I was involved in an accident in January, 2013. My car was totalled and I had to visit the emergency room the same day but not on ambulance as it was not hurting real bad during the time of accident. Later, I had to go the emergency as the pain was growing. I had MRIs and xrays but they show no damage. I was under physical therapy till last week. I have a lawyer. I went to see my doctor and my doctor asked me to consult my lawyer before getting any other treatment. My lawyer told me its better to settle the case as the MRIs were not showing any surgical damage. The problem is that it still hurts. Should I settle the case? My left foot, neck, shoulder and tailbone have a fair amount of pain.
Unfortunately this question cannot be answered without a comprehensive review of your medical records. The root question that needs to be answered isn't a legal one: it's why you still have significant pain. Whether the damage is surgical or not, you need to understand what's going on and whether anything can be done to fix it.
Once you have the answer to that question you can make more informed decisions about how to handle the legal aspects of your case. Until then, all anyone can do is speculate.
You should be concerned with obtaining a proper diagnosis of your condition and with receiving reasonable medical care and treatment. There are times when the course of action that is best for promoting good health may create a potential problem for your case. Seek a second medical opinion from an independent doctor. Best luck!
Howe to tell when it is time to settle a case depends on many factors... and many issues... with regard to medical care... one does not have to be 100% better to settle... in fact, there are plenty of times when an injured person will never be better (think amputation for an obvious example). So how doe one know when the medicals are "done?" Well, the law allows for past medicals and future medicals to be separated out... future medicals are determined by considering what further medical care a person will need for the rest of his or her life to treat the injury at issue... this is bets determined based on a report known as a permanent and stationary or maximum medical improvement report... the name is not important - the information about the future is what counts. Experienced personal injury attorneys know all about this so when one has such a lawyer, all one has to do is be truthful with the doctor and let the doctor and lawyer do their jobs.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician
You have 2 issues; one is your health, and 2 is a legal claim. Which is most important? I vote health. I am concerned when a doctor who you apparently told you are still having lots of pain tells you to talk to your lawyer before getting more treatment. I like my clients keeping me advised of their health and treatment status. But it is not proper for me to tell a client not to get more treatment the doctor thinks is important. I will try to keep my clients from getting unnecessary treatment, treatment from dubious providers, etc. I think you need to get a new docs opinion on your health.
If you were injured and your symptoms have not improved 9 months out that's a red flag. Do not settle. You must know your injury before you can be fairly compensated for it (and based on the above it is still a mystery). That said, do not let the statute of limitations pass in the mean time. Seek a second medical opinion. Discuss statue of limitations with your attorney and be certain to "commence" your action in timely fashion. Best of luck.
Knowing only what you included in your question, absolutely not or at least it depends. How do you like that for an answer! Look, if you are getting full value for your injury then any time is a good time to settle.
I suspect that you are really being told your case does not have a lot of value because the MRI does not show you are a surgical candidate. Just because the MRI is normal does not mean you are not hurt. Sounds like you are hurt, right?? It's been 9 months and you are still hurting. You need to get better medical care and a doc who will fully diagnose and support the level of your disability.
You are having too many medical problems not to find out what is going on. Before you commit to trying to settle, you need to get an opinion from a medical provider that can determine the cause for your continuing complaints. The scenario that you describe does not sound right. You do not indicate whether or not a lawsuit was commenced, but I doubt that given the undetermined cause for your injuries that you can possibly obtain fair value without litigation being started. There is a lot for you and your attorney to think about.
I live and work in California and deal with accidents like yours, so I am happy to answer your question. The answer to your question is your gut instinct is right!! Our firm does not usually settle cases until the client is 100%. We look at the case as a whole and attempt to figure out what the settlement should be. The insurance company will make you believe that your case is worth very little... Regarding pain and suffering, you need to speak to an experienced attorney that can strategize your case. Just because you were in an accident doesn't mean you have pain and suffering, at least thats what the insurance companies think. Make no doubt about it you have a great case, but you need help from a professional and maybe in your case a second opinion. You are entitled to your medical bills being covered as well.
Do you feel that you are at the same medical condition that you were before the accident? As a basic premise I wouldn't handle your claim by yourself. The attorney you hired can likely refer you to a doctor, if you ask for one, who will see you with no upfront payment! I've done this many times to help my clients out. You should not wait a single day to hire a lawyer, we will advise you on the strategy of your case. There is no upfront cost to hire an attorney.
With a case like yours it seems like you have some good facts in order to get a high settlement, but your case definitely needs to be developed further to corroborate your story. The most important thing when building your case are: liability (were you at fault); how bad are your injuries to your body. A lot of these things sound like they are not complete yet in your case so its something that is worth hiring an attorney for in order to get a sense of whether you have a case and what the strategy would be for you to build a strong case! I've handled many of these cases in the San Diego, CA area.
Its very possible that your case is worth more than the $$$ that the insurance company will offer you by yourself. Make your life easier and call an attorney today, you won't regret it. We give free consultations!
Your inquiry raises some important questions. Two of your statements need to be clarified. Did the x-rays and MRI's show "no damage" or "no surgical damage" ? It could be both, however a different health care provider such as a chiropractor may be able to identify and treat the cause of your continuing pain. There are also pain experts who are physical therapists who may be able to better treat your pain. You may not have been accurately diagnosed yet. The continuing pain should be investigated further. Resolution of your legal case, through settlement or by trial, will depend upon what the evidence shows. If there are no professionals that can explain your pain, your lawyer will only have your testimony to present. That makes the case substantially weaker than a case that includes the opinions of an expert supporting your complaint.
(These are some general suggestions and do not constitute a legal analysis of your situation. This does not constitute and attorney-client relationship.)
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