Visitor Question

Should I hire a personal injury lawyer or accident attorney?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Massachusetts, USA)

I was rear ended while getting off a highway exit by the driver behind me who was also coming off the exit. I was bearing right and yielding when it happened.

The damage was minor. Myself and the other driver felt okay at the time, so we did not exchange information. The next day I felt pain in my neck, upper back, lower back and left leg. I decided to put in a claim with my insurance company for injuries, due to the fact that I did not have the other driver’s information.

I went to hospital emergency room and got checked, they treated me for neck and back strain. They did not take X-rays. They told me to follow up with my primary care doctor. I was sent home with prescriptions for naproxen and flexeril and told to put ice on any painful areas.

This happened in the state of Massachusetts. I do not really know how to negotiate, and do not feel comfortable doing so.

Is it best for me to get a personal injury lawyer or accident attorney for this situation?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Regrettably it appears you really don’t have a case an attorney would take (but it never hurts to get a free consultation). In addition, filing a claim against your own insurance company for an uninsured motorist injury is not likely to sit well with your insurance company, or your future premiums – and in this case won’t bring in any type of real settlement offer, if any.

Neck and back strain, commonly referred to as “soft tissue injuries”

normally do not demand any substantial settlement at all. In many cases the injured person is lucky to have the insurance company pay the full amount of his medical and chiropractic bills. But, if you continue to experience pain in your neck you would be well advised to get an x-ray and possibly an MRI to check for more serious damage.

One of the medications the hospital gave you was an over-the-counter medication… Naprosyn is just the generic term for the over the counter pain medication Alleve (an anti-inflammatory). The other medication, Flexiril is a muscle relaxer.

We mention these because if the doctors thought your pain was serious enough to merit a stronger pain medication they would have prescribed something stronger.

Finally, if there wasn’t even enough damage to your mutual vehicles to exchange insurance information it will be very difficult to convince your insurance company that you were injured.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: May 22, 2011

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