Our client and his wife were driving home from having dinner at their favorite Eugene, Oregon restaurant. Our client, an elderly man, was in his motorized wheelchair, secured in his specially outfitted van, which his wife was driving. They were just a few miles from their house when a drunk driver swerved across the center line and collided head on into their van. Our client was seriously injured in the car accident. He had been thrown into the back of his wife’s seat and had sustained multiple facial fractures and a neck fracture. Because of his existing medical problems, the attending neurosurgeon ruled that the risks of surgery were too great.
When our client was discharged from the hospital, his condition was too poor for him to return home. He was transferred to a assisted care facility where he passed away two months later due to an illness unrelated to the auto accident. It was an extremely hard few months for his wife, who was emotionally distraught by the events following the accident. In addition to her emotional distress, she was also facing medical bills that amounted to far more money than her car insurance would cover.
Her husband had only carried Medicare Part A, which covered his hospital bills and assisted care facility expenses but none of the co-pays, physician fees, outpatient lab fees, or x-ray fees. Given the amount of medical care her husband had received, this was a substantial amount of money.
Our client’s wife filed a claim with the at-fault drunk driver’s insurance carrier, but they had the nerve to deny it, saying that all of our client’s injuries and other medical problems were the result of his pre-existing condition and had nothing to do with the accident. Knowing this wasn’t the case, she knew she needed help getting the settlement she deserved and contacted us, experienced DUII accident attorneys.
After taking this case, I approached it from several different angles to make sure our client’s wife got the settlement her late husband deserved. First, we opened a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim through the driver’s insurance. That was quickly exhausted, and I then informed Medicare of the situation. I also advised our client’s wife to apply for medical assistance through the Oregon Department of Human Services. Last, but certainly not least, I had several conversations with the drunk driver’s insurance carrier in which I was able to prove to them that his injuries were most definitely related to the automobile accident and not pre-existing conditions.
Ultimately, I was able to negotiate for a policy limits settlement from the drunk driver’s insurance carrier and policy limits from the client’s insurance carrier. Medicare had placed a lien on the settlement for reimbursement of expenses, but their lien covered costs that were unrelated to the accident. I disputed the lien, getting them to reduce it to only accident-related expenses. Our client’s wife was able to cover her late husband’s medical bills, a tremendous weight off her shoulders at a very trying time in her life.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident involving a drunk driver, we can help. No matter how complex the case, our experienced attorneys will get you the settlement you deserve. One of our expert Personal Injury Attorneys will be happy to discuss your Oregon Personal Injury case with you. Call us now: 541-617-0555