Here is a photo of the crash scene.
The crash reported listed his injuries as “possible”. His airbag didn’t deploy.
His father gave him a corticosteroid drug, Prednisone, which helps with inflammation. It improved a little bit but didn’t go away.
On the date of the crash, Keith didn’t have car insurance on his car. Thus, he couldn’t make a claim with anyone else’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
About eight months after the crash, Keith had terrible pain. His father ordered an MRI.
MRI Showed a Big Herniated Disc in His Lower Back
Below is another view of the herniated disc. This time the MRI is looking from top down.
His dad referred him to a neurosurgeon.
He had back surgery. Specifically, he had a L5-S1 hemilaminotomy, medial facetectomy and microdiskectomy, using a microsurgery.
Below is an illustration of a laminectomy (which is the most similar procedure to a laminotomy that I have an image of).
A hemilaminotomy is a surgery where a window is drilled in the bone through which the nerve root and disc are accessed. A herniated disc is typically removed through such a bony opening. Neurosurgeons often perform such procedures under an operating microscope.
As I mentioned, Keith also had a microdiskectomy. Here is an illustration of a discectomy.
Keith was given general anesthesia for the surgery.
His health insurance paid for most of his medical bills. Keith’s health insurance was through his employer.
Keith Had Lost Wages For Not Being Able to Work After the Surgery
Keith missed about 12 days of work from the surgery. He wasn’t working at the time of the accident. Thus, he couldn’t get workers compensation benefits. His employer didn’t compensate him for these lost wages.
He didn’t have short term disability insurance.
This is in the incision from the surgery.
He was left with a scar on his lower back from the surgery.
This scar increased the value of his case. However, a scar on the back is worth a fraction of the value of scar on the face. Also, scars on women are typically worth more than scars on men.
I sent State Farm a written request to give me certain insurance information required by Florida Statute 627.4137.
The At Fault Driver Had $100,000 in BIL Insurance
Eventually, without filing a lawsuit, State Farm offered the $100,000 limits. Here is the $100,000 settlement check.
Most of the settlement was for pain and suffering.
Since we settled without a lawsuit, our attorney’s fees were 33 1/3% of the settlement instead of 40%. This saved Keith $6,666.66.
$100K Limits Helped Us Get a Quicker Settlement
State Farm’s BIL limits were $100,000. This put pressure on them to pay.
If the limits were higher, they may not have paid the limits. Or they may have taken longer to pay them.
For example, State Farm’s next level up of BIL limits is $200,000. If the BIL limits would’ve been $200,000 they may not have paid them.
However, State Farm chose to pay the $100,000 limits and avoid a possible bad faith verdict.
I mentioned earlier that his health insurance paid most of his bills.
The health insurance company had a right to get paid back from the settlement.
Since he worked for a smaller company, the health plan wasn’t self-funded.
Why does this matter?
Since the plan wasn’t self-funded, they had to reduce their lien (claim) by my attorney’s fees and costs.
It gets better:
They also had to reduce by any other equitable factors. I argued that because State Farm’s policy was only $100,000, it didn’t compensate Keith fully for his back surgery.
His health insurance company claimed a lien of $4,744.93. I got them to accept $1,265.31 to settle their lien.
Neither Keith, nor the vehicle that he was in, had uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.
I was Keith’s attorney.
He was very happy with his settlement. Hear Keith’s version of the accident and his settlement.
I am a Miami car accident lawyer that represents people injured anywhere in Florida. I want to represent you.
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