So I started the process of suing All-State. I made it clear from the beginning that I didn't want to sue the guy, himself, because I didn't think it would be fair to completely gut a kid (turns out he was only 17) for an (admittedly) stupid mistake.
I kept meticulous records of everything and even wrote a monthly update to my lawyer describing the different things I'd struggled with as a result of the herniation.
I was sent to the orthopedic surgeon, a neurologist and continued on with my chiropractor. Everyone said the same thing. I was permanently injured and short of invasive surgery, nothing would help fix the problem. I was basically stuck with the pain.
So I did everything my lawyer said to do and then some. Turns out my records were kept better than his. I constantly called into the office to ensure they'd gotten paperwork and would ask questions to ensure they were on top of things. I wanted to make sure I knew as much as possible about the proceedings so I could be aware of what to expect.
Nothing - NOTHING - can prepare you for some of the underhanded stuff they do to you when you threaten insurance companies with a lawsuit.
They dragged their heels on EVERYTHING in an attempt to basically wait me out. They sent me for the most ridiculous tests. They accused me of faking things. Then, their doctor accused me of trying to pin my pain on a spinal tap done before the accident (as if a spinal tap has ANY POSSIBLE WAY of herniating a disc).
I cried in frustration at that one. Even my own orthopedic surgeon was angry that such a ludicrous suggestion could be made.
Yet I swallowed every indignation and pushed forward. My lawyer kept telling me this was an open-shut case. All-State had claimed responsibility for the accident and should pony up at least enough to cover expenses going forward. Yet something was telling me that I was on this ride for nothing.
It was so frustrating. I was taking time away from my family for these tests (one of which included being "electrocuted" several times through my feet to test the nerves in my spine and all the while I was seething because the guy who hit me was coasting without a care in the world. There I was, going for test after test - therapy session after therapy session - spending money on gas, taking time off work, and enduring countless guilt sessions over my inability to be a proper mother / aunt, and what about him? What was he dealing with? A careless oblivion.
No tests for him. No therapy for him. Nothing to remind him of the greivous error in judgement he made that night when he chose to rubber-neck instead of drive like an intelligent person.
And who pays? Me. I'm the one with the mounting medical bills. I'm the one who cries at night when I count the many ways I'd failed my son. I'm the one who deals with the pain of every day life. But him? NOTHING.
It is such a frustrating feeling. And the fact that his insurance company was making it even MORE difficult to get a fair shake made it that much worse.