Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Car accident - effect on future insurance
Old 10-18-2011, 03:43 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 113
Car accident - effect on future insurance

DW and I were in a rather ugly vehicle accident the other day. Rear ended while we were at a dead stop by a full size truck at 40-50MPH, car was totaled.

We were taken to the ER, x-rayed, CT scans - negative for anything broken/ruptured, and were released. However, needless to say - while we're hopeful for a complete recovery, we've entered into the hell of soft tissue damage.

The good news: 100% the other drivers fault, he's well insured, and we've currently got excellent health care through our employers that's taking care of us.

The huge unknown: Our ER date is 6 months away. At that time, we're buying insurance on our own in WA state - something that was easily budgeted for, when we were both 50-somethings in excellent health, with zero pre-existing conditions.

This is now of course, a huge concern as we discuss how to proceed with settlement. We're not looking for a payday - but neither are we willing to accept massive future premiums or the inability to find insurance at all. Perhaps I'm being paranoid...but I just don't know how well we'll recover, or how the accident and/or lingering issues will impact our insurance options 6 months from now.

We're looking for a good attorney, and we'll certainly bring this up with him/her - but y'all seem to have quite a bit of first-hand experience with what affects rates for policies purchased on the open market, and I'd be grateful for any input.
__________________

__________________
Da Nag is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-18-2011, 04:08 PM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Just North of Boston
Posts: 519
Sorry about the accident.

First thing is you do not need to settle all claims until you are at a point where you do not think you will be getting better or think you understand what future issue may be. (although, you may need to file a claim)

Take your time and do not settle until you are comfortable doing so.
__________________

__________________
ChiliPepr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2011, 04:22 PM   #3
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 844
This maybe obvious, but I wouldn't talk to the other guys insurance company at all, unless its thru your attorney.

I was rear-ended about 10 years ago, 100% the other guys fault, truck was wrecked and minor pain for a week but fully recovered, and just for the heck of it I went thru the whole process of talking to a lawyer anyway, just to educate myself about how these things work.

I never did hire an attorney, and not knowing better I did agree to talk to the other guys ins company - he came out to the house and questioned me for about 90 minutes - asking questions and writing down something that resembled my answers. (He said at the beginning he would write it all down, and have me re-read it and sign it at the end as a statement)

As an example, this is how it went:

What he asks me: "How fast were you going?"
What I said: "I don't really know, but I would say the speed limit." (which I was)
What he writes down: "I have no idea how fast I was going"

It when on likes this for a while, slightly twisting everything I said to have as ammo to fight any future claim - ultimately I just ended up signing off on it since I was pretty sure I was on the mend and wasn't even going to have enough medical costs to reach the limit that triggers a personal injury claim in Massachusetts...(They did pay for my car however, which is all I wanted).

It was eye opening, but if I ever get into a serious accident, now I know better how to watch what I say, how I say it and who I say it to.

Good luck.
__________________
farmerEd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2011, 04:30 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
JPatrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,494
Yours is a situation where you will need an attorney, much as I hate to say that. Try to rely on a trusted referal versus the TV ads.
I would do this with some haste as these things don't get better with age it seems. Don't take too much comfort thinking he is well insured as you probably don't know how the needed settlement stacks up against his policy limits.

If you want to increase your own knowledge on the process, pick up a Nolo book on How to handle your own personal injury case. Again, given the unknowns in your case, you need a lawyer, but it helps to know what is going on.
__________________
JPatrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2011, 04:34 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 113
Thanks for the tips. Other than our vehicle reimbursement and a couple personal effects, we're aware we don't want to settle ASAP...we've up to two years for rest of the settlement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPatrick View Post
Don't take too much comfort thinking he is well insured as you probably don't know how the needed settlement stacks up against his policy limits.
Presumably in our favor, and hopefully alleviating that concern - the other driver works for a Fortune 1000 company, and was in a company vehicle.
__________________
Da Nag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2011, 04:36 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Waimanalo, HI
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Nag View Post
We're not looking for a payday - ...
Well, why not? You've listed some future liabilities the accident has exposed you to. Why shouldn't you be compensated for them? It's not the best time, IMO, to be playing Mr. Nice Guy. Get a good lawyer and sock it to 'em.
__________________
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
GregLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2011, 04:57 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,643
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
Well, why not? You've listed some future liabilities the accident has exposed you to. Why shouldn't you be compensated for them? It's not the best time, IMO, to be playing Mr. Nice Guy. Get a good lawyer and sock it to 'em.
+1 The potential for increased health insurance premiums is something to deal with in settling the car crash claim. You say your ER date is only six months away. Can you start lining up insurance now and get it settled while the claim is still active?
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2011, 06:07 PM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
Well, why not? You've listed some future liabilities the accident has exposed you to. Why shouldn't you be compensated for them? It's not the best time, IMO, to be playing Mr. Nice Guy. Get a good lawyer and sock it to 'em.
My use of the term "payday" implied an excessive and/or undeserved windfall.

I've zero problem demanding and/or accepting a fair settlement. Which is why I'm inquiring as to potential problems with future insurance here...understanding the answer to that question, will determine in large part what is fair.
__________________
Da Nag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2011, 06:50 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
SteveL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 380
It is very simple. You will be buying individual health policies. Here in WA, this means your application will be subject to underwriting and if approved with an exclusion for pre-existing conditions. The wording for these exclusions varies, but most include some period of up to a year during which you cannot have been treated for the condition. You will have to disclose this accident and injuries when you apply. If your injuries are serious, you may be declined.

Given the circumstances, prob. your best approach is to retain an atty, and then file your claim with the at-fault carrier. No need to file suit until near the end of the statue of limitations period. Let the atty negotiate for you. If he reaches an inpass, then you can sue.

Normally your pain and suffering damages run between three and four times your loss of wages and medical bills. However, since your treatment may be ongoing over the next year or so plus, there is no need to discuss the amount of your BI claim until you know what your meds will be.

If you get a good atty.....(I am not one, but I could give you a name if you send me a PM) let the atty deal with all these strategy issues.

You also have to deal with the issue of getting your car replaced. If you have collision coverage on your own policy you can settle that claim with them. The at-fault carrier won't pay for the damage to the car until you settle the BI portion. Your own insurance carrier will subro against the at-fault carrier, and you will recover your ded via the prob lawsuit.
__________________
Retired -- 2001
SteveL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2011, 05:07 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
toofrugalformycat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Anchorage
Posts: 731
From my personal experience attempting to purchase individual insurance (in Alaska)... do not wait to apply. There is a lag time after application, sometimes significant if they ask questions of your doctor(s). Also, it will probably take you awhile to fill out the apps because you will be required to list EVERY doctor visit in your entire life (unless things have changed since I applied, and I have no reason to believe they have). Of course, you can't possibly remember every doctor visit (e.g. what was that office I was taken to at age 7?), but if you forget one, and make a claim later that could possibly be related to that problem, look out.
Also, do not assume you can get individual insurance. Even if a company accepts you, they can exclude things from the policy, whether you have had those conditions or not. I believe this is and was against the law if you already have insurance, but that doesn't stop them, and how many lawyers do you really want to deal with at the same time?
I suggest you go to an insurance broker, who will be familiar with the situation and companies in your state and can give you informed (and should be free) advice on your best course of action, and which companies might still insure you after this accident.
I hope more people chime in, esp those from your state. Best of luck!
__________________
toofrugalformycat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2011, 06:46 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
Just wondering here, I know this is a ridiculous proposal, as a settlement for the health care underwriting risk maybe the employer can hire the both of you as of your planned ER date for a modest sum doing something ephemeral and put the two of you on their health care insurance program until you qualify for Medicare.

I am sure lawyers would roll their eyes with that but why not ask... You would be amazed at the side-deals that are buried in benefit departments of large corporations. Make sure that they set aside an annuity contract with your name on it to pay for health insurance should they renege or go bankrupt (remember Enron!).

As somenone else said, start applying for health insurance now so that you will be able to put a $ on that issue.
__________________

__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Road trip car adventure... Brat Travel Information 33 11-04-2011 10:28 PM
So which car should I let my kid drive? hakuna matata Other topics 48 08-31-2011 07:35 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:38 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.