I was driving my car with my wife on the freeway when someone rear ended me very hard . Their car is totaled ; mine is severely damaged ( my truck vs . aura ) . They were at fault and the police report says so . I have pain in my back and neck , and went to the doctor yesterday . They ordered MRI , x - rays , and therapy . I have to miss work ( I'm a painter ) , and I am still in shock especially since my pregnant wife was in the car with me and she's shook up as well . I reported this to my insurance , but I am not sure if they will cover all costs . If I have insurance and so does the other guy , who pays for my damages ? And will I be suing the guy , his insurance company , my insurance company , or what ? Do I need to get a lawyer through my insurance co . or can I find one on my own ? Thanks !
You should have your own attorney who can present the claim/case for you and your pregnant wife. Definitely do not speak to the other parties' insurance carrier without your lawyer present. Do not sign any papers they may send over to you. Your pregnant wife should get to her OBGYN immediately to document she was involved in a car accident. She will not want to settle her case until well after the baby is born to ensure no damages to the baby from the accident. Personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis which means you are not required to pay up front. The attorney waits to be paid from the settlement. Further, settlements with attorneys are known to be significantly higher than individuals acting on their own behalf. Good luck to you, your wife and your unborn baby.
You do need a lawyer to bring a claim because your own insurance will not cover all the damages you and your wife are entitled to, and the other person's insurance will not pay you what your claims are worth without an experienced lawyer working on your behalf. Your own insurance company will not be able to direct you to a lawyer - you have to find one yourself. Most of the lawyers who have responded to your question can help you but of course you want someone close by. I will be happy to discuss this with you, but you can find listing of local personal injury attorneys on Avvo or many other web sites. You can also call the Alameda County Bar Association if you want a formal referral to a qualified attorney.
You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
The at fault parties insurance should pay for your damages though you may have some medical coverage under your own policy which would also cover you with regard to medical payments. You would be filing suit against the at-fault driver based on the facts you presented but this typically only results from their lack of making an adequate offer during the claims process.
Consult with an attorney to investigate and advise you as there are many issues that may arrise and these will affect the process and method by which you will make a claim and/or file suit.
The car accident in which a person is rear-ended is called a "rear ender" by personal injury attorneys. This little nickname is a result of our desire for these kinds of cases as liability (meaning who is at fault) is almost always a slam dunk... the driver who plowed into the back of the care is almost always at fault. If the driver of the rear-ended car is physically harmed, then the case is probably not going to be about "winning" but how much will be "won."
The victim of a rear-ender needs to do the following: First - immediately get medical attention. Second - hire a personal injury attorney. We personal injury type lawyers offer free consultations and take cases on a contingent (meaning our client does not pay unless he or she "wins" money).
No one should handle any claim (involving a motor vehicle accident with bodily injury) against any insurance company without a lawyer. Claims should be handled by a lawyer - one who will be able to understand and explain the physical damages and injuries from accident. The victim of a car accident really needs to worry about one thing - getting better. That means attending doctor's appointments, attending physical therapy (if appropriate), and taking his or her medication. All of the rest can be handled by a personal injury attorney. We earn our fees (contingent by the way) by taking on the stress and hassle of fighting for money - I dare say some of us actually enjoy the fight, but I realize that most people do not enjoy conflict.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
Corona, CA 92879
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.
There are a number of factors that go into who pays for damages. The first of which being "liability." That is, who is responsible for the collision. The fact that you were struck in the rear of your vehicle, coupled with the police report citing the adverse driver as "at fault" are certainly good evidence to suggest that liability falls to the person that hit you.
The next piece of the puzzle has to do with the level of insurance you and the adverse driver has. versus the extent of your damages. The California minimum level of insurance is a "15/30" policy limit, meaning the insurance company covers the driver for $15,000 per person and $30,000 per occurrence. If the adverse driver has these policy limits, it means that the total amount the insurance company will cover is only $15,000 per person injured, and will only cover $30,000 for the total damages caused in the collision regardless of how many people were injured. There are many levels of insurance, but that is the minimum.
In addition to the adverse driver's level of insurance, your level of Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist coverage. Many insurance policies include this coverage, but not all of them. There are many factors that go into deciding whether this coverage applies. Too many to discuss in this post. If you ultimately decide to retain an attorney, that attorney should be able to explain these factors to you.
Needless to say, there are many factors that go into determining which insurance company, if any, will cover your damages. It sounds like you have a potentially significant injury. Please make sure to follow the recommendations of your treatment providers. Your first priority should be making sure you and your pregnant wife get well. Seeking an attorney's assistance can help alleviate the pressure of dealing with the insurance companies to some extent, and can help you keep the focus on your family's well being. So you can and should seek your own attorney.
I wish you well in whatever you decide, and hope only the best for you, your wife, and the new addition soon to come to you.
When thinking of damages, you have property damage and then your physical injuries in addition to those of your wife. It is common for your vehicle to be repaired and paid for by your own insurance company but you will have to pay your deductible if you go through your own insurance company for repairs. Depending on the severity of the damage, your car may also be totaled out.
Now, with regard to the physical injuries you and your wife sustained, do not mess around and try to handle the case yourself. There is no insurance company that is your friend and man people learn this the hard way by trying to handle their claims or suits on their own. The sooner you get an attorney involved, the better off you will be. Just please make sure you do your research and get an attorney that doesn't disappear after they sign you and your wife up.
I wish you the best in getting through this unfortunate incident.
Get your own attorney ASAP. Also, make sure the attorney you choose has a reputation for taking cases to trial if the insurance company will not settle. This makes an insurance company think twice about not paying a fair amount for your claim. If you want to recover damages beyond the liability policy limits of the other driver or your uninsured / underinsured coverage, you run the risk of a verdict less than what you could have received if you reject a settlement. Contact a personal injury attorney in your local area immediately. I hope you and your wife get along OK ... Good luck!
In New York, most vehicles carry No-Fault coverages with minimum of $50,000. Each party submits billings for medical expenses and lost wages to their own carrier. As to property damage, you can submit to your carrier if you have collision coverage. Otherwise, you can submit to the carrier for the at fault driver. In New York, insurance law requires that you sustain a "serious injury" to make claim for personal injury against the at fault operator. You can chose your own lawyer to make the claim. If you were the at fault driver and a lawsuit was commenced, your carrier would designate a law firm to defend you.
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