What to do if we were hit by an uninsured driver from China?
Question Details: Saturday we were rear-ended in car accident by a 24 year old student from China who had expired insurance on his car. We were taken to the hospital and released; our car is drivable but will need rear repair or replacement if the adjuster deems it too expensive to fix. The student says that he wants to settle without involving insurance, however we called our insurer already. We were stopped on freeway in a construction zone and he hit us from behind going about 40/45 mph. Now, 3 days later, our bodies are sore but nothing more so far. We are 61 years old. We now have hospital bills, missed work and car repairs. Can we settle with him even though we contacted his and our insurance company? He said that he is leaving the country soon and wants to settle? What should we do?
It is advisable to file uninsured motorist claims with your insurance company instead of trying to settle with the student.
Settlement at this time is premature because you need to complete your medical treatment which will probably include physical therapy. You need to be released by the doctor upon completion of medical treatment or be declared permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in treatment where no further improvement is anticipated. Then, you need your total medical bills, medical reports and total wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. The medical reports document the injuries and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills. Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement. At this point, you don't have the information needed to settle the case. You will shortchange yourself if you try to settle now with the student. The property damage to your vehicle is separate from the personal injury claims.