In the last couple years, lots of people have called me, and said that the insurance adjuster had called them after the accident, and told them that the insurance would settle for their medical bills plus $500, or $1,000, or even $2,000.
Is this a good deal?
No. For a couple reasons.
First, as I pointed out in my last blog, I can almost always do better, even after attorney fees.
Second, look at what they are offering.
When someone injures you, you are entitled to:
• Your medical bills
• Your lost wages
• Your pain and suffering caused by the accident.
The insurance for the guy who hit your is going to have to pay the medical bills caused by the accident. But your medical bills have already been paid – in most cases – by your health insurance, or by your medical payments coverage on your car.
The right to recover money for your medical bills belongs to the insurance company that pays it, and the other guy’s insurance company usually pays them directly. So offering to pay medical bills is not offering to pay much at all.
But they also have to pay any lost wages caused by the accident, and if you are making $35,000 per year and miss three and one half days of work, that’s $500 right there.
And they also will have to pay pain and suffering. And – believe it or not – that is the part of the award that scares the insurance company the most. Why? Because there is no practical cap on that amount. The Ohio legislature has limited pain and suffering awards to $250,000 per accident – more in certain circumstances.
So any offer that is structured the way I described isn’t really much of an offer at all.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. Just because the insurance company is making you an offer, doesn’t mean it’s a good one. If you’ve been in an accident give me a call. My phone is 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.