What can I do if insurance company is not giving me a fair amount for bodily injury claim? 20 Answers as of May 13, 2013

I was recently in a car accident. I was not at fault. And due to this accident, I had some back injuries that I went to the ER for. I was prescribed pain medicines but was not able to take any prescription meds due to me trying to become pregnant. I have contacted the insurance company about my bodily injury claim twice now and both offers they have given me have been to my research on this very low. The first offer was to pay all medical bills +$250 for pain and suffering. I called my insurance company and they informed me if I felt that wasn't fair to call with a counter and I did my conter was $1000- $800 no less than $800 and they said the max they can pay on top of medical bill was $500 not a dime more. My question is 1. is this a fair amount 2. what can I do if its not fair?

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Gregory M Janks, PC
Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
In Michigan it is your own car insurance company that pays for all crash related medical care and treatment, not the insurer for the at fault owner/driver. So I'm not sure why the other insurer would offer to pay for medicals. If you don't believe their offer to settle is enough you may sue the at fault parties and see if you can settle for/collect more $. Do understand that in Michigan you must prove your injuries rise the the level of a serious impairment of a body function that impairs your ability to lead your normal pre-crash life in order to successfully sue and win.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/13/2013
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Get a lawyer and sue.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/10/2013
John Russo | John Russo
Lets work backwards, what to do, put into suit, but in reality nothing because if you go to suit the insurance company will now send in their lawyers and you will be in so far over your head you will start crying, then you will make a mistake the case will get dismissed and you will get nothing, don't believe me then move forward. Try moving them one more time , try this say calmly and with no emotion how about this I am at 800 your at 500, lets split the difference and I will sign off right now and its over , 650 and its done. If they say no then take the 500, and next time retain counsel and let this be a lesson to you, attorneys receive nothing unless you do and you will ALWAYS receive more with one then without, medicine is for doctors and the law is for lawyers.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 5/10/2013
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
If you feel that the amount is unfair you would have to retain counsel and pursue a claim against the defendant driver/owner of the car who injured you.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/9/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
If you cannot settle then you have to file suit to have the court determine the value of the claim.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/10/2013
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    $500 plus payment of the bills is a low settlement offer. However, it is up to the insurance company to do what it wants to do. If they refuse to pay you any more money, you will have to file a lawsuit to potentially recover higher compensation. You will need a lawyer to help you file the lawsuit. It is possible that your injuries are not severe enough to warrant a lawyer taking your claim. I think you should talk with a lawyer experienced in representing people injured in accidents to help you with your claim, assuming the lawyer is willing to do so. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Wisconsin is three years from the date of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Gary L. Platt, Attorney at Law | Gary Platt
    First of all, under almost ANY circumstances, trying to settle a personal injury claim with the opposing insurance company is a very, very bad idea. Knowing you are not a lawyer and don't have one, the opposing insurance adjustor will take every advantage of you and try to convince you that what they are offering you is a gift, when it's really an insult. You have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit, if you can't settle and all else fails, so there is NO HURRY. Also, don't ever forget that you do NOT have to settle with them. Knowing this gives you a measure of power over them. However, the most power you can have is when you hire an attorney to negotiate for you. The answer to the question, "how much is a fair amount," depends on a lot of facts which your attorney needs to discover and analyze, using the benefit of his/her experience in the business, and this is NOT the kind of thing you can do yourself, unless you want to be severely underpaid. Do some intelligent attorney-shopping. Interview at least two prospective attorneys, ask intelligent questions, listen to the answers, and find one who will give you an honest, reality-based opinion on your case. Also, pay attention to the vibe you get from them: if the attorney meets with you personally, that's a plus. If you get a bad or uncertain feeling about him/her, find another lawyer, there are plenty around who can help you, and there ARE plenty of honest ones, too. Once you hire one, do what he/she tells you and do NOT expect the case to settle in a very short amount of time. Sometimes, in order to get what you deserve, you and your lawyer will need to invest time and effort. How much depends on a lot of facts and circumstances, your attorney should be able to give you a reasonable estimate. Remember also, however, that the result does NOT depend entirely on your attorney's efforts. He/she cannot force a settlement, only do the best he/she can for you. In the end, in most cases, even after paying your lawyer's fee, you will almost certainly end up with more than if you tried to do it yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    I cannot say whether or not it is fair without knowing the degree to which you suffered and how long you suffered. If you are still suffering, I would not try to settle the case until your injury has completely resolved. If your injury has completely resolved, then you have a choice of accepting their best offer or filing a lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
    You cannot force an insurance company to be reasonable and fair. The only way they are going to listen is if you retain an attorney and sue their insured. Your only leverage is your right to have your case heard by a jury.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Lydy & Moan | C. Gary Wilson
    File a law suit.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Reade & Associates
    Reade & Associates | R. Christopher Reade
    It is impossible to evaluate the value of your claim without knowing more information about the nature of the injuries. If you believe the offer is not fair, you can file suit for your injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Law Offices of Stanley S. Lopata
    Law Offices of Stanley S. Lopata | Stan Lopata
    Whether an offer of $250 or even $850 is fair is based on how badly injured you were in the accident. An insurance company will agree to pay you money only if you were injured in the accident. The nature and extent of your injuries is determined by the examinations and treatments you receive from your doctors. A bill from an ER, typically a couple of hundred dollars, does not show you injuries? When you asked you own insurance company about fairness, they probably did not tell you that you needed to proved to the other parties insurance carrier that you were injured. The only way that you could have proved your injuries is from reports and billings from doctors, chiropractors, clinics, etc. If all your medical expenses for injuries suffered in an accident are less than a hundred dollars the offers made might be fair. You should have talked to a personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Your counter was to low!! Retain an attorney, that way you will get a reasonable settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    It is impossible for anyone in this forum and with what little information that you have provided to form a rational opinion and therefore invite you of the fact that both the offer and the counteroffer period be quite low.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    You really can't settle until you've healed up. That is probably going to require you to wait until the baby is born, so they can do the xrays and so forth that they can't do now. You would especially want to wait if you were pregnant at the time of the accident to make sure the baby is ok. You need to be aware of the statute of limitations so you don't let that run. In Alabama, it's 2 years from the date of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Hone Law Firm
    Hone Law Firm | John S. Hone
    5 8 13 To whom it may concern, The following is a response to your inquiry regarding your auto accident. The other driver would be responsible for your pain and suffering. Your insurance company is responsible for you medical bills, etc... You would have to meet with an attorney, or contact one on the phone to get your No-Fault benefits explained to you. The only reason your own insurance company would be negotiation with you over your pain and suffering, and injury, is if you had uninsured coverage and the other driver was uninsured. Again, your situation is beyond a simple answer by email. You absolutely need to speak with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/10/2013
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    Without knowing more facts, it is hard to know what is fair. You should get at least the amount equal to your medical bills and any lost wages. If you don't want to accept the offer, you could file a lawsuit but it looks like this is a low value case.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Law Office of Lisa Hurtado McDonnell | Lisa Hurtado McDonnell
    They are lying to you. Ask them for a copy of the personal Injury Policy also tell them that your going to file a bad faith claim with the state insurance department. I generally get my client 2 or 3 times medical costs depending on the injury and amount of loss in wages.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Derek L. Hall, PLLC | Derek L. Hall
    If you do not feel this is fair you may file a suit for damages. A personal injury lawyer may help u decide if it would be worth filing suit. Costs and expenses along with attorney fees would come out if anything you recover from suit.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    If you don't like the offer, contact an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/9/2013
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