Car Accident Disabled Daniel Needs Legal Help To Recover Benefits Denied
by Daniel Jacquez
(El Paso, Texas, USA)
I am a 50-year-old guy who has worked from the age of eight. I am separated from my wife. I have a daughter.
I have not been in the military, but I have worked for various contractors with the DOD, including large companies like Halliburton and Intel.
I have three associate degrees: electronics, microcomputers, business operations.
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On that fateful day May 10th 2013, I was driving into Mexico as do many American who live near the Mexican border like me. As it did many times in the past, it appeared to be a normal drive through the freeway access road.
It was around 9:30 pm when I saw headlights rushing toward me. The other vehicle was driving the wrong way on a one-way road. As I swerved right in an attempt to get out of the way, the other car swerved left. We hit head on.
It all happened in a few seconds, well, to me anyway. I was hit head on by a drunk driver. My truck jumped up and over to one side during the collision. I vaguely remember someone getting out of a truck, walking toward me, and then turning and leaving the scene.
It was dark but as I stumbled out of my truck I saw lights in the distance. I got back into my truck. I tried starting it so that I could get to the lights. God only knows why the truck started but it did.
I had no idea what condition my truck was in, but I drove toward the lights and found a convenience store. As I arrived my truck gave up. I got out and walked over to the first person I saw and asked to use a phone. In my confusion and in the accident I lost mine.
I felt extreme pain as I walked but I found myself moving as if in a dream. The attendant called the police and I called a friend who lived close. When they arrived after a few minutes I was taken to the hospital.
The crash itself was only the beginning of the nightmare I still live in.
While at the hospital on the US side of the border, I saw a female and male just sitting around talking. As I was taken in, all they said was fill out the forms and they would get to me soon.
Angered by this, I told this individual, who was only concerned with the female next to him, that I needed emergency medical attention because I had been hit head on. I shouted, "This is an emergency room isn't it?"
What appeared to be a doctor or medical attendant heard me from across the room. He ordered that I be placed in a bed where I could be examined.
I later found out that my back was broken in two places. The most severe was a crushed vertebra and broken bone fragments in and around the spinal canal.
A few days later I was released from the hospital and sent to a specialist. I was walking with the assistance of some serious pain pills and a back brace. Only a few pills were given.
Two weeks had gone by. I went to see the specialist. The doctor was unable to see me and canceled the appointment, actually, the next several appointments. Some two months later I went to the specialist again.
The secretary told me that my insurance had been cancelled the day after the accident and that I needed to pay prior to being seen.
Of course, I had not been working. My FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) money was not coming in. I was unable to pay and left.
Some days later I found a "so called" free clinic. I was evaluated and recommended to return in a week to see a specialist. The specialist ordered X-Rays and medical records from the hospital where I originally was seen.
I went to have the X-Rays taken but also had to go in person to get my medical records since the hospital never sent them to the free clinic.
Almost three months after the accident I had been running around collecting signatures and information for the company insurance to I could receive my benefits under the FMLA.
Since I had no insurance, I was buying over-the-counter pain pills. The free clinic doctor finally had all the information needed to prescribe me real pain pills and I got off the over-the-counter stuff.
Ninety days after the accident I was released from medical leave and placed on leave without pay.
After complaining, emailing, calling the company, my boss, doctors, administrators and eventually the company program manager, my medical insurance was reinstated for three weeks.
At the time, the company program manager made it clear… Get operated and back to work within those three weeks if I wanted to keep my job and that the insurance would run out as well within that time.
I could not find any doctor to operate within that time frame and finally received notice that once again I had no insurance. By this time the FMLA monies came in, but it was too little, too late.
I was already two months behind on rent and bills. I couldn't find a doctor to operate on me. Since I could not find a doctor here in the US. I crossed into Mexico and in no time at all I found a doctor and he scheduled an operation.
I was operated November 21, 2013. I had broken bones removed in and around my spinal canal, and I came out with some titanium screws and rods.
A few weeks later I decided to apply for unemployment. After a month passed and I went in to claim my weeks, I found the company I worked for had lied to the unemployment office. They claimed I quit my job.
There is so much more to tell but the fact is that I am homeless. I stay with friends, family and anywhere I can. I have no income.
By the way, I did go to one of those online SSI attorneys and I am not pleased at all with his attitude. One more thing... The company I used to work for is under federal investigation.Financial Hardship
I am homeless with no income.
Friends/family provide transport to therapy and help purchase medications.Income Efforts
I hired an online attorney.
I tried applying for unemployment.
I tried to have the former company insurance pay for my medication out of pocket expenses.
I asked a friend in the military for a job.
Even in my disabled condition, I am desperate. If given the chance, I will go back to work. Specific Needs
I need a lawyer to seek out those who have failed me in this process.
- the company insurance that dropped me the day after accident and has failed to cover my out of pocket expenses
- the company that lied claiming I quit my job just to keep me from getting unemployment
I need Disability benefits, not just SSI, but transportation and a home to live in while I continue to heal.