At Fault Driver's Auto Insurance Won't Pay for Personal Injuries...
(Los Angeles, CA)
I was rear ended on the way to work one day. The driver pushed me forward and I ended up hitting the car in front of me. The driver who hit me had auto insurance but no license. I didn't have auto insurance at the time. His insurance is willing to pay for the damages to my car and the car I hit because the collision was totally his fault.
But I have been having right arm and shoulder pain. I went to the doctor twice because of it and will begin physical therapy soon. I had to take two weeks off work.
My question is: Do I have to get a lawyer to help me with the personal injury part or should I just take what his insurance will give me for the damage to my car?
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ANSWER for "At Fault Driver's Auto Insurance Won't Pay for Personal Injuries...":
Pinkey (Los Angeles, CA):
If you've been involved in a serious automobile collision it's always a good idea to seek the counsel and advice of a skilled Personal Injury Attorney. Most Personal Injury Attorneys do not charge any fee for the first office consultation.
The attorney will be able to lay out your options and responsibilities. She will answer any questions you may have so when you leave her office you will know where you stand.
You must consider the difficulties you may have negotiating your settlement for personal injuries; especially if the insurance company’s representative, called a Claims Adjuster, refuses to accept liability on behalf of her insured. If that happens, and it does, the Adjuster knows you do not have an Attorney so her attitude may be be harsh.
Your “leverage” is quite limited if you proceed without an attorney. The leverage of which we speak is the threat of a lawsuit an Attorney can hang over the Adjuster's head.
When an Adjuster is negotiating a settlement with an injured party, and that injured party is not represented by an Attorney, the Claims Adjuster may offer only a fraction of what she might have if you were represented by an Attorney.
Finally ,if you retain a Personal Injury Attorney the fee arrangement usually is set up so you won't have to pay her if she doesn’t prevail on your behalf.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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