Insured Driver Hit Uninsured Driver Causing Injuries...
(Santa Cruz, California)
On June 13 I was driving my car with my husband in the passenger seat and I was rear-ended on the back right side. We were going up a hill about 25mph or so and there was a Jeep about two car lengths behind us. The Jeep hit us when I had to stop fast because the car in front of us stopped short.
I had my left foot up by the parking break so I was twisted by the impact. My seatbelt got so tight it took my breath away as if I got squashed just below my ribs (blunt trauma to my gallbladder).
Our first visit to our doctor was June 25th. I told the doctor what happened and that from time to time I get a sharp pain in my stomach. I started physical therapy twice a week. After a few weeks I told my therapist I had a sharp pain in my stomach again that day. I was home for seven days with a high fever and my husband is on a lot of medications so he didn't know I was that sick.
I called my daughter and she took me to the emergency room. They admitted me and I had emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder (which was right where the seat belt got so tight). I was in the hospital for seven days.
I also still have neck, shoulder, leg, and back pain, I have a pinched nerve, muscle spams, headaches, depression, anxiety, restriction of movement and nausea.
The other driver's insurance is taking all the responsibility. They fixed my car and I want to settle my case. The adjuster has all my information and he is talking about "colossus multiple of special per diem" and punitive damages? The insurance said they will pay for pain and suffering and loss of wages. I don't know what to do?
I have no insurance but the state paid for a portion of the surgery, the total was $95,773 but the state only paid $12,630. The adjuster said I don't have to pay for the hospital but I do have to pay for doctors' visits and physical therapy visits.
How do I calculate the hospital bills, subtract only what the state paid? What and how much is the right amount? My doctor told me to keep on going to physical therapy for another 6 months. Do I have to pay for this myself? Thanks for any help you can give.
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ANSWER for "Insured Driver Hit Uninsured Driver Causing Injuries...":
Your settlement is based upon the original amount of medical bills – not what has been reduced by a collateral source, such as the State. So as you begin to calculate medical bills, it would be based upon the original $95k.
While the adjuster has indicated that you do not have to pay the remainder of the hospital bills, you should get something confirming that the bills have been zeroed out.
Additionally, you may be responsible to reimburse the state for all or a part of what they paid in a process called “indemnification.” As far as therapy, you can settle now if the therapist will give you a narrative with an amount attributed to future medical bills.
Paying for the medical bills on your own depends on whether the providers you are working with have taken the case on a lien. A lien means that they are willing to take the case without your immediate payment because they will wait until the case settles.
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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