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What should I do? (car accident related)

Old 04-20-09, 12:02 PM
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What should I do? (car accident related)

Well as I'm some of you know, I was in a car accident on March 24. I was hit by a commercial truck that was hit by a commercial truck. I was stopped at a light and was rear ended. My car was totaled. The car who caused the whole accident is taking responsibility of the accident. The insurance company that they go through is General Casualty, which is based here in Wisconsin. I have all ready gotten my settlement for the car.

I have only worked 3 hours since the accident. My doctor finally let me go back to work for 2 hours a week twice a week, but since I really can't do anything. (No lifting anything more that 10lbs, can be in the same place for longer that 10 mins, can not bend or reach for anything) this obviously has impacted me pretty bad. I have muscle spams in my back, neck and head. My neck and back are still sore and my muscles are still very tensed up. I've only heard from the bodily injury claims person once since the accident. She at first claimed they didn't know I was hurt and then 2 mins into the conversation stated she had bills from my chiro. Also the guy who handled my car acknowledged that my case was going to be transferred to bodily claim.

Also it should be noted I've lost 2 job opportunities because of this accident. One was working with animals (which is my field, I have a degree in biology. Was told my inability to perform all job function was the reason why I didn't get the job) and the other was a 911 operator position that I couldn't go to the interview because my arms were too sore to take the typing test. I also applied for that job in 2007 and this was the first time they were taking interviews for the position.

Obviously I've been getting everyone's opinion about what I should do, that I should talk with a lawyer or I should try and settle it myself. I was hoping that someone here might have better expertise as to what I should do.
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Old 04-20-09, 12:07 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

Sorry to hear about your ordeal. I hope things turn around for you soon.
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Old 04-20-09, 12:18 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

sorry about all, but don't try and settle yourself. try Jacoby and Meyers because it sounds like it's about time.
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Old 04-20-09, 12:29 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

It's probably best to hire a lawyer, since some Insurance companies will dick with you until they know you have an attorney. Another issue is how to evaluate your claim. A lawyer can help you include everything in a demand package that can be claimed. One note, normally settlements aren't made until treatment has finished, or at least long enough to the point a doctor might say the pain is chronic. The lawyer will want to wait until such a time. If you're looking for something quicker, be up front about it with any attorney.

Certainly there's no harm in trying to make a settlement yourself. Just beware that you might not get the most you can. And be careful not to say anything that could be used against you. Maybe see what you can get without a lawyer. Remember though, you only have one shot to make a settlement.
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Old 04-20-09, 12:38 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

A lawyer is the only way to go unfortunately. Insurance companies will do anything they can to avoid paying for anything. Once you have a lawyer, they loosen up. Most lawyers who deal in personal injury do not get paid unless you do so you can probably expect a lump sum settlement out of it.
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Old 04-20-09, 12:43 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

get a lawyer pronto, you need the documentation
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Old 04-20-09, 12:56 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

Be careful with which attorney you choose. There are lawyers who specialize in cases like this and have a team of paralegals working the cases his goal would be to get the insurance company to settle since that takes the least amount of time for him, going to court is a far distant option even if it would be in your best interest.
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Old 04-20-09, 12:59 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

Hire a lawyer now.

Talk to several firms, find someone who will be aggressive and will not be eager to settle, as mentioned above.

The insurance companies will screw you, and they are counting on you being too timid and afraid to take action before legal deadlines pass that will limit your ability to litigate.

I have a friend that was hit and injured by a guy going over 100mph on a road called Paseo Del Norte here in ABQ. Five years later and the insurance company of the reckless driver hasn't paid him any money, and is still delaying the court dates with endless legal maneuvers. He was injured in such a way he' still not right today. They are counting on him to simply wimp out like a coward, most Americans will do this, and rationalize quitting the case with some "it's not worth it" bullshit.

Lawyer up.

Last edited by Dr Mabuse; 04-20-09 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 04-20-09, 01:00 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

I was thinking this was the answer. Just don't want to lose a third of my settlement.
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Old 04-20-09, 01:08 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

i would hire a lawyer before you talk to the ins company again. meaning don't say a word until you do, as you could potentially be hindering your own case.
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Old 04-20-09, 01:16 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

I've left some words for you at the ship, Smurf. I agree that you should retain a lawyer, but choosing the right lawyer isn't easy.
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Old 04-20-09, 01:17 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

Originally Posted by Green Smurf View Post
I was thinking this was the answer. Just don't want to lose a third of my settlement.

The lawyer will need to be paid, but can probably secure a better settlement than you could negotiate. Plus the lawyer will know what to look out for when dealing with the insurance company.
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Old 04-20-09, 01:21 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
I agree that you should retain a lawyer, but choosing the right lawyer isn't easy.
This is true. Also remember that a more expensive lawyer doesn't always mean a better lawyer.
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Old 04-20-09, 01:36 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

because of the seriousness of your injuries, i'd say a lawyer is your best bet. the insurance company will dick around otherwise.
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Old 04-20-09, 01:37 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
I've left some words for you at the ship, Smurf. I agree that you should retain a lawyer, but choosing the right lawyer isn't easy.
I would also recommend not hiring a lawyer that has time to sit around all day and post on DVDTalk.
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Old 04-20-09, 01:44 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

Originally Posted by Mordred View Post
I would also recommend not hiring a lawyer that has time to sit around all day and post on DVDTalk.

Absolu- hey!
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Old 04-21-09, 09:45 AM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

Originally Posted by D.Pham00 View Post
because of the seriousness of your injuries, i'd say a lawyer is your best bet. the insurance company will dick around otherwise.
Definitely a lawyer, I'd say go for it and swing for the fences.
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Old 04-21-09, 09:52 AM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

Originally Posted by Bandoman View Post
Absolu- hey!
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Old 04-21-09, 11:10 AM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

well, if you want, you can offer them a number that you think is fair, keep in mind though that this would have to cover ALL of your medical bills, damages, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. stemming from the accident. once you settle, they will not give you more money. so think very carefully about the amount.

chances are though, that this amount would be well into 6 figures, and that the insurance company would not agree to give you a fair amount without a lawyer.

btw, when i had an accident, the only medical bill i had was an ER visit, and i forwarded the bill to the insurance several times. They finally paid several months later. Keep in mind that this bill was only for like $200. I can only imagine what your bills would look like.
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Old 04-21-09, 12:04 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

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Old 04-21-09, 07:56 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

Originally Posted by orangecrush18 View Post
This is true. Also remember that a more expensive lawyer doesn't always mean a better lawyer.
Agreed that it's time to hire an attorney. Most of these cases will be worked on a contingency basis, so expensive may not play into it (but you know who the traditionally expensive firms are, and I agree with the sentiment of the advice).

I also agree with previous advice about the "team of paralegals"... at a lot of larger firms, you're hiring an attorney and thinking you're paying for an attorney, but you're really paying an attorney while paralegals and law clerks do your work.

As for not wanting to pay an attorney, I think it is extremely likely that your recovery with an attorney is likely to be more than 1/3 more than you could otherwise arrive at on your own, as (in my state anyway) categories of damages and the way to plead them can be fairly particular.

My bias is that I am attorney, and 99% of the time a plaintiff's attorney. I hope you're getting some good feedback, but let me/us know if you have any other questions. I'm really sorry that it happened in the first place, and getting involved with insurance companies and courts can be a pretty confusing world.
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Old 04-21-09, 08:02 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

Another point is that you were hit by a commercial truck. If you were hit by a private citizen, your recovery may be limited by insurance limits of $100k or less (common among the US). A corporation almost assuredly has a larger policy, meaning that this will likely not settle easily or quickly (i.e. your damages may be within the policy limits, so you have to agree on a number vs. damages exceeding limits, so they pay limits).

If you can get over my bias... I would be pretty concerned with you going forward with this on your own if you have only done 3 hours of work in the last month. Managing cases is a job in itself, and the expertise in maneuvering within the system will likely be invaluable and reassuring to you.
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Old 04-21-09, 08:08 PM
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Re: What should I do? (car accident related)

[beavis] you were rear-ended [/beavis]
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