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How often have you watched those TV ads for Denver personal injury attorneys with victims claiming to have gotten millions, and thought, “Wow! I’d love to have that kind of cash!” Maybe in the back of your mind, you think, “A car crash could really set me up!” Well, here’s the ugly secret behind those giant cash payouts: You have to sustain serious injuries to get that kind of money. And if you do, most of it is going to medical bills.
The other thing I hear a lot from car crash victims is, “It’s not about the money. I want justice.” OK, yes, I want justice for my clients, too. But the truth is: victims NEED the money. Their entire lives have been destroyed. It’s not enough for the other driver to admit fault (which some might see as “justice”). These victims need money.
Literally, NO ONE would trade their mental and physical health for a million dollars, not when you know what car and motorcycle crash victims go through. Let me share some examples of people for whom I got huge settlements. These people would give anything to go back to the days before their crash. They would gladly give up the millions to live pain-free again.
Don was riding his Harley, going the speed limit of 45 miles per hour, when a car turned left in front of him. Don had no chance to brake and hit the car at full speed. We got Don over $2 million. Wow, great right?! That’s a lot of money! Wrong. He was tossed 40 feet in the air. He had five surgeries, including one to rebuild his face. Don continues to live in pain, years later. He still needs to draw off of his settlement for ongoing care and he cannot work. Don is not living on a beach sipping margs. He’s happy we got him the money he was owed, but he’d gladly go back to a pain-free life.
Reid was riding his motorcycle when a driver hit him so hard that his kneecap came completely off, instantly, and he ended up losing his leg. He was in a coma for two weeks. We got him a settlement of $1.5 million, which more than covered his medical expenses. But Reid will face nerve damage and chronic pain for the rest of his life.
Bridgette was a passenger in a car that rolled off of I-80. She was ejected and received life-threatening injuries. We were able to get a settlement of $1.4 million so that she could pay her bills, receive ongoing medical treatment, and get back to her regular life as best she could.
And there are so many more! Ramon lost his arm. Dennis lost his leg. These victims needed millions for their ongoing care and to put their lives back together.
Finding the Money Aint Easy
Now, here’s why you can’t trust the so-called “TV attorneys” to negotiate the max settlement you are owed: it is a lot of work and it takes a long time. Usually, the big “personal injury mills” can’t afford to give a case the time it’s due.
For example, consider Bridgette’s story: She hired us and we tracked down all the possible insurance policies that might cover her injuries. We quickly made claims against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier (American Family) and against Bridgette’s own underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) carrier. Additionally, we hired several experts to help Bridgette establish her harms and losses. These experts included a vocational rehabilitation expert, a neurologist, and an economist. We then used the experts’ reports against the various insurance companies, and we were able to secure the maximum policy limits amounting to $1,450,000 from all the responsible insurance companies.
But we didn’t stop there. We also made Bridgette’s health insurance company waive their right to subrogation, meaning Bridgette got to keep approximately $600,000 that the health insurance company paid for her medical bills.
Remember Reid’s story? Reid hired the O’Sullivan Law Firm and we discovered that the 80-year-old man who hit him had $1.5 million in umbrella coverage. Just four months later, we had secured a settlement for Reid. But we didn’t stop helping Reid at that time. Reid still had $700,000 in Medicaid bills, so we negotiated those bills down to $65,000.
It IS About the Money
It can sound crass to be so blunt, but personal injury cases are all about the money. Because victims need money to heal. Apologies are nice, but they won’t pay the bills.
Make sure you hire a personal injury attorney who is paying attention to more than a swift settlement. Your attorney needs to think about all the care you may need for the rest of your life.