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Auto Insurance Claims/Auto claim settlement


My husband and I were recently in a motor vehicle crash where the other driver ran a red light and hit us head on, totalling our car and sending us to the hospital via ambulance. She was cited by the police. She has one insurance company and we have a different one. We are in Colorado. Her insurance company settled the property damage claim promptly but now we are in the process of settling the personal injury claim. We received paperwork for her company to investigate medical records. I imagine the bills will be about $20,000 total. My questions are these 1) Once the insurance company reviews all the medical bills, will they make us an offer to pay the bills but also offer a settlement as far as pain and suffering too? I was told we should write a "demand letter" asking for pain and suffering compensation.2 ) Do we write this letter AFTER we first get an offer from her insurance company? I cannot get a straight answer from any of the insurance companies, ours included. I would certainly appreciate your advice. Within the paperwork we know have, there are questions asking how the crash occurred, the impact on our lives, our injuries, etc.
Thank you

Answer to 1:  Yes, the insurance company will make an offer to settle the ENTIRE claim once you guys have finished treating and they have reviewed all the bills.  The offer will include any non-economic (pain & suffering) damages.

Answer to 2:  If you want to speed things up, send a written demand for a certain amount of money (all of your damages, including pain and suffering), and offer to sign a full and final release for the money.  Before or after initial offer does not matter, it is a negotiation, make the letter make sense, you know? If it is before they make an offer, just make a demand, if it is after they make an offer make a COUNTER demand.  

I hope that answers your questions.  Make a demand, and include all damages in the amount you are asking for.  In fact, you probably have a diminished market value claim on the property damage side if your vehicle was not totaled, too.  

Justin Petty

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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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