car accident insurance settlement

Rear-End Collisions Can Exacerbate Pre-existing Conditions

Our law firm was recently contacted by a passenger who was sitting in an idling car at a red traffic light when her vehicle was abruptly hit from behind by another motorist.  The two drivers emerged from this accident unscathed, but our client sustained physical injuries and the accident exacerbated her preexisting medical conditions.  Our client had multiple health issues at the time of this collision and each was affected. Unfortunately, when our client approached the at-fault driver’s insurance provider to have her accident-related medical expenses reimbursed, she was refused.  It was upon learning this that she contacted our law firm; she knew that she needed the help of competent and experienced Oregon auto accident injury lawyers.

The at-fault driver’s insurance provider gave a two-pronged explanation of why it would not pay for our client’s post-accident care.  First, it argued that the collision could not be the direct cause of our client’s injuries because damage to the vehicles involved was inexpensive and relatively minor.  According to this provider, if the cars were not badly injured in this accident then our client could not have been either.  The provider’s second argument was that our client’s injuries were preexisting conditions that fell outside of the insurance provider’s coverage.

Dwyer Williams Dretke PC has years of experience with car accident injury claims in the state of Oregon.  When contacted by this new client, we identified the weaknesses in the insurance company’s position.  The extent of damage to vehicles involved in a collision has no direct or measurable correlation to the extent of the damage sustained by human beings within the vehicles that collide.  Our client had an increased risk of getting hurt in any collision, regardless of the magnitude of impact or the extent of damage to cars, because of her preexisting health issues.  However, even though our client did indeed have preexisting health issues, it would be wrong to confuse her post-accident injuries with her preexisting issues.  Our client was injured in this accident above and beyond her preexisting pain.  The injuries she sustained in this rear-end collision were legitimate and serious.

Our client’s medical records and history made it amply clear that the auto accident aggravated her preexisting conditions and increased the pain and suffering that she experienced.  We presented these medical records to the insurance provider as well testimonies from our client’s doctors.  These medical experts confirmed that the accident should be considered the direct cause of our client’s post-collision pain and that it had negatively impacted her preexisting conditions.  Armed with this evidence in support of our case, and after several rounds of negotiation, we were able to get a favorable and fair settlement offer for our client.  Her injuries were not simply preexisting conditions and they were caused by the reckless driver who hit the vehicle in which our client was riding.

Successful Car Accident Injury Settlement After Trial

A Central Oregonian woman was seated in her car and waiting at a stop sign just outside of Sisters, Oregon, when an oncoming vehicle slid out of control and collided with her. This second driver had been traveling too fast to make a right-hand turn at the intersection where the first driver sat, and she lost control of her vehicle on the slick winter roads. The first car was struck on the driver’s side with significant force: the side airbag deployed and the sedan sustained just under $10,000 in property damage. In addition to this property damage, the driver felt sharp and immediate pain along her spine and in her shoulders.

The second driver was initially cited for careless driving and she eventually admitted liability. This at-fault driver’s insurance provider admitted liability however it refused to present the first driver with a reasonable settlement offer. It was at this point that the first driver approached Dwyer Williams Dretke PC: she needed an experienced Oregon car accident attorney to resolve her insurance claim in this personal injury matter.

Immediately after the accident, our client reported her injuries to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s deputy who was on scene. She made her first visit for treatment the following morning and was diagnosed with cervical, lumbar, and shoulder strains. Her physician advised her to begin immediate physical therapy to treat these accident-related injuries, and our client followed this suggestion. Based on the explicit recommendation of her health care provider, she spent approximately four months in physical therapy. She returned to her health care provider several months after the cessation of physical therapy with continued neck and shoulder pain and completed a final four physical therapy session to treat these injuries. The medical bills that our client incurred were staggering, and the at-fault driver’s insurance provider initially refused to cover them.

Dwyer Williams Dretke PC first filed a complaint for our client and attempted to resolve this matter through mediation. At mediation, the at-fault driver disagreed with the independent mediator’s advice and still would not provide out client with a reasonable settlement offer, so we took our client’s case to trial. We won at trial and obtained a jury award that covered the majority of our client’s medical bills as well as a substantial award for pain and suffering commensurate with the injuries that our client has sustained. Our client was as happy with this settlement award as she was with her choice of Dwyer Williams Dretke PC as counsel in this car accident injury claim.