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How do I know if I should hire a personal injury lawyer or accept the insurance company's $5000.00 offer for boating accident?

Hillsdale, NY |

Boating accident. No tickets issued. Other boat totaled and $18,000 damage to ours. Husband was the driver of our boat. I was standing when we hit and I went up in the air, when coming down hit my lower back on railing and landed on counter. Back boarded to hospital. Swelling for almost two months but no fractures. Had some previous degenerative bone disease. Out of work 3 weeks using walker. Cane for several other weeks. Started physical therapy 4 months after for a total of 4 wks. Pain still comes and goes as does swelling. Missed several functions including my own 45 birthday party. My insurance company called me and offered me $5000. I declined stating I felt it should be much higher and gave facts. Agent told me she could not entertain it and told me to call a lawyer.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Your agent (or claims adjuster) gave you the same answer that I will - Immediately consult with a local personal injury attorney. You sustained a rather serious injury & still have residual pain & disability. Quit talking to the insurance adjuster & call an attorney. Most personal injury attorney handle these cases on a contingency basis (no recovery, no fee) - they are trained to assist you in receiving whatever medical care is necessary & fair compensation for your injuries. Good luck

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.

  2. You should definitely hire an attorney. The sole objective of an insurance company in this type of claim is to limit your recovery. They will not pay reasonable value of your injuries unless they are forced to do so with the threat of trial.

    Hire a personal injury attorney with boating case experience as the maritime law may be implicated and not all PI attorneys are well versed in it.

    Good luck.

    The aforementioned opinion does not constitute legal advice and is for general educational purposes only. See an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for competent legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through the within legal question and answer session.

  3. Speak to an attorney to represent you.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

  4. That is what is called a nuissance value offer. Consult a personal injury lawyer.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

  5. Without a lawyer, you will only get a tiny fraction of the true worth of your claim.

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