We were in our car waiting for a car to turn in front of us, and we were completely stopped. I was a passenger in my sister’s car. We were rear ended by a car behind us. It hit us at about 35 miles per hour. I had an instant headache and was vomiting. Police came and I told them I had a headache from the crash, so I went to hospital.
The next day I had muscle strain in my neck and back. I went to a regular physician and they ordered me physical therapy because I wasn’t getting better on my own. Then I received an MRI and it showed multiple bulges in my cervical and thoracic discs.
I went to a pain specialist and had trigger point injections but they haven’t been working so far. The at fault party’s insurance company admits their client was 100 percent at fault in the accident. He was on a cell phone and he claimed full responsibility. The accident was January 3, 2012 and I’m still in so much pain. They have agreed to pay my medical bills and pain and suffering.
This is my first time suffering an injury from an accident like this and I’m not sure what to do. Is it in my best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer? Thank you.
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.
Whether it is in your best interest to contact an attorney is a decision you will have to make yourself. Let’s review the facts…
Do not make any arrangements to settle your claim until you have completed your medical treatment and therapy. Bulging discs are very serious. The statute of limitations in the State of Iowa is 2 years. That means you have up to 2 years from the date of your injury to either settle your claim or file a lawsuit. So there’s no need to rush.
Tell the insurance claims adjuster you don’t want to discuss settlement until you are fully healed, or until such time as your physician indicates you have reached a point where no further treatment will change the status of your injuries.
Keep accurate records of your medical bills, referred to as “specials” in the insurance business. Also keep receipts for any of your out of pocket expenses such as prescription and over the counter medication, crutches, etc.
If you’ve had to miss work as a result of your injuries and treatment, get written verification of your lost wages.
Once you’ve healed you can begin settlement negotiations in earnest.
Although there are several methods used in calculating an appropriate demand amount, you will be safe taking your specials and multiplying them by 3x or 4x. Doing so will leave you with an amount which will cover all of your costs plus your pain and suffering. Make a demand for that amount.
From the facts you present you probably shouldn’t settle for less than about 3x specials. The final amount will be up to you. If you’re not satisfied with the negotiations you can always speak with a personal injury attorney. Most won’t charge any fee for an initial office consultation.
Learn more here: Car Accident Back Injuries
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
We wish you the best with your claim,
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