimate pain, I suggest you seek a second medical opinion, possibly from an orthopedic specialist.  Whatever you do, do not settle until your injuries are completely resolved.

Good luck,

Jane  

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Jane Pytel

Expertise

I can answer questions related to auto accidents, auto damage, auto theft claims, or personal injury claims. I am specifically suited to answer questions concerning insurance investigations and the effects of those investigations such as claim delays, claim denials, examinations under oath, or the special investigations unit. I can answer most any question that relates to proper claims investigations, or claims handling procedures and processes. I have authored several ebooks which provide claim guidance for consumers. Those books are available on Amazon Kindle: Power To Profit - will provide you with the knowledge you need to overcome the patterned obstacles that insurance companies will use to delay, devalue, or deny your valid insurance claim. The No Nonsense Guide to Accident Settlement - Teaches you how to manage your claim, how to identify the precise tactics likely to be used against you, and how you must respond.

Experience

12 years of experience with 3 major insurance companies. I hold an all lines adjusters license in Florida. I am well versed in claims handling, claims investigations, and industry standards related to both. The bulk of my experience stems from my 10 years as a police officer / detective. Building on that investigative experience, I became an SIU (Special Investigations Unit) Investigator. Accordingly, my unique expertise lies in the investigation of claims. What is necessary and related, what is not necessary and related? What constitutes a fair claims investigation? What recourse is available for consumers who suspect they are experiencing unfair claims delays? During the course of my experience, I became a certified trainer, instructing adjusters and investigators proper techniques for claims investigation and claims handling.

Education/Credentials
B.A., Communications, University of Miami 350 credit hours of intense investigative training, Miami Dade Police 80 hours of investigative training, various Federal Agencies, Miami, Fl Intensive Accident Reconstruction and Pedestrian Injury Analysis, NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Agency, Oklahoma City, OK 2 weeks Auto Damage Appraisal, Winston Salem, NC Legal Principles Claim Specialist, AEI

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