NeuwirthLawAuto Accidents, Case Matters, For Lawyers, Insurance

I write a lot about the business of personal injury law. Today, I am going to write a little bit about things I don’t often write about and that is what my clients go through before and during their cases.  Here are two examples:

Sally is a new grandmother and very excited about her new role and spending time with her daughter’s first born. Sally works remotely for a company that values her and for whom she has worked for years. Sally’s husband died 8 years ago, and she has a boyfriend in Pennsylvania. Sally has a springer spaniel named Lulu and Sally is a serious pickleball player and fairly active. Sally is a no-nonsense 60-year-old woman who mostly just wants to be treated fairly.

Sally is on her way home from shopping for groceries on a sunny day and listening to the report of Punxsutawney Phil’s latest prediction. Sally notes that Phil is a blip in time before the super bowl and before spring. She has a left turn arrow and is making a left turn at a large intersection in a nice suburb and an idiot driver runs a red light and absolutely crushes her newish Ford Bronco. The impact was really pretty shocking. Her airbags go off and blast smoke and glass everywhere.  She had to pee on her way home and the seatbelt caused her to pee on herself. Embarrassed about the pee and somewhat disoriented, she is super worried about Lulu who was in the car but not wearing a harness or doggie seatbelt. A whole bunch of drivers stop and an off-duty cop comes rushing to help. 911 is called and Sally takes Lulu home, goes to the bathroom and changes clothes and goes to the ER.

Sally’s car is destroyed. Her trip to see her grandson must be put off for two months because she is in so much pain. Sally has birthed children and had surgery before, but the pain of a broken sternum is really like nothing she has felt recently. Every breath hurts. Every breath reminds her of the idiot driver and how he screwed up her life for the next year or so. She is not worried about her job as they value her and will wait for her to return. But pickleball is out for the near future and she is just mad, pissed off, frustrated.

She comes to meet with me and we discuss that this is a straightforward case. The insurer doesn’t see it that way because Sally did not go straight to the ER by ambulance and the sternum fracture did not show up on x-rays until months later, she has no lost earnings to speak of, and the annoyance, pain, and suffering simply don’t matter to Progressive. Sally comes to rightfully believe that Flo is a fraud and learns that personal injury lawyers perceive Progressive as the worst of the worst insurers to deal with.

Sally must file a lawsuit and sit through a deposition. She is a dry and unemotional person as befits her undergraduate degree in economics. She does okay at her deposition because she has a hard time expressing her emotions outside of idiot and asshole and the whole deposition is focused on her and her injuries and not on the stupidity of the other driver.  Her case settles against the idiot driver for $85,000 but not the full $100,000. This settlement is okay or acceptable and there is a second lawsuit to come against her own insurer. That is a story for another day.