My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Colorado
Other person 100% at fault
My car totaled with 26k + damage
Medical bills at 18k at this point
Rental car $800
Lost wages=none (I'm a student)
Did not go to ER in ambulance but when we left the accident scene, my right arm was going numb so we went straight to ER. Xrays done and Dr. said I had swelling in the cervical area and said swelling was pinching nerve. Told to follow up with family care.
Saw family care 2 days later and she ordered MRI due to numbness. MRI showed:
1-Arthritis 2. Moderate Stenosis in cervical area 3. Bulging discs at C 5, 6, 7
Was not able to pursue any form of therapy until cleared by spine specialist.
Took 6 weeks to start any treatment. PT then 3x per week for 3 months, 2x per week for an additional 3 months. Acupuncture 1-2 x per week. Pain is better but activity can set it off. Example, I vacuumed house yesterday and ended up taking meds last night due to neck pain and the increased numbness and tingling in arm.
It is now suggested I look at steroid injection and talk is of a possible surgery to relieve pressure on nerve. I want to avoid both if at all possible.
My big question is does this case require an attorney... to be very honest, with what I've read and heard, I'm very hesitant because I do not want to have to jump through hoops to increase a claim. I just want this done and over with. Is it not a real possibility to have an adjuster just be fair? Everyone says get an attorney.. but everyone seems to be focused on money, more money... yes I think I should get money for this. I've been miserable with my arm for months. I am a Oriental medicine student and I see my own patients and it is VERY hard to insert needles into my patients when my arm goes numb and tingly and I have to adjust constantly to relive it.
From what I've read I don't think this is any big number case so it seems to me that going from a 25k settlement to a 35k settlement (if I were even to get that!) with an attorney doesn't net me anything in the long run except jumping through an attorneys hoops. What is the point? From my lack of knowledge viewpoint, I think of myself as a strong person and I am more than capable of telling an insurance rep exactly what I've dealt with and what it has done to me--I don't need an attorney to speak for me. Is it the knowledge of what a claim similar to mine worth the reason for an attorney?? I realize this is a post based on ignorance which is exactly why I am writing... to hear from those with knowledge and expertise... please no rude answers--I am not trying to offend anyone. I'm just a person trying to figure out what to do. I just want to be fair.. I don't want myself screwed and I don't want any attorney pushing, pushing, pushing for a settlement that isn't really fair either. Sigh....
I would also add that my partner is an orthopedic surgeon and I've always been in the medical field. I'm very knowledgeable on medical issues. I can argue things like:
A-the arthritis didn't come from the accident.. no but I'm 42 and 98% of people over age 50 have arthritis and me having arthritis in my cervical and thoracic region would be very normal.
B-there is no way of knowing about the stenosis and whether it was there prior or not... more likely to have been there at least to some degree prior to accident but not a done deal
C--I have absolutely never, not a day in my life complained or had neck/back pain. I was 100% asymptomatic prior to this accident.