Daughter is in PAIN!
(Smithfield NC )
My 16 yr old was in a car that was hit from behind..she was not driving and sitting in the back...she did have neck pain and went to ER just in case....she says now she seems fine...her friends have all already settled with NW....I havent since I wanted to investigate it first...they were paid between 600 to 1,200.....we are in NC...3yrs to settle state...should I wait longer just to make sure she has no more pain (this is what I think I should do) or should I go ahead I take what they offer or how do I get the most that she deserves? I have personally never been in an accident and furthernore who makes NW pay her ER cost? Thanks for your help! Elizabeth
Hi there, Michelle here...
I don’t really have enough information to give you an accurate answer, however I am going to try my best to work with what you sent.
The first thing I don’t know is when was the accident? It is great you know you are within the right time limit for your state, but not knowing when the accident was, means her medical care is in question for me.
If the accident was within the month, I would highly recommend you do not settle yet. Instead, I would send your daughter to a chiropractor and make sure she has no injuries that will plague her as she ages. Years ago I had a 23 year old patient come to see me. She wanted to travel around Europe with her friends and a backpack. However, she had tremendous back pain every day and didn’t think it would be possible for her to lift and carry the weight. The first question I asked her was when was her car accident? She said it was when she was 17, and she didn’t have treatment. Her back was a mess. We were able to treat her and she was able to travel.
So please don’t underestimate her injuries.
If she has been treated, evaluated and it’s been many months since the accident, and she has no restrictions on her activities, and no pain, then you are likely ready to start talking about settlement.
Talking about a settlement is about asking the insurance company for what is fair financially for the pain and suffering your daughter experienced. A lot of insurance companies used to use a formula that would be three times the medical bills.
However, it is relatively rare for insurance companies to stick to this formula any more. But it will give you a starting place for thinking about how to have the conversation.
If the insurance company makes the first offer, you can easily counter offer their amount. Or you can make the first offer and allow them to counter offer your number. Either way, a settlement is a negotiation, and you do not need to accept the first number.
As far as the payment to the hospital goes, the hospital should have sent their bill to the at fault insurance company. When you are ready to settle, you will be asked to sign a release with the at fault insurance company. When you are ready to sign this, you will verify that the hospital has been paid in full.
If not, then you will not accept the settlement until the ER bill is paid. If you do not make sure of this, you will end up paying the hospital yourself, as once you release the at fault insurance company, you can not go back and ask them to pay for anything else, ever.
Hope this gets you on the right path, good luck! M.