I was in the passenger side of another person's vehicle that drove off the road and struck a tree head on. My face was all cut up and required a lot of stitches. My knee was also injured in the accident. I missed two months of work while I just laid in bed. I had a car registered in PA but didn't have insurance on it.
Do I have a case? What should I do? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Injured While in Someone Else's Car...":
You should obtain the driver’s insurance information. Once obtained you should contact her insurance company. There is always an 877 or 800 toll free number on an insurance card.
When you make contact with the insurance company tell them you were involved in a collision with their insured. Within a matter of days you'll receive a telephone call from a “Claims Adjuster”. A Claims Adjuster is the person who will investigate your claim and who ultimately will be the one who authorizes any settlement money.
When she contacts you she will introduce herself and then ask if she can take your statement. She will also tell you she will be recording the conversation. Fear not as the recording of statements is standard operating procedure. Tell her everything that happened. Do not embellish. Doing so will only give her reason to question your truthfulness.
She will ask you the names of the doctors you have been seeing. She will also tell you she will be sending you what are called Medical Authorizations. Those are documents which allow her to have access to your medical records. That’s a good thing. Keep track of all of your medical bills, out of pocket expenses, and lost wages.
You may run into a problem with your doctors because although there may be a good chance you will eventually have enough settlement money to pay the bills, they will probably not want to wait to be paid.
Once you have finished treating and are recovering there will come a time when the Adjuster will want to talk about settling your case. The settlement should include enough money to pay for your out of pocket expenses, lost wages, medical bills, and hopefully an additional amount for pain and suffering.
You should consider the assistance of a skilled Personal Injury Attorney. Among other things they are able to contact your physicians and get them to agree to withhold payment until such a time as your case is settled.
The Attorney will also be the one who can recover the largest settlement for you. She will have the leverage of a lawsuit if the insurance company doesn’t pay an appropriate amount for all of your damages.
Most reputable and skilled Personal Injury Attorneys will not charge you for an initial office consultation. Visiting with one will give you an idea of your options. Then you can decide whether you want to represent yourself or retain the Attorney to represent your interests.
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.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.