Sunday, February 27, 2011

the process of making an insurance claim resulting from my accident

For information of interested readers I would like to give a progress report on my insurance claim as a result of the accident I had. My Tata Cab was fully insured (comprehensive)

On the night of the accident I had asked my staff in Minneriya to contact Ceylinco VIP my insurer to come and look at the damage of my vehicle that had by now been transferred to the Minneriya Police Station. A rep had come and taken the requisite photos etc. and gone away.

Once I was released from hospital I contacted my agent informing him about the accident and the need for the claim, and upon investigation he said that there was no record of it!! SO there started 3 days of stalling on their part saying that they could find no record of the event.

You can understand my disgust on this and told them to look into their records as there was definitely a person who came from Hingurakgoda and took down the necessary details.

I had then to resort to contacting the Managing Director of the Insurance Company, known to my sister to tell him about this and only after he intervened and got one of his staff to pursue this did they discover what had happened due to some inability to match the incident with my policy as there was some human error in matching of numbers!!

Once that was investigated and I made my request by email about the facts of the accident, I was emailed an offer letter condemning the vehicle with a once off payment of Rs 800K in full settlement of all claims, on condition I submit some paperwork to them along with the damaged vehicle to their yard.

I then had the unenviable task of arranging for the vehicle to be transported from Minneriya to their yard in Sidduwa. That became a problem as I had to find a vehicle with a hoist to load and unload the vehicle as there were no hoists at the yard that contains all these condemned vehicles. Surely one would have thought that the least they would have is a hoist to be able to unload these vehicle that are constantly being brought to this location.

Today Sunday I was able to get my staff member in Minneriya to arrange for the vehicle and load the truck on to that for transport tomorrow to the yard. The total transport cost that I have to bear is Rs25,000 to get it taken there before I am able to make my claim from the insurer. I was also told by the police that I have to make the payment for the transport of the damaged vehicle from the crash site to the police station, a matter of about 2km for which I have to pay Rs6,000. I am sure there is a small case of overcharging there, but that is out of my control as they probably have an understanding with a local person for such events and have to pay whatever charges they present you.

I have to send my letter of acceptance of the offer from insurance along with the vehicle ownership documents to the insurance company tomorrow in order to get the claim settled.

It goes to show that there is a lot of work involved even to sort out an insurance claim, even though the ads from the insurers make it all sound so easy easy. I really dont think there is much difference between the insurance companies, it is just a hassle they get you to go through. I might also note that this is the first claim i have made on my cover since I purchased the vehicle a little over 6 years ago. The problem is when I am immobile, I have to take care of all this remotely, depending on many people to carry out my instructions, hoping everything is taken care of as it should.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

the orthopedic clinic- thursday consultation

It was my first clinic visit. In fact it was my first outing since being discharged from the National Hospital on Tuesday, February 8th. When the doc saw me and signed off my discharge, he said that my wound namely the stiches were healing well and that I should under no circumstances put any weight on my injured leg for three whole months until the fused bones have time to heal and grow.

I was asked to come to his clinic in a couple of weeks to have my stiches removed and the healing process inspected. His clinic days are Thursdays and Saturdays, and I chose to get there early this morning anticipating crowds. I was not far wrong, as even being there before 8am I was lucky to be able to find a place to sit. Once I sat down and Sagara went to get me on the waiting list, more and more people turned up with various leg injuries in wheel chairs and crutches and the like.

It seemed that he was about to see over 200 patients in the just the morning session. I was wondering what my wait would be, when I was mercifully spared the agony, as my aunt a physician, walked in and got me in straight away to see the surgeon. I saved a wait of hours there. The doc saw me only for a minute, removed the plaster covering the stiches, said it had healed sufficiently for them to be removed, and looked at the xray, bent my leg and found it fully operational to his satisfaction, and asked me to come in a month, with an x ray for him to review the progress.

I was then taken to an ante room, where the nurses asked me to lay flat on a trolley and they expertly with little fuss removed the zillion stiches with little pain and then cleaned the wound area and bandaged me asking me to remove the bandage in 5 days and from that point I would be ok to bathe the wound area.

I got a date for the next visit at the counter and off I went. This seems to be the daily regimen of the clinic as different surgeons have different clinic days here. In the consulting room, the boss was at a desk at the end and a whole lot of other juniors were in a series of about 7 desks all seeing to patients where the level of referral depended on the need of the hour as some patients are not on the first visit like me, but on follow up visits.

What struck me was the efficiency of the patient care, albeit with little bedside time due to the workload, but as there was NO administrative delays for record keeping or payment etc, it seemed a pretty focused affair purely on the patient care and follow up with instructions for the next follow up.

I am glad I have been able to get the services of the physiotherapist who began my regimen less than 24 hours after the operation, to come home to work on me and even the doc was pretty startled at the level of progress when I showed him I could lift my leg and bend it to the same level as the good leg.

Again all this was a free consultation, all part of the expert and highly creditable service of the National Health care service in Sri Lanka. Thank you doctors, nurses and all the ancillary staff for every thing you have done to get me back on track as soon as possible.

I mentioned to the doc that I feel that there is a tendon or muscle that jumps unintentionally, to which he said it should correct itself once I begin to use the leg and walk and get the muscle tone back on the leg.

What a relief to get out of the house being kept cooped in. Now I feel confident to go to the office on Monday, for a half days work at the WTC. Apparently as I will be in a wheel chair, I can use the service lift to get straight up to the 32nd floor from the car without having to navigate any more obstacles.

More for next time.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A stay at the Colombo National Hospital following a serious traffic accident ser

The St John's Ambulance that had been sent to pick me from the Polonnaruwa hospital, deposited me at the entrance to the accident service at the General Hospital at around 6am on Monday, January 31st. All the transfer papers( a necessary requirement as the first point of admittance was another hospital) and the X rays were handed over and preliminary checks were performed.

It was a quiet morning there and I was immediately sent to X ray of the Chest and Head in case some other injury the body had been overlooked

I was then taken to the accident service ward for casualties, ward 72. There were patients on the corridors and the ward was packed. I was given some pain killers and left to be seen by an orthopedic specialist at the normal times for the rounds being about 8am.

During the course of the morning a zillion doctors saw me, as they are all curious to know the new cases. Dr Banagala accompanied by a gaggle of Senior House Officers came and it took him a few milliseconds after looking at the X ray to refer me to surgery.

So now is the wait to be slotted into surgery. His theater days are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Timeline of events of accident

Accident happened little over 15 mins from leaving my agricultural property in Raja Ela Hingurakgoda almost opposite the Eastern Command HQ in Minneriya at 1pm on Sunday January 30th 2011.

I was on my way to Godagama Meegoda Farm loaded with some produce including the much demanded Oranges from Ratmale. I was driving with my man Friday Sagara in the other seat.

When taking a corner at low speed, and having given a wide berth on the dry pavement to the oncoming convoy of a cabinet minister, his last vehicle, a Blue Ministerial Security Division uninsured vehicle whilst trying to corner coming in the opposite direction, skidded right into me on my side of the Tata Pick up I was driving. I was trapped in the vehicle with the engine running, and four burly guys from the Minneriya Wildlife Department not too far away, having witnessed the accident, stopped their vehicle as soon as they saw the accident and yanked me out of the passenger side, I was conscious and in excruciating pain . they thought the cab will catch fire as the engine was still running.

Without another moment to think they bundled me into their vehicle and drove me and my passenger the 25mins to the nearest hospital, namely Polonnaruwa general. Their prompt attention was most welcome and appreciated above and beyond the call of duty.

I was able to remember my sisters home number and relayed the news via the mobile of the rescuers. Upon arrival, I was met my the gurney and wheeled in pain to the X ray room where the xray was taken and put into a ward.

In the meantime the info of the broken femur was relayed to my sister who decided to try and arrange for an ambulance to come to Polonnaruwa to take me to Colombo, with the alternative being using the hospital ambulance to take me to Kandy. As this hospital is only permitted to refer to Kandy, this was in hindsight the best course.

The ambulance came by 10pm and I got the to accident service at the General Hospital Colombo by 6am. Monday morning. I was dreading the journey with the painful leg, but the two guys from St Johns Ambulance were superb completely covering the leg in some silica cushion and then blowing up some balloon round the leg to reduce the knocking and strapped me in smugly.

I told them not to drive too fast as there was no rush, so they a super job keeping me comfortable throughout. The cost of the service to transport me was RS 18,000. I was given a pethedene pain killer injection before leaving to reduce pain too.

I forgot to mention that I had a cut on my head that I had not even noticed, and had to have a few stiches put in at Polonnaruwa, and the pain was moving me from one bed to the other for transport etc within the hospital, sheer agony.

In the meantime, I had lost my phone with all my numbers at the accident, and I understand the Cabinet Minister had turned back once I had been taken to hospital to review the damage and wondered how one survived such a wreck. The vehicle had been towed to the Minneriya police station where it still is today.

As I am known in those parts, people known to me had seen the accident site and informed people I know who had further gathered at the site and some came to the Polonnaruwa hospital, and fortunately was able to borrow a phone from one so I could be in communication. The speed with which they had gathered at the hospital amazed me, as they have no means of transport and are in hard to reach village of Ratmale where my lodge is. They had also brought a sarong and two pillows, the basic needs of hospital stays in SL.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

from my hospital bed - to all those who were worried

I will go into detail in a more opportune moment. My sister just brought me a notepad and i am struggling to use it in this awkward position and will try to be brief before i get too agitated.

Today is Saturday 7.30pm. I am in a paying room in class 1 ward in the National Hospital Colombo. I was shifted here at noon from Ward 76 the main Orthopaedic ward a very short distance away. The surgery took over three hours on Wednesday morning. The team was under the eminant surgeon Mr Banagala FRCS. It performed with a injection to the spine where only below the waist was numbed so I was completely conscious throughout but did not see the op as there was a screen but Icould here the team discussing the op. I will relate the surgery chatter when I am more comfortable. My femur was broken in two and it was quite tough to fix it with plates and screws etc. As the bone was hard I think one of the tools broke. That may thanks to years of drinking fresh milk!

Anyway the team was happy with their effort and I can only hope that after considerable physio I recover fully. I am so grateful to and proud of the health service in Sri Lanka and this hospital especially and all the doctors and nurses and physios as well as the attendents who have looked after me so well during this very trying time.

I expect to be released on Monday, to begin an intensive course of physio to get movement in my limb as that is a very important and urgent part of the recovery.

I thank the well wishes for wishing me a speedy recovery and promise my readers that I will eventually get back to my routine once I am able to drive and that may be six months. I have still to contemplate how I am going to get through this period especially after the repeat floods yesterday and day before for the second time in a month while I have been lying in bed. I have not been able to assess the damage at this stage.

So long for now

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Narrow Shave...

I am a guest poster.

Ranjit's trusty Tata was slammed into by a convoy of a cabinet minister. Ranjit has a broken femur and some stitches on his head. He is to undergo surgery tomorrow morning. Pictured above is Ranjit in the general hospital in Colombo.

He was transported to Colombo in a long ambulance journey from Polonnaruwa. In my opinion he is lucky to be alive as his vehicle was destroyed.

Considering the terrible turn of events he is in good spirits. Hopefully he will soon be able to tell us all the whole story.

Let us wish him the best on a successful surgery and a speedy recovery.