TRIGGER WARNING : INJURY DETAILS
Figured this would be a good a place as any to get some information. In late 2017, I recently moved to a new city in California to be closer to my girlfriend who received a job in said city. After moving, and living in town for a week, I was hired at a local Hotel, due to having an extensive background in Hospitality, and was told to start the next week. The same night I was hired, I was involved in a serious car accident. The other driver lost control going 55/60 in a 35, going around a winding turn, overcorrected, came into the other lane and fishtailed our car, totaling it. I was the passenger in the front seat of our vehicle, my girlfriend being the driver, not severely injured (thank goodness, already settled, finished and moved on ).
I, on the other hand, unfortunately suffered a non displaced fracture of my Coccyx, and a Traumatic closed fracture of my Sacrum. Now, the damage to my car was so severe, that the EMT had to classify the car crash as "traumatic", something about the indent of the frame being bend in more than 11 inches? I don't quite remember the details, anyways, because of this, EMT's were forced to transport me to 60 miles away to a different city, because the hospital in the city I live does not have a Trauma Unit. 60 miles on potholed country road, flat on my broken back, and ass. No amount of Morphine could make me forget that hour, believe me.
Let's fast forward. Sorry if I skip around, lot's to cover! Since the car accident happened the day I was hired, that made working my new job very difficult. Long story short, I lost that job without even working my first day. That's just the start! Let's move ahead. Around a 40 days bed rest. Several months of Physical Therapy. Bladder problems. Pain Urinating/Pooping. Urologist. Cystoscopy reveals damage and new scarring of my bladder. Blood in urine for several weeks after procedure. Blood in Urine ceases. Resume sexual activity after a month of healing. Blood in semen. Fun. Further healing needed. Pain during defecation subsides eventually. Decide against further surgical procedure to test Bladder nerve function.
Fast forward more. Well into 2018, still not working, due to new numbness and pain radiating down into my left leg. Legs behaving strangely, losing strength. Still have not closed medical treatment, so see doctor again. Sent to Neurologist. Neurologist confirms nerve damage in S1 L5, as well as Lumbosacral Radiculopathy. Neurologist gives me an option of back surgery. I ask for Chiro. He agrees. Insurance approves Chiro twice a month. It helps. 3 more months of Chiro and my own personal workouts, and pain is starting to become somewhat managed. (I would take this chance to point out during this entire time I never allowed the doctor to prescribe me pain medication. The family I moved from was addicted to drugs.)
Now, the time has come to close out, and settle. I live in California, and I have Medi-Cal insurance, as I was unemployed during my initial move, and signed up to cover myself while I was unemployed – (could you imagine if this happened to me without health insurance, my god) – which will effect the pricing of my bills due to their unique negotiating. I basically just want to make sure that I can continue to live my life after this accident. It's becoming pretty clear that my level of physicality has been significantly decreased. My employment in hospitality has always been based around my size, and strength, which I would say I am only at about 65% at best. That's nothing to say about the sheer anxiety I feel around vehicles now, let alone angry or unsafe drivers, and let's not even talk about the nightmares. I am just very curious what to keep in mind when their adjuster offers a settlement. The other driver was completely and admittedly at fault.
Thank God, through all this my girlfriend has stuck with me, and has been keeping me afloat during this time, she saw me at my lowest, struggling to regain my strength just to walk again, and I just want to make sure I can do right by her. I would like to make sure I have enough money to cover all the bills that my insurance will want me to back pay after my settlement, but I am not entirely sure how to calculate my "pain and suffering". There is just so much over the past year and half.. What do I include? We can't exactly afford to get an attorney, we've spoken to a few, and most seem disingenuous unfortunately, so I would prefer not to involve one if I can avoid it. My only problem is, the claims adjuster has been a little shady to me throughout this process, trying to get me to settle early, and without finish treatment. I don't like the feeling that everyone is taking advantage of me while I am hurt. Now that it's over, I just want to make sure I get treated fairly.
I humbly ask Reddit for it's expertise, and advice. Thank you.