Potential issues with settlements from 2 accidents in one year?
I had an accident last September and another in May. Both accidents were cause by the negligence of bus drivers from two different companies. I injured my back and neck in the first accident. The second accident damaged my foot. I am still in a lot of pain.
My question is, because the accidents occurred under similar circumstance, less than a year apart (but clearly not my fault), will it be difficult to recover from both? How is the damages/settlement separated for both accidents and insurance companies? How do I separate all of this? Thank you for any information you can give.
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ANSWER for "Potential issues with settlements from 2 accidents in one year?":
Angela (Richmond, VA):
Your injuries were separate and distinct from one another and from each collision. As a result, as long as the liability of both bus drivers is clear and unchallenged, the respective insurance companies should compensate you separately for each crash and the resulting separate injuries.
You are under no legal obligation to notify each insurance company of the respective accidents and resulting injuries. The accidents were not related to one another, and were therefore no more than coincidental.
The challenge will be for you to compile medical evidence of your separate injuries. Speak with the doctors who treated your injuries. Ask them to write medical narratives detailing your injuries.
Ask the doctors who treated your back and neck injuries, and the doctors who treated your subsequent foot injury. The medical narratives can be used to convince the insurance companies to compensate you separately for those different injuries.
In addition, obtain copies of your medical records and bills, diagnostic tests, copies of your out-of-pocket expenses (for such items as medications, bandages, crutches, etc.), and a written verification from your employer confirming your lost wages, if applicable.
Here's a more in-depth look at everything you can claim for damages.
Submit the documentation for each crash to each insurance company separately. From there you can begin to negotiate your settlements. If you get pushback from one, or both of the insurance companies, you may need to hire an attorney to make sure your interests are protected.
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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