I love dealing with insurance companies! They're the best! Adjusters, specifically.
Let me take you back to Mother's Day, two years ago. The Miller fam was headed to Santa Cruz along with all of my extended family. I was driving a Rav4 at the time and we had it packed to the max. Hey, with two little munchkins you need buckets, shovels, towels, strollers, blankets, food, more food, toys, etc, etc, etc. That list goes on forever. (Sadly, the Rav4's truck space did not.)
We were merging from one freeway to another when WHAM! another car hit us from behind. Thank God traffic was slowly merging and only going about 40 mph. My coffee went flying from my hands and splattered all over the windshield. My seatbelt snapped me good--it hurt then, but not enough to seek medical attention. Husband was out of the car in a flash, checking to make sure everyone was all right.
We were fine.
Elvira, the tall, gothic-slicked driver of the other car (NO, I'm not joking. I couldn't make up a character this rich!) said she didn't have insurance. We had to move our cars off the freeway. Husband got the feeling she was going to bolt, so he snagged her ID and asked her to follow us off the ramp into a parking lot up ahead. With her license in hand, she couldn't run. (Smart move, wouldn't you say?)
Everyone was okay. Kids were a little scared, but unhurt. I was soaked in hot mocha goodness. Husband was on the ball.
Flashforward one month.
I'm laying on the couch watching television and I hear a very loud, very scary POP! from my chest. My chest goes warm and tingly. My arms and hands go numb. Husband, who was across the room, looks over and says "Did that pop come from you?"
I nodded. Oh, God. That was loud. My mind raced. I cracked a rib. I popped a lung. One of my arteries snapped. I can't breathe. My breathing became shallow.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
I shook my head, getting dizzier by the second.
"Can you breathe?"
Again, shallow pants, more numbness.
"Do I need to call an ambulance?" Husband asked, watching color drain from my face.
I nodded, more of a fast twitch, and struggled to take a full breath.
The hospital ran all kinds of tests. EKGs. X-Rays. MRIs. All came up negative. Lungs fine. Ribs intact. No evidence of heart attack or stroke.
So what the hell happened? And why, two hours later, was I still having trouble breathing? After seeing my primary physician the next day, he discovered I had a massive tender spot beneath my left breastbone...from where the seatbelt had snapped me in the accident.
Turns out the seatbelt had broken the cartilage in my chest. My muscles tightened around it, holding it in place, until they relaxed a month later, releasing it. POP! The warm sensations, the tingling, the numbness, the shallow breathing? That was attributed to the muscles and tendons finally relaxing...with a little panic attack and hyperventilation thrown in there too.
When I first dealt with Elvira's insurance company, Draco Alliance, (okay, now I'm kidding) I thought there wouldn't be a problem covering my medical bills. But there was.
How could I prove the injuries a month later were a direct result of the accident? The ER visit didn't prove a thing. In fact, it simply ruled out everything major.
Brings me back to my initial claim: I love dealing with insurance companies. Adjusters, specifically.
Two years later, I'm still dealing with them. I'm not trying to screw them out of anything. I don't want a landslide lawsuit when I'm not really hurt anymore. (Sure, cartilage doesn't ever heal--EVER--and I'll hear popping sounds from time to time, but that's not earth-shattering.) I just want the money I'm out from copays and such. Not too much to ask, right?
Happy Mother's Day to me. The day I have to revisit the accident and all the insurance paperwork from both parties and bills and hoopla involved. My injury claim closes Monday.
I love dealing with insurance companies. They're so worried about people scamming them that they make it a pain in the ass for legitimate claims to go through.
(Edited to Add: Wanna know what happened to the Rav4? The damage to the back end was fixed--paid by Elvira's insurance--no problemo. A few weeks later the computer in the tow compartment went out from "some sort of extreme jostling". $6K to fix it. Insurance denied responsibility. It's long gone now.)