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Thread: Lawsuit after injuries.... Collecting $$$

  1. #1
    Senior Member ChopperChick's Avatar
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    Lawsuit after injuries.... Collecting $$$

    My husband was injured in a car accident. He was not the driver and we have an attorney now. Anyone go through this porcess is collection for the insurance company? Again, he wasn't the driver so we are going after the drivers insurance. Just wondering what we are in for. In the meantime I have to figure out a way to get funds to retrofit the house.

    Sigh..........


    It has been a very very hard couple of days. It is amazing how emotions change from one day to the next. One minute we rejoice that he is alive, the next, we are crying because this whole thing is so traumatic. He goes to rhab tomorrow. Will it get easier??

  2. #2
    I not sure about the insurance. I got injured in 97'.Broke my neck iin the middle of the ring.On my way to WCW doing a local show. I had to sue the state because of rules regarding rules of wrestling.Anyway,went to court in 01.won case faught to get paid finally got in 03. IT is along process. Hope it'snot aslong for you and your husband.

  3. #3
    Your atty. should be advising you and your husband not to speak with anyone about his case. No-one. Not even family members. Do your best to collect pictures of the scene, weather reports, newspaper accounts, police and or fire reports, medical records including those by EMT's. Where the vehicle was towed, accident reconstructions and professional photos of the car as it is with doccumentation. Research the vin # on the cars prior crashes. weather or not there were recalls on it.
    Do not give specifics on the accident here or anywhere public. You can send me private message if u want.

  4. #4
    Chopper,

    I was injured in a car accident and sued the driver's insurance company. Ask your attorney about how much of the house you should make accessible at this point. I know things suck right now and that you want to make everything as comfortable for your husband as you can. The only thing is, if you spend all this money now making it wheelchair-friendly, the insurance company may hold back on either giving you the amount you deserve, claiming you clearly have the ability to pay for accomodations, or they may refuse to reimburse you. Just a thought.

    Good luck, you come across as a strong woman and you guys are gonna get through this. All the best.

  5. #5
    Senior Member LauraD's Avatar
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    When my daughter was injured (8 years old at the time) we did hire a lawyer after we had a person from my sister in law's insurance company showed up and tried to deny us anything. It took about 3 years but she finally did get a settlement from them. If you have any more specific questions, please email me.

    As for the question does it get easier? With time it becomes easier but there are still days..... and it has been almost 6 years now.

    Mom to Michael, 16 & Heather, 13, T-12, 5 years post.

  6. #6
    I would also recommend not discussing it here...or anywhere else except with your husband and an expert personal injury attorney. Be sure you see someone from a reputable firm....not just some ambulance chaser. Typically most of these cases are settled out of court, but it is not unusual for it to be 3-5 years before you will see any money.

    Also, don't settle too early or without extensive advice from an attorney. I have seen families settle for $1 million in the ICU, thinking this is a lot of money, but for someone with SCI, this can disappear VERY quickly.

    Your attorney would need to have several expert witnesses, both to testify about the accident and how it is the other person's fault (not just the police) but also what is called a "life care planner". These are usually physiatrists or rehab nurses who do a complete assessment of your husband, your home, medical records, etc. They will estimate all his future medical care needs for the rest of his life, and also assign costs to this. This is given to a forensic actuary who figures in anticipated life expectancy and inflation. It is critical that these numbers be very specific to your husband, and that they are very accurate. This is esp. true in CA, as there is a $250,000 limit on pain and suffering judgements in this state. There is no limit on past or future medical costs as long as they are supported, so this expert is critical. Both sides will usually have a life care planner, and their reports often differ dramatically.

    Also keep in mind that most attorney's in cases like this get 30-40% of the settlement, plus their costs (such as the costs of all the paperwork, preparation of exhibits, hiring experts, etc.).

    (KLD)
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 04-20-2006 at 11:42 PM.

  7. #7
    i was injured in an auto accident. maybe because it was 20 yrs ago, but the other driver's insurance policy, just like mine, is limited to their coverage. so am confused here as to whether you're talking about suing the driver and/or ins co.

    really confused bout sci nurse's response referring to a million bucks. most ppl don't have that type of coverage on auto ins.

  8. #8
    The cases I am referring to were all with businesses (ie, commercial vehicles) so they were covered under not only their vehicle insurance but their corporate liability insurance too. You are correct that most car insurance has something like a $300,000 limit, but you can also personally sue the driver if there appears to be negligence, etc. Of course if they don't have insurance for that, or there are no other "big pockets" available, you are unlikely to collect a larger settlement.

  9. #9

    dam it

    You never fail to amaze me! So well informed. Don't stop. Remember to research the vehicle.
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse
    The cases I am referring to were all with businesses (ie, commercial vehicles) so they were covered under not only their vehicle insurance but their corporate liability insurance too. You are correct that most car insurance has something like a $300,000 limit, but you can also personally sue the driver if there appears to be negligence, etc. Of course if they don't have insurance for that, or there are no other "big pockets" available, you are unlikely to collect a larger settlement.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse
    Also, don't settle too early or without extensive advice from an attorney. I have seen families settle for $1 million in the ICU, thinking this is a lot of money, but for someone with SCI, this can disappear VERY quickly.
    I'd like to argue this a little. Yes, I agree, but $1M is still A LOT of cash. If I had $1M to pocket from a suit/settlement (I don't unfortunately, but life goes on), I'd throw it in some mutual funds & be set for a LONG time just based on interest, excluding work or other income. Think about it... $1M @ let's say, 8% interest? That's $80k/yr + $1M in the bank. If needed, $80k/yr could easily pay a full time caregiver + a mortgage + car payments + whatever else (even loans to cover big medical bills, etc). Assuming one would pursue some sort of vocation, there would be additional income on top.

    at least that's what I'd do if I had a million dollars...
    Last edited by -scott-; 04-22-2006 at 01:55 PM.

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