Thursday, July 31, 2008


Were the license plates on the black Cadillac cruising underneath the el tracks along Lake Street this morning.

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I think the driver was a lawyer.

Those of you that have been reading Susan’s Snippets for a while know that I have worked with lawyers my entire Chicago career.

Which has been a very, very long time – 32 years this past May.

So I have heard, read and seen it all when it comes to suing.

But, outside of my divorce proceedings, I have never sued anyone.

Until now.

Last June, while being driven to work by her friend, my daughter was involved in a serious accident – rear ended by a F-150 and pushed across oncoming traffic lanes and up into the grassy area underneath the A&W sign of where she works.

She had to be cut out of the vehicle and transported to the emergency room….all the while I was trying to make it home from Chicago – in a state of Mother’s panic after receiving a call from a passerbyer of the accident and hearing my daughter screaming in the background.

She remarkably wasn’t horribly injured, but did sustain injuries – one of which was to her back.

I immediately was contacted by a cheerful, southern-voiced woman from the hitter’s insurance company. I told her during that first phone call that I worked with lawyers, to let her know that I have some experience in this and I wasn’t going to just settle immediately (like the other girl’s mother did).

Thru a series of illnesses that summer (strep/mono), coupled with my just-suck-it-up work ethic and unreasonable-yet-to-be-expected fear of doctors - both my daughter and I did not recognize that the pain she was experiencing was still residual from the accident.

Until that November, when I took her back to our doctor and had it explained to us that what she has needed all along was physical therapy. An order was written and she diligently went for about two months.

All the while....the sweet-southern-insurance adjuster continually called me checking on my daughter’s condition, seemingly with care and concern in her voice.

The care, concern and sweet southern-ness were thrown out the window when I refused to accept their settlement offer of less than what we have paid out of our own pocket.

Actually she got down right mean and nasty and said “I KNEW you were going to sue from that first day I talked with you and was told you worked for lawyers!”When I tried to defend myself and let her know that in 32 years of working with lawyers – that I have NEVER sued anyone – that is not the cloth I am cut from – she stopped me short and said “Have your lawyer contact me – I can no longer speak to you!”

Since that time my lawyer has been speaking to her over the phone – twice. Both times the calls ended in frustration on his part. Since then all correspondence has been via fax and snail mail.

We have tried every which way to settle this for an amount that would, at the least, cover my costs out-of-pocket, and give my daughter a small bit for her pain and suffering – and so far we haven’t even tried to go after emotional injury – she still freaks any time a driver gets close to her back bumper.

Our last correspondence from this well-advertised insurance company was “send us a copy of the complaint when it is filed.”

So, for the first time in 32 years – I, as guardian of my minor child, will be suing.

I have been told by a lawyer that represents accident victims on a regular basis – that he does not even try to negotiate a settlement with this company – he just files suit immediately.

I hope that when the defendant in this matter is served by the Sheriff with the Complaint – that he knows what he is getting for his “smaller” premiums – he will now be drug thru depositions, statements, lawyer appointments and court appearances – all because they are unreasonable, greedy and mean.

money fein


Liz said...

Wow. This sounds like a horrible ordeal, and well worth your finally filing suit. Good for you. I HATE insurance companies. Except for my agent.. he's my uncle. :) That has come in handy many times. But I still hate the companies.

Susan said...

Hey Liz...thanks for reading! Yes, having a relative in any business is always good. My uncle worked for the IRS (also sometimes despised!) but we always knew who to go to with any questions about our taxes.

flaming torches & axes