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Auto Insurance Claims/Car Accident in Arizona

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Question
My wife and I were involved in a minor car accident a few weeks back. The other driver was reported for unsafe lane change, I was reported as having no improper action. The other insurance up front has accepted 75% responsibility for the accident charging me with 25% responsibility for failing to avoid. I went through my insurance for repairs as I did not find this acceptable. The other insurance sent a check for 75% of my deductible.

Although it was only a minor collision should we be getting some form of pain and suffering settlement?

As I've said it was a minor impact, side to side when he merged into me. My wife and I were both smacked around a little bit. We did not seek medical care. We used heat packs and aleve to treat general soreness and stiffness. We both missed a day of work and I have missed several hours in the following weeks for estimates, picking up the police report, obtaining a rental and picking the car up after repairs were completed. Are we entitled to reimbursement for our time missed from work and some sort of settlement due to the general disruption and pain in the butt this has been trying to get everything sorted out? It has been many years since I have been in any form of accident and I am unsure of what is going to happen. I don't expect to be given some ungodly amount of money but is it wrong to expect reimbursement for time taken off of work etc due to the accident?

Answer
You should be able to make a small claim for injury.  Your claim is comprised of special damages (memdical bills, lost wages) and general damages (pain, suffering).  Since you have no medical bills, your specials would be limited to lost wages.  General damages for something like this would be about $250-$500 per injured party.  They will probably want you to sign a release in exchange for any settlement payment.  This protects their customer from being sued by you.  

Just to clarify...they do not owe for the inconvenience or time spent on property repairs.  Just the injury.

As far as the 25% is concerned, your insurer can file arbitration against them and try to collect that back.  If you can't agree on an amount for the injury, you could sue their customer in small claims court.  The insurer will assign an attorney to defend him/her, but you do not need an attorney in small claims court.

Auto Insurance Claims

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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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