Hi all. Just like to get this out of the way first and foremost. This situation/form is going before an attorney in my state. I never sign anything without an attorney after a bad experience when I was 22 and thought I knew everything. Just looking for general impressions here.
I live in Pennsylvania, a PIP insurance state. I have limited tort coverage (meaning I can’t sue for pain and suffering).
In may I was hit while stopped in traffic, the other fellow was driving a company truck and doing roughly 15mph. Messed up my bumper and the metal bumper underneath. My neck was sore for 3 days and I’ve had zero problems since.
I filed the claim with the other guy’s insurance. I’ll be damned if my rates go up because ai got hit at a stop. They will fix the car no questions asked and covered my rental. I’m using one of their preferred shops to make sure no problems.
I got a call today from their insurance offering to pay me $250 to release them from all future medical liability. I asked the dude to send me the form and I’d have an attorney look over it.
Should I sign my rights away in any case? What if I have a pinched nerve that doesn’t show up till December?
If yes should I counter with $2,500 to sign the release? I know they have actuaries who will consider the cost of my bribe vs the cost of potential treatment.
Under no circumstances would I consider trying to milk this with “pain and suffering”, I hate frivolous lawsuits. An accident shouldn’t be a lottery ticket. Just wondering what your guys’ experience has been.
They are just fishing with the 250 offer. Since you’re not going for a big bundle, there isn’t a rush anyway.
The other insurance company is obligated to attempt a settlement in order to protect their client from a larger lawsuit.
You surely know someone at your own insurance company that can give you advise or a lawyer that you or one of your friends knows will.
I’ve been involved in some large lawsuits through work. All the lawyers I know are litigators at $450+ an hour. I have a call into my insurance broker to see if they have free advice or something.
After reading the Release I’m leaning toward not signing it at any price. It basically let’s their insured and the insurance company off the hook in any instance.
So even if I drop dead tomorrow from an injury sustained during the wreck my heirs/assigns/estate could do nothing about it. If the release held up in court of course.
I would agree with your choice of not signing anything. Does some regulation state that the issue needs to be settled in a short time frame?
No not at all. I was just wondering if countering with something ridiculous would even work. But then I’m betting I won’t need any treatment from the accident. So I’m assuming all the risk of neck surgery for instance.
Would I be willing to release for $2,500? $5,000? Given I’m in no pain and don’t appear harmed it could potentially be a good risk to take. They’ll probably tell me to F off if I counter though.
I think that they are over a bit of a barrel in some regards. They have to clear that liability from the books somehow. I’m sure they’d prefer that it were cheap and easy, but doesn’t everybody? A friend of mine that used to work in insurance said something to the effect of insurers not even flinching if an agreement is reached for less than 10k.
Ah, grasshopper. Watch and learn.
WRITE (don’t call) the lawyer back. Here is the letter:
Thank you for the offer to settle my medical claim for $250. I was hurt in the accident and experienced considerable neck pain, but I haven’t really sought much medical service because I am pretty sure it’s going to go away on its own. So far, it’s gotten a lot better, but I am still a little worried that I might have problems, and I keep having twinges that wake me up at night, so I sleep in a recliner. If it doesn’t go away, I will go to the doctor.
I’m not sure what I am going to do, if anything, so I don’t want to sign the release because I might still go to the doctor. If you’ve got any advice, please provide it."
Next step is to price chriopractic care and figure out a treatment plan of 3 months. Then total it up.
This will create massive uncertainty and chaos because they have to keep the claim open, and you will eventually be paid a lot more than $250 to go away.
Jewbacca seems to have a brilliant answer. However, if you are considering signing anything, it might make sense to see a doctor first. A doctor might be able to tell you if there is actually anything wrong with you. That will help you know where to go.
Your ridiculous and my ridiculous look very, very different.