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Car Wreck
Old 01-13-2020, 02:44 PM   #1
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Car Wreck

Need some guidance from my fellow forum members.

A couple of days before Christmas, my DW and I were rear-ended by a guy in a large pickup. I was the passenger in the front seat. The guy never even tried to apply his brakes. He was obviously not paying attention. My head was pretty violently thrust forward and then back. The pain was pretty bad at first, thought I'd broken my neck. The first responders got there and called an ambulance. By the time the ambulance got there, I wasn't hurting much anymore, so I declined the trip to the hospital. The last thing I wanted to do was spend all day/night in the emergency room since we had family in from out of town. In retrospect, I should have gone.

Over Christmas, I was pretty sore (neck, shoulders, back), but figured I was going to live. Then things got better for a week or so. Now, 3 weeks later, my neck and shoulders feel worse than they ever did before. Is it possible there is some kind of delayed reaction to whiplash? I went ahead and made a doctors appointment for later this afternoon. I'll see what she says.

The other driver admitted it was his fault, although the cop - I guess being in the Christmas mood, declined to give him a ticket. The car is getting repaired. We've had a few issues with the State Farm "approved" autobody shop wanting to use "refurbished" parts, but I think we got those taken care of. Looks like there's about $8K of damage to the back of my Honda Pilot.

I may end up with some medical claims. Don't know for sure.

What about diminished value of my Pilot? It's the high end model ($40K new) and less than 2 year old with 22K miles. State Farm is playing dumb and says we'd have to "prove" there's diminished value. How do I do that?
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Old 01-13-2020, 02:51 PM   #2
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https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...il&FORM=VIREHT
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Old 01-13-2020, 02:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the link. Have you used DVCheck before?
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for the link. Have you used DVCheck before?
No, but I know someone who went down this road and had to get estimates on cars with and without accidents to prove loss. Real pain, but insurance companies will stonewall you.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:19 PM   #5
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You were rear ended, an ambulance was called and the cop didn't issue a ticket.... Almost sounds like the cop might know the guy that hit you? Hopefully the accident report shows he was clearly at fault and admitted it.


Hope your neck turns out to be okay.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:26 PM   #6
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Whenever there is an accident, someone has to be at fault, period. The LEO didn't do his job.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:33 PM   #7
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Based upon my wife's experience in an auto accident.
1. The pain will come and go over a multi-year period. You have soft tissue damage.
2. The best treatments are:
a. therapeutic massage
b. chiropractor
3. Insurance companies hate paying for either treatment and especially hate paying over multiple years.
4. Document everything.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:43 PM   #8
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Whenever there is an accident, someone has to be at fault, period. The LEO didn't do his job.

Not in Michigan. No fault state. There have been some changes to the law, made in June 2019. Glad we don't live there anymore.

My DB is our insurance agent. It's hard to believe you (OP) denied ambulance and health care. You may experience neck pain for life and/or have more severe injuries from that accident in the future. It's incredible that driver and his insurance company got away with that.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:57 PM   #9
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Whenever there is an accident, someone has to be at fault, period. The LEO didn't do his job.
I suppose it depends on state law. In MD it makes no difference whatsoever whether the LEO wrote a ticket in establishing who was at fault. The accident report written by the LEO should indicate fault and that by itself should be an indicator, but it is not the final determination. The insurance companies themselves make their own determination of who was "at fault" to the degree of who pays for what.

That last part is what leads to long court cases.

Granted, the insurance companies generally do go along with what the accident report written by the LEO says, but not always, and especially if the stakes are high enough to make the argument in court worthwhile they can and will make a different determination.
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:31 PM   #10
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Delayed symptoms are common from being rear-ended. Happened to me in '96, after the collision I inspected the undercarriage to assure her she could drive it home. Three days later I lost the use of my right hand. It wasn't any fun.

I've been rear-ended a few times and it sucks. Call them and tell them you are hurt, or contact an attorney. Tell doctors what occurred and they will document it.

I don't think it matters about tickets or not. As stated it's a process handled mostly by the insurance companies using the LE documents.

A funny thing happened to me after the last collision. I was rear-ended on I-70 in rush hour, middle lane her car won't go from hitting my truck, I-70 shut down. Her insurance company pays buys a bumper for my truck and pays my medical issues.

A couple years later DW is shopping for car insurance, get outrageous prices from other insurance companies. When she questioned why their prices are so high she is told my bad driving record. I was at fault in that collision! What? Turns out our longtime agent had purposely misinformed LexisNexis about the accident! He apparently did it to make other bids appear like his was better. A visit to the adjuster got the documents to correct the misinformation and we left.

ETA: Many people get relief from chiropractors in this type of situation. I used to; in '96 I had a cervical MRI because of the numbness in my hand while seeing a chiropractor and my PCP. Holy crap I have degenerative disc disorder and herniated discs, bulging discs and this moron is dragging me around trying to twist my head off. PT works well and won't paralyze me. Hope you have a full and quick recovery.
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:40 PM   #11
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I have been rear ended a few times and Dave’s advice is good. After the last accident 20 years ago I need the chiropractor monthly.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:34 PM   #12
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You were rear ended, an ambulance was called and the cop didn't issue a ticket.... Almost sounds like the cop might know the guy that hit you? Hopefully the accident report shows he was clearly at fault and admitted it.

Hope your neck turns out to be okay.
The officer said that the other driver admitted fault. The collision report clearly states he was a fault. His insurance has accepted liability (we both have State Farm).

Not sure why he didn't get a ticket. He was probably going 35-40 when he hit us. Didn't even apply the brakes. He told the police that he was talking to his son and got distracted. We think he was on his phone. DW almost came unglued when the officer told her he wasn't going to give the guy a ticket. What really made us mad is the guy didn't once come up to us and see if we were OK.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:41 PM   #13
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Based upon my wife's experience in an auto accident.
1. The pain will come and go over a multi-year period. You have soft tissue damage.
2. The best treatments are:
a. therapeutic massage
b. chiropractor
3. Insurance companies hate paying for either treatment and especially hate paying over multiple years.
4. Document everything.
The doctor (today) thought it was mostly muscle damage. She said it could take months to completely go away. She gave me a steroid shot and muscle relaxers. She said to go to a chiropractor if things don't improve.

So, I guess I'll start keeping track of medical bills. Of course State Farm is already warning us not to wait to file medical claims - he said if we wait too long we might have to prove that my pain wasn't related to something else more recent.

I'm not too worried about getting the car fixed. Just need to figure out a game plan on medical and diminished value of the vehicle.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:42 PM   #14
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Not sure why he didn't get a ticket. He was probably going 35-40 when he hit us. Didn't even apply the brakes. He told the police that he was talking to his son and got distracted. We think he was on his phone. DW almost came unglued when the officer told her he wasn't going to give the guy a ticket. What really made us mad is the guy didn't once come up to us and see if we were OK.
Accident situations are often pretty weird. I certainly agree that he should have been ticketed. Most places I've lived, the law was that someone who rear-ended someone else was automatically "at fault".

Funniest one I've seen: I was stopped at a red light in downtown Denver behind several other cars. Guy comes tearing up the street behind me and crashes into me, knocking my car into the car in front of me, and that into the car in front of him etc. Perpetrator was clearly very drunk.

Perp immediately gets out of his car and goes into the bar at the corner and starts downing shots. Gets thrown out and goes into the bar at the opposite corner and does the same. When the cops show up, he claims he only started drinking after the accident to calm his nerves.

Cops throw him into the wagon and take him away. His insurance company offers me an apology in addition to paying for everything.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:49 PM   #15
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I agree with the others - the delayed pain response is normal. I had a similar rear-end car accident while on a business trip. I also declined to go to the hospital, did not think much of the soreness (this was back when I thought I was young and indestructible) but the next day when I told the location I was working at what happened they insisted I get to the hospital. I was diagnosed with whiplash, the doctor told me the pain would get a lot worse and be on and off for at least a week. I flew home the next day and the plane ride certainly did not help. I ended up going to my local doctors and specialists a few times more to help manage it. Since it happened while traveling for work it was considered a workmans comp case so everything was covered. Good luck to you!
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:52 PM   #16
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I appreciate all of the responses so far. Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:04 PM   #17
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So, I guess I'll start keeping track of medical bills. Of course State Farm is already warning us not to wait to file medical claims - he said if we wait too long we might have to prove that my pain wasn't related to something else more recent.
The minute that happened I would be consulting a lawyer. Especially since both parties are insured by State Farm. To me this is a scare tactic that may mean you are leaving settlement $$$ on the table here. Think of the diminished value of your spine.
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:38 PM   #18
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PatrickA5, you need to lawyer up immediately if not sooner.
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:14 AM   #19
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Whenever there is an accident, someone has to be at fault, period. The LEO didn't do his job.
Actually, no. The police officer determines a violation of law. Insurance companies determine fault, according to the laws of the state. Some states are no fault etc.

I would get a checkup, I agree is most probably soft tissue but you may want an MRI or something. I see no reason (yet) you need a lawyer but of course that is up to you. If you have med pay on your own policy it will pay the bills and the at fault party will still reimburse you (so you can pocket it). This will vary greatly by state though. I was quite surprised how it worked.
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:23 AM   #20
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The minute that happened I would be consulting a lawyer. Especially since both parties are insured by State Farm. To me this is a scare tactic that may mean you are leaving settlement $$$ on the table here. Think of the diminished value of your spine.
I will consider a lawyer. Right now, I doubt the amount of money a lawyer would get for my claim wouldn't be worth their time. I guess that could change down the road. Thanks.
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