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Do I need to hire a lawyer? What should be the final claim settlement $ amount?

Falls Church, VA |

Hello, I was in a car accident in June 2010. The other person ran a stop sign and hit me on the left front. It was not my fault - Police report says the same. My co-passenger was hurt and her left thumb was fractured. She underwent a surgery and was immobilized for 6 weeks. Currently she is undergoing Physical therapy sessions. She was on a vacation to US and 40-50% of her vacation time is lost in this incident. My vehicle was totalled and I did received the amount. My insurance company is reimbursing the medical bills which I had to pay out of pocket - but it is being paid from my coverage. I have been told that I have the pay all the medical expenses after the final settlement. Is this normal? Should I hire a lawyer? What should be the final settlement amount?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

The fact that your car was totalled and your passenger sustained a fractures suggests you need a lawyer. The lawyer should not represent both you and your passenger, unless a Confilct of Interest waiver is signed. I think you need a lawyer, and you need to assess the following: (1) What are your total medical expenses to date? (2) Have you made a full and complete recovery from this accident? (3) If not, what residual problems are you still suffering from? (4) Will you need to seek follow medical care in the future? and (5) Will you suffer some permenent disability (even if it is partial) as a result of this accident. Without answering these questions there is no way i the world to figure out what your claim may be worth either for settlement or for a jury trial.

Posted

If I understood the facts correctly, you are made to pay for the medical treatment of your passenger who was injured as the result of a car accident in which you feel you were not at fault. What I am not hearing here is any information about the availability of any insurance for the other car that hit you. If they had insurance, the are the ones to look to for payment of all damages including your property damage and your passenger's medical treatment costs. Why aren't they involved here?

If the other car did not have insurance, then you may end up being on the hook for the medical treatment and costs of your passenger beyond the limits of your insurance-but she will have to actually sue you and win her case before you become legally responsible to pay anything out of pocket.

There is no way to know what the final settlement amount should be since without having the benefit of looking at your file, the medical records, and all other relevant information, it is simply impossible to know what the final numbers should be.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with an attorney in your area and sort through things with his or her help.

I hope this helps-

Nima Taradji
http://personalinjuryattorneyz.com

Disclaimer: I am a lawyer licensed in the State of Illinois only, and I am not your lawyer (unless you have been in my office and signed a contract). This communication is not intended as legal advice, and no attorney client relationship results. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice. This is for entertainment purposes only.

Posted

You should not settle any case (and neither should your insurance company) until all injured parties have been released from a doctor's care. If you settle, then the insurance company will not pay anymore. If the other parties settle, then there is no more liability.

Your passenger needs to deal with her own medical issues. You need to be in touch with your insurance company about settlements with the other person's company, especially if you had to pay anything out of pocket. Your passenger should be filing claims with both insurance companies and let them work it out.

You might want to consult with a local attorney to make sure that any settlement protects you from future liability regarding this accident.

[This communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]

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