Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience. Not only do you have to worry about physical injuries and property damage, but you also have to deal with getting all your questions answered. Will the insurance companies handle the accident fairly? Will there be medical bills to pay? How will […]
Stopping Short of Death: Living with Lifetime Injuries
I. Significant Lifetime Injuries
Every 16 minutes in America, a significant car accident or truck accident happens. This statistic, by the way, relates only to the number of deaths that occur in car accidents: there are far more accidents that stop short of causing actual death. While great advances in life-saving responses have been made, there is also a higher risk for permanent disability in almost all accidents, as well. One recent case demonstrated the need for an experienced car accident attorney to address permanent injuries, and the sometimes inappropriate, frustrating jockeying between insurance companies, after a truck/car collision.
It was mid-March in rural Nash County when Arthur M. Was injured in a severe automobile accident. A truck driver had smashed into Arthur’s vehicle, and Arthur’s life was saved only by being rushed to a local emergency room.
Arthur suffered from extensive and severe emotional harm, as well as permanent physical injuries. Arthur had a complete loss of bladder function and lost significant other major motor control. Ultimately, his car accident attorney also included claims not only for Arthur, but also Arthur’s wife, Lugene. Lugene’s separate claims were based on Arthur’s loss of sexual function. A well-qualified car accident attorney will always be able to help an injured person and their family members assess how the impact to one family member may cause damages to other people in the family. In this case, a claim for loss of consortium was based on North Carolina law. Generally, loss of “consortium” means the ‘absence’ of a family member’s “society, service, companionship, affection and sexual gratification.” It’s important to note, as society has decreased the number of “family” living together as a legally married couple, important issues may arise in a specific case based on marital status, as well as the legal relationships with any children. These factors are also important considerations in seeking just compensation, best addressed by having an experienced car accident attorney.
II. Car Accidents Harm Loved Ones, Too
Because the truck driver’s employer carried special business insurance, the car accident attorney for Arthur was able to initially obtain extra underinsured motorist coverage for Arthur’s extensive injuries. Having knowledge of available insurance coverages is essential in obtaining adequate car accident attorney representation. It’s also important to get this advice as soon as possible after an accident. One of the challenges is that it’s often difficult to make this kind of decision when facing the types of extensive injuries that Arthur had suffered. This is why family members are often helpful in reaching out to find an experienced car accident attorney to help shoulder these incredible emotional and physical challenges.
Because there was a specific business policy carried by the trucking company, one of the insurers eventually attempted to offset the underinsured motorist coverage to Arthur. It was a significant amount of money they sought to avoid paying: $75,000 of benefits. Again, because Arthur had an experienced car accident attorney, the trial court agreed with that part of the car accident attorney’s argument … the company was not automatically entitled to reduce underinsured motorist coverage, based on other available offsets. But it also took the car accident attorney explaining to a jury why insurance proceeds in this case should be free of any claim or lien. Ultimately, the Nash County Superior Court attempted use its own discretion to lower these amounts. This caused Arthur’s car accident attorney to appeal that part of the trial court ruling.
III. Informing A Judge’s Discretion: Your Car Accident Attorney
Trial court judges typically rely on the arguments of experienced car accident lawyers to present the facts on which to base their discretion. In this case, for example, part of the discretionary award reflected one successful settlement agreement reached between two of the five separate insurance companies and Arthur’s car accident attorney.
Interestingly, however, both Arthur’s car accident attorney and the several insurance companies all disagreed with some parts of the trial court’s discretionary decisions. For the purposes of this discussion, one of the most important disagreements had to do with a voluntary repayment made by Arthur. Arthur had decided to repay $25,000 to Arthur’s workers comp. Another insurance company then attempted to get that money deducted from part of an agreed settlement between Arthur and another insurance company. It was this claw-back effort that was stopped by Arthur’s car accident attorney.
IV. North Carolina Policy: Protecting Against Lifetime Injury
The key factor in this case was in most ways, why the General Assembly requires uninsured coverage. Thus, Arthur’s car accident attorney emphasized that the Nash County Superior Court had also abused its discretion in distributing $34,000 of insurance monies without enough evidence of Artur’s condition. The court had failed to actually have another hearing to show the present physical and economic condition of Arthur. The court was required to have a rehearing, and give Arthur and his attorney an opportunity to present the latest medical evidence of his and Lugene’s injuries. This need for up-to-date medical evaluation was especially important as the attorney at emphasized the complete loss of bladder and sexual activity, caused by the car accident.
Medical conditions after any car or truck accident are not always apparent. Similarly, the ability to receive affective treatment may rest on focusing on that treatment. By talking with a qualified car accident attorney, much of the stress that may interfere with long-term or even lifetime, medical treatment can at least be better measured. In this case, the interests of the wife were also protected by speaking with a qualified attorney quickly after the accident.
So, if you, a family member or a loved one have been hurt in a vehicle accident—or have questions about insurance claims or need help related to a motor vehicle insurance policy, or involving related claims or your legal rights or hearings, please contact us. You will speak with a car accident attorney who can best answer your questions. There is never a fee for this initial consultation.
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