I was in car accident; it was the other driver's fault. I contacted my insurance company and they are paying the cost of repairs, rental car. There was a pre-existing condition neck/ back injury and the accident exacerbated it. Can I request pain and suffering from the other insurance company without hiring a lawyer and suing?
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
It is always a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney after you have been injured in a car accident. Accident attorneys are experienced in these matters and they know how to maximize an injured victim's recovery.
You can demand compensation for pain and suffering without hiring an attorney, but the insurance company will most likely not compensate you to the same extent they would if you were represented by an attorney. Your preexisting conditions will be a factor that weighs against you whether you have an attorney or not. But, the insurance company will surely take advantage of you because of this condition and that's precisely where a skilled accident attorney can be of most help to you.
Often, an accident victim can net more if they are represented by an attorney even after the attorney receives their fee.
Consultations will be free and the attorneys will handle this matter on contingency. Search Avvo.com for local personal injury attorneys. All the best in this matter.
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I see at least 5 separate Qs in your question, and they all have different answers.
1. Can you request pain and suffering from the other insurance company?
2. Are you likely to be paid for pain and suffering by the other insurance company without hiring a lawyer?
3. Can you recover for pain and suffering from the other insurance company without bringing suit?
A: Yes. An experienced personal injury attorney can often write a demand letter that will convince an insurer that compensating you for your exacerbated back injury and continued pain and suffering is justified.
4. Can you recover for pain and suffering from the other insurance company without hiring a lawyer?
A: Yes. Many personal injury attorneys will take a case on a "contingency" basis, which means that they will wait for payment of their fees until an award is made. They sometimes ask plaintiffs to pay costs.
5. Can you request that the other insurance company pay for exacerbating your pre-existing back injury without retaining an attorney?
A: Yes. The other driver's policy most likely has a bodily injury provision that requires auto insurers to compensate for medical expenses, treatment, and continuing disability. Again, a good personal injury attorney, because of their experience, may be able to obtain a greater award than what you could get for yourself. If nothing else, you may get tired of pursuing the claim before the attorney will.
Interview a couple of personal injury attorneys in your locale and see what kind of terms they will offer to represent you. This can be done by phone or even on the internet. Then turn the matter over and let the attorney do the work while you heal and get on with your life.
Attorney Horan is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. The response provided here is informational only, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Whenever a person tries to negotiate pain and suffering without an attorney, they are only offered either #1. no money or #2. a nuisance settlement. Search Avvo's "find a lawyer" for a personal injury lawyer in your state, and get representation so you can obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.
Licensed in Pennsylvania & New Jersey & Serving the Nation. Only 29% Fee Deducted. 1-877-258-3083. www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
Personal Injury Lawyer
The answer to your question is that you certainly can make such a request without retaining legal counsel. I suspect that the insurance adjuster who you wind up dealing with will appreciate the fact that you did not retain counsel for your Connecticut automobile accident as this will be viewed as something that is likely to save them money. Unless the injuries or in your case the exacerbation is truly minor and transient there are a number of good reasons to retain an experience CT car accident attorney. I have attached a link to a video interview which explains one of the reasons you might not want to proceed on your own. There are a number of other good reasons as well. I hope you feel better. Paul
Law Offices Of Paul Levin
40 russ Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Juvenile Law Attorney
Yes - you can. But be careful. The insurance company will typically tell an injured party not to hire a lawyer. After all, by not hiring a lawyer you save the attorney fees and therefore the entire settlemneent check is yours! Sounds great huh?
But here's the rub. When you dont have an attorney the insurance company will give you much less than the full value of the case. They realize that you dont know what the full value of the case is. They also know you cant sue (or will have great difficulty) bringing a lawsuit on your own. The may even be real sneaky and string you along to deliberately let the statute of limitations pass.
Here's a hypothetical example of settlement breakdown of a case that is worth $30,000 which assumes no outstanding medical expenses:
You represent yourself. The insurance company will offer you $7,500. You get it all - you net $7,500.
An attorney gets the reasonable value of the case - $30,000. The attorney gets 1/3 - $10,000. You get $20,000.