How to get reimbursed for loss of wages and head injuries?
My accident occurred on Sunday, January 31, 2016. My wife and I were sitting at a red light and were rear-ended by the at-fault driver, Teresa. I had blacked out for a few moments, but called 9-1-1 immediately after gathering myself. My wife was blacked out for several moments and I tried waking her after I was still coming to. The police showed up, documented the accident, gathered everyone's information, etc.
My wife hit her head on the dash, airbags didn't deploy, and she had a very large bump on her forehead, and the dash had a gash in it from the impact. We were airvac'd to a hospital due to her pupils not reacting to direct light. They later said she was concussed. She had bad headaches, bruising, and was very exhausted for a week.
My injuries manifested while at the hospital. I saw a doctor the next day after the accident to address my injuries. I had headaches and missed 1 week of work (40hrs). I had bruises on my left arm and right leg.
Teresa claimed that an SUV merged into her, causing her to react, which caused her to drive into us at 45+ MPH. Her insurance was unsure as to whether or not they were going to cover our medical bills and loss of wages, due to the Phantom vehicle that hit-and-run Teresa.
Phantom ended up coming forward, going to the Police Department with their SUV, claiming they watched the entire accident and had nothing to do with it. After inspecting her vehicle, the police indicated it was the vehicle described to them by Teresa, yet there was absolutely no damage on it. She claimed seeing Teresa just drive diagonally into our lane while Phantom was directly behind her.
They pitted fault on Teresa. At that point, our insurance co. called me to tell us we were getting our deductible back as Teresa's insurance co. accepted responsibility for the claim.
So far, our medical bills have been mailed to us, but our insurance is informing us who has paid for what, so we aren't concerned with medical bills.
We have both paid for medications. I missed 1 week (40hrs) of work. I had to use all of my vacation and sick hours on the books to somewhat cover for the loss. My wife was also stuck at home all week and wasn't able to leave or do anything due to her injuries.
Are we entitled to contact her insurance co. to let them know we are looking for reimbursements/compensation due to Teresa's negligence while driving? Is there a way to request her cell phone records to ascertain if she had been texting or making phone calls during the time immediately prior to the 9-1-1 phone call I made to police?
Her insurance co. has NOT contacted us yet to follow-up with a claim as I'm sure they are hoping we won't be seeking restitution. What else should we be doing? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "How to get reimbursed for loss of wages and head injuries?":
You have every right to contact Teresa's insurance company and ask to be compensated for your injuries and those of your wife. In personal injury claims, damages can include medical and therapy bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Here's a more in-depth look at everything you can claim for damages.
To access Teresa’s cell phone bills will require her agreement, or a subpoena. The only way to obtain a subpoena is to file a lawsuit.
Once a lawsuit is filed you can obtain a subpoena duces tecum. This differs from a standard subpoena, which is for a person. A subpoena duces tecum is a subpoena for the production of documents and other records.
While technically you can file a lawsuit yourself, unless you decide to file a small claims lawsuit, you will have a difficult time securing a subpoena in a higher court. And of you decide to file a lawsuit in either court, small claims or a Maryland State Court, Teresa's insurance company will retain an experienced insurance defense attorney to defend the suit.
Virtually all auto liability insurance policies provide defense attorneys to their insured in the event the insured is sued.
If you decide to sue Teresa in small claims court, the maximum or "jurisdictional" amount you can sue for in Maryland is $5,000. If you file a lawsuit in small claims court, you are required to sue Teresa and not her insurance company. For more information about filing a small claims lawsuit, go to Maryland Court's website: MDcourts.gov
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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