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Rough day and night

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive March 2007: Rough day and night
By Shann on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 12:52 am:

around 5:15 pm yesterday. I was waiting at home for dh to get home from work. A few minutes past 5:15 I got the mosted unwanted phone call. It was a call informing that hubby was in a car accident. I paniced called my Mom and was on my way to the scene. He was okay when I got there shook up and a hurting. He was at the stop light when a city water truck driver wasn't paying attention and slammed into the back of dh. hubby said he didn't see him coming the only thing he remembers is that his head was killing him and his upper back. We took him to the E.r on the polices orders. 5 1/2 hours later he had a bad case of whiplash and a good size knot on the back of his head. His truck is totalled and sitting on an inpound lot.There were 2 witnesses that stayed and talked to the cops and they said that he driver slammed on his brakes too late and hit dh. We really don't know where to go from here. We called our insurance company and our agent advised us to get an attorney, with it being the city they like to give the run around and they wont settle with you. So we called around and spoke to friends and we were reccomended a couple we to in tomorrow to talk to one of them. I was curious to know if anyone else has gone through this and can give some pointers on what we need and should do. I am at a blank. I felt in the 3 minutes driving to the scene that I wouldn't have dh anymore and was just scared my world was coming to an end. It just shakes your world alittle bit and you start thinking all different things. I couldn't sleep at all last night I would just lay there looking at him thanking God for watching over him. If anyone has any advise we could sure use it and a few prayers also.

By Nicki on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 03:09 am:

Shann, I'm so sorry! How very frightening for you and your dh. And I'm so sorry he was injured!
I don't have any advice, but I'm sure you will get some. Ginny seems very knowledgeable about such matters. I was just up late and read this, and feel so badly for you.

I know that feeling of almost losing your husband. Mine was in a serious work related accident years ago. He was injured but I did not lose him. Those close calls are very, very frightening, so I understand.

Big hug for you, Shann. I hope you'll be able to rest tonight. I'll keep you both in my prayers.

By Marg on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 06:52 am:

Please get an attorney.

I don't know what state you are from but in PA when a state employee hits you, your insurance has to pay for the damages.

We were hit by a backhoe (municipal worker) when we were in our minivan. Cop came and everything (nothing was our fault but dks and I were pretty shaken due to the bucket going through the side window of the minivan.) Apparently, in PA, state and municipality workers and equipment is exempt from paying for your damages.

I was shocked, and wish I would have had an attorney. This took a year and a half messing around with our municipality.

If you have physical damages to your body years later nothing could have been done in our case and there was a lot of issues that came up later that were never paid for or taken care of, it became out of pocket expense for us on something that was there fault.

BTW, the man driving did not even come over to see if we were ok or to say that he was sorry. The cop apologized for him.

By Ginny~moderator on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 06:54 am:

First, Shann, I am so sorry. Golly, this is everyone's nightmare. I am so glad it wasn't worse, but I can imagine what was going through your mind as you drove to the site. I don't know that I would have been able to drive.

Second - you do NOT need to pick a lawyer today, or even tomorrow. You have notified your insurance company, and been to the ER, and that's all you need to do right now. What you do need to do is concentrate on hubby, and wait a week or two to see if any more physical problems surface - as often happens. I have worked (as a legal secretary, not a lawyer) in plaintiff's/victim personal injury since 1988, and this is what the lawyers always tell people who call the day after the accident. One reason is that right now you are not in the best emotional state to be able to choose a lawyer intelligently. Another reason is that you really don't know what medical/physical problems might surface in a week or two - you don't want to make a claim for X injuries/dollars, and find out later that the claim should have been for X+.

The only two things you have to be aware of right now, legally, is, first, that most government bodies have some deadline within which you must give written notice of a claim, but that is at the very minimum within 30 days after the accident, and in most areas is 90 days or more.
Second, don't talk to anyone from the city and DON'T SIGN ANYTHING FROM ANYONE UNTIL YOU DO HAVE A LAWYER. If someone calls you or comes to your house and wants to take a statement, don't talk to them. Your insurance company will want a statement, but even with your insurance company you can wait a day or two until hubby is feeling better and has a better mental handle on the sequence of events and how he feels. You can give anyone who calls the information that there is a police report and, if you have it, the police report number or accident number, but that's all. Your insurance company should be told where your husband's vehicle is being held so they can send an adjuster to look at it. The city's representatives will already know where it is. You could go to the impound lot yourself and take a bunch of photos of the vehicle, if the police didn't take photos at the site.

When dh is ready to talk to your insurance company, they will probably want a recorded statement - they tape it over the phone. And you are required to cooperate with them - but right now just tell them dh is feeling too bruised and sore, and with the head injury isn't ready to talk to anyone for a day or two. And, when dh is ready, make sure it is your insurance company you are talking to and no one else.

Finally, start keeping a diary. Note in it every doctor visit, every out of pocket expense, every time your husband complains of pain and the kind/location of pain, every event (social, kids' school, and anything else) you forego because of your dh's condition. Keep a separate list of every doctor's name and address and dates of appointments, every diagnostic test (x-rays, etc.) with facility name, address and date, and every prescription with pharmacy name, date, and any amount you paid. Just use a school composition book. Keep track of the things hubby usually does that you have to do instead or get someone else to do.

I think the advice you got is correct - because it's the city, you do need a lawyer. And frankly, even if it was not a city driver/vehicle, you'd probably need a lawyer. Most likely a representative of the city with make a low-ball offer within the next couple of days (as would the insurance company for a private driver), and you don't have to talk to them or accept any offer - just DON'T SIGN ANYTHING OR AGREE TO ANYTHING.

You can get more names of lawyers from friends/family in the next few days, and see one or more of them next week. When you are at that point, come back here or e-mail me at klipvm at rcn dot com, and I will give you specific things to think about. I know there is at least one lawyer's spouse on the board and I think a lawyer or two, and I'm sure they will chime in with very good advice.

By Ginny~moderator on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 06:58 am:

Marg - PA has a "no-fault" car insurance system, which means your insurance company pays all of your "first party" damages - medical, lost wages, out of pocket expenses, etc. And, while government bodies in PA can be held liable for damages, the damages have to exceed a certain dollar amount and the injuries have to reach a certain level. Yes, you probably should have had a lawyer, but even so it would probably have taken a year or more.

By Marg on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 07:23 am:

I find this sad in our state Ginny.

The municipality really 'bullied' our family around. The only thing my insurance company paid for was the damage to the vehicle. They hurried me through this but there was more damage to the van (axle) than recognized and to try to go back and fight it was horrific.

I felt like the municipality knew they wouldn't have to pay for this so what big deal was it?

If the backhoe would have went 4 more inches it would have went into the second seat area and hit out middle child in the car seat she was sitting in at the time.

He couldn't remove the backhoe bucket (he tried to remove it when we all got out and before the police came.)

The driver was so mad he was cursing.

My kids were scared to death.

I felt like in this case Ginny, they hit me, no big deal, it's not coming out of their money, so let it go:( I felt like the backhoe driver was better protected and taken care of the the kids and me.

By Mrsheidi on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 07:39 am:

How sad, Shann!!! {{{HUGS}}} Ginny, you gave some really good advice. Shann, take care of him, honey. :( Poor guy!

By Yjja123 on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 09:16 am:

Doesn't your insurance company have an attorney? A couple years ago, I was hit by a city bus. The policeman refused to write a report. It was a week after hurricane Wilma.
I called my insurance company and they handled it from there. It took them 6 months to get the city to pay. My insurance paid me and went after them.

By Ginny~moderator on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 09:41 am:

It's important to realize that laws governing auto insurance and laws governing government-body liability differ from state to state, so what applies in your state or your accident doesn't necessarily apply to anyone else.

By Karen~admin on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 09:57 am:

Ditto Ginny!!!!! Keep in mind that soft tissue injuries often take a few days to present fully, so your DH could possibly be in more pain in the next day or two. Definitely journal everything. I hope he feels better soon, and will be OK.

By Bellajoe on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 01:23 pm:

(((SHANNON))) How scary! I'm glad to hear that he wasn't hurt any worse than he was. That drive must have felt like it took forever!

By Cat on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 07:38 pm:

{{{{{Shannon and dh}}}}} I'm glad he's okay. He'll probably be sore for a while. I thought Dana was rearended by a bus. Maybe I'm mixing her up with Yvonne. More hugs.

By Shann on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 10:07 pm:

Hubby is doing better. He is still sorein the upper back between the shoulders and a constant mild headache. We went to speak to the lawyer (in my book was a joke) he said that hubby truck wasnt worth anything.He advised not to hire a lawyer because hubby wouldn't get much out of it and most would go to him. It was horrible all the while I am sitting there wanting to cry he kept saying the truck wasn't worth nothing and all this Im sitting there thinking it may not have been worth anything to him but to us it did. It took dh to and from work it was worthy enough to bring our oldest dd home from the hospital when she was born. So he did tell us to go to the city manager office and fill out a claims form. so we got it today. We have to have 2 estaments which the one guy told him the truck was totaled being that year and all. So we will see there
we went to our insrance guy and he said we didn't need to file a claim because hubby truck just had liability and he was at no fault. So thats where we are now so we are just going to take it day by day and thank god that dh wasnt' hurt more than he was.
Thank you ladies all of you I wish I could give everyone a big hug. You have all been my blessings

By Nicki on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 12:43 am:

Shannon, I was wondering how you were doing. It sure sounds like you are right about the lawyer today. I just mentioned your situation to my dh, and he is shaking his head. He said, find another lawyer.

I'm sorry your dh is still sore and has head pain. I'll keep him in my prayers. You have both been through a really scary event. I wish we could all give you a hug, too! I know for me, the days following such an event can be worse, because it all starts to sink in. We're here if you need to talk.:-)

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