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My wife was rear-ended on 8/20/13, the car was totaled, then rear ended again 8/29/13, both were given careless driving tic's

Arvada, CO |

First accident was a 2002 Saturn SC2 and was severely damaged. Wife suffered whiplash and broken glass to body. Went to doctor for treatment, prescribed pain killers and muscle relaxers. Second accident was on a 2007 Jeep liberty, minor damage to the rear. Wife was taken to emergency room, because of fear of more posible damage to the neck,etc. Prescribed the same meds as before. Went back to emergency room two days later with severe headaches. prscribed Motrin600mg x2 every 4-6 hrs.

Attorney Answers 7

Posted

Interesting situation. You should place your own carrier on notice of both accidents. This raises the dual issues of how much aggravation to the first injury did the second collision cause and whether the first injury made your wife more vulnerable to injury in the second under what we lawyers call the "thin-skull" or "eggshell-skull" doctrines. {Colorado civil jury Instruction 6:7} A good lawyer that will be very god at sorting through the insurance and liability issues is my friend Rick Crane. I suggest you call him. He's in the phone book.

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Posted

Most personal injury lawyers have had occassion to treat a client whose been involved in two injury causing incidents in close proximity to one another. Without question, it complicates things. First and foremost, in a business where nobody seems to step up and take responsibility in even the most clear cut negligence situations, it is that much harder when there is somebody else that the responsibile party can blame. Let us know your specific question based on your fact pattern and I am confident you will get a helpful reply from one of AVVO's knowledgeable attorney members.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

I would assume that accident 1 would take priority. Because of the severe damage (totaled) to the vehicle in accident 1 and unknown physical damage at this time. Is it safe to assume that accident 1 will be the primary party responsible for injury costs and pain and suffering. Accident 2 will be primarily resposnible for medical costs,lost wages and vehicle damages. With some degree of pain and suffering.

Jeffrey Marc Cooper

Jeffrey Marc Cooper

Posted

I think that is a fair assumption. But you really need to delve even a bit deeper than that. I would start by parsing out any injuries that can be directly and unequivocally related to one versus the other. For example, if your wife had a hip contusion after the second, then that would be one injury that would not be shared between the two. Since the first collison was more severe and was the cause of the injuries (as opposed to a mere aggravating factor), I would agree it has more value than the second. However, the impact the second collision has played on the duration of those injuries, severity, need for medical treatment, etc., makes the anaylsis of value that much more difficult.

Posted

Use this site to find a good lawyer in your area. She needs a personal injury lawyer

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Posted

You and your wife need to talk with a local personal injury attorney ASAP.

Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

Tough situation. The insurance companies are going to point the finger at each other if they haven't already done so. Your wife will need to "apportion" the damages for each accident. Basically, the insurance company doesn't want to pay for the damage caused by the other accident, but determining the extent of the damages can be very tricky. Your wife needs to be seen by an experienced doctor that can first diagnose her condition and apportion her injuries. I would make sure you schedule this as soon as possible because you don't want to have any gaps in care. Make sure she is being seen by a doctor that understands the process.

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Posted

You both can retain local personal injury lawyers, and perhaps take a defensive driving class together.

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Posted

As has been suggested to you, each insurance company will attribute your wife's injury to the other driver. While it may make logical sense to you the one collision was more severe and so that carrier is "more" responsible, that will not matter to the insurance companies, they will still blame the other driver.
We've had some success in my county in convincing the court that both claims should be included in one complaint and tried as one lawsuit. At that point, each side can blame the other and then both also use their usual defense that your wife was not hurt at all, and if she was hurt she is better and if she is not better, her problem is unrelated to the collision.
You need to retain counsel immediately.

If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.

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