I was rear ended with the other driver going 55 mph. Totaled my 2009 Nissan. I had no broken bones but I was beat and banged up. Treated as trauma patient because of the severity of accident scene ( 3 cars involved) Hospital bill was well over $27,000 with $12,000 being CAT scans and radiology. Have severe strained neck and suffered a concussion causing daily headaches. Also the may problem is Hip/low back pain radiating down my leg. Prior spinal fusion 8 yrs ago. With no flair ups in 3 yrs. Been running daily and working out with not pain. Scared I'm going down the same route I went before my surgery. Taking physical therapy 3 days a week for 3 months. Feeling very helpless and not sure if I will even get any pain and suffering because of prior surgery. I have lots of running groups that can vouch for me that I'm a runner and lift weights. The girl that hit me was totally negligent, she said she reach in the floorboard for her sunglasses. How much would be reasonable for pain and suffering. Hospital bill without therapy is $27,000, Dr took me out of work for at least 1 month also. So confused. Need serious advice, laying here on my heating pad in bad pain
That sounds serious enough that you shouldn't accept any offer, or even make a statement to an insurance company for personal injury until speaking with an attorney. The prior fusion may be an issue but if the records show you have been pain free since that surgery and treatment was completed, you should still recover. You would be entitled to your medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages, pain and suffering, and possibly future versions of those damages depending on your prognosis.
The best advice I can give you is to immediately seek the advice of a local personal injury lawyer familiar with the laws of your state. The value of your claim may depend on your local laws regarding whether medical bills can be introduced in whole or in part, the amount of coverage the other driver has, the amount of under-insured motorist coverage you have, how much longer you will need medical care, the findings of objective tests such as an MRI or CT scan etc.
Since you are still treating, it is too soon to negotiate settlement, and you should not attempt to negotiate a claim with an insurance company without an experienced attorney's help.
Again, seek legal counsel. Initial consultations are usually free. Good luck.
This may sound a little strong, but you really need to speak with an attorney (not just on the internet, but in person) BEFORE you speak any further with this insurance adjuster. In exchange for their "settlement", you will be asked to sign a "Release" which releases the insurance company from further liability arising out of this incident. In other words, you only get "one bite at the apple". Once you've setttled the case, it is settled for forever. As such, if you discover months down the road that your medical expenses exceed the amount you settled for, or the injuries are worse than you'd realized, or you need to re-work/revise the surgical fusion, you will be out of luck. Your claim is not "ripe" for settlement at this point. I would strongly suggest that you go ahead and contact an experienced injury attorney for a free consultation. You can find some more general information at www.owensmiller.com.
Owens & Miller, PLLC
4030 Wake Forest Road, Suite 101
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone no: (919) 719-2750
Fax no: (919) 516-0063
I agree with everything William said below. I would also emphasize that the reasonable value of your pain and suffering is irrelevant unless you can find sufficient insurance to cover those damages. If the at-fault driver has the minimum limits of only $30,000.00 of liability coverage, nearly that entire amount would eaten up by your medical bills, leaving little room for a pain and suffering recovery. You should be speaking to an attorney about what other sources of recovery may be available given the extensive nature of your damages.
T. Shawn Howard, attorney
Maginnis Law, PLLC
19 West Hargett Street, Suite 906
Raleigh, NC 27601
Avvo EmailIn order to assess your damages, I would need to consult with you in more detail. You have what looks like a significant claim, however, some prior injuries may be raised as a barrier to compensating you for your loss, as you suspect.
You should speak to an attorney about going forward, and I would caution you in speaking with the claims adjustor.
This advice is based on the limited facts presented. More detailed or different advice may be provided upon further investigation. Locke Milholland is licensed to practice in North Carolina, and the opinion is limited to that jurisdiction. The forgoing is not intended to create an attorney client relationship.
You should really be looked at by your surgeon before you do anything. If you have health insurance you may owe subrogation to them when you settle. Based on your current condition, I would not settle until you are pain free, or the best you are going to get, and capable of doing your normal activities.
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