I was in a car accident on February 20, 2008.
We called 911 and for about 45 minutes no one came. My boyfriend was driving the car. I had back pain when the accident happened and later that day went to the emergency room for the pain.
I was 2 months pregnant and the MD would not do X-rays. I was prescribed pain meds and muscle relaxers. I saw an OB-GYN but the pain meds were controlling the pain. I went to the ER three months later for back pain and abdominal pain. I was sent home on pain killers and antibiotics. The back pain got worse as the pregnancy went along.
Finally after the child I had an MRI. I was diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease and bulging discs L4 & L5. I have an attorney and the claim adjuster thinks I should have had more treatment while being pregnant. Do I have a case?
Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.
The short answer is: You should have had more treatment. It is difficult while pregnant to get the type of care you need and deserve, however you still needed to get care that was medically restricted to accommodate a growing stomach and safety to your baby.
The reason for this is simple. Personal injury cases are based, in part, on the medical bills you accumulate during treatment. They are then used as a baseline figure to calculate your damages (hence your settlement).
If you have few or no medical bills, the adjuster assumes that you were not injured. The rationale is that an injured person receives the care they need to get better and the non-injured party receives less care because they are not injured at all.
This is not always true (such as your case), however it is the way the game is played. Perhaps your attorney can argue that additional treatment would have harmed or impacted your unborn child, but my guess is that you are not the first pregnant person to cross the adjusters settlement path. Your attorney may be able to argue that future medical bills are extensive or that you should be able to start treatment now, however two years post accident is a stretch.
Lastly, you may need to settle for the highest amount that the adjuster offers recognizing that a first offer is typically not what they are willing to settle for (but your attorney will know this).
Learn more here: ER Malpractice
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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