Seattle Personal Injury Lawsuit Filed against State Farm for Its Dillydallying!
By Gerri Elder
Insurance companies may not have your best interests in mind when dealing with personal injury claims, as one Seattle woman who is filing a personal injury lawsuit against State Farm can attest.
A Seattle Post-Intelligencer story detailed the case of Tara Sadler, who suffered severe whiplash in February 2004 during a near car accident in which her husband had to slam on his brakes to avoid a car fleeing from police. A couple of weeks later, the now 38-year-old Sadler woke up in the middle of the night with considerable pain in her arm and couldn't move her head. She quickly learned that she had a compressed spinal cord.
Despite the fact that two Seattle surgeons told her that she had to have surgery quickly, Sadler learned from her car insurance company - the aforementioned State Farm - that they would not pay for her surgery until she got another medical evaluation.
While Sadler had been recommended on June 11, 2004 to have surgery on her injuries immediately, State Farm scheduled the medical evaluation for five weeks later. During that time period, Sadler's condition worsened. Co-workers began to notice that she was dragging her right leg, and Sadler could no longer raise her foot to take normal steps.
Sadler returned to her chiropractor, who faxed a notice to State Farm stating how timely it was for his client to get the evaluation and undergo surgery. State Farm only moved the evaluation up a couple of days, from July 19th to the 15th.
By the time of the medical evaluation, Sadler shook uncontrollably and couldn't walk, turn her head or even hold a pen. The story added that she suffered constant headaches and felt an "electric shock-type pain" from her right shoulder to throughout her arm.
Sadler finally had the surgery on July 29th. However, the surgery had little effect nor did a second surgery the next week. State Farm paid the maximum $25,000 as stipulated in Sadler's insurance policy.
In her personal injury lawsuit, Sadler claims that State Farm's inability to act quickly caused her injuries to worsen and her to become permanently disabled. Sadler now uses an electric wheelchair and can hardly use her right arm and leg.
Sadler's injury lawyers, Karen Koehler and Scott Brumback, expressed their disbelief over the manner in which State Farm handled Sadler's injuries. Koehler alleged in the story that State Farm did not have Sadler's health in mind but rather was more interested in its bottom line. Both personal injury attorneys suggested that it was wrong for State Farm to let a claims adjuster "with no medical training" hold up Sadler's surgery and thus affect her life forever.
State Farm officials denied any malice in the story, and said that is company policy to handle every personal injury claim as fairly and promptly as they can. These officials added that in some cases, the company needs a second opinion to make sure the injuries and the claim are legitimate.
Seattle Personal Injury Lawsuit Teaches Important Lesson about Insurance Companies
Ultimately, this case is just another example of how insurance companies can be very tricky to deal with after suffering personal injuries. Even though you may have very serious personal injuries that require immediate medical attention, these insurance companies could usually care less. Sadly, the insurance company's bottom line usually will take precedence before your condition. In this case, State Farm's dillydallying allegedly complicated Sadler's injuries to the point that her life has been dramatically changed.
This Seattle case also demonstrates the importance of getting in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney in your areas as soon as possible after suffering a personal injury. Our sponsoring personal injury lawyers know all about common insurance company tactics and will stand up to them to make sure that you are best entitled to any damages that you may deserve. While insurance companies may take their time with your personal injury course or rather try to make you rush a decision that is in their best interests and not yours, an experienced personal injury attorney will put your needs ahead of everything else.