We were rear ended while waiting at a stop light by a fully insured guy with USAA insurance (same insurance that we have) who was driving a large Range Rover. We were sitting at a stop light when he hit us while speeding. Police report is very clear and he was totally at fault. All 4 of my small children (6,4,2,and 7 months old) were in the mini van along with my wife. We have all experienced pain and bruising. We are all going to the chiropractor and all of our backs and necks are messed up. I already did all the leg work between USAA and Blue Cross Blue Sheild (my insurance), would hiring a lawyer at this point be worth their 1/3 of what they make me legal fee? The accident occured on 4/13/13. We are all in pain and the car was totaled. I appreciate any advice on this.
I'm sorry to hear about your accident. I've got two young girls (2 and 10 months) and would have serious concerns about them seeing a chiropractor (and I have nothing against chicorpractors.)
As far as your main question, I would tell you unequivocally to hire a lawyer. I'd avoid the ones on TV, but a good personal injury lawyer will be worth it, no question.
I have personally seen this play out time and time again in my practice. I'd be happy to visit with you for free about the case, and you can decide from there whether to hire me or some other lawyer, or none at all.
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You don't necessarily need to hire a lawyer, but you should at least speak with a few qualified Board Certified attorneys. You can also research your situation on our law firm's website:
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I always tell people that the insurance companies are the only winners when people try to handle settlements themselves. Generally attorneys can assist with not only getting a higher settlement, but also reducing medical bills. Is that worth 1/3 of the legal fee? I believe it is. In any event, if you have not provided a statement to USAA - Do not. They are only interested in minimizing the extent of your injuries. The best thing you can do is talk with a lawyer and Know your Rights before settling. If you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Good luck to you and your family.
The answer depends upon many factors which cannot all be addressed here. Here are some considerations and questions I would mention: 1) Don't even think about talking to the other driver's adjuster about anyone's injuries while you are still under a doctors care. Don't make the mistake of assuming because it is the same insurance as yours they will treat you differently. Legally, they cannot. They must assign a different adjuster to the other driver than you. They must treat each policy like they are from two separate companies. The other driver's job is to look out for the other driver's best interests, not yours. That adjuster will try to get you to minimize your own injuries by agreeing with statements like "its a good thing nobody was seriously hurt." The recording of you agreeing to that will get thrown back in your face when you realize the back pain isn't going away. 2) Have you made a pip claim on your own policy? 3) Have the little ones seen their pediatrician? 4) Is there a hospital lien to negotiate? 5) Don't agree to give any recorded statements to the other driver's adjuster. 6) Did you know that the fact that the defendant go ticketed is generally not admissible in a civil lawsuit for personal injuries? Statements of causation routinely get excluded too. 7) Do you know how to negotiate liens and subrogation claims? 8) How much time do you have on your hands because this is not going to be a quick, easy process.
I would suggest you at least speak to a lawyer who does free consultations and see what you are in for before you decide to go this road alone. There have been times when I have meet with someone who had a case that truly was small and simple enough that I told them "yea, you can go this one alone and call me if you hit a snag." Sometimes they call back and hire me, other times I never hear from them again. But why not get a free consultation and make sure you are on the right path? Most personal injury lawyers offer a free consult.
The stakes are much higher when you are talking about an interruption of the lives of your entire family. I recommend you talk to a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible. Using an attorney for your injury claim will take the pressure off of you and your family so you can concentrate on getting well and you will end up with more in your pocket, even after paying an attorney's fee.
I am very sorry that your entire family is having to go through this. You definitely can't go wrong with any of the attorneys shown above that are from your local area there in Texas. Please do not continue working on this all by yourself. The insurance carrier for the other party is crossing its fingers that you do not hire a personal injury attorney there. You should concentrate on getting yourself and your family well from all of your injuries. Let your attorney handle the insurance carrier. Best of luck.
Most lawyers specialized in the field of personal injury will be glad to provide you with initial consultation free of charge. One of the major problems with "chancing it" by not hiring a lawyer is that one or more of you are injured more than initially thought. I have field dozens and dozens of calls from potential clients who found themselves in this position, yet they had done already done damage to their case by not initially consulting a lawyer. Without a doubt, you should consult a lawyer, and one who's practice primarily involves personal injuries.
I would definitely consult an attorney. Most attorneys will offer you a free initial consultation where you can ask the lawyer any questions and make a judgment as to whether to hire them. Typically, lawyers will be able to obtain better results with a carrier justifying their fee.
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