You can claim personal injuries by retaining an attorney and filing a lawsuit. If, like most people in N.J., you have the verbal or lawsuit threshold option on your own insurance policy, you will have to demonstrate permanent injury to be successful with such a claim. Your insurance defense counsel meant that a personal attorney probably is not necessary regarding the $1M claim against you as it is probably a "pie in the sky" demand by the plaintiff's attorney.
Still, your claim, if genuine and not for spite, faces a number of additional hurdles. The failure to claim injury at the scene of the accident is not fatal to your claim (although it doesn't help). You obtained treatment but, did not submit the bills to your auto insurance company for payment under the PIP endorsement of your policy. You either paid your doctor yourself or, submitted them through your regular health insurance. If the latter, when your doctor submitted his bills to the health insurance carrier filled out a form that states that your injuries are not related to an auto accident or a work-related accident. In any lawsuit you file, the defense will get this information and it likely will be fatal to your claim in the event of a trial. if the former, you can claim ignorance that you would have been covered under PIP.
Negligence claims have four elements, including causally related damages. The issue here isn't whether or not you made a claim or whether you had various reasons for justifying not making a claim. Injured people receive medical treatment for their injuries. Don't take it from me, consult an atorney in your area. Here's more: BLUE LINK BELOW
Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.
Depending on the state where the wreck occurred will determine how long you have to file a claim. Based on the facts that you have described, you need to hire a local attorney who specializes in personal injury cases.
You have two years from the date of the accident to file a law suit. You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to review your case. You should not be speaking with insurance company yourself.
973-984-0800. Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advice and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.
Attorney Brady has outlined for you very well that you still may have a case but there are some hurdles that you created yourself. Nonetheless, if your injuries are serious enough you should consult with an attorney you chose to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of filing your own claim.
If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.
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