Last post on Sep 20, 2013 at 8:25 AM
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#5330 of 5338 Re: zip your injured lip [marsha7]
Sep 11, 2013 (7:51 pm)
I’m am so glad to hear you say that! The whole sense of entitlement mindset drives me insane!!!
After dealing with a car accident my mom was involved in back in 2010, I actually decided to get my license and become an independent insurance agent. She was rear-ended while stopped at a red-light by a teenage girl who was TEXTING! She rammed into her at 45mph and forced her into the car stopped in front of her. She hit that car so hard that the airbags deployed!
My mom had a number of fairly significant injuries (including broken fingers and a broken toe, fractured wrist and (ouch!) one of her toenails was ripped off when her slid off the brake pedal as the airbag deployed! She also had horrible bruises from the seatbelt and burns on her face and hands from the airbag. She refused to take an ambulance to the E/R, but my step-dad came to the wreck site and drove her to the hospital himself. They discovered that she had suffered damage to at least one disc in her cervical spine. She had been treated for a broken shoulder the previous year and, luckily, had an MRI from six months prior to the accident of the shoulder that also showed that part of her c-spine undamaged. She ultimately required surgery to remove two discs in her c-spine.
All she (we) sought from the at-fault driver’s insurance was reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical expenses and salary reimbursement for the 10 weeks she was out work due to the c-spine injury and surgery. The total was less than $30k, but the most she was offered was $14k and that was only after much wasted time and energy spent negotiating! The real clincher- the at-fault driver and my parents were insured by the SAME company and they treated her like dirt! I won’t name them directly, but I like to call them State Harm…actually I call them a lot of names, but I’d be banned if I repeated them here!
She had no choice but to hire an attorney and he went for the throat, so to speak. The at-fault driver had $100k in Bodily Injury coverage and that’s what he got! She happened to be driving my car at the time, so the attorney also sued my insurer for the $50k Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Coverage on my policy and also won that! After taking his 40%, mom got $90k and her related expense were just over $40k by that point. But she was very upset about the additional $50k and didn’t want it! She was horrified because she had money that she felt didn’t belong to her! Ultimately, I convinced her to treat herself to a new Mazda CX-9 and put the rest in my nephew’s college fund.
As an agent, most of my customers make their initial notification by calling me if they’re in an accident. Most of my carriers allow me to open a claim online and then they contact the customer to follow-up. It never ceases to amaze me how often my own customers ask “How much can I get out of this?” or “Which attorney in town do you think can get me the biggest settlement?” It happens almost every day!
I don’t (technically) have the power to have their policies non-renewed when they expire, but I have told at least two of them that they would be better served if they took their business elsewhere when their current policy expired! One was a woman who was totally faking the severity of her injuries. She was suing the at-fault driver but also intended to sue her own insurer (who I represented) under the Underinsured Motorist coverage on her policy. She was going for $750k ($500k from the other driver, $250k from her own insurance) and she didn’t have any serious injuries!!! What she did have was the sleaziest attorney in the area and the support of a local ‘Pain Management Specialist’ (aka- d-bag who would write a prescription for anything with “oxy” in the name or labeled “may be habit forming”). How did I know all of this? Let’s just say that no HIPAA, Privacy or any other law trumps working in the same small town I grew up in! =)
The other case was a man hit by an Uninsured Motorist. He sued our insurer for $50k under the Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury portion of his policy. But he didn’t seek any sort of medical treatment for more than a MONTH after the accident! Then I found out (from the cop who wrote the accident report) that the dude WASN’T EVEN IN THE CAR when it was hit!!! I turned him into the insurance company’s fraud department and told him to seek coverage elsewhere!
People who get insurance settlements that they aren’t legitimately entitled to receive hurt ALL OF US! They increase insurance premiums across the board and, worst of all, they make it very difficult for the truly injured to receive the compensation they deserve and need!!!
I know this isn’t politically correct, but in closing I feel compelled to share what my mom said when she was awarded more than what she was out-of-pocket. She said she felt like “white trash” for more than just reimbursement for expenses for her claim. When I was growing up, the only people who sued for such ‘damages’ were simply too lazy to work and could only be classified as ‘trash’!
Sep 16, 2013 (4:52 pm)
I see both sides of the issue...IMO, your mother was easily entitled to the money she received, as her injuries were TRULY worth the money she received...she is not white trash, she was fairly compensated for REAL injuries suffered by someone else's negligence...that is a case I would gladly have taken, simply because the injuries were real and so was the recklessness of the driver...that is what the system is supposed to do, when it works correctly...
As far as the guy who was not in the car but wanted damages, he should be placed in prison for insurance fraud...I have no patience for that crap...
If you don't seek treatment (for real injuries) for 3-4 days after a wreck, then you have weakened any claim you may have had...there truly IS a "latent effect" where your body may not sense the pain for up to 2-3 days, as the body can go into shock after a traumatic collision...it is not realistic for everyone to be in pain immediately after a wreck...sometimes you can be hit on Friday, feel normal on Sat, and wake up Sunday almost paralyzed...that is true...but when you are hit on the first of the month, and decide on the 10th that you need to go to the ER, your claim has been compromised by 50-75%, because no one on any jury will believe that you "hurt that bad" if you needed 10 days to decide if the pain was bad enough to see a doctor...
I also see another phenomenon that I originally found surprising...many senior citizens, let's say from the "old school" often think like your mother, where they are highly critical of people who see out attorneys after a wreck...they will rail up and down about how unfair it is that they are seeking money for their pain and suffering...UNTIL THEY GET INJURED IN A WRECK THEMSELVES AND GET AN OFFER FROM THE INSURANCE LESS THAN THEIR DOCTOR BILLS...suddenly, they are sitting in front of me, wanting to get compensated for THEIR pain and suffering...I will often ask them why is everybody else so greedy but they aren't???...they will usually answer that THEY hurt from the wreck but others are just faking it...suddenly, a person, who felt for 70 years that OTHERS were gaming the system, now THEY want theirs because they were REALLY injured...
I acknowledge that there are fraud cases, but you would be surprised at the folks who really do get injured in major collisions, and insurance companies only offer them half of what their treatment bills are...Doctor bills, $8,000.00, offer, $4,000.00...that is why the courts are clogged with these cases...you would be amazed at the offers from companies like Snake Harm that do not even cover medical bills...and we cannot tell that fact to the jury...
I believe that if we could say to the jury..."we are here today, taking up your time, because Snake Charm insurance only offered these folks $6,500.00, but their bills are $8,000.00, and the wreck was not their fault"...if juries knew that, insurance companies would be hit with punitives so bad they might actually make fair offers, and allow the court system to flow faster...
#5332 of 5338 Re: igozoomzoom [marsha7]
Sep 16, 2013 (7:41 pm)
You remind me of the one PIP case where the passengers of my insured's car claimed neck and back injuries after the impact. Amazing that as soon as the coverage ran out, they stoped their feel good apointments with the chiropractor and were cured.
#5333 of 5338 Re: igozoomzoom [marsha7]
Sep 17, 2013 (6:07 am)
It’s interesting that you mention the elder folks; they can be a real challenge to work with! =)
My mom and grandma were rear-ended back in 2005 at the 4-way stop in the tiny little town where they live (Waleska, Georgia, Home of Reinhardt University). They were in my grandma’s mint-condition 1993 Cadillac Sedan De Ville (12 years old, 32k miles and showroom condition inside and out)
The woman who rammed them was driving a late-model Pontiac Grand Prix that had already been wrecked (and not repaired) prior to this one. She got out of the car immediately and started yelling and making a scene. My mom’s initial instinct was to shut her up (by whatever means necessary), but she quickly noticed that the idiot was slurring her words and was clearly under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. So she just waited for the cops to arrive and tipped them off.
The local Fire Station and County Sheriff outpost are both less than ˝ mile from the accident scene, so they were on-site in well under five minutes. The woman who rear-ended them refused to submit to a sobriety test of any kind and she had a history of DUIs and drug & alcohol-related offences. She had insurance with some non-standard company I had never heard of AND when the officer ran her license it was actually suspended due to a recent DUI! Needless to say, she left in the back seat of a police car.
The physical damage didn’t look all that bad, but there was some frame damage in addition to the visible cosmetic damages. My mom wasn’t injured, but my 85-year old grandmother’s was under the car of an orthopedic surgeon for the next four months and had to attend physical therapy twice per week.
I was very surprised that the adjuster from her off-brand insurance company offered to pay for my grandma’s actual expenses for medical care, physical therapy, prescriptions and he even offered mileage reimbursement since each trip to the doctor or therapy was at least 35 miles round-trip! My step-dad handled the claim (I was still in the housing industry and living in Vinings at the time) and he didn’t press for anything other than reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses. Even though I wasn’t in the insurance business yet, I told my step-dad that I’d cut off his most precious body part if he signed ANYTHING before we were certain my grandma was in the clear and wouldn’t need further treatment. Ultimately, he didn’t sign their settlement agreement for almost a full year. Even so, the total amount claimed for actual expenses was less than $12k and they immediately paid without question.
Settling the Property Damage portion of the claim for her vehicle was much more difficult and unsatisfactory! My step-grandfather bought her Caddy new in 1993 for $37k. After 12 years, it only had 32k miles on it and literally looked brand new. They declared the car a total loss and the first offer was only just $4,800. I did some research and determined that ACV on was closer to $5500 plus the value guides (KBB, NADA) added $1000+ for the low mileage. I finally told my step-dad to start closer to $8k and stand firm at the $7k mark….after many phone calls, arguments and trying to help my grandparents understand that they were getting at least as much as any buyer would have paid for it prior to the accident, they finally told my step-dad to take it and be done with the mess….
I’ve ran into very similar situations where an elderly customer drives a pristine car that is 10+ years old and only has 30-40k miles on it! I have argued with insurers until they finally agreed to repair them instead of totaling them! In particular, my pediatrician (now in his late 80s) drives a 1995 Acura Legend (final year) that still turns heads and he keeps it spotless and shining all the time. Some moron hit him in the right rear side and did so at just the exact spot to cause damage to the rear fender/quarter panel, rear door skin, and bent the wheel/tire damaging the suspension and axle. They initially were planning to total it and I had to work hard to haggle them up to $6750. I was PRAYING that he’d take it because I had EVERY INTENTION of buying that bad boy from the insurance company for around $700 and having my brother-in-law (the best Acura/Honda paint and body man in the Southeast) repair it for me on the side. But Doc couldn’t part with it and it cost $6200 and change to repair it properly.
My mom got a call from District Attorney about five weeks after the accident occurred. The woman who hit them was scheduled for court and he called mom to his office for a deposition and later asked her if she would be willing to appear at that woman’s court dates. I insisted that mom go and I took vacation time to go with her! Someone had to get her off the road (and make sure she saw some time behind bars) before she hurt or killed anyone else! She was incarcerated for 12 months (minus time served) and on probation for five years after her release. She is also legally prohibited from driving a vehicle ever again.
BTW- this is my favorite part to tell about this accident….My grandma always had very long, thick hair (she’s Pentecostal) and she always wore it up in ‘bun’ on top of her head. By the time she reached her early 80s, her hair had thinned considerably and her trademark ‘bun’ wouldn’t hold together, even using every bobby pin in the free world!
She grew up very poor and had a very tight budget during her marriage to my bio-grandfather (died before I was born). But she made herself some beautiful dresses and even more suits (jacket and skirt, ankle-length skirt to fit in at church, I think) and never left the house unless she looked her best! She’ll be 94 very soon and she STILL dresses up to go to the doctor or anywhere else.
Her thinning hair bothered her a lot, so she started wearing a wig everywhere in her early 80s and still does. But when she and mom were rear-ended, her wig flew off her head and landed on top of the dashboard! Once she regained her bearings after being rammed, she realized that her wig flew off and she hurried to put it back on before the EMTs and firemen showed up.
A moment later, firemen approached her to ask if she was injured. But his first words were, “Ma’am, I think you have your wig on backwards….let me help you with it!” =) I just wish I had a photo!
#5334 of 5338 Re: igozoomzoom [igozoomzoom]
Sep 17, 2013 (7:29 am)
Why are there all these question marks throughout your post instead of certain characters or spaces?
#5335 of 5338 Re: igozoomzoom [imidazol97]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Sep 17, 2013 (7:36 am)
Usually I see that kind of stuff when people compose off-line in MS Word or something and the punctuation code will tag along (that's she'll in this case).
That said, I'm not seeing it.
#5336 of 5338 The problem with older
Sep 17, 2013 (3:14 pm)
pristine cars, like that Caddy with low mileage, is that after 10+ years, it has lost much of its value, yet replacing it would cost much more than it is worth...esp after it is paid off...
euphonium: I always walk a tightwire with some of these accident cases...does not matter if it is physical therapy or chiropractors, they are the two main healing arts that will see a person 2-3 times weekly for a number of weeks...I personally believe strongly in both of them as valid treatments, much better than pain pills and muscle relaxers from MDs that almost put folks to sleep or makes them feel loopy, rarely helps the pain and rarely helps the spasm...if asked, I usually recommend either the DC or the PT for treatment after the wreck...
Having said that, I also have a few caveats...I tell the client that if they feel MUCH better before the recommended treatment regimen has ended, feel free to talk to the PT or DC about winding down the intensity of care faster...I am NOT playing doctor, but trying to help control bills that do not need to go any higher than they have to...same with the DC or PT...if this is a case with minor injuries, with mild vehicle damage under, say, $2,000.00 or less, I will inform the practitioner that we do not have a severe case and to be watchful of their treatment...
Now, with $10,000 or more damage (on an average car, which implies a LOT of impact and damage, not a Ferrari where $10,000 damage is a scratch on the fender) I expect that the treatment bills will be higher, and that is quite reasonable...
People REALLY DO get injured in car wrecks, and sometimes it is not herniated discs or fractured bones, but serious soft tissue damage...
And yet, some folks run into a concrete bridge at 60 mph, stagger out of the car, and feel no pain at all, even after the shock wears off after a few days...it does make you wonder...
Sep 17, 2013 (3:24 pm)
They go something like this - "Your auto insurance company is hiding discounts from you. Why? Because if everyone knew this one trick, they would save an average of $455/year. That's $455 more in your pocket and $455 less in theirs. Find out what your lowest monthly payment could be."
The one trick must be to sell your car and take the bus.
#5338 of 5338 Re: igozoomzoom [imidazol97]
Sep 20, 2013 (8:25 am)
Change how your browser interprets the page encoding.
In Firefox, click the orange Firefox button (top left), select Web Developer then Character Encoding then Western (Windows-1252) or Unicode UTF8.
In IE, right-click the page, select Encoding, then Unicode (UTF-8).
In other browsers, look for a similar option.
That normally fixes it.