Assuming I hire an attorney will I still get a good settlement? My back is in pain as well as my neck and I do construction so my back wont be the same. Is it worth hiring an attorney?
It is definitely worth hiring a personal injury attorney right away.
You do not indicate when the accident occurred, but it sounds like you still to complete your medical treatment before an attorney can fully evaluate the value of your case. Even if you are still treating, you should have your personal injury attorney retained as soon as possible.
You will also be entitled to claim lost wages and future loss of wages.
Criminal Defense Attorney
You should post this question to personal injury lawyers. They will tell you that your recovery will depend onthe naturee and extent of your injuries, your loss of wages, medical bills and your discomfort (general damages).
From a criminal defense lawyer's perspective, I can tell you that you should talk to the DA's Victim Witness coordinator. You may be entitled to restitution from the Victim's Compensation Fund. In addition, as a victim of a crime, you have rights under Proposition 9 which includes the right to be heard and the right to restitution from the defendant, if he or she is convicted.
But, see a personal injury lawyer.
Criminal Defense Attorney
There are two separate things going on here, the criminal case against the other person and a potential civil case you may have against him/her. In order to assess what kind of recovery you may get there are a number of things an attorney evaluating the case would need to know. You don't mention when the accident happened or whether the person has been convicted of DUI or whether the criminal case is still pending. If the criminal case is still pending you can speak to the District Attorney about restitution. If the person is ultimately convicted of DUI the court may order the person to pay restitution to you. Additionally, the conviction may help you in a civil case with proving fault. You should speak with a personal injury attorney immediately to make sure you don't give up your right to sue by failing to bring your case within the statute of limitations. Any personal injury attorney you consult with would also need to know what your total medical expenses are so far and whether you will need additional care, and if so how much that additional care will cost. You also don't mention whether the person had insurance. Lastly, it would be helpful if you knew what the policy limits are on the other person's insurance, but if you don't know an attorney could find out for you. Again, you should speak to a personal injury attorney right away. Good luck with everything.
DUI / DWI Attorney
Yikes, do yourself a huge favor and find a Persona Injury attorney. Don't handle this yourself. You will likely end up with a lot less, even though most attorneys take 33% of the settlement. Start right away. Don't start giving the insurance company statements yet. Not even your own insurance company. They usually try to get statements from you within the first couple days, before you have a chance to talk to an attorney who will make you aware of some of some of the ways the adjusters get you to make statements that are harmful to your recovery.
Years ago, a general rule for any auto accident was the rule of 3. That is, you could take the amount of your medical bills and multiply by 3 to have a rough idea of what you can get. Now, however, there is much more to calculate. What jurisdiction are you in (more conservative areas are worth less because the jury is likely to award less), did you go to all your treatments or did you contribute to your delayed recovery by missing appointments?, did you wear your seatbelt - if not that could reduce your recovery significantly. Did you have insurace - if not that could also reduce your recovery significantly. Have you ever been hurt in an auto accident before? at work? sports injuries? How old are you? Many insurance companies actually use a program to calculate the value of your claim on a program called Collosuss (sp?). A good PI attorney will know this program and know how to maximize your offer without filing a lawsuit. The fact that the other driver was DUI may also increase your settlement because you may be entitled to punitive damages. You post indicated you are in LA. There are literally thousands of PI attorneys there. One place to start is here on avvo.com, but also check to see if the attorney specializes in PI law. Don't get someone that does a little of everything. You can see if they are a certified specialist by checking them out on the state bar website at calbar.org. Good luck!
DUI / DWI Attorney
Yes, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer about your case. If you were rear ended, the driver was charged with a DUI, and you have injuries, sounds like you have the makings of a strong case. Discuss it with a personal injury lawyer in more detail. It is my guess that once you do this, the attorney you are speaking to will advise that you also go to the doctors regarding your injury. I would not waste any time contacting a personal injury lawyer. I can refer some to you in Los Angeles if you would like. My contact info is on www.1DUILawyer.com.