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Questions about an automobile wreck

Augusta, GA |

I was in a accident yesterday where a drunk driver hit me from behind he did leave the accident but the cop chased him down and he is at fault I have already scheduled chiropractor visits b/c of slight pain in my back I was wondering how much i could go after the insurance company with no lawyer

Attorney Answers 9


  1. Best answer

    If you really want to screw yourself, represent yourself. On average, at best, you will get about 80% less than if has an attorney. Insurance adjusters love people who fail to get counsel. Since DUI cases sometimes will have punitive damages, you could cost yourself a great deal by acting pro se. Do NOT say a word to the insurer without counsel.

    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). 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.


  2. There is no limit to what you may ask for. Recovery any is going to be mire difficult without an attorney. Bottom line: you get what you pay for.

    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


  3. There Is no magic formula to this process, otherwise none of us would have jobs. Regular collisions are complicated enough when you try to DIY because of coverage issues, the types of damages you can recover, uninsured motorist coverage, then healthcare liens on the back end. Understand that the insurance adjuster you are dealing with is a professional, and her job is to pay you significantly less than what you're case is worth. The way to maximize your leverage is to be able to demonstrate if you don't get fair value you're prepared to litigate the case all the way high through trial in a way that puts the insurance company on the hook for a potentially higher verdict than their limits, thereby soaking appealing to their self preservation instinct to settle the case. Without a lawyer you lose all that leverage. There's a reason folks who have them get settlements that are significantly higher than folks who don't. Call any of us who regularly sue drunk drivers and we can give you multiple examples of what types of offers people were getting before retaining attorneys. I don't mean to sound negative - we help people handle their own claims in small claims court all the time, but those are simple, straightforward claims where it makes sense to do that. But if those cases are like a low fever or a scraped knee, your case is like a mysterious bump that showed up suddenly behind your neck. Is that something you're going to handle yourself or see a doctor? Whatever you decide, Good luck to you and glad you weren't more seriously injured. Drunk driving collisions usually have injuries far more severe so sounds like you dodged one.

    The initial consultation is always free. This post is intended to provide general guidance, and should not be construed as legal advice. While I am an attorney, unless we sign a retainer agreement, I am not your attorney, and any information shared on Avvo does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if you like it.


  4. No one can tell you today what your case is worth. Consult with a personal injury attorney and you will receive fair treatment.


  5. There is no limit to your recovery. Chiro/med bills are important, but the biggest element of your case will be punitive damages. Only an attorney skilled at presenting these damages will get the type of recovery you deserve.


  6. Without a lawyer, you would either sabotage your good claim and get ZERO or you would get a TINY nuisance settlement. You need a local Augusta personal injury lawyer. Avvo has a great "find a lawyer" tool to locate a top-rated personal injury lawyer (10) with a reasonable contingency fee, less than thirty percent, so you don't get hurt twice. Good luck.


  7. You need a local Augusta attorney. Period. Augusta has what I consider a very tight legal community. There are some lawyers that you want, there are others to avoid. If you do not have one already and you do not know who to call, call or email me on Monday and I will be glad to direct you to an experienced trial attorney in Augusta.

    This answer specifically does not create an attorney-client relationship in any way and neither Jeffrey G. Casurella nor anyone affiliated with the law firm of Cochran & Edwards, intends for this electronically created transmission, that is, the answer to this question through this website, to create an attorney-client relationship on-line, through this answer to the question, or by any other electronic means. It is my policy and the policy of Cochran & Edwards to enter an attorney-client relationship only through a written engagement letter or retainer agreement -- and only where doing so would comply with all applicable laws and ethical rules. Otherwise, you may not rely on the contents of this email and if you do so, it is at your own peril.


  8. You're entitled to your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and punitive damages for the defendant's willful and wanton, reckless conduct.

    I wouldn't handle this case without a lawyer. That's going into a gun battle with a pocket knife. You may be entitled to all of the available insurance, a general umbrella policy as well as your uninsured motorist policy limits, but only if proper notices are issued, declarations pages obtained, and proper demand letters issued pursuant to Supreme Court of Georgia cases Southern General vs Holt and Lewis vs Cherokee Insurance Co.

    Any well-qualified insurance/personal injury attorney would be more than willing to provide you a free consultation to discuss potential avenues for serious recovery from varieties of potentially applicable insurance policies. There's a very helpful "find a lawyer" tool at the top if the site.

    Here's what your personal insurance coverage means: http://bit.ly/1bMSf7W

    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.


  9. I am sorry to hear about your accident. Whenever you are injured as a result of another person's negligence (carelessness), you potentially have claims for (1) medical bills, (2) lost wages from missed work, (3) pain and suffering, (4) any permanent injury or disfigurement, (5) inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of life, and (6) any property damage, such as damage to your car. You may also be entitled to “punitive” damages, which are intended to punish a person for acting in a way that endangers others. Punitive damages are often awarded to people hit by drunk drivers. Although Georgia law limits punitive damages in most cases, there is no limit when a drunk driver causes injury.
    However, without knowing all the details of your accident there is no way for me to evaluate how much your case is worth. You should know that the driver’s insurance company is interested in settling for the least amount of money possible and that they have hired attorneys to represent their interests. You should consult with a personal injury attorney who has experience handling car accident cases and who can represent your interests. Without an experienced attorney, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage in any negotiations. An initial consultation with a personal injury attorney is free, and retaining a good attorney is the best way to ensure that you get fairly and fully compensated for your injuries. In the meantime, please do not talk to anyone from the insurance company without an attorney present. Claims adjusters are trained to minimize the damages an injured person can recover and may try to get you to admit fault in the accident.
    Of course, whenever you are in a car accident, the most important consideration is getting whatever medical attention you need. I would see a doctor as soon as possible, both to rule out any serious injuries and to document your pain. Make sure to follow up with your health care providers as necessary, both to ensure that you heal properly and also because people (claims adjusters, attorneys, and even jurors) are often suspicious of those who claim to be injured but fail to follow their treatment plan. If you do not have the means to pay for continued medical care, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you. For example, I have made arrangements for many of my clients to see a doctor at no cost to them, with the understanding that the doctor will be paid once the case settles or we win at trial. I hope you feel better soon and I wish you the best of luck in resolving this matter.

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