There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark



Friday, June 27, 2008

Crash and burn.....



While Sophie was dying at the vet’s office, Steve and I were in Coeur d Alene at an attorney’s office. How special. This meeting had been set for a long, long time. We had dropped Sophie off thinking she would be all fixed up with antibiotics for her bladder infection and that maybe there was going to be one fair day where justice was concerned in the State of Idaho. Were we ever wrong.

Now that the ink is dried on the death sentence for our law suit against Stat* Fa*m Insurance, I can talk about the mess from the accident that almost killed Steve twice in 2005. I won’t drag this out; well, maybe I will, I just really need to rant a bit. I apologize.

Short version: We were hit by a very elderly man who crossed the center line and hit us in an off set front end crash. Steve thought he was dying and I thought he was dead. He wasn’t. Later on the same day after we were both released from the ER, Steve almost died again on the steps of our entry way. He collapsed, turned grey and was blubbering. He was taken by Paramedics back to the ER to be admitted for a zillion tests. The results; he had broken hardware in his hip replacement, cuts and bruises everywhere, a broken ankle, and head trauma. He was a mess.

I had medical issues too, but next to Steve’s misery I had a boo-boo.

Stat* Fa*m refused to take responsibility/liability for the accident by saying that this elderly man who was the mayor of a neighboring small community, had filed a grass burning law suit because of his lung condition, and didn’t drive but used a motorized cart to get around had experienced an unexpected medical emergency event and therefore was not responsible. Yes, that’s what they said. This is the LAW in Idaho that insurance companies can hide behind to not pay a red, blue or green cent when their Good Neighbor insured person crashes into someone and really screws with their life.

So, for 3 years we have paid for this man’s actions in the form of every single medical bill and cost associated with the crash that was not covered by our medical insurance….and the medical insurance wanted to be paid back should there be a settlement…..as they should. We paid deductibles, co-pays, not covered procedures, canes, crutches, pills blah, blah, blah.

In June of 2006 Steve had to have his hip replaced for the 4th time thanks to the accident. He had stretched out the surgery date as long as he could so we could financially get in a better position, but he was in miserable pain and felt that his hip had reached the point of being unreliable. We took out a second mortgage on our home to pay off bills and have some $$$ to get us through the period of time he would be off. He used all of his sick time and vacation time to cover our basic living expenses, but eventually that pay ran out as did the mortgage money so I cashed in all of the little retirement funds that I had accumulated over the years from the 4 jobs I had ever held. Sucked.

Of course we had hired an attorney when we realized that Stat* Fa*m was not going to budge. He told us to expect the sun and the moon and the stars for a settlement, but we knew we were going to get diddily…..in dollars that equals nothing. So, time marched on, Stat* Fa*m’s a$$hole attorney took our depositions in December of ’07 and kept stalling so our attorney was never able to take the driver’s deposition. Gee whiz, guess why….the driver was terminally ill and died. So, the judge in the trial that was set for this September ordered a mediation/settlement hearing and that’s where we were Monday.

What a joke. What wasted time. What a bunch of unprofessional, lying, bottom feeders work for Stat* Fa*m. They had paid back in arbitration Farmer’$ (who is our carrier) for the med pay amounts and loss of our car. When all was said and done Stat* Fa*m WANTED TO DEDUCT FROM THE CRAP AMOUNT OF MONEY WE WILL GET, THAT AMOUNT PAID TO FARMER’$ AT FULL COST WHEN THEY PAID IT TO FARMER’$ AT A 50% AMOUNT. See? A$$HOLE$.

Will we get enough money to pay off the second mortgage? No. Will we get enough to cover the loss of my retirement funds? No. Will our insurance be reimbursed? Yes, at a 45 % payback. Will the medical bills we had to pay out of pocket be covered? Of course not. Our attorney gets his 33%, the mediators get their cut, the few costs the attorney is out of pocket like filing fees will be paid, and we will get 4 LOW figures all because a near 80 year old, terminally ill man got behind the wheel of a car because his wife was busy at work and couldn’t run the errand that was so important.

These are the words that stick in my mind: “Well, you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Really? Where else were we supposed to be? Were we not allowed on the road that day and missed the memo? Should we have known in some clairvoyant way that he was going to be driving that day? Did we not have the same road rights as he had?

Then there are these statements from the Stat* Fa*m mediator: We will subpoena every medical record ever put to paper to prove your hip was already unstable. We will have the widow sitting at our table and we guarantee she will cry. We will find all of your financial records and prove you were in terrible financial shape before the accident. You are lucky Stat* Fa*m is even willing to be here today.

And from the mediator that we paid to have on our side: “They will get every hick and conservative in Bonner County on the jury. They will discount your surgeon saying that the hip failed because of the accident with as many paid experts as it takes. This is Idaho not California and justice is different. You will never be an Idahoan, you will always be Californians and everyone knows how the locals feel about your kind.” He was being nice.

So Stat* Fa*m wore us down to a nub and we signed on the dotted line because to do anything else would have probably really killed us. My first instinct was to write the most burning letters to everyone I could think of that had even a passing involvement in our case. But in the end I think I will start letter writing to my government representatives and see what I can do to change this loophole law and somehow get the insurance industry by the short hairs.
I bet you didn’t know I could talk like that did you? You should have heard what I said to the Stat* Fa*m mediator, lawyer, adjuster and our mediator too. I still haven’t talked to our attorney but I bet the little hairs inside his ears are fried already.
PS, the satellite guy will be here the 3rd. HughesNet is next on my list. I am so sick and tired of paying for services that we never seem to get, calling India and talking to Jack or Gary after being on hold for 44 minutes and being told we will probably have to pay AGAIN to fix the stupid satellite if something other than mechanical failure is the cause, and I am most tired of starting this at almost noon and waiting and waiting for two pictures to load and then spell check and then publishing and not being able to access bloglines or blogs any other way because I am using a clunker of a computer. Do I feel better now? No.

17 comments:

Jennie said...

Unbelievable. You weren't in the wrong place at the wrong time, the elderly driver was. Unbelievable!! I'm so sorry you have to go through this.

Mom said...

That is all just very wrong and extremely not fair. Write those letters to everyone. You should be mad. I wish there some way to make any of it better. I'm sorry.

kenju said...

Oh, Rosemary, what an ordeal! I am so sorry to hear it, and I hope that someday you can get some help for the injustice of it all. Have you called your local TV people who take care of problems? They may not be able to solve it, but they can sure give the ins. co some bad publicity!

CRAIG & DIANE said...

I wish there was something I could say or do to help with the situation, but all I can say is I'm sorry for the pain and hurt you have been through. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Chandler said...

That's ridiculous. It makes me so pissed off just to hear that they could do that. I'm just... astounded. Anyway, I miss you and I'm really sorry that all that happened :-(
Chandler

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Insurance companies have a special place in Hell. I know we've been burned by one, but the one you speak of practically fell over themselves to help me when one of their drivers rear-ended my van and I was 33 weeks along in a high risk pregnancy (we were all fine, thank goodness - it was barely more than a tap). I'm sorry for all the aggravation and expense you all have had to endure.

jan said...

What an awful set of circumstances you have had to go through. I got angrier and angrier as I read this. I would let everyone know how you were treated. This is not the function of insurance companies.

Joan said...

Geez...what a horrible situation you and Steve have had to slog your way through. Is it any wonder why insurance companies have the awful reputations they so richly deserve?!?! I'm sending you lots and lots of {{hugs}} to help you get through this mess.

Middle Child said...

"Grab a breadstick" no more like a big stick to hit them bastards with . You do what you have to do. When I read the abve stuff i felt like getting out my cudgel and sword and guns - and thwacking those bastards in ther kneecaps....wish i could for you - the story is shit - they are shot and you and your Steve suffer because of all this shit gaaarrrgh...wish I didn't see red on this sort of stuff

Middle Child said...

my bloody spelling again... what i meant was "they are shit" bugger me but I hit the wrong keys too often

jp said...

First of all, I always knew you could talk like that.

I have heard some horrible stories of lawyers and insurance agencies, but this takes it all.

My guess is that this widow has some money, so let's all go sit in her front yard until she coughs it up.

cs said...

Dear dear Ro: I had to share this with HHM...I read your awful crap out loud to him and his mouth fell open and he shook his head. This state, the land of I-don't-know, has been beautiful in some ways and downright frightening in others. Even in Washington I have seen some horrible situations occur and the victims keep on losing and getting hurt! PLease know that we are praying for you both and will add you to our church prayer chain. I am so sorry northern neighbor...when can we get together? How about the 9th or 10th of July? We can meet at the Pie house...my treat!

many blessings, I am glad you are alive...

cs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cazzie!!! said...

Jebus! how damned infuriating! As if the insurance company don't make enough money to be able to cover your expenses and make a human's life actually bearable by giving him the surgery he needs. Makes you sick...bloody hell, sorry to swear, it is just how I feel. I cannot imagine how you feel in all of this...just one day at a time, and drink lots of cups of cammomile tea..there you go.

madretz said...

Yea, I got more and more pissed off as I read, too. And it takes a lot to piss me off. But insurance crap like this easily sends me over the edge, especially when it's someone I know!!!

Ex-Shammickite said...

Well.... I think everything that could be said has already... by your previous readers. I can't belive that you have been treated so unfairly, it's really horrible. Can you write to your state representative, or the newspaper, or those TV people who go after wrong judgements?
And Rosie.... I'm really glad you're not mad at ME.... you are awesome when you get your temper up!!!

more cowbell said...

OMFG, that's awful. Bastards!! It just floors me that people can get away with that shit, the insurance guys and the lawyers in $1000 suits line their pockets some more, and the John/Jane Q. Public gets screwed with the stick of justice.

Does your state have an Insurance Commissioner? I called them when things got hinky when that bastard totalled my CRV 2 years ago this month -- they fixed the problem and fired the wench who wanted to rip me off. Long story, but the Insurance Commissioner apparently wants to hear from consumers when insurance companies are being thieves.

Damn, Rosemary. I feel for you guys. That's truly just awful.