Yes. It makes sense for you to get an attorney. The attorney will need to determine the amount of insurance coverage available from the other driver's insurance company and also from your own underinsured motorist coverage, if you have some. Then, you will need to determine the full extent of your injuries. Remember that once you settle, you will not be able to ask for further compensation even if your injuries turn out to be more significant than you originally thought. That is why many insurance carriers send out adjusters to speak with accident victims to try to get them to settle the case immediately. It makes sense to speak with an attorney before speaking with the other driver's insurance company.
Studies have now proved that claims asserted by attorneys settle for an average of 50% higher than the claims asserted by non-attorneys. It's a no-brainer. Get a lawyer!
Answering your question does not make me your lawyer. No attorney-client relationship is created until we enter into a written agreement signed by both you and I.
Of course you need a lawyer; that is unless you want to get screwed by the insurance company. If insurance companies just willy nilly paid out money to people such as yourself, there would be no need for personal injury attorneys.
They may try to sucker you into accepting a small amount of money but is almost all cases, it will be less then you could get with an attorney.
My law firm handles car accident cases all over the state of California. You can read about these cases at http://www.thepersonalinjury.com . If you want to discuss your case, you may call me for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.
No attorney/client relationship is or shall be created by this response on Avvo to non-clients of The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez.
You need a Lawyer. You should contact a local Lawyer for a free consultation.
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The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.
A consultation with a personal injury attorney is free, so you should make an appointment as soon as possible as they can advise you on a number of issues you must deal with after an accident. Visit my website for advise on what to do after an accident and feel free to contact me for more assistance. 800-529-5908.
I would recommend that you talk to a personal injury attorney and seek representation. I represent people in these types of cases on a regular basis. I would be happy to meet with you and give you a free consultation. My phone number is 650-787-6946. It sounds like you have a good case and I would be happy to assist you. I live in San Jose and could meet with you in San Jose at your convenience as early as tomorrow if you are interested.
You should absolutely hire an attorney to maximize whatever claim you have against the person who hit you. This is really a no brainer. Do not deal with the insurer on your own.
You will likely need an experienced attorney, since you will not know the value of your case,
and how to negotiate with the defendant's insurance company.
Probably, but you should find out what the other driver's insurance policy limits are-- if they are $15K, or even $25K, the carrier may just simply pay them (and you incur no attorney's fees). Then you can claim on your own underinsured motorist insurance.
Chuck Geerhart 415-498-2101
You have had quite a number of responses from capable legal counsel. I would like to point out a few things to you that have not been previously mentioned. One, you absolutely need a lawyer. Insurance reps are trained professionals and what they are trained to do is pay little or nothing on claims. That's how they get their promotions and raises in their employment. You should use best efforts to not directly communicate with the insurance carrier. Have all communications go through the law firm's office. We can deal with all their attempted manipulations. Do not give them any statements. Let it all go through the law firm. Also, if the lawyer is very experienced in personal injury, he or she will have a good idea where this case is headed in regard to settlement based upon what insurance company that we are dealing with.
John N. Kitta
I have been in practice in San jose for 34 years. As repeated in the other answers, you should not deal with the ins co on your own. They are supposed to pay as little as possible to settle cases. That is the job of the adjuster. many will be nice to the claimant to establish "claimant Control," which means they keep the person from contacting an atty to protect their rights.
There are things that you should be doing early on and other things you shouldnt do all right from the get go. these things can come back to haunt you later in the case.
Attorneys like me give free consultations, and take cases on contingency, which means you dont owe anything unless we resolve the claim, and then it is a percentage.
Robert Kopelson 408-293-4000
Remember this, insurance companies are good at 2 things: collecting premiums and denying claims. Yes, you should hire an attorney. They insurance company already has a team of lawyers working against you. You should have at least one attorney fighting on your side.
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