Back Injuries from Rear End Collision...
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?
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ANSWER for "Back Injuries from Rear End Collision...":
Laurelle (Tacoma, WA):
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,