We’re a personal injury attorney in Phoenix Arizona and he’s agreed to answer some online questions related to car accidents with that said John I’m gonna go ahead and get into the first question and we’ll go from there first question was from Candice Candice says :
“I was in that minor accident with my 11 year old son three weeks ago there was slight damage to the front right fender but nothing major it was a bit scary for both of us but it really didn’t seem like a big deal the day insurance came the insurance company from from the woman that hit us is paying for the repairs and the car insurance providing me with the settlement documentation to sign basically she got a settlement documents signed and the issue is my son is now complaining of his neck of his neck hurry what are my options,
okay for Candice having her child in the vehicle sounds like the child’s injured ouch hat’s something that insurance companies what they’ll typically do in these kind of cases is they’re gonna reach out right away and see if they can settle the case, if she has a child that’s complaining him an injury she needs to get that child in to be evaluated first to make sure that the child doesn’t have any long-term consequences from this injury what can happen is that the insurance company will send a an individual who’s been in a wrecked the documentation and a check and say
hey sign off on this you’ll get this nice check we’ll move on from it the problem with that is later on if there’s injuries that that were not diagnosed there’s no recovery for that so the good news is for Candice it sounds like the
adverse insurance company the person to hit her as accepted liability that’s a first step so they have taken responsibility for this accident it’s up to her now to show the insurance company what her injuries are and her child’s injuries are and they won’t take her
word for it she can’t just call him up and say hey you know my child has some neck pain can you compensate him for that she’s gonna have to provide documentation so when I get a client I make sure that we have everything that is complained of from the client that’s got to be evaluated by doctor and actually diagnosed is that and we use those bills in records of those visits to make a demand later on typically we wait at least a couple of months after the accident to make sure that there’s no lingering effects that we’re not taking care of so she probably should at least consult with her attorney and and definitely needs to get a medical attention for her daughter.”
next question we had was from Jose
Jose says I’m a construction manager and while I was headed to work I was hit hit by a guy exiting the freeway the police came in cited the driver for failure to main control maintain control of this vehicle my truck was totaled and I had to go to the hospital the injuries were not major but I missed three days of work and I’m having back pains the insurance company is wasn’t wanting me to only wanting me to sign a release document and offering me a settlement if I can’t counteroffer well I have to get an attorney for Jose he does not need to get an attorney to negotiate with the insurance company he can go all the way through all his settlement negotiations.
He can go all the way out to trial he can even conduct a trial on his own if you really wanted to it’s not an advisable thing for him to do and honestly for someone to settle a case without an attorney in a case where they’ve gone to the hospital and incurred medical expenses it can be a little concerned because what a lot of people don’t understand is hospital bills in Arizona it insurance the hospitals are allowed to do what we call balance bill so although their health insurance may have paid some of that bill they’re still going to be an outstanding amount that they didn’t get paid the hospital’s will then come back to the person who got the settlement and say I want the rest of the money from the settlement so that’s a lien against the case so he’s gotta be certain that he has enough money to pay off all those liens to most personal injury attorneys what they’ll do is they’ll actually negotiate those liens make sure their battle it leads often get major reductions in those amounts to make sure that the client is getting money in their pocket for pain and suffering the other issue is he may have other avenues of insurance or other avenues of recovery that he’s not aware of may look like a good deal but, anytime especially with you know hospital bills.
They tend to have big big big numbers as far as how much it cost for that treatment clients don’t usually understand what their case is worth but when when they’re serious injuries and there’s the settlements can be multiples when the hospital bills get high okay can you take a look at this baby story whenever I’m talking sure, okay.
we go the next question was from Jeff Jeff
Asks how do I know how much the cards oh that’s pretty simple I guess but how do I know how do I know how much the car insurance company should pay me for my car accident yeah there’s a it sounds simple but it isn’t a simple thing and the insurance companies spend thousands thousands of dollars on this they have actually computer programs that have algorithms that try to determine what kind of offers they should make for settlements allotments depending on what the medical expenses are if there’s you know a minor injury let’s just typically you know they consider minor injuries anything that’s not a broken bone anything that’s you know no major hospital bills, it’s difficult to get three times your medical expenses in that kind of case sometimes you can more likely two times but once there’s you know serious injuries that require medical attention that goes a little bit further it becomes kind of a situation where it’s hard to determine one of the other things that he has to consider. is you know how much of this is going to be included for pain and suffering or lost wages any other avenues of recovery what are the limits for the insurance to provide sometimes he’s bumping up on a limit issue you may have $10,000 worth of hospital bills.
But the average party only had 15,000 worth a coverage so does he go to his own insurance company if they have coverage so when trying to find out what your settlement is worth there sometimes their settlement calculators you find online I don’t find those to be very reliable what I do is I look at prior cases that have similar injuries and I have a way of ordering those through.
Arizona to look at what other cases have settle for or have resulted at trial so those can sometimes be helpful to look at those and the thing about injuries is everyone’s injuries a little bit different so for me to tell people just based on what the accident sounds like initially is is not something that anyone should be doing.
okay and this was the final question this is from Tommy
Tommy ask I was recently t-boned by a driver and have significant medical bills I’ve been provided a large offer by the insurance company and I think it should cover everything I realize it I realize I might be able to get more money but I really need to cash now to pay my bills how can I get more money without having to wait for a lawsuit etc okay so getting more money if it’s kind of conflicting stay being said that he it seems like a good offer but if he wants more money I don’t know if um what exactly his situation is I can tell you this he doesn’t have to wait long even if he’s contacting an attorney to evaluate his case look at the offer that’s on the table it doesn’t take more than a couple of days for a attorney to evaluate a case especially a fee as all
This documentation in line if I have the medical records if I have a police report if I can look at the settlement offer usually I can see you know where they’re at and give them some advice about moving forward there are times that an attorney will be how helpful in situations like that there’s times that they weren’t if they have a great offer on the table to fill up paying their medical expenses paying all their other bills and is getting them money for their pain and suffering I’m not afraid to tell them look you know that looks like a reasonable offer you know an attorney a fee is not worth it but there are some creative ways to usually get quite a bit more out of a case if a lawyer looks down and really you know takes the time to evaluate the case and say we can do these things moving forward and I think we can get you a good result a better result and maybe very quickly you know and we know that people have you know problems with their bills.
In these kind of accidents because they just start piling up and there’s that temptation to settle your case right away but it’s not advisable without talking to a lawyer first.