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Old 11.07.2009, 22:22
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legal advice for accident residuals, not at fault

Hoi Zame,

just a quick blurb asking for some advice... I'll just get to the point.

I was hit by a car several years ago, while riding the bike. I was not official Swiss employee at the time, but covered by a strong company insurance from the US. To make things simple I used a lawyer to manage the communications / rights / health issues.

Broke the clavicle, damage to a finger and some issues with the knee (lesser to the hip). After 4 years of physio, its concluded I'll just have to suffer... main problem is about the clavicle. They should have set it, but instead they didn't it... and i'm left with a shoulder that hurts to sleep on, big ski tours... hurt... big bike tours... hurt. driving the car for a few hours... hurt.... always some sort of tingle, pain going on.

SO getting to my question, the insurance from the car driver is pushing that we close the case. They want to settle for 3000chf for pain / suffering... They actually made the statement they believe my pain is not from the accident anymore....

My lawyer says the settlement is not bad for pain / suffering. He'll ask for a sum to cover medical costs, like the chiropractor, the sleeping pills sometimes I ask for because I can't sleep and so on.

What should I do?

What can I do?

My lawyer is the president of a local health insurance provider... seems that this could be a catch 22 for them?

I'm not an American, and don't think along their ways (no jab made here). I do however have a sense for what is fair and not fair. 3000chf plus some medical expenses is not fair in my eyes. Thats about half months wages in perspective.

Forever... is a long time. A bit longer than half a month.

I'm a big outdoors person - I was born and raised in the mtns, its why I'm happy to live in switzerland for work. Its not a big change in my life style, but its a painful addition to what I do. When I drive for a few hours, it hurts... It doesn't go away. The doctors say they don't think much is wrong... and they can't do anything. I made some physio treatment ( similar as active release technique as in Canada) and they are able to explain the physical problem - its too late to manipulate the bone, its a big calcium blob that constrains the throughput of the shoulder.

Ok so I wrote a bit more than I implied.

any advice is heartfully appreciated!

greets from SG
Nelson
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Old 12.07.2009, 10:52
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Re: legal advice for accident residuals, not at fault

I think you need to build a case based on medical evidence. That is what a court would decide upon.

Ideally you need to get a letter from a specialist stating that, in their opinion, your condition is due to the accident and that you are suffering pain and some disability as a result. They should also give their opinion as to whether the condition is likely to change in the furure. The higher the ranking of the specialist the better.

Faced with this the insurance company would either have to accept it or obtain a different opinion from another specialist of at least equal ranking, or higher.

Good luck !
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Old 12.07.2009, 15:33
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Re: legal advice for accident residuals, not at fault

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I was hit by a car several years ago, while riding the bike. I was not official Swiss employee at the time, but covered by a strong company insurance from the US. To make things simple I used a lawyer to .....

Forever... is a long time. A bit longer than half a month.
Get over it man!
How long do you intend to make them pay?
Don't make them wish they had done a better job running you over.
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Old 12.07.2009, 15:40
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Re: legal advice for accident residuals, not at fault

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Get over it man!
How long do you intend to make them pay?
Don't make them wish they had done a better job running you over.
nice first post.....
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Old 12.07.2009, 15:54
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Re: legal advice for accident residuals, not at fault

Come on, it was years ago!
How long does he want them to pay?
Forgive and forget.
Move on.
Lance has been knocked off his bike countless times and still wins the tour.
Do you think he is still angry at that silly chick who stuck out her handbag as he was grinding up the hill a few years back?
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Old 12.07.2009, 17:17
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Re: legal advice for accident residuals, not at fault

In Switzerland, courts award small sums for "emotional damages" for example a few years ago a hospital amputated the wrong leg and the patient received CHF 6000 for emotional damages BUT then the real money is indeed in the medical bills compensation. This will be calculated for the "rest of your life" so for example if you go to the chiro once a week which costs 150.- / week which is 7800.- per year and factor that up for say 20 years. To get this you will need some form of statement ("Gutachten") from a Doctor to attest that your pain and need for the treatments is a direct result of the accident inorder to get money for future treatment.

You should also claim for the costs incurred, legal fees, medical bills and loss of earnings if the accident made you unable to work for a period of time.

Hope that helps
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Old 12.07.2009, 17:29
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Re: legal advice for accident residuals, not at fault

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Get over it man!
How long do you intend to make them pay?
Don't make them wish they had done a better job running you over.
And you wonder why you have no friends.
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Old 12.07.2009, 18:25
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Re: legal advice for accident residuals, not at fault

Do not settle for 3000 sfr. This is an amount that the insurance company will pay to you AND the lawyer will probably be compensated if I recall correctly 6000sfr to settle the claim. This is a standard amount. I know because my wife was in the exact same position. Let the lawyer take it to arbitration and you will come out much, much further ahead. They will have to settle for a larger amount AND they will also be liable for any past and future medical bills related to the accident. Again I repeat DO NOT settle for the 3000 sfr as this is the standard amount that the insurance company tries to get away with. It is in the interest of the lawyer to have you settle the case as it would be the easiest way for hime to collect his share..
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Old 12.07.2009, 19:16
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Re: legal advice for accident residuals, not at fault

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Do not settle for 3000 sfr. This is an amount that the insurance company will pay to you AND the lawyer will probably be compensated if I recall correctly 6000sfr to settle the claim. This is a standard amount. I know because my wife was in the exact same position. Let the lawyer take it to arbitration and you will come out much, much further ahead. They will have to settle for a larger amount AND they will also be liable for any past and future medical bills related to the accident. Again I repeat DO NOT settle for the 3000 sfr as this is the standard amount that the insurance company tries to get away with. It is in the interest of the lawyer to have you settle the case as it would be the easiest way for hime to collect his share..
Get another lawyer.
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Old 14.07.2009, 23:47
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Re: legal advice for accident residuals, not at fault

Thanks for the suggestions.

Even Grumplstilskin... made me laugh reading those comments... you sound like my mom. If you read a bit more or thought a bit more about what I was asking... do you take the first offer from the table and is there something strange with my lawyer being the president of a local health insurance company.

For sure all the bills have been taken care of - I have no complaints with that side of the situation.

For sure there are the medical records, cat scans, physio reports... everything is there to explain how things are post.

For sure its a new experience which I was asking for some advice about. If I was in Mexico, I know what to do. If I was in the US... I know what to do... even in Austria, I'd know what to do. Switzerland is different than most first world countries with respect to what most would call the normal way of life. eg, purchasing a house is accomplished differently than what I would consider normal compared to most other countries.

To make a sensible decision, you need to have ample information.


Thanks for your forum time.

cheers
nelson

Last edited by Nelson; 14.07.2009 at 23:58.
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