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Saturday, April 13, 2013

MORE car insurance can mean LESS money for the injured after subrogation?!

I created the following narrative for a lawyer I asked to review my financial situation. This material is a mashup of clipped comments I have made online describing various aspects of my financial situation after a car hit me, and caused a brain injury. I am not capable of putting comments like these together all at once, but I am able to combine clippings from previous writing into an intelligible narrative. All comments on this narrative can be supported with external documentation.

After maintaining an A+ average throughout a rigorous master's degree program, a car hit me while I was out bicycling for exercise, trying to be in my best physical shape to match my intellectual accomplishments. After the accident, I flunked the last class of the program, twice. Since I flunked, I lost my Federal loan money that paid for the class. Now I cannot access my records at all, until I pay for both times I flunked, plus once again if I ever recover enough to retake the class.

So now, unable to work, and without the degree, or even documentation of the work, I am being asked to repay the school loan. I have been turned down for disability three times now. I get letters that say there must be SOMETHING I can do. Sure, I can do some things, but not consistently. Work requires more than the ability to do a job. It also takes being somewhat predictable as to when I can work, and for how long at a time. I have periods of time, never more than two hours, when I can work, but then I "crash," and sleep the rest of the day. Some weeks I have no productive time at all, and just exist in a fog trying to recall what I was trying to recall. Other days, like today, I can think clearly for a while, but as I said, never more than a couple of hours at a time. That level of ability does not accomplish supporting a family of five. It may not even support me alone. It certainly won't support repaying thousands of dollars in school loans.

I have researched other people who have overcome similar difficulty. On average, it takes ten years for a person with my degree of difficulty to become self-supporting. By that time, I would have reached retirement age. Due to my wife’s disability, and being rejected for disability benefits in 1998, when she had worked recently enough to have qualified, our family not only endured the hardship of having only one income, but we did it while having to endure huge medical debts with inadequate group health insurance that excluded her health condition, AND we endured greatly increased non-medical living expenses that her disability caused us to incur.

I had expected my late fifties and early sixties to be the period of time when I would be able to recover from that long-term financial hardship, and focus on saving for retirement, after having sent my kids to college. Instead, my children are supporting me, and their own lives are on hold. In five generations, they will be the first in our family NOT to have college degrees, due to this financial hardship that was caused by a person who subsequently went to jail for six months, for driving under the influence of marijuana.

After failing refusing to pay for neuropsychological testing that could have resulted in early steroidal treatment that could have limited the death of many irreplaceable neurons, my car insurance is offering me a $25,000 settlement, after first taking out $19,000 that they paid for the health care they DID choose to pay for. Many of those expenses they DID cover might never have been necessary had they paid for the initial neuropsychological testing they refused to cover. There is STILL adequate coverage remaining under the policy to have paid for that neuropsychological testing, which is STILL necessary, but I won’t be able to have it done until I settle with the car insurance, so that I can tell my health insurance that there is no remaining car insurance to pay for the testing.

I paid EXTRA for $25,000 medical coverage so I would not be in this kind of predicament. Had I NOT chosen to buy extra coverage, my coverage would have run out sooner, The testing that needed to be done could have been paid for by my health insurance, I could have avoided needing all the additional testing that had to be charged to my insurance, and there would not have been such a large amount of money taken out of liability coverage, which was inadequate from the beginning, to cover all of my losses.

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I am developing a prototype resources website at Please review my plans and make suggestions.

I welcome comments that can help make this site more helpful to those experiencing similar difficulties, or for those friends, family, and professionals who take care of bicycle injury / brain trauma.victims.

Since I want this site to be helpful to victims, I reserve the right to edit comments if they seem to conflict with that goal.

Helpful comments would include corrections of false information, references to local services that relate to my posts, or comments that help me to keep spelling, grammar, and word-choices appropriate and correct. As a brain injury victim, I depend on others to insure accuracy and to spot the kinds of errors that I may not recognize. Please feel welcome to contribute your expertise to make this site effective!