• Report: #906649
Complaint Review:

Mercury Insurance Group

  • Submitted: Wed, July 04, 2012
  • Updated: Tue, January 22, 2013

  • Reported By: Polly — LA California United States of America
Mercury Insurance Group
Valencia, California United States of America

Mercury Insurance Group Mercury Insurance is guilty of unfair and unethical practices Valencia , California

*Consumer Comment: I FEEL YOUR PAIN!

*Author of original report: I appreciate that you took the time to post a reply

*Consumer Suggestion: BI cases

*Author of original report: What do I do now?

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For someone who's been involved in a car accident and already experiencing anxiety and fear of another accident, there's nothing worse than watching through your rear view mirror as a vehicle approaches you from behind with no apparent intent of slowing down or stopping.   Traffic on the 405 south merged lanes again and again creating such gridlock that everything came to a complete stand still.  I was following behind my friend and stopped 2 car lengths behind her.  I then had enough time to not only watch the car approaching me clearly but also to consider my chances of escaping before the car reached me. 

Not only did I figure I may be hurt worse without the protection of the car but I had my friend's two, little dogs in the car with me.  Later, my friend had told me that she had been watching me through her rear view mirror, wondering what I was watching through my rear view mirror. I was hit from behind so hard that his car and the car I was driving was completely totaled. My friend's car only suffered a dent to the rear of her car.  Obviously, my body automatically tensed up because I was in total and complete terror at what I was witnessing so it's reasonable to assume that I suffered physical injury and psychological trauma.

It's over a year later and I was just told by my attorney yesterday that she was unable to get more than the $6000 offered.  The other complaints stating that Mercury will do whatever they can to pay out a claim is true.  I know this attorney personally so I know she was trying her hardest and that she was being honest with me.  From all I've read about Mercury Insurance lately, I have no doubt that they would "pay $50,000 to expert witnesses to avoid paying out an insurance policy of $25,000."
I admitted to Mercury Insurance and every doctor and chiropractor I received treatment from that I had been involved in a previous accident 10 years ago when I was hit by a driver running a red light. 

It's no secret that I've experienced a lot of pain since that accident of 2001, in fact I've been dependent on narcotic pain meds since a month after that car accident when it was discovered that my pregnancy had terminated (according to doctors who compared my ultrasounds, my baby died within 24 hours of the car accident.) I admitted to suffering headaches and chronic pain in my neck, this was due to multiple bulging discs in my cervical spine as noted in an MRI taken Nov. 2001.  It was also noted that my neck was lacking the natural curve of a healthy, normal neck. No xrays, mris, or treatment was ever performed on my lower back because I only suffered mild discomfort which eventually subsided.  Although I experienced chronic pain, with the help of narcotic pain meds, I was able to function normally for the most part. I could even be seen doing cart wheels on a good/low pain day. 

After this March 31, 2011 rear ending accident I began experiencing new and incredibly extreme pain in my lower back. At present, I can't do much of anything.  I cry every day and night because the pain is so debilitating. I rarely, if ever leave my home.  A few months after the accident I barely turned at my waist to grab a paper that was behind me and I felt the worse kind of pain, like my spine and been crushed and then ripped out of my body. I tried to blow it off and down play it but within 5 minutes I was in such agony I thought I would die. I couldn't sit or lay down, I was stuck in this position of half sitting, half laying. I was given pillows to prop below me as support because any movement caused increased, insane pain. I could barely move for almost 2 weeks so the biweekly chiro appointments I had were canceled and I later I was  told that I'm jeopardizing my case by not regularly seeing the chiro.  There were also complaints that I was consistently late to my appointments. 

Before this recent accident I was a nervous passenger but after this accident, I was a crazy, freak of a person who suffered extreme anxiety and panic attacks.  Every time I am sitting in the passenger seat, it's torture for me. I feel as though I'm suffering a heart attack and in fact I now suffer from dangerously high blood pressure. After taking forever to dress myself (requiring several rest periods and sometimes even a nap)and prepare for the chiro appts I would then suffer the overwhelming anxiety that accompanies phobias. 

Every car appears to be coming right at us and it appears that the driver of the vehicle I'm in is going to crash in to every car. I cry, I scream, I yell, "Stop!" I distract the driver with my uncontrollable behavior, I've even grabbed the driver's arm in an attempt to make them stop or avoid a collision (or so it appeared)  I remember that a guy almost fell from his bike because the sounds of me screaming in the car (all windows rolled up) 10 feet away startled him so badly.  I don't know why I can't overcome this, why I can't rationalize it in my head so that I'm not posing a danger to both myself and the driver. 

For 9 months I suffered the torture of traveling to my appointments so that a warm compress and maybe electrical stimulation could be given to me as part of my treatment.  I was in too much pain for any kind of chiro adjustments, I couldn't even handle the rollers moving below me as I lay upon the traction table that heated up, an alternative to having warm compresses layered upon my back as I lay there for almost an hour twice a week.  

All the time and energy, not to mention pain and suffering I endured so that I could satisfy what is considered to be normal procedure following a physical trauma was for nothing because Mercury Insurance refuses to pay out more than $6000 to me for this claim filed in response to their insured's careless driving habits.  Both the insured and his passenger initially admitted that they had been distracted by their phones and didn't realize the consequences of their lack of attention until just before crashing in to me. I clearly saw him coming straight towards me until just before impact.  I remember noticing what appeared to be an attempt on his part to avoid the collision by swerving to his right but it was too little, too late for how fast he was barreling towards me.

I was driving my mom's car so I immediately called her and she advised me to contact Auto Club, the insurance company for whom she had her auto policy.  I was able to start the car I was driving and pull it off to the side but the car of the driver who rear ended me had to have a tow truck remove his vehicle because it was so badly damaged.  Upon seeing them take pictures of the cars with their cell phones I asked for copies which subsequently he had posted to facebook, allowing me to save copies of my own. 

Luckily, Auto Club reimbursed my mom for the replacement of a car almost comparable to hers that required almost a month of searching to find.   Mercury offered no help in the matter regarding her car, they sent a check for $1000 less than what she had received from Auto Club so she actually avoided a bigger loss of that which she would have suffered if she had waited for Mercury Insurance $16000 I've incurred in medical expenses, an unknown amount of my  time (and that of the person who is driving me to appointments, lawyer's office, etc), I have taken several breaks while typing this out but I can't continue.. will I be able to save this until I am able to return and finish? it doesn't matter.. it is what it is and if I dont lay down and try like hell to

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/04/2012 07:28 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/mercury-insurance-group/valencia-california-/mercury-insurance-group-mercury-insurance-is-guilty-of-unfair-and-unethical-practices-val-906649. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Pendevu - (USA)

I currently have Mercury Insurance on my vehicle but had a different company at the time I was rear-ended.  I thought Mercury was great until I was rear-ended by one of its insureds.  My car was sitting still at a stop light when it was hit.  Yet, Mercury refuses to pay unless my attorney sues them.  My doctor bills have come in at over $10,000 just for the one visit to emergency and my primary care doctor would not let me use my Medicare Advantage HMO plan to pay for any medical treatment related to this accident.  Mercury has not stepped forward to help.  

Consequently, I have not had the luxury of physical therapy or any other treatment for my back since the accident occurred over a year ago.  My attorney warned me when I hired him that Mercury will not settle until the night before court.  So, rather than pay me for my lost wages and allow me the cash to pay for medical treatment, they want to go to court for an accident that was clearly not my fault.  My initial medical bills total probaby about $13,000.  So what do I learn from my attorney after my deposition?  The policy is worth only $15,000.  

That means there is no money to pay the attorney and no money to reimburse me the $30,000 of lost earnings.  Seems, in good faith, Mercury would have told my attorney out front the value of the policy.  I am dropping Mercury as soon as I get back to work, which will have to be soon.  I can't even afford to drop their policy and go with a reputable company.  No Mercury in my life.  Had I checked Ripoff Report before buying their policy, I never would have done so.  Thank you for your report.  

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#2 Author of original report

I appreciate that you took the time to post a reply

AUTHOR: smileysue74 - (USA)

i don't know what I'm going to do.  But, I'm not holding my breath. 

I was totally and completely honest.  That's it.  If i caused detriment to my case because I was honest then there's nothing I can do about it.  I think I was consistent enough with my therapy considering that during that time I had been forced to move residences three times.  Fyi, Mercury was the insurance carrier of the driver who ran a red light and crashed into me in 2001.  $15000 split equally  between me, the lawyer and the doctors.

Before this last car accident, It wouldn't be odd to see me do cartwheels on a day when I was feeling good.  Now, I'm scared to even twist my body so I don't.  I don't do anything anymore.

I've got a handful of pain meds

There's nothing more I can do at this point
I appreciate that you took the time to post a reply, I had forgotten that I posted at this site.
Thank you for everything you said, it makes perfect sense.  I just hate that I made myself even more miserable by jumping through their hoops.  I could have been doing so many other things, this accident screwed me up on so many levels, a million dollar settlement wouldn't compensate for all that I've suffered as a result of this unavoidable car accident.  Even if I only suffered mild pain and discomfort, I should have been awarded the full amount of the policy.  ..
i have no idea how long its taken me to type this but I'm numb from the waist down  I HUrt really really bad, even where I feel numb.  wah!!  seems I gotta go...
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

BI cases

AUTHOR: cheesenugget - (United States of America)

As someone who is familiar with how personal injury cases work in my state, I am assuming that Cali or whichever state your accident happened, may be similar as the issues of your case sounds similar.  Yes, you can harm your case if you do not treat consistently, because the insurance company will find every loophole to downplay your injuries.  By not treating consistently, no matter how difficulty it is for you to get out of bed, they will see it as "well if you are that injury, why did you cancel your appointments? Why did you only treat once every other week?" And to say that the reason you did not go was due to the pain, that may appear as a contradiction of how injured you are (i.e. "if you are that hurt, why not have someone take you to treatment as some facilities offer help and free transportation?").  Your injuries from your previous MVA appears to be haunting you even to this day.  Although you have to disclose that information to the other party, I hope you did not express the impact that injury had on you (i.e. "I was so hurt from that other accident, I still feel pain today"). You should have made it very brief, very short, and only bring it up if the other side had asked while you are in a recorded interview.  Either way, it sounds like your injuries are so bad from the previous accident, how did that case go? Did you get the full policy limits on your 1st accident? Did you get surgery?  Again, Mercury will look through your entire medical history and treatment timeline and what kinds of treatment that you have received.  And yes, Mercury will not pay out the full claim (I work for them, in-house counsel in the PIP department, however) because that's what insurance companies do. Most don't.  It's not just Mercury, liability companies for Walmart and other insurance companies operate the same way.  If they see there is a loophole in your story, they will stubbornly stand by it even if seems unjust.

Secondly, you stated how Mercury did not help your mom get her new car.  In my state, for property damage, that is how it works--the adverse driver's insurance is not responsible to get you the new car.  What they will do is to issue a check with the amount they feel is the correct estimate of what the vehicle is worth at the date of loss.  I do not know for certain if the deductible applies from the adverse party to your mom's car.  But either way, when it comes to property damage, most insurance companies do not need or will not shop a car for you.  Here is the money, go find one yourself.

Again, from what you have written on the article, it sounds about right how a typical BI case would be handled.  If you do not treat consistently, you hurt your case.  If you had a previous car accident, it affects your case.  How you provided the information under what context, could have hurt your case.  Property damage is not the same BI claim, so you cannot expect the same amount of attention involved as to your mom's new car.

Hope that cleared a few things and give you a better peace of mind.
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#4 Author of original report

What do I do now?

AUTHOR: smileysue74 - (USA)

It's been a month since I submitted my report, I have been in bed mostly.  I have such great pain that tires me that I don't have energy to do much of anything. My only link to the outside world is via social network sites like facebook but lately, I've been offline for several days to weeks at a time.  I just don't have it in me to keep fighting this but it occurred to me that if I don't find a lawyer and get some kind of compensation for the doctors who treated me then I may end up getting sued by those doctors.  After all, they only treated me because they were expecting that the bills would eventually get paid following the settlement of my insurance claim. 
The total of my bills is $16,000 but I can probably get it reduced to $10,000 bc some procedures listed were never performed, some procedures were unnecessary, etc.

So, I'm tired, depressed, feeling hopeless and suffering from constant discomfort and pain.   I can't even think straight at times and other times, my mind just goes blank.  I don't even know what day it is without asking and I have lost all concept of time, it seems.  

This was suppose to be an easy case according to my former lawyer, there's no doubt that the other driver was responsible and there's no question that I have injuries to my spine but Mercury refuses to accept that my injuries were caused (or even exacerbated) by the car accident involving their insured.

It's a $25,000 policy yet Mercury refuses to pay even a 1/4 of that, are they trying to completely destroy me?  I was hoping to get some money from this settlement so that I could visit with a doctor who may be able to help me or at least continue writing me prescriptions so that my pain may be reduced to an almost tolerable level.  

Tell me what to do because I feel myself going to that dark place./.. just wanna curl up in a ball and wait to die... 
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