I was rear-ended and shoved into the back of a pick up truck. Car is ruled a total loss. Passenger and I went to the hospital for neck, back and arm aches. Just hurting muscles. We did have to take 2 days off from work. im now anxious and nervous whenever I get into a motor vehicle and dont want to drive on the highway anymore. Do I have to sue the auto insurance provider or can we settle this without getting lawyers involved?
You should, at the very least, speak with an attorney. Most attorneys, including myself, will not charge a fee to speak with you about your case. There are many, many issues to consider, and I do not recommend you attempt to deal with all of them yourself. Your first priority should be your health. If you need medical treatment but cannot afford it I have relationships with many doctors throughout metro-Atlanta. These doctors will treat you without requiring payment upfront. Also, please do not speak with any insurance adjuster before consulting with an attorney. The same is true for signing any documents that are sent to you from the insurance company.
Aaron Marks, Esq.
The Marks Law Group, LLC
103 W. Dearborn Circle
Decatur, GA 30030
If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-939-1485 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at firstname.lastname@example.org . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice.
I agree with Mr. Marks that you should at least speak to an auto accident attorney about the case to determine what the case is actually worth. While the case would be against the at-fault driver who rear-ended you, you would be dealing primarily with that person's insurance carrier. A representative of the insurance carrier will attempt to downplay your injuries and may even make a low-ball offer to settle the case quickly. Remember that, should they contact you, they are recording everything you say to use it against you, so using terms like minor injury could come back to haunt you should your injuries persist or become more serious. This applies to both you and your passenger, and you should each be documenting everything you feel physically, have to pay out as a result of the wreck, how much work you miss, and all of the details of the accident.
Should you like to sit down for a free consultation, please feel free to call my office to set an appointment at your convenience.
The best way to not get compensated at all, or to get less than you should, is to talk to the insurer without a lawyer. There have been studies that show on average that a person gets about 70% less without a lawyer than with one.
My office would be glad to offer you a free consultation (404-768-3509). Whatever you do, do not say a word to the adjuster. EVERYTHING you say will be used by their lawyers to lessen the value of your possible claim. Act quickly - delay can also diminish the value of a case or complicate pursuing it.
Although it is not required of you to retain an attorney in order to settle your case, it is highly advisable. Attorneys are trained to maximize your settlement, and insurance companies are notorious for lowballing claims when an attorney is not involved. Furthermore, most personal injury attorneys will handle your case on a contingency basis and offer a free review of your case, meaning you really don't have anything to lose.
Regarding your claim, insurance companies know that the the body is more prone to injuries when your vehicle is rear ended and pushed into another car. Essentially, the rear-end collision throws your head backwards and when your vehicle hits the car in front of you, your head is quickly thrown forwards - thus you are more prone to cervical and thoracic injuries. While tempting, I would not be in a hurry to settle your claim and I would certainly consult a lawyer to make sure that your rights are protected. Best of luck to you in your recovery and I wish you a happy holiday season.
Andrew P. Copenhaver
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