In the fall of 2017, Charlotte N., a schoolteacher and mom, was driving on the Long Island Expressway heading to work. The weather was clear, traffic normal, and her thoughts bounced between her family and her to do list for work. She was an optimistic and energetic young woman headed to a job she had worked towards for years; a job where she saw herself retiring from many years down the road.
Unfortunately, Charlotte’s plans for the day, and her life, were soon to be derailed by a reckless driver. Charlotte came to a stop in her lane as traffic ahead of her stopped. The next thing she remembers was her head slamming back and forth against her head rest. She was the front car in a three-car rear end crash. A distracted driver in the rearmost car failed to stop and caused the crash.
Charlotte felt some neck pain and was evaluated at the hospital. The initial impression was that Charlotte was alright, just a bit sore. Unfortunately, as the days and weeks passed Charlotte’s neck pain only increased. An MRI revealed that she suffered a cervical spine herniation which was impinging on her nerves. Her hands and arms became weak from the nerve damage. She began dropping things as her grip weakened. She noticed difficulty picking up her son as her arms grew progressively weaker.
Charlotte’s questions grew exponentially as her injuries worsened. She began to receive medical bills in the mail. Who was responsible for these bills? Insurance companies kept calling – should she even speak to them? She was pressured at work not to miss more days; but what if she has to miss work? She needed guidance.
To compound her problems, the involved insurance companies began their typical abuse of the injury victim. They claimed that Charlotte’s neck problems were not from this accident, but instead from six years prior when Charlotte experienced mild neck pain. They didn’t want to pay for anything. Her own insurance company, who is responsible for her medical bills, “denied” payment of further bills.
Charlotte’s friends recommended she meet with personal injury attorney John Coco.
John had seen this all before. A reckless driver causes an injury, but his insurance company becomes the true villain of the story by its treatment of the injury victim. John answered Charlotte’s questions and reassured her that he knew how to deal with these villains. They discussed his firm’s many similar cases in which his litigation strategy which has proven successful. Charlotte retained the Law Offices of John Coco to fight on her behalf.
The insurance companies were just warming up with their attempted abuse of Charlotte. Unsurprisingly, dealing with this particular insurance company was like trying to catch a slimy lizard by the tail. First, they “blamed the victim,” by claiming Charlotte’s injuries were unrelated to this accident. Next, they claimed the crash wasn’t “hard enough” to cause Charlotte’s injuries. The list of their attempted “defenses” was exhaustive and laughable.
As John dealt with the insurance company and their defense attorneys Charlotte tried everything to get better including physical therapy, chiropractic care, medications and injections. Surgery was the last resort. Charlotte eventually underwent surgery to replace the herniated disc in her neck.
When the insurance company finally realized they were in for a fight they sent an investigator to harass Charlotte and her family. First, the investigator hid outside Charlotte’s house to take photos of her and her family. He hoped to get a photo of Charlotte that the insurance company could use against her at trial. He was not successful. The investigator then began harassing Charlotte’s mom, with repeated phone calls asking questions about Charlotte.
These intimidation tactics are common in personal injury cases. Insurance companies attempt to scare an injury victim into dropping their case. John didn’t let them get away with any of their underhanded tactics – he continued to call the insurance company out on their shady moves as he pushed the case closer to trial.
John’s firm spent many hours and spared no expense in litigating her case. His team of experts including doctors, investigators, medical illustrators, and accident reconstructionists in order to prove Charlotte’s case. John’s medical exhibit team created illustrations of Charlotte’s injury and surgery (pictured above) to show the jury. The exhibits clearly showed Charlotte’s pre- and post-accident condition, confirming that the crash caused her injuries.
After three years of litigation and much fighting with multiple insurance companies and their teams of attorneys, Charlotte was paid $1,300,000, the full amount of all available insurance. Justice was served and Charlotte could pay for the medical care she needed.