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If I sue the person who hit me from behind and totaled my car do I have a good chance on getting money for pain and suffering?

Jonesboro, GA |

A driver of a 1984 truck was not paying attention while I was stopped and slammed into my car causing me to rear end the suv in front of me. My head slammed against the steering wheel and my car was totaled. I'm thinking about pursuing a law suit and I've also missed lots of days of work and been going to the chiropractor for the past 6 weeks. Can I sue for more other than lost wages and pain and suffering. Like the amount for the tires I just put on the car plus the paint job and other after market items.

Attorney Answers 10


  1. If you are serious about improving your chances for a recovery (and for a fair recovery) then you need to contact local and qualified counsel. Good luck.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff


  2. I would not be worried about the tires and paint job, as you sustained a head injury which could have some serious consequences and mean that the personal injury part of your claim might have significant value. It is suggested that you immediately consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you through this process. Do not speak with the insurance company before consulting with an attorney as you could say something which might jeopardize your claim.

    In seeking an attorney on this site, beware of limiting your search to attorneys with a 10 rating, and carefully read the AVVO disclaimer regarding their rating system. There are certain factors that are given great weight which do not necessarily have any bearing on an attorney's experience, abilities, and results with certain types of cases. Accordingly, the rating numbers can be misleading. Also beware of basing your choice on the fee charged, as a low fee, depending on the skill, experience and determination of the specific attorney handling your case, could actually have an inverse relationship to the amount actually put in your pocket.


  3. Folks often post questions on this forum setting out a series of facts and asking if there was negligence and whether they "have a case". Unfortunately, no attorney is going to be able to give you a substantive answer without reviewing all of the circumstances and facts, etc. You need to consult with a personal injury attorney to assist you who can investigate and give you guidance as to how to proceed. Personal injury attorneys typically handle cases on a contingency fee basis and give free consultations. Use the Find a Lawyer tab on Avvo to find one in your area. Best of luck to you...

    THESE COMMENTS MUST NOT BE CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE. Comments made on websites such as Avvo.com are provided for information purposes only, and you should not base a decision to act or refrain from acting based upon this answer. The only way to determine how the law may apply to your particular situation is to consult with an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. That relationship is established by the execution of a written agreement for legal services. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference.


  4. Juries award and insurance companies pay for real injuries. Car accidents are not about money, they are about getting fairly compensated. Chiropractic cases are not thought of very seriously in the industry, especially if the damage to the vehicles was not bad. If you have a real injury, get to a real medical doctor before it's too late. As far as lost wages go, an insurance company is not likely to listen to a chiropractor who says you cannot work; a real MD is a different story.

    Finally, the value of the car is determined by many things but it is the value as a whole. You never get back out of a car what you put into it (trust me I have a 78 Dodge Ramcharger hobby truck) so do the best you can in arguing for highest value. Good luck to you.


  5. You may be able to get paid for aftermarket upgrades to your vehicle as long as they are not considered normal maintenance. Normal maintenance usually includes tires, fixing mechanical problems while aftermarket upgrades may include a new stereo, specialty wheels, etc.
    As far as your personal injury claim, I would immediately go seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney in your area. it does sound as if you have viable claim for your injuries and losses.

    All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. No attorney client relationship has been formed nor should one be inferred. Our office only represents plaintiffs in personal injury matters such as wrongful death, liquor liability accidents, dram shop cases, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and other catastrophic injuries.


  6. Your focus on the tires is misplaced. If you were hurt, you have about a zero chance of recovery of pain and suffering with no lawyer. One study showed pro se claimants average 80% less than claimants with lawyers. Six weeks into an injury you should already have counsel, and you need counsel quickly. Insurers tend to downplay cases where the only care is chiropractic, and pay better where there are other medical bills from an MD or a hospital, but every case revolves on its facts. A delay in counsel keeps a lawyer from putting together a demand or case, so get a good lawyer ASAP. A good PI case may include pain and suffering, lost wages and medicals.

    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 unless you sign a retainer agreement). 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. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. Note that I am only licensed in Georgia and thus cannot practice in other states. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy. State bar rules require that I disclose my name/contact information in any communication (Glen Ashman)


  7. Yes, you can make a claim for property damage. However, it is important that you make that claim, as a part of your property damage claim, and you do not settle your property damage claim without including the uniqueness of your vehicle as it relates to the tires and paint job.


  8. First and foremost you should immediately consult a local qualified personal injury attorney. He or She will assist you through the process and can answer any questions about property damage (tires) etc.


  9. A closed head injury is quite serious and you would be well served if you contact an experienced injury attorney. The damages to a 1984 truck may very well exceed the value of the car. In my experience with Clayton County, juries will find the motorist liable for following too closely behind you. So in a nutshell, i believe on the facts that you have provided that would be able to prove that you were injured and sustained pain and suffering.


  10. The measure of damages in a personal injury case is your compensatory damages, or, the value of that which you lost as the result of the negligence of the at fault party. This includes your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, the loss of consortium that your spouse endures, etc.

    Here's how negligence works in the state of Georgia: http://bit.ly/1dsLf2o. Essentially, once you've proved that the Defendant breached a duty that caused an injury to your purse (a loss of money) or to your person (a personal injury) you're entitled to recover for those damages.

    To answer the question you've asked specifically about add-on aftermarket parts and new tires, for property damage claims, you're entitled to the fair market value for the damage done, which includes consideration for add-ons like fancy tires, etc. However, the insurance company will say they don't pay these things, because they don't want to. A lawyer would have to show the adjuster the legal obligations to pay for such expenses in order for you to get your full due.

    Keep in mind, you're also entitled to compensation for the depreciated fair market value of your car if it isn't totaled. This often requires an expert affidavit to prove to the insurance company, but it's worth talking about that with an attorney as well.

    I answer this question in more detail on my podcast, Talking Law here: http://daviddorer.com/3262014/

    Answering questions does not create an attorney/client relationship. I only am your attorney if I have entered into a written contract, signed by me, wherein I expressly assent to be your attorney. Nothing I post should be construed as legal advice to be acted upon, it is merely a legal opinion.

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