What Does A Settlement Include in a Back Pain Auto Accident Case with the help of an auto accident lawyer?
THE DAY OF THE ACCIDENT:
Auto Accident Victim: “C.S” (all names changes are because of privacy reason) 32 years old, female, stay at home mom of 4.
Accident Date: The accident occurred on May 18, 2015 around 4:00 p.m. in Mesa while C.S. was on the way to home from work.
The Accident Location: The accident happened on SR-202 East at MP-12 in Mesa, Arizona.
The Accident Description: C.S. was driving a 2014 GMC Sierra with herself and her five passengers Eastbound on SR-202. C.S. had to unexpectedly brake due to a vehicle suddenly swerving from the lane to her right into her lane directly in front of her. Immediately after breaking, C.S. was rear-ended by the vehicle behind her. The Arizona Highway Patrol responded to the accident, conducted an investigation and cited the party who rear ended C.S. The office asked if C.S. needed medical attention and an ambulance and EMTS were called to the scene. Her passengers were uninjured. This was reported to the auto accident lawyer.
Citation: The at-fault party was cited at the scene with violating A.R.S. 28-701A, failure to control speed to avoid a collision. “A person shall not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances, conditions and actual and potential hazards then existing. A person shall control the speed of a vehicle as necessary to avoid colliding with any object, person, vehicle or other conveyance on, entering or adjacent to the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to exercise reasonable care for the protection of others.” http://www.azleg.gov/ars/28/00701.htm
The officer determined this citation was appropriate after interviewing C.S., the driver who rear ended her and witnesses who saw the accident occurred.
DIRECTLY AFTER THE ACCIDENT: How Medical Treatment Impacted C.S.’s Auto Accident Claim.
Medical Treatment: C.S. had been dealing with back issues prior to the accident and got admit in Banner Desert Medical Center via ambulance. At Banner Desert, C.S. faced problems in her body like neck sprain or strain and back pain (acute or chronic). The discharge instructions from Banner Desert suggested rest, ice and heat, over the counter medication, and if the pain gets worse, physical therapy.
Seven days after the collision, despite rest and over-the-counter pain medication, C.S.’s pain worsened and she could no longer withstand the pain, so she presented to Banner Goldfield Medical Center where she was diagnosed with body aches and back sprain/strain. She was provided pain medications.
C.S then presented to Mountain Vista Medical Center where she continue her diagnosing process with headache, tension and acute myofascial strain. She was prescribed pain medications.
Upon the recommendation of her doctor, C.S began treatment at Southwest Spine & Rehab where she was diagnosed with lumbar intervertebral disc displacement without myelopathy, thoracic and lumbar neuritis, cervical, thoracic and lumbar sprain/strain, Headaches, scoliosis, spasm of muscle and non-allopathic lesions in cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions. However, she got the chiropractic therapy.
C.S. had an MRI done of her lumbar spine, which indicated a disc bulge at L4-5 and a disc herniation at L5-S1.
After treating for 30 days
After treating for 30 days with the chiropractor and feeling that while her pain improved she was still had significant pain in the left side of her body, Ms. S. began treating with AZ Pain Treatment Center. She attended 2 visits with her pain management doctor and they recommended her for epidural treatments.
Total Medical Bills: First of all, C.S’s medical bills were around $27,000.00. Nearly $11,000 of the medical expenses were future medical bills for anticipating pain management treatment. After settlement, counsel was able to reduce medical bills so that C.S. received a total payout of around $7,200.00.
Lost Wages: C.S. claimed no lost wages as a result of this accident. She was able to continue with work. Her treating physician did believe she should take time off of work due to her condition, however, she was unable to.
Health Insurance: C.S. had health insurance at the time of the accident and used it when treating.
Client’s Car Insurance: C.S. had car insurance at the time of the accident through American Family. She did not use her own insurance policy for her bodily injuries. However, she did use her car insurance for the repair of her vehicle. This ultimately caused her auto insurance requested the at fault driver’s insurance reimburse them for the payment. As a result of using her car insurance her premiums did not increase.
At-Fault Car Insurance: American Family. American Family accepted full liability for this accident approximately 10 days. This happend after receiving the police report and concluding an investigation with their insured.
Final Settlement: $19,700.00, reached on 12/7/15, just under seven months from the date of the accident.
In conclusion, C.S. was happy with the results of this case and the help of her auto accident lawyer. She will ultimately receive $5,999.00 for her bodily injuries. In this settlement, the balance paying her medical bills and attorneys fees and costs. She was in treatment for less than 2 months. Given the significant injuries she suffered, namely a herniated and bulging disc. However, her choice to forgo the $11,000 in pain treatment greatly harmed the financial value of her case. However, her family obligations put her in a position of not being able to consistently seek the treatment that she medically needed.