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Serious personal injury case.

Discussion in 'Speeding Tickets, Traffic & Moving Violations' started by Rosie, Jan 27, 2002.

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  1. Rosie

    Rosie Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My daughter was a passenger ina car accident. The driver of the car lost control, spun out & hit a tree. The airbag deployed & hit my daughter in the head. She was diagnosed with a coup-contrecoup concussion, occular trauma, corneal abrasions, a burn on her face & her hand was pushed up breaking the window. Her eyesite was the first initial concern, it took 6-8 weeks to return to a normal & she has needed glasses since. she became moody & her personality was different. Over a year after, she started to experience Seizures & has now been tested & diagnosed with Temporal Lobe epilepsy. She takes heavy duty drugs & they make her stupid. She cannot drive & can only attend achool for 3 hours a day. Her life has been severly altered.
    1) can we still get the Insurance to cover the damages?
    2) is there any links or information that would help me to learn if there are other cases such as this.
    3) The costs have been astranomical. & they will continue to be, as this type of epilepsy does not go away. If settlement is achieved will I have to pay back the insurances? We are talking oggles of thousands of dollars.
    4) She will soon be 18- how does this affect any settlement?
    4) HOW do you put a cost on something that is life long & when she has given up so much?

    We have seen a lawyer who has taken on the case but has done NOTHING for many many months.

    Does anybody have any suggestions or places that I can go to learn answers to my questions?
    Thankyou!
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Rosie - I am truly sorry to hear about your daughter's situation and it pains me just reading about it. I hope that she makes a full recovery eventually and that things work out in the end. Your questions are best answered by your attorney. If you aren't happy with him, you have the right to leave and have the case handled by a second attorney. However, the attorney may not be at fault for the delays as personal injury cases can take a very, very long time. However, I would be concerned if there aren't good reasons for significant delays without any reasonable explanation. You must not be afraid to ask the difficult questions and have a right to see the validity of the answers.

    1) Insurance would depend upon several factors, one being an insured party. Was the driver insured? If the driver was insured, then there should be some talk of settlement. If you have not received a settlement, it might be because the insurance company is one of the parties involved in the lawsuit and has not seen fit to settle. Ask your lawyer why you have not received any insurance proceeds and from whom you might expect to receive them.

    2) Lexis provides a free search service at lexisone.com. However, searching these cases may be of limited value to you unless you know what you are looking for. This case is probably one in state court.

    3) See answer number 1 above.

    4) Speak to your attorney if her being the age of 18 could affect matters substantially. It may not affect the amount awarded although some procedural issues may be changed. It seems that regardless of her age, you have power of attorney over her matters since she does not have the capacity to take control of her own affairs. It's painful to say but this may be the case.

    5) Life is priceless. Unfortunately the court has had to set a value of money on damages and it depends upon a number of factors, including the level of fault. It is usually an amount that has been calculated for past cases of the same type, e.g. brain damage caused at birth due to a negligent delivery. I can see that there could be many parties sued, including the manufacturer of the vehicle for "defective design" of the airbags, in addition to the driver of the vehicle for negligence. Whether or not there is the presence of negligence is determined by the case facts.

    As I said before, sometimes these cases take a very long time. Ask your attorney and listen attentively to why he says it is taking a long time -- the outcome of a case can take years. Is it in court and in the middle of a trial? If you are not confident in your attorney after hearing the answers (and do give your attorney the benefit of a mere doubt) then you might want to think about moving to another attorney. The answers to your questions should have been explained to you -- perhaps they were although clients frequently don't like the answers!
     
  3. Rosie

    Rosie Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thankyou fro responding & with such good information.

    Yes the driver was insured & I contacted them the day after the accident. They sent me medical information release forms 3 times & I have signed them & returned them. I made at least a dozen calls with out speaking to anybody- was promised they would return the calls. This is when I became tired of it & turned it over to a local lawyer. At that time I just wanted them to pay the bills.

    Each time I would call the lawyer it was always ,unfortunatly, to report a worsening of her health, He has requested the medical documents from the many doctors, neurologists & hospitals. He is always waiting for some NEW medical reports. But that will go on forever. She will never NOT be seeing a doctor for this. Each delay waiting for a medical report brings me closer to financial ruine. It has taken ALL our savings, her & my son's college money.
    Last month I had to sell my van to cover the mortgage & my share of her meds. I have no more vehicles to sell.

    I understand his wish to wait for different things to be accomplished- but he hasn't even filed anything. He is still just gathering information. IF he is waiting for her to be released from doctors care- she will not.

    Is this kind of delay acceptable? unacceptable?
    I have been told by my friends that he is in over his head. What do you think?
     
  4. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    What is the attorney waiting for? If he is stating that he is waiting for the condition to worsen so he only has to do the work once then you might wish to seek alternate counsel. You may need an immediate settlement even though it might not be the best case for the attorney. That said, you should speak to the attorney and ask specifically why the wait. Again, the fact that you have more leverage later may not be the solution which you are seeking and this should be obvious. A lawsuit may hasten a settlement, which is what you may need sooner rather than later. Yes, there is a chance of condition worsening but that is to be considered part of the settlement negotiation and a risk you may be willing to take by settling earlier.

    Please give your attorney the benefit of speaking to him/her and listen to the answers. If you think that your best interests may not be of paramount concern then it may be time to seek the advice of alternate counsel for a second opinion. You can probably obtain an opinion from several other attorneys with a free consultation. Referrals can be made from other people, attorneys, or us at TheLaw.com if necessary.
     
  5. Rosie

    Rosie Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Well it is now 5 months later--- Still NO change. I did talk to the lawyer, who insisted that a change of Neurologists was needed. He did not care for the "lack of articulateness" of her former Neuro. So off to a new Neuro we go.

    The new doctor orders new tests & changes her meds.....The laywer orders copies of all the tests- & STILL NOTHING. I have recently called him, & have yet to recieve a call in return. In my last message to him- I asked him directly- WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
     
  6. jmacgregor

    jmacgregor New Member

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    I'm interested in your case but would like to ask for additional medical information. Please know before posting specific medical information that this forum is open to the general public and I would not recommend posting names or particular medical related numbers.

    I would like to know in precise detail how the accident occurred (this includes type of cars, speeds, direction of impact, # of rollovers if any, initial EMS findings, etc.), the specific injuries sustained (documented diagnosis),.....

    Post accident recovery details, etc. Also, if you are willing, I would like to know the extent of neurological damage, cause, findings, treatment, etc. Please include drugs and dosages if you will.

    I'm very sorry for your situation. Though my knowledge of law is limited, my access to medical knowledge and wisdom is substantial.

    If privacy is necessary, please contact me through the web admin or see my profile for options.

    jM
     

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