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brain injury to our child

Discussion in 'Auto Accidents, Injuries' started by warmby, Feb 25, 2010.

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  1. warmby

    warmby Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Idaho

    My ex wife and I have a four year old son. A woman ran a stopsign and tboned my son and I. He was properly strapped into his car seat. She admitted she was at fault. My son has has been in intensive care at the big city hospital for 11 days now. My ex wife and I have both taken off work since the accident to be with him. Our son hasn't woken up since then. the doctors didn't expect him to make it, but he's still hanging in there. Oh, I was delivering the car that was hit to a new owner. The new owner had the title, etc., already, and they have a policy that said it would help pay. The woman had ins too. I don't know how much either policy is for. My ex has health insurance on our boy. So far it's cost about 90k just in meds. He's probably going to have brain damage, but they don't know to what extent. I had a bruised kidney, and a lot of pain, but hopefully nothing permanent. Here are my questions:

    1. I hired a lawyer, and he contacted both insurance carriers, the police dept., and the officer. He told us he needs to get a copy of the policies to see what the limits are. Am I stuck with the limits? I don't think it'll be enough to cover his meds right now, much less in the future if he's disabled.

    2. Is the lady's insurance going to pay for all this? what about my own insurance policy, or the one that was on the car when it was wrecked? Can we ask them to help pay? And where does their obligation to help end, and my wife's health insurance policy kick in?

    3. My ex and I live over 200 miles away from the hospital. Will the insurance company pay our bills, lost wages, etc. while we are down here?

    4. If the lady's liability is obvious, and the insurance company or companies decide to just offer us the policy limits, what is my lawyer really doing for us? That doesn't seem like it's worth 30%.

    5. What information should I be gathering right now? And is my just calling the three insurance companies enough to put them on notice of an accident?

    Thanks very much for any help.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No, you are not stuck with the limits of the policy. But, that is all the insurance company will pay. That is all their insured purchased. If your judgment is more, then the balance is owed by the defendant. You will have to work hard to seize her assets and maybe garnish her wages. Let your lawyer talk you through that.

    Your auto policy might also kick in, as will your health insurance.
    If you have a life insurance policy on your boy, they might pay something, depending on what the physicians say.

    See above, but these questions should be asked of your lawyer.
    That is why you are paying him.
    Do not think that because people are in the wrong, the insurance company will open up the bank for you.
    This is going to be a long process, so be patient.
    The other driver might want their day in court.
    The insurance company will want to wait to make sure that everything is as has been said.
    Even if it is, insurance companies usually fight these cases.

    My God, I can't believe you are asking about this. Your son is suffering, comfort him. Your lawyer will see that some interim payments flow. But, it is too early to worry about this. Nothing has been proven, don't be pushy. The other driver could fight this, and it would take 5, 10, 15 years to be settled.

    Patience, patience, patience. It has been less than 2 weeks. You should be with your child. He needs you now. The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they do turn. You need your lawyer more than you know. Give him a chance to show you how valuable his services are.

    The policy limits are all the insurance company will cover. That is all their insured purchased, why should they pay more? But, if your award is more (and most likely it will be under these circumstances) the other driver will have that liability. that is when your lawyer will show you why you hired him! The judgment will have to be collected. That isn't easy.

    By the way, that 30% is only if your lawyer wins the case.
    If you get nothing, he gets nothing.
    But, if you try fighting insurance companies without a lawyer, you'll get nothing by yourself.
    Just as an aside, you aren't going to be paid tomorrow.
    You most likely won't have this settled by year's end.
    Your lawyer might be able to get you some assistance, but no one owes you anything, yet!
    That is why your lawyer gets that 30%.
    He's going to have to wait as long as you do, too.


    Take care of your son. Let your lawyer handle this. This is going to take a long time to conclude. You don't want to rush it, because the boy is too young. When your lawyer needs you to do something, you'll be asked.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  3. warmby

    warmby Law Topic Starter New Member

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    ok, thankyou

    I appreciate your comments. I don't want to seem cold or detached about this whole thing, I'm not. I'm just trying to be proactive. Neither of us make very much money. I don't want to compound a tragedy with a lifetime of financial horror too.

    I don't know why you were put off by my question about interim payments. That's mainly the reason we got a lawyer. Knowing that both of us have a relatively short time (we both have one more week paid) before we have to go back home and begin life again, we'd like to quit our jobs, or take indefinite unpaid leave, and just stay with our son, but that's not realistic. So we wanted a lawyer to get the ins. companies to help us in the interim, so we could stay as long as possible. he tells us they have medical costs they will often forward, but rarely if ever will they help with day to day stuff by way of an advance. I don't know if i can handle being away from him. But they say he will not be leaving here soon.

    Oh, the police told us that if the worst happens, they will charge this woman with negligent homicide. That's why we think liability is the one thing that is on our side.

    I appreciate your thoughts for our son.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    My wife and I have endured what you're about to discover.
    I'm a lawyer and she's a physician.
    It hasn't been easy.
    Our son was a grown man, when tragedy struck.
    He was injured by a drunken, uninsured, unemployed, illegal alien.
    He was struck while riding his Harley, near Amarillo.
    He was an assistant warden for the Texas Dept of Criminal Justice at a large prison.
    His pelvis was broken, his femur, and both arms.
    He had to endure a number of reconstructive surgeries.
    But, things can and do get worse!
    He was scheduled to have a surgery to have some pins taken out of his leg.
    He had been in hospital for seven months.
    The anesthesiologist intubated him through the esophagus and not the windpipe.
    The dummy didn't ask for help and didn't discover his mistake for 6-8 minutes.
    Needless to say, he is brain dead today.
    The physicians took him off life support years ago, and he is still alive.
    He's been in a coma for 10 years this summer.
    It took us 5 years to prevail in a lawsuit.
    We retained a large personal injury firm out of Dallas.
    We settled, moments before the jury had announced it had a verdict.
    The jury was going to award him $2,000,000, we learned later.
    The insurance companies of the hospital and surgeons offered us $7,000,000, just before the jury was brought back into court.
    Things worked out for us and him.
    Prior to that, they weren't interested in settling.
    My wife was appointed his guardian.
    The money was put into a medical needs trust.
    He was divorced with two minor daughters.
    They were offered a settlement of $750,000 each.
    We set that up so that they won't get it, until they are 25.
    But, it can be used for college.
    So, I know your something of your pain.
    I see our son everyday.
    He has to be fed by a tube into his stomach.
    But, if something happens to us, his trust will see to his care.
    He's here long after the medical authorities said he'd die.
    Only God knows.
    We figured out a way to be with him through all of this.
    The last thing he said to his mother when they wheeled him away that day for surgery was, "Mom, if something happens to me, fight for me."
    It did, and we did.
    This journey isn't over yet.
    Do the right thing for your son, you'd want someone to do it for you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  5. Antigone

    Antigone New Member

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    To the OP ~ Sorry for the hijack

    Army,

    I am so sorry to hear your story. I know your pain. My daughter (17 at the time) was in a roll-over MVA caused by a hit and run driver. She has been in a coma first and now persistent vegitative state for almost two years. I cherish the moments I spend with her daily. We sing to her, read to her, move her, play with her, bring to dog to nap with her ~ and all we can do is hope that she knows.

    You are right that only God knows. I pray that God keep giving you the strength as he does me. OP, ask for the strength and it will be granted. You have two examples of this right before your very eyes.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Antigone, thanks.
    My wife swears that he gets agitated when she stays away too long.
    He also gets excited when she first arrives, and gets agitated when she leaves.
    A physician once observed it and said, if he hadn't seen it, he'd have not believed it to be possible.
    We've had physicians that asked if we wanted him to die.
    I had to fight my evil side.
    Some people say we should have him, "put down".
    People are so stupid.
    I'll add your daughter to our prayer chain.
    Only God knows, and miracles do happen.
    It is a miracle that he's still with us.
    God will awaken him or take him when He is ready!
    Until then, we make him comfortable and wait on God.
    God bless, and thanks for sharing.
     
  7. Antigone

    Antigone New Member

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    I'm sure your wife is absolutely correct because my daughter gets agitated and excited very easily. I see her everyday and I don't have the same affect on her as her dog does. Her hospital is wonderful and allows me to bring him to visit with her. She does track with her eyes now, so we can see her looking at us and at him.

    The doctors gave us a 1% chance of her living through the inital trauma, and about 1/3 of the left side of her brain is gone. In the last 20 months we have seen a little bit of improvement, like the tracking, the emotion, the attentiveness to certain things.

    I am so glad you see the miracle, because my family does too. Our baby is a blessing and a joy even in the state she is in and we will continue to be strong for her, just like you until the day that she and the Lord decide that it is time for her to go home.

    OP, be strong for your child. The bills and the legal stuff will all work itself out.

    Prayers to all.
     
  8. JDGATOR

    JDGATOR New Member

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    Make sure your lawyer has the other driver sign an affidavit stating whether or not she was in the course and scope of her employment (ie. making a delivery; running an errand for the boss; on a cell phone with the office or a client, or otherwise conducting business on behalf of their employer, etc.) at the time of the accident. If she was "working" at the time, it may be possible to recover from her employer under the theory of vicarious liability.
     
  9. ctanke

    ctanke New Member

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    I am very sorry to hear what your family has to go through. I'm not here to give you any legal advice, but something from personal experience. I was kicked in the head by a horse when I was 18 and was in a coma and paralyzed due to it. I had several surgeries on my brain and was in the hospital for over 6 months. The doctors told my parents I would be lucky if I lived through it and that if I did I would most likely be a "vegetable". My family was with me as much as they were able to be. I honestly don't remember all of it, but I knew they were there and I think that helped me pull through it. I was very lucky in that I made an incredible recovery. Please don't get discouraged by what the doctors are telling you. I am living proof that miracles can and do happen.
     
  10. Antigone

    Antigone New Member

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    Thank you ctanke for your story of hope. God be with you:)
     

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