Tracey came to us on the recommendation of her good friend Lisa Owens, who’s worked at our firm for many years. Like too many people in our society, Tracey became the victim of a distracted driver who caused a car accident near Spartanburg that hurt Tracey.

The sad irony is, Tracey got hurt working as a driving instructor. As she taught a new driver how to master a 3-point-turn on a clear road, a Chevy pickup came flying out of nowhere. Worse, as it roared up on Tracey, its driver was looking down at the floor. He plowed into the rear end of Tracey’s car.

The impact broke Tracey’s right arm.

The crash had devastating financial effects. It left her one-armed, meaning she certainly couldn’t work as a driving instructor. She also had a second job as a home nurse assistant for an elderly lady with dementia and mobility problems. Because Tracey couldn’t use her broken arm to lift or move her patient, she also couldn’t do that job. To make matters worse, Tracey’s husband was also out of work, recovering from a serious cancer operation.

Tracey also had no health insurance and didn’t qualify for workers compensation. Luckily, the Longs are people who’ve lived their lives with hard work and love, so many people rallied to support them as she recovered. They relied on family and friends at church to keep them afloat financially and even help with Christmas for their children.

Tracey’s goal for her case and how we achieved it. She needed the best financial recovery she could get, and fast. She had to catch up her mounting bills and get the medical bill collectors off her back.

We worked quick. Less than 3 weeks after we got all her medical evidence, we sent a letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company requesting settlement. Our “demand letter” was 5-page detailed summary of all she went through from the crash. It included all her medical evidence, lost wages and an honest, thorough description of her human loss (pain and suffering).

We’d already laid the groundwork for settlement long before. Right after she hired us, we sent a letter with the police report covering why the at-fault driver was liable for the crash. The insurance company never contested fault after that letter.

Unexpected benefit for Tracey- from an unlikely source. The biggest surprise and relief for Tracey came when we got her biggest medical bill dramatically reduced. The first emergency room she went to after the crash did numerous tests and scans, charging her nearly $24,000 – over 80% of her total medical bills.

And here’s the kicker: they missed the diagnosis. It was only after she went to a different hospital that Tracey got properly diagnosed with a broken arm, after virtually no testing. (You have to admit, a broken arm is really hard to miss).

In a letter to the high-priced misdiagnosing hospital’s bill collector, I pointed out their mistake. I politely invited them to accept $1,500 as full payment for the whole bill. Without even calling to fight over it, they agreed within a few days.

As for Tracey’s total settlement, we probably could have got more money if we held out and filed a lawsuit. But that wasn’t her goal. She didn’t need time, she needed money now to catch up her bills.

We focused on achieving what she wanted, not what we wanted. After all, Tracey’s the boss!

I’m thankful we did and, most importantly, got her way more money than she ever dreamed, to get her family back on their feet. That’s why we feel so good so often about what we do.  

$75,000 plus a big medical bill reduction

Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.