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Should we settle as a family or individually since each person has their own recovery time?

Milwaukee, WI |

My family was involved in an auto accident not long ago. The other car was at fault and was cited but had no car insurance so my uninsured coverage from my insurance is picking up for my medical bills and wants to settle. My son has recovered. My husband is still visiting his chiropractic for his neck and back pain. I'm still visiting the chiropractic for my shoulder and back pain as well. I just learned from my recent MRI that I have a tear that's causing me to always feel achy and discomfort. Next week I will be visiting a shoulder specialist (referred by my chiro). When the adjuster calls what is the best way to talk to him? He is a very nice guy and it is my insurance too. Should I go ahead and settle for my son first or should I wait to settle everyone together?

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Attorney answers 6


You should not discuss this matter with the adjuster. You should retain a local lawyer that has experience handling personal injuries cases. You would not be doing yourself or your family any favors by trying to resolve this yourself. Insurance companies know that they can get you to take less if you don’t have a lawyer and trust me, the insurance company is not out to make sure you get fair compensation. A local injury lawyer will be able to properly handle your case to ensure you get the fairest compensation possible.


If your son has been released from treatment by his doctor, there is no reason to wait to settle his case. However, be aware that part of the nice insurance man's job is to pay as little as possible. It wouldn't hurt to run his numbers by a personal injury lawyer before signing any release, especially if your injuries are more serious, and you may need to involve a lawyer eventually anyway.

This answer is provided for general information only. No legal advice can be given without a consult as to the specifics of the case.


Call Kurt Malmquist in Thiensville.

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Given the injuries which all three of you have received in this accident, I would suggest your consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney. Although you could decide to settle your son's claim now, understand that you and your husband may also have claims for the loss of society and companionship you both have experienced, as part of your son's claim. Also, be careful in signing any release on your son's claim, as it could affect the claims for you and your husband, therefore, you need to be very careful. Understand that your son, assuming he is a minor, technically has a statute of limitations which will extend until his 20th birthday, so you do have plenty of time. Also, you and your husband have a statute of limitations which is generally three years from the date of the accident, meaning that you must either settle your claims or commence a lawsuit within that time period. Although you are dealing with your own auto insurance company in these claims, you may realize that they have other rights that another insurance company may not have, such as obtaining statements from you, having you sign authorization forms, and even having you be seen by a doctor of their choice. You would be best served by discussing these claims with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through these issues.

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I agree with all responses. If you want it done right, you can contact me (via email).

All the best.


You should really consider consulting an attorney. First, based on your summary, it sounds like your and your husband's injuries are potentially more serious so there may be issues related to future treatment, surgery, wage loss, etc. that should be evaluated by an attorney. Second, without specific details, I hestitate to advise anyone to resolve a claim too soon because injuries occassionally re-appear weeks or months after a person believes he/she has resolved. Third, relative to your son's claim, depending on his age you may need Court approval to resolve the claim which may require the assistance of an attorney. Finally, I would discourage you from speaking with the adjuster - he is not there to help you regardless of how nice he may seem and he will not fairly evaluate your claim.

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