Recently I settled an auto accident case for a client who was prepared with the proper insurance coverage. The crash was basically a scrape collision that jolted my client's minivan and caused her minor soft tissue injuries that were treated with a visit to her primary care physician and about a month of chiropractic care.
In total, she had about $4,000 in medical expenses. Since her injuries were relatively minor and because she recovered fully, we settled the third-party liability claim for $6,500. Because the chiropractor had a $3,000 lien against the settlement, my client, if she would have pursued only her bodily injury claim with the third-party liability insurer, would have pocketed only about $1,000 after her fees and costs were paid and the lien was satisfied.
MEDICAL PAYMENTS INSURANCE COVERAGE UNDER YOUR OWN AUTO POLICY
Prior to the accident, my client smartly purchased for a nominal amount medical payments coverage under her own auto insurance policy (see this article for an explanation of Medical Payments coverage and this article for 10 reasons why Medical Payments coverage is a good idea). Because of the Medical Payments coverage, my client was able to get her medical expenses of $4,000 paid by her own insurer in addition to the $6,500 third-party bodily injury liability settlement.
Additionally, we also hired an expert to prepare a diminished value appraisal of my client's vehicle and we settled with the at-fault driver's insurer the property damage claim for an additional $2,000.
Because my client purchased Medical Payments coverage and because we pursued the diminished value claim on her vehicle, the total payout on my client's claim was $12,500. After fees and costs were paid and the lien was satisfied, my client pocketed about $7,000. This was a fantastic result for my client compared to the $1,000 she would have received had she not maximized her insurance coverage and pursued all avenues of recovery.
The case described above is a very common auto accident case. By purchasing for a minimal amount Medical Payments coverage under her own policy and by pursuing the diminished value claim with the third-party insurer, my client recovered for herself an additional $6,000.
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