Rear ended while at a red light in a work truck...
(Camden County, NJ)
I was rear ended by another vehicle going about 30 to 40 miles an hour while in my work truck stopped at a red light.
I drove myself to a hospital, had x-rays done and they just stated it was a back strain/sprain. I went to an orthopedist through workmans' comp and they had me go to physical therapy. It wrecked me.
I went to the emergency room 2 more times during the 3 weeks of therapy. Then the orthopedist pulled me out of therapy and work, had me start pain management with epidural injections. I've had 2 so far.
It's been over 4 months since the accident and a few months out of work. I had an MRI & EMG done. Both showed nothing too bad as far as the report. The MRI only shows 2 disc bulges.
Over 3 years ago I had disc bulges showing on an MRI but the doctor at the time claimed it was not impinging causing pain. I took anti-inflamitory pills and it was better in few days back then. Also there was no injury that I knew of back then, it was just hurting from time to time. I did labor jobs and haven't had any problems since then until this accident.
My question is, I'm concerned that this pre-existing condition will interfere with the lawsuit and future care (if it's needed after workmans comp releases me), do you think it will?
I would love to have someone take a better look at the MRI. I don't know how after all this time I've been suffering every day and nothing is showing that bad. I also should point out I'm getting caudal injections for leg pain and then getting lumbar injections for lower back pain afterwards.
I have 2 lawyers, one for the workmans comp case and one for the other, I guess to deal with the lady's insurance in the pain and suffering case.
I'm curious where I stand on this as far as any settlement goes, and if future medical bills will be paid for if needed. Thanks for any info you can give.
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ANSWER for "Rear ended while at a red light in a work truck...":
Pre-existing injuries will be raised almost 100% of the time by the insurance adjusters as they attempt to avoid liability or a larger pay-out.
Older injuries however, are easy to see from the doctor's eye and they can actually determine what injuries happened recently and distinguish those from much older injuries just by looking at x-rays and MRI's.
While there will be discussion about your former injuries, any skilled attorney will be able to argue that the defendant (insured) takes you as they find you, whether previously injured or not. If need be, your attorney will bring in the doctors to distinguish between the two.
As to future medical expenses, the two systems work differently. In workers compensation, you will be assessed and given a rating which corresponds to your percentage of disability. You may be offered life-time medicals or a lump settlement.
With personal injury cases, you will be offered a settlement from which you will need to pay for any future treatment needed.
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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