The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: medial meniscus mess on July 31, 2003, 11:48:53 PM

Title: a legal question
Post by: medial meniscus mess on July 31, 2003, 11:48:53 PM
I am wondering if this site is the appropriate place to discuss legal aspects of knee injuries.  I was hit by a car a few months ago and am about to file a personal injury claim with the driver's insurance company (which has acknowledged the driver was at fault) but don't know how much is a reasonable amount to ask for.  If this isn't the place to seek such information, can anybody suggest a web site that is?
Title: Re: a legal question
Post by: Heather M. on August 01, 2003, 12:25:38 AM
I would talk to several orthopedic surgeons and get documentation of both the injury and the long-term impact.  There is usually a settlement for pain and suffering, and additional funds if you are going to be impaired in the future.  The key is to understand FULLY what the future impact of your injuries is going to be--is this a situation where you're looking at multiple surgeries and a lot of rehab?  Are there things you LOVE doing that you will never be able to again?  Or do the doctors expect a full recovery after some rehab?

I was in a car accident at age 17.  I was a competitive swimmer going to college on a scholarship (I hoped) and due to the accident I ended up in cardiac intensive care with a broken collarbone, sternum, and cardiac injuries.  It took over a year to recover, and I was never able to swim again.  I've got ongoing shoulder issues that can be traced to the accident, but we settled and I can't go back for more $ for treatment.  

The lesson to me was to make sure everything was diagnosed and to LEAVE A CLAUSE for future litigation if something can be traced to your accident.  You usually have 2 years (in the US) from the time of injury, because it can literally take that long for some chronic problems to manifest themselves.  With my shoulder, it took four years to show up, but that's because all my regular activities were impacted for a long time by the accident.  

Your personal injury attorney should have the best idea on settlement amounts based on the findings of your doctors.  Be sure to see your own doctor, not just one the lawyer suggests.  And be wary of a lawyer who is going to 'take the guy to the cleaners.'  I had a lawyer in a potential medical mal-practice case where the surgeon nearly killed me by severing an artery (but no long-term damage was done) be very honest with me.  He said that the trial would take two years and his costs would be about comparable to the average settlement.  I really was grateful for his honesty.

Good luck.  Just be informed about both knee issues and your legal rights, and you should do fine.

Title: Re: a legal question
Post by: medial meniscus mess on August 01, 2003, 12:47:52 AM
Heather -

Thanks for your thoughtful response!