- we're with john kelly. john is a personal injuryattorney in phoenix, arizona. and he's agreed to answersome online questions related to car accidents. with that said, john,i'm gonna go ahead and get in the first questionand we'll go from there. first question was from candace. candace says, i wasin a minor accident with my 11-year-oldson three weeks ago.
there was light damage tothe front right fender, but nothing major. it was a bit scaryfor both of us, but it really didn'tseem like a big deal. the insurance company fromthe woman that hit us, is paying for the repairsand the car insurance provided me with the settlementdocumentations to sign. basically, she got asettlement document to sign. and the issue is myson is now complaining
of his neck hurting. what are my options? - okay, for candace havingyour child in the vehicle, sounds like thechild's injured now. which is something thatinsurance companies, what they'll typically doin these kinds of cases, is they're going toreach out right away and see if they cansettle the case. if she has a child that'scomplaining of an injury,
she needs to get that childin to be evaluated first, to make sure that thechild doesn't have any long term consequencesfrom this injury. what can happen is that theinsurance company will send an individual who's been in a wreck the documentationand a check, and say, hey sign off on this. you'll get this nice check. we'll move on from it.
the problem withthat is, later on, if there's injuriesthat were not diagnosed there's no recovery for that. so, the good newsis for candace, it sounds like theadverse insurance company, the person that hit her,has accepted liability. that's a first step. so, they've taken responsibilityfor this accident. it's up to her now toshow the insurance company
what her injuries are, andher child's injuries are. and they won't takeher word for it. she can't just callthem up and say, hey, my child has some neck pain can you compensate him for that. she's gonna have toprovide documentation. so when i get a client, i makesure that we have everything that is complainedof from the client that's gotta beevaluated by a doctor,
actually diagnosed as that. and we use those bills andrecords of those visits, to make a demand later on. typically we wait atleast a couple of months after the accident to make sure that there's nolingering effects that we're not taking care of. so, she should probably atleast consult with her attorney and definitely needs toget medical attention
for her daughter. - okay, next questionwe have was from jose. jose says, i'm aconstruction manager and while i was headed to work, i was hit by a guyexiting the freeway. the police came andcited the driver for failure to maintaincontrol of his vehicle. my truck was totaled, and ihad to go to the hospital. the injuries were not major,
but i missed three days ofwork and i'm having back pains. the insurance companyis wanting me to sign a release document andoffering me a settlement. if i counter offer, willi have to get an attorney? - for jose, he does notneed to get an attorney to negotiate with theinsurance company. he can go all the way through all the settlement negotiations. he can go all theway up to trial.
he can even conducta trial on his own if he really wanted to. it's not an advisablething for him to do. and honestly, for someone to settle a casewithout an attorney in a case where they'vegone to the hospital and incurred medical expenses, it can be a little concerning. because what a lot ofpeople don't understand
is hospital bills inarizona insurance. the hospitals are allowedto do what we call balance bills. so, although theirhealth insurance may have paid some of that bill, there still is going tobe an outstanding amount that they didn't get paid. hospitals will then come back to the person whogot the settlement,
and say, i want the rest ofthe money from the settlement. so, that's a lienagainst the case. so, he's gotta be certainthat he has enough money to pay off all ofthose liens, too. most personal injuryattorneys what they'll do is they'll actuallynegotiate those liens, make sure they're valid liens, often get major reductionsin those amounts, to make sure that theclient is getting money
in their pocket forpain and suffering. the other issue is, hemay have other avenues of insurance, or otheravenues of recovery that he's not aware of. may look like a gooddeal, but any time, especially with hospital bills, they tend to havebig numbers as far as how much it costsfor that treatment. clients don't usually understandwhat their case is worth
when there's serious injuries. the settlements can be multiples when the hospitalbills get high. - okay, can you turn downyour audio a little bit, i'm getting (loud echoingfeedback blocks speech) whenever i'm talking. - sure, no problem. - let's see if,okay, there we go. the next question was from jeff.
jeff asks, how do iknow how much the car, oh this is prettysimple, i guess. but, how do i know how muchthe car insurance company should pay me formy car accident. yeah, it sounds simple, butit isn't a simple thing. and the insurance companiesspend 1000s, 1000s of dollars on this. they have actuallycomputer programs that have algorithmsthat try to determine
what kind of offers theyshould make for settlements. a lot of it is dependent onwhat the medical expenses are. if there's a minor injurywith just typically, you know they considerminor injuries, anything that'snot a broken bone anything that's nomajor hospital bills, it's difficult to getthree times your medical expenses in that kinda case. sometimes you can.
more likely two times. but once there'sserious injuries that require medical attention, that goes a little bit further. it becomes kind of a situationwhere it's hard to determine. one of the other thingsthat he has to consider is how much of thisis gonna be included for pain and suffering,for lost wages any other avenues of recovery.
what are the limits forthe insurance to provide. some he's bumpingup on a limit issue. he may have $10,000worth of hospital bills but, the adverse party onlyhad 15,000 worth of coverage. so, does he go to hisown insurance company if they have coverage. so, when trying to find outwhat your settlement is worth, there's sometimes there'ssettlement calculators you can find online.
i don't find thoseto be very reliable. what i do is ilook at prior cases that have similar injuries,and i have a way of ordering those through arizona tolook at what other cases have settled for, orhave resulted at trial. so those can sometimes behelpful to look at those. and the thing about injuriesis everyone's injury is a little bit different. so for me to tell just based on
what the accidentsounds like initially, is not something thatanyone should be doing. - okay, and this isthe final question. this from tommy. tommy asks, i was recentlyt-boned by a driver, and have significantmedical bills. i've been providedwith a large offer by the insurance company, and i think it shouldcover everything.
i realize i might beable to get more money, but i really need thecash now to pay my bills. how can i get more moneywithout having to wait for a lawsuit, etcetera. - okay, so getting more money. it's kind of aconflicting statement. he said that it seemslike a good offer, but he wants more money. i don't know if, whatexactly his situation is.
i can tell you this, he doesn't have to wait long. even if he's contacted anattorney to evaluate his case. look at the offerthat's on the table. it doesn't take morethan a couple of days for an attorney toevaluate a case. especially if he has all ofhis documentation in line. if i have the medical records. if i have the police report.
if i can look at thesettlement offer, usually i can seewhere they're at and give them some adviceabout moving forward. there are times when anattorney will be helpful in situations like that. there's times that they weren't. if they have a greatoffer on the table, paying their medical expenses, paying all of their other bills,
and is giving them money fortheir pain and suffering, i'm not afraid to tell them, look, that looks likea reasonable offer. paying an attorneyfee is not worth it. there are some creativeways to usually get quite a bit more out of a case, if a lawyer looksdown and really takes the time toevaluate the case and say, we can do thesethings moving forward,
and i think we canget you a good result, a better result andmaybe very quickly. we know that people haveproblems with their bills in these kinda accidents, because they juststart piling up. and there's thattemptation to settle your case right away. but it's not advisable withouttalking to a lawyer first. - okay, excellent.
well if you have anyother questions for john, all you need to do, he'sagreed to answer them online, all you have to dois just post them into the commentssection below the video and he's agreed toget back to you. thanks for your time, john. - thanks ryan. i'm always available toanswer any questions, so please feel freeto reach out to me.