Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

My daughter was rear ended at a stop light.

Both cars totaled. Other driver took full responsibility.

His insurance company gave us a fair amount for our vehicle.

However, my daughter has back pain from the accident.

She saw a physician immediately and has been going to a chiropractor for over 2 months.

It has helped, but not cured her back pain.

The other insurance company is pressuring her to settle, to an amount that just covers her out of pocket dr. visits.

I don't want her to be hasty, as she is still in pain and could possibly have some long term back problems.

She is anxious to settle to recoup her out of pocket expenses and feels like she can't afford to keep going to the chiropractor (she is a waitress, and has been missing shifts due to the pain)

What should we do?

Are they obligated to pay her out of pocket medical expenses?

Is this the way the system is supposed to work?

Asked on 3/18/13, 7:32 pm

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5 Answers from Attorneys

Kevin Cortright Law Offices of Kevin Cortright

It sounds like it time to contact a PI lawyer, she is entitled to her reasonable medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and future medical care if needed. She has two years to file a lawsuit so she Does not need to settle to soon. Have her contact a local lawyer, I would be glad to help but I am on SoCal.

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Answered on 3/18/13, 7:37 pm

Joel Selik

They will not pay her out of pocket medical expenses until she settles the case. Insurance companies will only pay a small amount. It is much too premature for her to settle, as she is still in pain. She needs to get a good medical analyis and possible treatment but at least proper and full diagnosis.

Let me know any other questions you may have.

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Answered on 3/18/13, 7:42 pm
Michael Stone-Molloy The Lion's Law Office

Your daughter is entitled to 100% of her medical bills, not just her out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, she should get all the diagnostic testing she needs. Some of this can be very expensive. For example, MRI's of her spine may be needed. An attorney can vouching for the merits of the case can arrange for all this medical care on a "lien" basis, even if her health insurance won't cover it, and even if she doesn't have health insurance.

In addition, your daughter is entitled to be compensated for time missed from work, and most importantly, for her general pain and suffering. The insurance company wants to settle as soon as possible, for as little as possible, before your daughter has a chance to fully investigate the extent of her injuries. If she settles now, she won't be able to go back later and ask for more, even if (God forbid) she ends up needing back surgery.

The bottom line is that your daughter should be represented by a competent attorney who can make sure her rights are protected. We handle cases all over California, and I would be glad to speak with you and your daughter. Feel free to call anytime: (877) LION FOR LAW (546-6367)

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Answered on 3/18/13, 7:55 pm
Robert Worth Robert J. Worth , Professional Law Corporation

I used to teach claims people before I became a lawyer many years ago and I know how they think, act and work. Do NOT allow your daughter to be pressured by them. That cannot compel her stop needed treatment. That being said, she may benefit from being seen by an orthopedic doctor. I have one who the insurance companies use as their expert so how can they dispute a medical doctor like that? Wiring with and validating the chiropractor may be helpful to your daughter. If you would like to discuss this or anything else, feel free to call or have her call. Regards, Bob Worth. (818) 222-2433

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Answered on 3/18/13, 9:11 pm
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. Fransen & Molinaro, LLP

If a person suffers harm because of the negligence of another, said victim needs to do the following: First - immediately get medical attention. Second - hire a personal injury attorney. We personal injury type lawyers offer free consultations and take cases on a contingent (meaning our client does not pay unless he or she "wins" money).

No one should handle any claim (involving a motor vehicle accident with bodily injury) against any insurance company without a lawyer. Claims should be handled by a lawyer - one who will be able to understand and explain the physical damages and injuries from accident. The victim of a car accident really needs to worry about one thing - getting better. That means attending doctor's appointments, attending physical therapy (if appropriate), and taking his or her medication. All of the rest can be handled by a personal injury attorney. We earn our fees (contingent by the way) by taking on the stress and hassle of fighting for money - I dare say some of us actually enjoy the fight, but I realize that most people do not enjoy conflict.

When someone is injured, he or she should only be concerned with getting better, attending doctor visits, attending physical therapy, etc. The lawyer will handle the rest... Figuring out who to sue, whether insurance covers the accident, whose insurance should cover, etc.

Fortunately, most of us personal injury types offer free consultations and take such cases on contingency, so there is nothing to fear in calling us.

- Paul

Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.

Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker

Fransen & Molinaro, LLP

980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206

Corona, CA 92879

(951)520-9684 /

"When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."

* This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.

** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.

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Answered on 3/19/13, 9:53 am

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