On March 10, 2012 I was a passenger in a car that was hit by a tanker truck on the expressway. While I was not seriously injured, I did get some serious bruising, sore muscles and joints, and missed a week of work. Since then I have been trying to work with the trucker's insurance company to reach a settlement. My original thought was that $5000 would be reasonable based on average payouts in IL for this type of accident. Then the insurance guy showed up at my house. No appointment or request to meet with me. In my mind I doubled my amount and put this on the back burner. Just as I was about to put my demand in writing he showed up at my house for a second time. Now I was angry and doubled my demand again. I demanded $20,000. Since then 2 neighbors have reported getting phone calls 'checking my references.' Questions like, am I of good character, does my grandson have autism, do I have a lot of free time. I've had enough, and my question is two fold, is $20,000 unreasonable when I had no broken bones? and is this business of showing up at my front door and calling my neighbors harassment? Thank you for your input.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Based on the information provided, it sounds like you are way out of line. The insurer has the right to investigate your claim and that includes talking with your neighbors.
The answer to the value of the claim depends on a multitude of factors, such as what was the lost wages you incurred, did you go to the emergency room for any treatment, did you get any physical therapy, do you have any other bills related to this accident, was the driver of your car seriously injured and how did this affect you, what was the damage to the car you were in, did the driver of either vehicle make any statements against interest, were there witnesses, did the police come out and if so was there a citation, etc.? Although not entirely clear from your facts, it would be good to know who was responsible for causing the accident, the trucker only, partially the driver of your car, etc.
With respect to the insurance company stopping at your door and calling your neighbors, while insurers are certainly allowed to investigate claims, it seems a little awkward that they show up at your house without contacting you in advance or in the absence of an appointment.
I hope this helps. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, feel free to email me at [email protected]