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I am from the United States of America and I have a gripe about an unfortunate situation. I've been riding motorcycles for more than 13 years and about 3 months ago I involved in my first accident ever. As it happens I was not the one at fault. I had insurance on the bike and the party at fault had insurance on their car. I have good medical insurance coverage and this gripe is all about the problems with insurance, costs and basically the physical and financial mess I have been left in through no fault of my own.
Upon impact my leg was badly broken, Tibula and Fibula were shattered and I spent three very painful days in the hospital. It's been more than 3 months of recovery and I'm still not able to return to work. After the accident I hired a lawyer to handle the red tape so I could focus on healing and not writing letters or making phone calls etc. My medical bills from just the hospital stay were around 65,000 USD plus 4 follow ups with x-rays at each, an ambulance bill and surgery bill; I'm estimating the medical bill for a broken leg to be around 80,000 USD.
As I'm the proud new owner of a metal rod and six bolts in my leg and learning to walk again, I look to my lawyer to see how things are going. My bike, which was the newest in my stable, a 13,000 USD Suzuki that I had put nearly 4,000 USD into with papers to prove it, was the first thing to be settled. The guy who hit me did it so hard that it broke the frame of the bike. I was given only 11,000 USD for this and that was AFTER the lawyer fought with them for 6 weeks! So I've lost money there and I'm still waiting on the at fault party's insurance to pay off the remaining balance of the original loan (around 5,000 USD), and ill get the difference to put toward a new bike. I thought that this was an OK result, although considering it wasn't my fault I would have rather lost NO money at all. Add to that the fact that it was a rare bike which I can't just go out and replace it easily.
Now onto the second part of the settlement, loss of work, pain and suffering, medical bills etc. Up until this point my health insurance had been doing their job and paying my medical bills (minus my deductible of 1,000 USD which I paid out of my own pocket). I am very lucky in that I have worked for an employer for seven years and they have a short term disability program that I have been paying into. So once the paper work was sorted I got 60% of my income whilst I was recovering. This was great, but 60% doesn't cover the bills and over the next few months I managed to get into a small amount of debt as I was unable to work. The settlement came through and the most I could get was 100,000 USD from their insurance company and this is precisely the point of this gripe.
Basically this leaves me with nothing...
The lawyer takes 25% of this which is fair because he did a lot for me and a ton of paperwork. But that leaves me with 75,000 USD and before I get any money my health insurance company gets first grabs on it to get their money back first!! Basically this leaves me with nothing, in fact it leaves me with less than nothing because I still have to come up with my medical deductible, plus all the medical stuff I've yet to get bills for such as the follow-ups, physical therapy, x-rays, meds etc., NOT to mention the debt I've gotten into just living on 60% of my usual income!
All parties had insurance, max coverage available, and I still get screwed! I have more than 10,000 USD in bills to still deal with, I have lost my favorite motorcycle and have no where near enough money to replace. In fact the money I do get back for the bike will have to go towards paying more medical bills. Let's not forget the leg which is very painful and Ill probably suffer with it for many years to come. This is all thanks to a guy who wasn't paying attention. He walked away fine, maybe his premiums will increase a little bit, but the finacial loss to me and FOUR months of my life are apparently worth NOTHING. In fact if I had hurt myself on the bike with no other parties involved I would have probably fared better than being hit by someone with full auto insurance coverage. HOW DOES THAT WORK?
I'm happy to be alive, no doubt about that, but I am disappointed in how the system works and think that it's complete BS!