We were driving S & other person N before being struck head on at about 50mph. Wife & I both ended up in ER. No permanent damage but after 2 weeks still recovering from all the bruising & pain. Police report clearly shows no fault on our part & the other party was speeding, recklessly driving & unable to properly handle their veichle due to drinking. The medical bills keep piling up and ask is it necessary to hire a lawyer in a case where we were clearly not at fault?
YES! YOU NEED A LAWYER.
Give no statements. Fill out no forms. Just follow doctors' orders and promptly hire a board certified personal injury lawyer to protect your interests. Adjusters often say people will get more without a lawyer. This is usually considered the crime of unauthorized practice of law.
Maximizing your recovery includes hiring a lawyer that insurers know will try your case. Many other matters must be handled, including:
1. determining the proper primary liability insurance policy and its person bodily injury limits
2. determining all applicable insurance coverages before settling too preserve your rights to seek further recoveries against other responsible parties and their insurers (determining whether the other driver was working for someone else or driving a car owned by someone else; whether you have PIP, MedPay, and/or UIM)
3. determining whether the other driver has a criminal record or bad driving record
4. determining which, if any claims against your recovery should be paid, and if so, negotiating them
The adjuster will not tell you these things. Without this information, you cannot make a well reasoned decision. You need a lawyer.
I am a native Houstonian, and I live and work am in your area. I am board certified in personal injury trial law. See www.tbls.org. I charge no fee if I do not recover for you. You can get me on the phone personally rather tan talking to an "intake specialist."
Yes, you should absolutely hire a lawyer, or at least contact one for a free consult. That you were clearly not at fault does not mean that the other driver's insurance company is going to just cough up every dollar to which you are entitled. An attorney can also assist you in making claims under your own policy, such as your personal injury protection or uninsured/under-insured coverage.
Yes you should hire a lawyer immediately. Even when liabilty is clear and damages are evident there are still many issues for which you need a lawyer. By way of illustration., what is the policy limits of the defendant, will you need to claim under you underinsured motorist coverage, what amount will the medical providers and / or medical insurance reduce their lien, if any.
Certainly I would recommend you engage the services of an experienced attorney to assist you. Even though the accident may be clearly caused by the other driver, his insurer owes it's duty of allegiance to it's insured driver, thus, it will not be acting on your behalf. You may well need assistance in gathering medical records, medical bills, hospital liens and other potential lien holder information, such as group health insurers and Medicare, to assess the settlement value of your case.
Yes, you need a lawyer. What many people don't realize is that liability is rarely the battle in personal injury automobile claims. Liability usually isn't that hard to figure out. Insurance companies put up the biggest fights on paying damages. This is where the majority of their cost control takes place.
The defendant was drinking. That creates an argument for punitive damages. They are not likely to voluntarily pay you for that without an attorney that gives them reason to fear them.
Also, every time you talk to that adjuster, he could be recording you. He is not there to help you. He is there to minimize the amount his company must pay. Don't fall for that "we're going to take care of everything" line of crap they try to feed you. "Just pay your own bills up front and we will reimburse bills at the end" is a nice way of saying: "you go get in debt and when you are strapped with bills and hurting for money I'll offer you a pittance and you'll be desperate enough to take it."
Get someone on your side, looking our for your rights who knows their tricks and knows the law.
You should definitely contact an attorney as soon as possible. Insurance companies usually try to settle very low when you are not represented by an attorney, and it usually ends up with you settling with not enough money to cover your actual expenses. A lot of auto accident injury attorneys provide free consults, and work on a contingency basis, which means they don't get paid until you get paid. So there are no upfront costs to protecting your rights and making sure you get fairly compensated. It is important that you do not wait to contact an attorney.
Kristina L. Combs
Attorney at Law, Military Veteran
The Law Firm of Kristina L. Combs, PLLC
PH: (210) 998-5745. Fax: (210) 998-5746
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You may not need a lawyer. Read this post on our website on this issue:
If you decide to hire a lawyer, make sure you ask the lawyer these 7 critical questions before hiring them:
If you have questions after reviewing our web site, please let us know and one of our Board Certified injury attorneys will be glad to assist.
A lawyer is not only for issues of fault, but is really mostly for issues of insurance coverage.
Insurance is an incredibly complicated practice and personal injury attorneys specialize in being able to make the legal arguments to stretch coverage to be available so that you can get all the compensation for your medical bills (not just co-pays), lost wages, pain, and suffering.
You should immediately consult with an attorney who is Board Certified in Personal Injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The insurance company for the at fault driver who caused the wreck does NOT care about being fair with you and your wife when it comes to compensating you for your injuries and damages. It only cares about saving money. Also, you indicate you were not hurt seriously although you provided no description of your injuries or symptoms. If you are having issues with your neck and back you likely need to seek additional medical treatment as well as possibly having MRIs done to determine if there was any damage to your discs in those areas of your spine. Please do not delay in seeking medical treatment or consulting with an attorney as described above. Thanks and have a great day. www.urhurt.com
Contact a lawyer immediately if you have not already. Even in a seemingly straightforward case like this the insurance company will attempt to get you to sign a release, medical authorization, etc... DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING. A lawyer will be able to protect your rights first and foremost and then work to maximize the value of your claim(s). This will include doing the necessary investigation, obtaining your medical bills and records, determining if there is a lost wage claim, claims for impairment, future medical bills, future impairment, loss of consortium, etc....
I hope this helps and good luck.
I agree with all that has been said here but I also wanted to add that a good personal injury lawyer is not only going to help you maximize the amount of money the insurance company is going to pay you but they are also going to help you get reductions in the amounts of money your are going to have to pay back to providers or health insurance companies. In many cases, reductions on subrogation interests can be substantial amounts of money that will ultimately go back to the client.
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