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Old 01-05-2016, 07:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1
Car Accident, Premature Birth, Insurance offer

I've never been in this type of situation before so I'm not sure how to proceed. Was wondering your take on it.

Back story: Wife was involved in a hit and run accident while pregnant (7.5ish months). Drove straight to the hospital after filing the police report at the OB's recommendation and because she couldn't feel the baby kick. In the hospital they put her on a monitor. Baby appeared fine but she showed contractions. We stayed in the hospital for 5 hours until contractions had mostly gone away. Fast forward 6 days, her water broke and she gave birth 8 weeks early. Spent 36 days in NICU. Wife dealt with post partum depression and PTSD aftewards. We saw a specialist who deals in PPD and she saw a counselor/therapist to deal with her PTSD up until this past August (16 months after accident).

We were paying for the therapist, etc though our health insurance covered the hospital bills. Around the time she last went to therapy the car insurance company called and said our uninsured motorist insurance has a pain and suffering clause and if we'd like to use it they would pay. First, I was surprised they called me. A google search showed this is rather common. We submitted letters from the dr's and therapists stating the pregnancy was normal up until the accident and letters about her PPD/PTSD relating to the accident and NICU experience (she still has trouble talking about the accident and NICU).

Insurance called today and made an offer of $50k. Here's my dilemma. I've never been one to sue people or to seek monetary damages for what I call life. Sometimes you just have to deal with things. I was born hearing impaired, for example, and was raised not to use it as an excuse, but to succeed in spite of it. While I've never actively sought out money, if someone comes to me and makes me an offer out of the blue I don't turn them down either. The insurance adjuster kept saying during the phone call "keep in mind, this is a negotiation and if you feel we've missed something and want to counter, please do". It came across as though, on a personal level, she was hinting that the insurance company was coming in low but that as an employee of the company she can't come out and say "hey, ask for more!".

Thus, my dilemma.

While we are mostly fine now, learning disabilities due to premature birth often don't manifest until around kindergarten age. I don't want to be one of "those people" that sue for millions (I have no plans to involve a lawyer) if I can get more simply by making a counter wouldn't it be stupid not to? It'd certainly be a good way to fund a 529 plan and send my daughter to college in 17 years.

What amount do people typically counter? Ask for 50% more? 100% more? Counter high, they counter in the middle? I've read the 1-5x the value of the total medical bills but don't know how to count them. Car insurance paid for some things after the fact like therapy (we dind't know they would cover that and were actually paying out of pocket) while medical insurance paid the NICU bills that total $200k+.

Thanks for your input.
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