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Insurance Settlement questions

Horseshoez
Valued Contributor

Insurance Settlement questions

Hey gang,

 

This is decidedly a non-myFICO type of question, but because so many of y'all seem to have so much experience and knowledge in such wide ranging topics relative to finance, I'm hoping this is a good place to ask the question.

 

Background:

  • I'm in my mid-60s but need to work until the end of the decade to make sure I have enough salted away for retirement.
  • I'm very physically active and a runner, typically logging one to two hundred miles per month.
  • I have a fairly high end career where I am an Architect for "Conversational AI Systems" (i.e. teaching computers how to have a verbal conversation with a human within a very limited domain of expertise).
  • Long story short, if my brain isn't firing on all cylinders, I cannot do my job and will need to retire years befor the plan.

 

Situation:

 

Last Monday, 12-Jul, I was out for a 7-mile trail run, and as I was nearing the end I was running by a home which borders the horse farm where my wife and I rent a small care-taker apartment.  As I was passing the home, currently with a new pool going in and landscaping happening, their two dogs, 170 and 150 pounds respective, charged across their lawn and blew through where their "invisible fence" would normally have stopped them in their tracks.  I faced off with the largest of the two, however, the smaller one, circled around and bit me hard on the back of the right knee; the next thing I remember the owner of the dogs, which were no where in sight, was helping me get up from where I'd collapsed in the middle of the street.  Being a "typical guy", I had no idea how seriously injured I was and asked her to drive me home instead of taking me to a hospital; I remember taking my running shoes off and going inside, and then the next thing I remembered was waking up in the ICU some 30 hours later.

 

As was related to me by the dog owners and my wife, who got home maybe 10 minutes after I did (to find a raving lunatic in her home who kind of looked like her husband), I was dropped to the street hard enough for my head to bounce off the pavement, and have since been diagnosed with a "severe category" Grade 3 concussion; my initial CT Scan was fortunately negative, but I have yet to have a follow-up MRI, which apparently is more detailed.  In addition to the concussion and badly bitten leg, requiring surgery and a few dozen staples to hold together, I also suffered some bizarre, and as yet unexplained, deep abrasions to my abdomen, the largest red, purple, and green scabbed and bruised area is easily eight inches in diameter.  What was also related to me was just how poor of a patient I was when the paramedics first got to our home, for the ride to the hospital, and for the first hour or two while there.  As the story goes, it took five burly security guards to hold me down, while they were trying to sedate me, and when that failed, they brought out the heavy artilery and hit me with a full Fentanyl drip.

 

Since regaining consciousness on the evening of the 13th I've had a horrible non-stop headache, severe soreness in my throat (probably because I was intubated while in the medical coma), and pain, swelling, and persistent infection in my abdomen and right leg.  I got the staples out today, kind of a similar procedure as removing a staple from a stack of paper, but a heck of a lot more painful, and the surgeon acknowledged there was in fact an infection in my right knee; I'll be back to see her Friday, and if the infection persists, she's going to order an MRI for the knee as well.  The only good news is, I am able to work for at least three to four hours per day and be reasonably effective.

 

I told y'all the above to ask this; per our town's Animal Control department, we were strongly recommended to contact an attorney to represent us in the compensation negotiations, and while I don't really have any familiarity with such things, I'm being led to believe the settlement could be, uhhh, rather significant.  And now my question, finally; will any settlement money be considered taxable (the last thing I really want or need right about now)?  If so, all of it, or just a portion which cannot be ascribed to current and ongoing health care?

 

Thanks in advance for any and all advice and experience.

I categorically refuse to do AZEO!

Message 1 of 10
9 REPLIES 9
iced
Valued Contributor

Re: Insurance Settlement questions

Exceptions can happen on a case-by-case basis, but by and large personal injury settlements are nontaxable.

 

That's not to say that your insurance company won't go after a big chunk of it claiming they shouldn't have to pay for medical bills deemed liable to the losing party. The attorney will take their 30% or so, too.

Message 2 of 10
Horseshoez
Valued Contributor

Re: Insurance Settlement questions


@iced wrote:

Exceptions can happen on a case-by-case basis, but by and large personal injury settlements are nontaxable.

 

That's not to say that your insurance company won't go after a big chunk of it claiming they shouldn't have to pay for medical bills deemed liable to the losing party. The attorney will take their 30% or so, too.


Thanks for the feedback.

 

Yeah, the medical bills are going to be an easy ten grand and I have a $3,000 deductible (which I will pay from my HSA), so figure the insurance company is going to need to pony up $7,000.  The attorney I've retained is planning on making sure all medical expenses are going to be paid and neither my HSA nor my insurance company will be out anything if/when a settlement happens.  This attorney is getting 33.3%, so this will all be very interesting to see how it ultimately unfolds.

I categorically refuse to do AZEO!

Message 3 of 10
SoCalGardener
Frequent Contributor

Re: Insurance Settlement questions

I can't answer your questions, but wanted to toss out an "I'm really sorry that happened to you!"

 

Your description of your behavior post-fall is very much in line with a bad concussion, so I'm not surprised about the 5 burly guards holding you down.

 

The throat soreness will take a few days to weeks to clear up, but it will go away eventually. Spraying some Chloraseptic or sucking on one of its lozenges will help in the meantime.

 

Watch that infection in your knee, or you may end up with sepsis, and--trust me on this--you don't want to go there!

 

Please keep us updated.

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Message 4 of 10
Horseshoez
Valued Contributor

Re: Insurance Settlement questions

@SoCalGardener, thanks for the thoughts, yeah, keeping a very close watch on the infection.  I started a new course of antibiotics on Wednesday and the size of the infection has reduced dramatically, to the point where I now have maybe a 6" diameter area which is sore with the central 2" diameter area swollen and hard.  Assuming the infection keeps reducing in size as much as it has in the last three days, I'm confident I'll be out of the woods next week.

I categorically refuse to do AZEO!

Message 5 of 10
SoCalGardener
Frequent Contributor

Re: Insurance Settlement questions

Good, I'm glad you're keeping a close eye on it.

 

Were the dogs Great Danes? I'm wondering because the weights you mentioned sound similar to, though smaller than, my Danes. I had Great Danes for about 40 years--and the first thing each one was taught was NOT to jump up on people unexpectedly. For the very reason(s) you're now experiencing.

 

I've never trusted those invisible fences, although I have friends who swear by them.  And I NEVER left my dogs outside unattended.

 

I'm realy interested in how this whole thing plays out, and I hope you're going to update us! Here's to a speedy, roadbump-free recovery! Smiley Happy

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Message 6 of 10
Horseshoez
Valued Contributor

Re: Insurance Settlement questions

Thanks @SoCalGardener, the dogs were a St. Bernard and a Bernese Mountain Dog, the latter was the one which bit me and knocked me to the street.

 

While the invisible fence was up and operational, they were never a problem, however, when the construction crew took the fence down, the "series of unfortunate events" ensued.  Smiley Sad

 

As I am fond of saying, I'm a "glass is half-full" kind of guy, I will get through this and be back to full speed both professionally and with my trail running as well.  I will of course keep you posted.  Smiley Happy

I categorically refuse to do AZEO!

Message 7 of 10
SoCalGardener
Frequent Contributor

Re: Insurance Settlement questions

"series of unfortunate events" indeed! Smiley Surprised

 

I didn't realize the fence was disconnected. I still don't trust them! Smiley Happy

 

It's good to keep a 'half-full glass' attitude as you continue this journey. Stay focused on the end, the goal, and do whatever you need to get there.


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Message 8 of 10
Horseshoez
Valued Contributor

Re: Insurance Settlement questions

Thanks my friend!

I categorically refuse to do AZEO!

Message 9 of 10
SoCalGardener
Frequent Contributor

Re: Insurance Settlement questions


@Horseshoez wrote:

Thanks my friend!


You're welcome! Smiley Happy

 

Do keep us posted, please.

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