My auto was rear-ended on the 91 Freeway on the 10th of October. I was completely stopped in heavy traffic when I was rear-ended. The other insurance company notified me that they will cover all the auto damages, deductible, emergency medical treatment, out-of-pocket expenses for rental car, and wages for one day of missed employment. After being taken to an emergency at St Jude, x-rays were done on my neck, shoulder, arm, and back. The doctor told me that medical issues were only muscular and to treat them with heat and medication. I did have some prior issues with joint, back, neck, and shoulder pain before the accident due to Osteoarthritis, but my pain was occasional; now the pain is constant. I just deal with the pain because I am only able to take Acetaminophen and I only take the medication when the pain is unbearable.
Now, I also have anguish regarding freeway driving. I now take the side streets home from work on the days I get off at 3:30 pm. The damage to my car was just under $5,000. I do know that no matter how superficial a traffic accident might seem to others, a carís value is diminished at trade-in or resale just because it has been in a collision no matter how proficient the collision center is at putting it back together.
I need to know the best recommendation to approach the other in insurance company to address this issue if my insurance company does not assist me with these concerns. Please help me because I am not sure of the best way to seek help. Thank you.
4 Answers from Attorneys
Your best option is to have a consultation with an attorney. If you don't have one, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation. 888*9ENFORCER or 888*936*3672
It is a complicated case and you would likely need help navigating the various issues. Happy to help in any way we can.
Downtown LA Law Group
Your injuries have to be treated to help your recovery. Using the right doctor or chiropractor who can properly treat and write an effective report is important. I and other lawyers usually have such health providers to help in recovery. The doctor's report must also be prepared to properly deal with the insurance company's claims software used to determine value.
I have worked in claims and was the national claims trainer at Farmers Insurance, so I have good knowledge of how most insurance companies evaluate and investigate claims before I became an attorney. Yous should never give the other party's insurance adjuster a recorded statement as yo have no legal obligation to do so. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. (818) 222-2433
What you are looking at is an accepted-liability aggravation case with no mechanism of injury issue. Let me break it down for you. In every auto injury case there are certain standard issues that you can expect to face.
The first is liability--who is at fault? In your case, that is clear.
Next is what they call "mechanism of injury" or also "causation": being that the impact must be strong enough to cause injury. Some people are more vulnerable to injury than others (like a grandmother with osteoporosis is more vulnerable than a high school quarterback). In your case, mechanism isn't an issue for even a quarterback, but it can become an issue depending on what kind of injury arises.
So the last issue is the nature and extent of the injuries. This is closely connected to the "causation" issue. An insurance carrier, when faced with a clear liability, heavy-impact case will start looking aggressively for ways to save money. When they are backed into a corner, they try to find at least one thing to fight about, and then they fight like hell over that one thing. It's crazy how long they can drag out these cases. Sometimes it's even just about stalling. If they can drag out a case for a couple years, that's interest they can earn on that money before payout.
In your case, I'll bet dollars to donuts that they will pay for the ER and little chiropractic, but anything else they will refuse to pay by claiming it's due to your "pre-existing condition" of osteoarthritis.
Now, I'm familiar with this kind of fight, and you need a lawyer so that you can credibly threaten them with a lawsuit. Otherwise there is no way to call their bluff. And it IS a bluff, because they are 100% responsible for all treatment arising from the aggravation of a pre-existing condition, but they won't admit it voluntarily. You have to force them.
If you want to talk about it in more detail, just give me a call:
Michael Stone-Molloy, Esq.
THE LION'S LAW OFFICE
355 S. Grand Ave, Suite 2450
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Toll-free: 877-LION-FOR-LAW (546-6367)
E-mail: [email protected]