Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:40 PM
Tough luck on that, same kind of accident happened to me ~ 2 years ago, my wife was hurt and has had to have multiple surgeries.
You need to be careful with the insurance companies as they will want to minimize their payouts. Our accident wasn't in NC so i can't say how local laws apply to you, but some lessons learned we had were:
If you have medical insurance, make sure you use that for all of your treatments. The network discounts alone make it worth your time, else you can end up paying any settlement money back to the doctors. Heck we had one bill alone dicount was over 40G. If i hadn't billed that through my insurance I'd owe that hospital the 40G+ rather than the fraction of that I was charged after discounts. Also depending on NC and your medical insurance type, you may not have to pay the insurance company back with any settlement.
Don't discuss ANYTHING with her insurance company until you are ready to settle. They can and will use any statements you make against you.
Don't talk settlements until you are fully healed, have completed any and all treatments, physical therapy etc...
See if NC has a law similar to GA where her insurance company is required to provide you with her insurance coverage amounts.
At the end of the day, whatever she is covered for is all you will be able to get unless you want to sue her personally.
Check your auto insurance for uninsured/under insured coverage, if your medical bills exceed the other woman's coverage you might be abe to file a claim on your insurance for any balances.
Once you get to the point of settling, pain and suffering is generally 2-3 times your damages. Good rule of thumb to use if you think they are lowballing you on the offer.
We went with a lawyer upfront, and they will typically want between 30-40% of any settlement. With what i know now, i probably wouldn't have used one, but he pointed out a lot of the items we learned along the way so in our case we will likely come out ahead by using one.