January 23, 2017, I was sideswiped by an older woman when she was changing lanes into a temporary middle left turn lane. She says she "underjudged" how much space she had. Truth is, she hit me and left. (or appeared to be leaving.) I was stopped in traffic at the time. I followed her quite a ways (long temporary lane) till she finally turned off the major road, onto her own road and stopped. I include this detail as this is the reason I called the police before even getting out of the car.
She never exited her vehicle even when the police arrived about 30 minutes later. I, in fact, took pictures of her damage and showed her on my phone (and my damage as well.) She also didn't seem interested in my license, insurance etc so I photographed all of it and emailed it to her. It was just a very weird thing. She. offered to write me a check for $1,000 if I did not call the police or go thru her insurance. I told her they had already been called. She was 77.
Neither of us seemed injured, the police report states the accident was her fault and she admitted that to me and the cop after trying to find a way to blame me. I just kept saying "I was stopped." the cop could tell what happened. And drew the diagram perfectly. There is no question of liability.
The next day, I was in pain. I went to the ER and was treated for neck and back pain. Was given a pain injection, and scripts for muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory (toridol. I am allergic to all narcotics.)
I started seeing my Chiropractor and now it's about 4 weeks later and I am still in pain. Esp my neck. I am having headaches and I never get headaches.
The ER is billing me $1400 and wants to use my $2,000 med pay. My Chiropractor wants to use my med pay. And I am in pain. I called my own neurologist and she told me I have to pay out of pocket to see her as they do not bill car insurance claims. I told her she could bill my Medicare (i am disabled) and they would pay and put a lien against her insurance company/my settlement. She said that wasn't true.
Anyway, I can't afford to pay for medical care and get reimbursed later. What if this was a serious spinal injury? People can't be expected to pay all their own medical bills and get reimbursed.
I got a letter from a law group with the "i see you were in an accident" ambulance chaser line but they had a Q&A section that told me I was correct in the lien stuff etc. Today when I found out my own doctor won't see me unless I pay up front, I called that law firm. They were very helpful on the phone. We talked for quite a while, she pulled up my police report, etc. She said they work with doctors who will treat people and agree to get paid later. I told her I didn't want to see a doctor who would be trying to make things seem worse than they were etc. and just wanted a good doctor. (We all have seen/heard of prostitute doctors who work for insurance companies.)
Someone is coming over tomorrow. I assume to have me to sign papers. So, I hate lawyers. I hate legal battles. I hate the stress of all of it. But I also need to get some care. I am scheduled for unrelated shoulder surgery next month and can't get into a 2 month arm sling around my neck situation with a neck injury. I am feeling forced to hire an attorney and I hate that.
I can't find anything bad (or much of anything at all!) about this law group. And don't want to sign papers with a group who could screw me over like stories I have read here. But I also feel pretty over it and need to get a doctor to see me rather than just returning to the er. (I have disk issues in my lower back and am afraid of course with my neck.)
So what's my question. Do most people HAVE to hire an attorney? How do I make sure I am hiring a good one. Is the letter I got from this legal group a sign they might not be the best? (ambulance chasers getting police reports. I also have gotten letters from Chiropractors who also apparently get police reports.) They have offices in 12 cities in North Carolina and were nice on the phone but... Ugh, I hate lawyers.
I have worked with unethical lawyers before. Man, I was just sitting in traffic! I know, that's why they call it an accident. I already have a check to get my car repaired. There is no doubt as to liability. My own insurance man said if I use MY med pay my own insurance can go up. (I. Have no accidents and great rates.) The lawyer said not to let anyone use it although their Q&A says to use it. It's all so confusing to know what to do.
And I am in pain and really, don't have the umph to call tons of lawyers and figure out who is good etc. I can't just pay out of pocket. MRI probably etc. I don't want to be trying to figure out who needs to be paid back for what and what liens and etc.
Do most people feel forced to hire a lawyer? I just want to be out of pain and be done. It was just a small fender bender. Sorry if I sound whiney, I think I need some advice? Many of you seem to really know what you are talking about.
Thoughts? The attorney must think the case is worth something for them to even be interested right? Damage to my car: $1250. (2009 Nissan Cube.)
Not that it matters now, but it took her insurance company two days to talk to her. Their adjuster told me she was not returning their phone calls and she never reported the accident to them. Something was hinky. I wish now I had asked them to test her for alcohol. She never ever stepped out of the car. I guess why she hit me doesn't matter except maybe she should not be on the road anymore.
Sorry this got long. I tried to edit but it just gets longer. ? It's late, I hurt and the lawyer will be here in 12 hours.
Thoughts? Advice? Thanks. Be.