Consult with a local personal injury lawyer. In the meantime do not any documents until you have them read by a lawyer.
This information does not constitute am attorney / client relationship and is just a general answer to the question posed with the limited facts available. There is no substitute to a consultation with an attorney licensed in your State.
It's fine for lawyers to boast about their past successes and tell you what a good case you have, but don't don't start counting your settlement money yet. What you recover may very well be limited by the available insurance. Your medical bills may end up coming out of your recovery, depending on what kind of coverage there was for medical expenses. You definitely need to retain a lawyer. The insurance companies are not in business to give away money and they always try to take advantage of people who are unrepresented.
Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.
Insurance companies commonly settle for twice the medical expenses, although you may get more or less depending on the facts of your case. There is little doubt that having an attorney wll get you more for pain and suffering.
As one of my colleagues has mentioned, your recovery is likely to be limited by available insurance. For example, if the other driver had minimum limits of 15/30 you have already exceeded the available insurance money for that driver just with your medical expenses. Unless there is an underinsured motorist policy that covers you for your excess damages you're going to have a problem getting any more that $15K for your injuries in this example.
There is also the issue of medical reimbursement if you have private health insurance and/or the hospital lien you’re your emergency medical treatment. An attorney will be able to navigate these waters for you and, hopefully, there is enough insurance to completely cover you for your loss. Unfortunately, that may not be the case. It is definitely early to be counting your chickens.
I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference
I've been posting my biased opinions and comments here and there on the Internet and Avvo for a while now (since Al Gore invented the online attorney forums, I believe), and every time I see a post about a person doing battle all by his or her non-lawyer self against an insurance company, I keep thinking the post might as well read something like, “my no-insurance nephew needs to get that brain aneurysm removed, but it’s located right near his mah-doola. His headaches have gotten so bad he's up to eight cans of Rheingold a day for the pain. So, what I need to know is whether I should use my Black ‘n Decker cordless to go in through the back of his thick skull or through his big mouth...”
No one who has suffered personal injury should do battle against an insurance company without a lawyer. No one but a neurosurgeon should do brain surgery, even if one’s nephew is a schmuck.
We personal injury lawyers - yes, even ones like me who handle motorcycle accidents - offer free consultations. We handle cases on a contingent basis. We actually love the game, the battling, the negotiations, the tactics, etc. An injured person should just worry about getting better.
An injured victim’s lawyer will consult with medical experts to determine how much past, present, and future medical treatment will be needed and how much said treatment has and will cost. An injured victim’s lawyer will look as past, present, and future losses of income with regard to job availability, loss of advancement potential, and medical insurance issues. An injured victim’s lawyer will handle all of these issues and much more... all the while handling the formidable adversary known as the insurance company.
When a claim involves personal injury and potentially tens of thousands in medical bills, the failure to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer would be the first step down the wrong path. Since many of us personal injury types offer free consultations and take personal injury cases on a contingent basis, there really is nothing to fear in calling us.
* This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy.
** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206... Corona, CA 92879... (951)520-9684... www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com... "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW." ... * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy... ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.
Mr. Crosner is correct regarding the value of your case. It depends on liability, credibility, excellent documentation of injuries, lack of prior injuries of a similar nature, how articulate you may be in explaining your pain and suffering and how good your attorney is at painting the fullest of pictures on the damage canvas.
You need an in person attorney review. Personal injury attorneys work on a percentage of the recovery, so you can expect the attorney to work hard to get the best economical resolution for you. Please feel free to contact me for an appointment in our Long Beach office located at the 710/405. 800-809-8848
There are a number of factors involved in determining how much you can get for pain and suffering. Among these are the nature and extent of your injuries, the type of treatment you had, the amount of the bills, whether your injuries have resolved or whether you have residuals, whether you had to miss time from work. A good personal injury attorney should be able to review everything and give you a better idea of what your case is worth. There is another factor here, and that is how much insurance the other party had. While that doesn't necessarily limit your recovery, it is often very difficult to obtain more than the policy limit, especially if the other party does not have much in the way of assets.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.