Car crashes can be devastating, and insurance companies will do just about anything to avoid paying you for them. These are two undeniable facts that impact American drivers every single day. I learned this, unfortunately, when a driver careened into me as I was leaving the grocery store parking lot.
I don’t remember getting T-boned specifically. All I remember is glancing to my left to check for oncoming traffic and seeing a Toyota speeding toward me, driving partially on the curb. I have a vague memory of everything slowing down and not knowing whether I should back up or move forward, but by the time I actually attempted to move, it was too late.
After the Accident
I woke up a few minutes later on the pavement with a man and two women standing above me. My ears were ringing and I remember this intense pain shooting down my lower back and hip. I think I lost consciousness again at this point because, next thing I remember, I was in the hospital.
As it turned out, I injured my lower spine during the accident (slipped discs, specifically). I was lucky I didn’t sever my spinal cord and wind up paralyzed. The local police arrested the driver, who turned out to be drunk (of course) and was charged.
Out-of-Control Medical Bills
As you might guess, I racked up a frightening stack of medical bills after the accident. Mind you, I’ve just come out of a costly divorce, so I’m pretty much already broke—except for my boat.
I filed a claim with my insurance company, expecting that, because the driver was drunk, it’d be fairly cut and dried and I’d get some much-needed help.
What I didn’t expect was the insurance company finding proof that I’d had a slipped disc in the past. Almost ten years ago, I slipped a disc at work, which was determined to have been my own fault. Apparently, I was lifting way too much without using my knees. However, with a bit of physical therapy, I was right as rain.
Shady Insurance Tactics
The insurance company saw it as proof that I was prone to slipped discs in the first place and said the three I experienced in the accident were really there all along. The accident just made them more noticeable.
They had the gall to reject my claim on the basis that the injuries I sustained were related to a previous injury. I didn’t have any idea an insurance company would work so hard against me.
I thought I’d probably end up having to sell my house and boat, and I lost my job after I became unable to work due to my injury. Then, I decided to team up with a personal injury lawyer. He’s working on my claim now and thinks we’ve got a good shot at winning the compensation I so desperately need.
Let this be a lesson to you all. Don’t trust your insurance company to have your best interests in mind. Make sure you get help from a lawyer.