Don Evenson defies the odds by surviving a horrific motorcycle accident. He died twice in the ICU in 2015.
“There is no reason I should be alive,” he says. And yet, he is. Now he has a story to tell… and advice to share.
Don was riding his Harley when a car driver “made a suicide turn” across his lane of traffic. The driver was in the left-turn lane of oncoming traffic and pulled out in front of Don.
“I hit him going 45 miles per hour,” remembers Don, who says that’s the last thing he remembers. Witnesses at the scene and police reports state that Don was tossed 40 feet and he was hit so hard that his boots were still on his bike – the impact literally knocked him out of his shoes.
When Don finally left the hospital, his medical bills exceeded a million dollars.
Don spent the next 38 days in the hospital fighting for his life with his fiancée, Christine, by his side. The list of his injuries is sobering:
- Broke every bone in his face (shattered his nose, knocked out all of his teeth, destroyed both of his orbital sockets and broke his jaw)
- Fractured his skull in multiple areas
- Broke his pelvis
- Shattered his left leg
- Broke his right leg
- Broke his ankle
- Broke multiple toes
Don underwent five different surgeries, including one that lasted 14 hours just to rebuild his face.
Doctors told him that he would be in the hospital for six to nine months but after just a few weeks, Don says, “I started to feel like I was in prison. I talked to my doctors, nurses and occupational and physical therapists to find out what they needed to see from me in order to let me leave. Then I worked like crazy to achieve those things. I had to get out of there.”
When he left the hospital only 38 days after his accident, his medical bills exceeded a million dollars. Don only had $100,000 of underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) so he could only hope that the car driver who hit him had better insurance than he did.
Don asked the O’Sullivan Law Firm to represent him. “I had a buddy who Scott represented and he recommended him. As soon as I heard that, I hired him.”
Scott O’Sullivan and Eli Ohlhausen, who is also with the O’Sullivan Law Firm, found that the car driver had outstanding insurance and they were able to get Don a settlement within nine months. The settlement was enough to cover all of Don’s bills, save his home, replace his lost income and assure that he can afford the medical procedures that he’ll require into the future.
Insurance Coverage Matters
“If the guy who hit me didn’t have insurance, I would have lost my house… everything,” says Don, who adds that the stress of the bills was as bad as any injury and pain that he faced during recovery. “I was just lucky that he had better insurance than I did. You don’t want to depend on luck. You cannot have enough insurance. I don’t care how much more it costs per month. You want to max out your coverage no matter what.”
Scott O’Sullivan recommends that everyone buy the absolute maximum that they can afford in underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). At a minimum, everyone should have $250,000 in UIM. (See more information below)
Don says he would recommend the O’Sullivan Law Firm to his friends.
“Scott made the right recommendations on how to deal with my medical bills and he negotiated on my behalf with creditors. He did a stand-up job,” says Don. “I would highly recommend Scott and Eli to anybody involved in an accident. Scott is a good man. Eli is a good man. They kicked ass.”
Don knows a thing or two about personal injury attorneys. He was in a different accident several years ago and hired “one of those national, big brand firms” but it took them three years and when they finally took it to trial, they lost.
The O’Sullivan Law Firm settled Don’s case within nine months, which Don desperately needed since he was trying to hold onto his house and other property.
Don’s Future Care
Today, Don is still in rehab, working with doctors, occupational therapists and physical therapists to continue his healing process. And he still rides his Harleys but says he gets the “heebie-jeebies” sometimes because he doesn’t trust other drivers. He is also in near-constant pain but says “pain is subjective after an extended period of time. Your brain compensates.”
“I have very troublesome pain in my foot, ankle and left leg,” he says. “My face is still numb. They had to rebuild my nose. I lost all my teeth. I no longer have a sense of smell or taste. They had to rebuild my orbital sockets for my eyes, which created other problems.”
The accident also ended Don’s career. He had owned a car dealership but the business closed while he was recovering.
“I won my case, but there is not enough money in the world to make it worth going through what I’ve been through,” he says and he adds again, “You need to get as much insurance as you possibly can.”
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Call your agent today to find out how much you have. They may tell you that you don’t need very much UIM if you have health insurance, but the two types of insurance are very different.
Think of your health insurance deductibles and co-pays. In some severe cases, those expenses alone are enough to stress a person’s finances. Second, health insurance doesn’t cover everything that UIM covers. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance covers:
- Lost wages
- Future medical expenses
- Any damage arising from the accident (with the exception of property damage)
- All economic and noneconomic loss, which includes pain and suffering
Health insurance and UIM insurance are completely different. To learn more about this topic, download this free book:
In a nutshell:
- You should have a minimum of $250,000 in UIM included in your motorcycle insurance.
- If you own your home, add an umbrella policy of $1 million for UIM on your motorcycle.