I'm not sure what to do, but this guy was caught, and he might have been drunk. Now I had some neck pain and headache, and back pain. Should I just go through my insurance, or should I get a lawyer first? As of now it seems it may be minor my condition, but sometimes I hear stories that things could worsen later, the hit was pretty hard. I did go to doctor and he said to take ibuprophen and it should go away in a few days.
I would suggest that you make sure all of your medical treatment progresses immediately. Contact a local area personal injury attorney, here in the LA area such as myself, and set up an appointment to meet with and retain an attorney right away. I am very sorry you were hurt. Do not give out any statements to the insurance company without talking to an attorney first. Best of luck.
Your own insurance company may provide you reimbursement for medical expenses, but that is it. If you have other damages from the accident or want compensation for your pain and suffering you will most likely have to go through the insurance of the defendant.
If you damages are small you could probably handle it yourself and even take them to small claims court if they don't satisfy your demands (up to $7500 if the other driver has insurance - $10,000 if he doesn't).
If you think your case is worth more than $8000 I would suggest you consult with an injury attorney. The consultation will be free of charge and once they get the complete story and more details regarding your injuries and treatment you will get a more thorough evaluation.
Get a lawyer first. If you have "med pay" coverage, your insurance company may pay your medical bills up to your med pay limit, but you would need to go after the person responsible with your own lawyer who can help you recover any damages beyond your med pay limit as well as lost earnings, if any, and pain and suffering damages. Your insurance company has no duty to pursue those remedies for you. Remember, your rights are time limited so consult with an experience lawyer without delay or you stand the risk of losing your rights forever.
Consult a California personal injury attorney ASAP - since this was a hit & run your are going to need professional legal assistance. If necessary that attorney will be able to help you obtain any needed future medical care on a lien basis so you will not have to pay out of pocket. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations.
Regarding your complained of injuries, you must contact your own insurance company to provide reimbursement and/or make arrangements for medical expenses. If you have other damages from the accident or want compensation for your pain and suffering you will most likely have to seek the assistance of a competent attorney in your area to file a lawsuit against the other driver; the insurance of the defendant. Or, you can individually file a lawsuit in small claims court, depending on the extent of your injuries. Ascertain the legal limit of compensation from your district's small claims court. For example, some court cannot award over a certain monetary amount. As the name implies, its generally for "small" claims.
Aside from getting to tell people that one "lawyered up" and saying one has "a mouthpiece" doing all of one's talking... bragging rights... there are many other benefits from having a lawyer represent one should one be a victim of someone else's crumby driving.
When someone is injured, he or she should only be concerned with getting better, attending doctor visits, attending physical therapy, etc. The lawyer will handle the rest... Figuring out who to sue, whether insurance covers the accident, whose insurance should cover, etc.
An experienced personal injury attorney will consider past and future medical bills, past and future employment losses, pain and suffering (past and present) and lots of little things that may not be so obvious.
Fortunately, most of us personal injury types offer free consultations and take such cases on contingency no matter where the case is in California, so there is nothing to fear in calling us.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
4160 Temescal Canyon Road, Suite 306
Corona, CA 92833
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
"When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW."
* This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law and does so anywhere in the State of California.
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