Visitor Question

Back Injuries from Rear End Collision…

Submitted By: Laurelle (Tacoma, WA)

Over 2 years ago (27 months) I was hit from behind at an intersection. The other driver was charged and was at fault. I suffered back injuries as a result of the accident. I have a lawyer and am suing. I have no medical insurance.

I have had a lot of different treatments, some of which I’ve had to pay out of pocket for, but most the lawyer has taken on until a settlement is reached. I am in need of back surgery which is going to cost around $42,000 which I of course can not afford.

A letter of settlement was sent off to the other party’s insurance company for a total of $50,000. They have agreed to settle for this amount but off the top of that comes my medical bills for $17,500, the lawyer is taking their share and I am going to end up with about $18,000.

What I don’t understand is why my medical bills are coming out of my settlement. I feel those bills should be paid and then a settlement of $50,000 be presented. There is no way that $18,000 is going to cover the cost of more treatment or compensate my for a lifetime of pain and suffering.

I am so confused as to why I’ve had to pay for any of the medical treatment to begin with when it wasn’t my fault. I think I am getting ripped off. Can you explain if this is correct?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Laurelle,

You aren’t paying for your medical bills, the insurance company is paying them for you. The settlement amount of $50,000 dollars is sufficient enough so that your medical bills and attorney’s fee can be extracted.

Your attorney’s fee is standard, and is something you agreed to when she first accepted your case and you signed the personal injury contract with her.

The $18,000 dollars you are left with is free and clear. In addition, personal injury settlements are not subject to federal or state income taxes.

Too often personal injury victims think they are going to get rich when their personal injury cases are settled.

That almost never happens. The $18,000 dollars represents the amount your attorney was able to negotiate for you over and above all the medical bills and her legal fee.

You are probably well aware your attorney’s legal fee was contingent upon the amount of the gross settlement in your personal injury lawsuit. If you have confidence in your attorney you will understand she worked as hard as she could do settle your case for as high an amount as was possible.

Best of luck,

Law Guy

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 14, 2011

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2 thoughts on “Back Injuries from Rear End Collision…

  1. I was rear ended by an 18 wheeler and received $42,000 in medical bills. I lost my job that I have worked at since 2006 and I would like to no what is a fair settlement.

    I’m not out to get rich but I would like to get paid for my injuries, lost wages and pain an suffering. I have chronic neck and back pain due to this accident.

  2. I was in a car wreck 4 years ago. Prior to the wreck I had no back pain but now I’m having lots of chronic back pain. I don’t know if there’s anything I can do now. The case has been closed.

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