I didn’t know what I needed. I didn’t know what to expect.
The accident was relatively minor and over in a flash. Still, the long-term repercussions upended realtor Carmella Geraci’s active life.
“At first you think ‘Maybe I’ll be fine,’” said Carmella, who was rear-ended in August of 2019 and later learned she had significant damage along her C5, 6, and 7 vertebrae. “If I had settled with insurance at the beginning like I thought I should, I wouldn’t have known. It actually got worse before it got better.”
“The pain was immediate, but I thought it wasn’t any big deal. I thought it would go away. There wasn’t that much damage to the car, so I thought, ‘How bad can it be?’”
Carmella and her partner in life and business, George, were on their way to see a home to renovate when they were hit from behind at a stoplight. Carmella saw the car weaving dangerously behind her and tensed her back and shoulders to prepare for the impact.
“The pain was immediate, but I thought it wasn’t any big deal,” said Carmella, a local realtor with more than 20 years of experience. Her trapezius muscle, the long muscle that controls head and neck movement, began to spasm, and she felt like she had been punched between the shoulder blades. “I thought it would go away. There wasn’t that much damage to the car, so I thought, ‘How bad can it be?'”
“I realized I was going to have to stick up for myself. I just didn’t know how.”
She made plans to simply settle the personal injury claim with the insurance company. After all, her car had minimal damage. In the days following the crash, she felt sore, as if she overdid it at the gym. The pain mounted, traveling from her neck down her shoulder, making her hands go numb at odd times. Meanwhile, the insurance company continued to persuade her to settle.
“I realized I was going to have to stick up for myself,” said Carmella, who pays for her own insurance as a business owner. “I just didn’t know how.”
She felt like she was on a treadmill of legalese and needed to make decisions she wasn’t prepared for. Her brother-in-law, an undersheriff for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, urged her to get legal help, but she was reluctant.
“The insurance company offered money. I understand now why people take it,” Carmella said. “People think the insurance company knows better than they do. They get scared after an accident and just do what the insurance tells them. It’s a tough situation when you are in so much pain on top of everything else.”
“You see some attorneys on TV, and they are selling themselves, not a service. The team at GGRM was more personal. They felt like a source I could trust.”
Eventually, she called GGRM based on her brother-in-law’s advice. She tentatively sat down to discuss her personal injury case.
“You see some attorneys on TV, and they are selling themselves, not a service,” said Carmella, who is a member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. “The team at GGRM was more personal. They felt like a source I could trust.”
As the relationship grew, she was grateful for the constant communication, even when there was no new information to report.
“You don’t know what you should be doing or not doing because you are not the expert; they are,” she said. “It was the constant follow-up from my GGRM team that really made it work for me. They let me know the case was moving forward, even if it was slow, so I could concentrate on getting better.”
Carmella continued trying to be proactive with her medical care, receiving epidural injections, daily stretching exercises, and weekly massages, along with taking handfuls of anti-inflammatories, such as 800 mg ibuprofen. As the pain mounted, vacations were canceled, golf games were postponed indefinitely.
“Some days I felt good; other days I felt like I was in a train wreck, not a car wreck,” Carmella said. “The injury made it impossible to do all the things I’m used to and left me grumpy due to the pain and discomfort. It was hard for my other half to deal with me at times, which was sad for both of us.”
While the insurance company dragged the case out, her GGRM team found qualified physicians and therapists she could see on a lien basis. Without this, those treatments were something she would not have been able to afford. She learned that she had two bulging discs in her spine and a tear that would need surgery.
“They helped me get the medical care I needed in the beginning before it got bad,” Carmella said. “If I had done what the insurance wanted, I wouldn’t have known I’d need so much more medical care.”
Carmella is back in the swing of her life, taking it slow as needed and continuing to get treatments long after her personal injury case was settled.
“The settlement gave me the confidence and peace of mind so I could continue my medical care without the out-of-pocket financial burden,” she said. “GGRM helped me get back to the things that are important to me.”
Contact GGRM. We Can Help.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and have questions, consult with the experienced injury attorneys at GGRM. We have over 50 years of experience helping the injured get back to their lives. To set up your free consultation, contact us or call us at 702-384-1616 today.