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Should I talk to a lawyer or settle with insurance company?

Dixon, IL |

I was rear ended about a month ago, by a 19 yr old driving on a suspended license. I was taken to the local ER by ambulance. I am currently being treated for my injuries. The "at fault driver" insurance company, covered the cost to have my vehicle repaired. I am not sure what to do at this point with everything. Do I talk to a lawyer or just settle with the insurance company? I have never dealt with this kind of situation before.
Any advice would be helpful!!

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Attorney answers 10


It never hurts to speak with a lawyer. Frequently the insurance company will settle for a lower amount if the person is not represented by counsel.


You should certainly consult a local injury attorney as soon as possible. The insurance company does not represent your interests and is trying to get you to settle the case quickly and for as little as they can.

A injury lawyer will likely increase your recovery and advise you of all your options and the relative advantages and disadvantages of different routes to recovery. Injury lawyers also help you manage your medical liens and possible subrogation claims.

Almost all lawyers practicing personal injury law are happy to give free initial consultations and are ultimately paid a portion of the final recovery.

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It never hurts to have a free consultation with a lawyer regarding your situation.

The scope of this space does not afford an opportunity to adequately advise you. The response provided is intended to be informative, but not final. You are advised to arrange a consultation at which all facts and documents can be explored and terms for representation agreed. An attorney-client relationship must be formally established


You may want a lawyer, depends on how complicated it gets. This is advice you need to follow: Do not settle until you are fully recovered from all injuries that resulted from the accident.

Also, do not make any statements to the "at faults" insurance company. They are not there to help you. Plus, they have lawyers helping them craft their questions and developing their case.

Now that I am thinking about it more, retaining counsel is probably going to net you the best result in this case. He or she will handle all the aspects that you are unsure about and ensure you get fair compensation. When you find counsel that puts you at ease, it will be worth it.

Louis J. Meyer
Meyer & Kiss, LLC
Offices in Chicago, Peoria & Rockford
312.765.0100, 309.713.3751. 312.219.0963


Never settle, with or without a lawyer, if still under treatment! You have no idea if your injuries will result in permanent damage and thus don't have any idea what value. Your case may have. This is rule number one.

Talk to a lawyer to evaluate your case and prevent the insurance nce company from taking advantage of you and settling cheap.

Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
Chicago, IL

This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.


You should not even be thinking of handling this yourself without consulting with a local personal injury attorney. You will never get anywhere near fair value for your injuries without one. Besides, by trying to settle yourself, you may say or do things that will hurt your case even if you do later obtain an attorney.


Probably neither. One month is very soon to settle.

It all comes down to how badly you are injured. If YOU ARE POSITIVE that you have only bruises or strains and you have needed little medical care, you would benefit from the attorney's assistance but you may actually get less money.

That the at-fault driver was an unlicensed teen has NOTHING to do with value. He could also have had an open bottle of liquor and been texting while smoking crack. It would not add a penny to your case.

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If you are still being treated, you should not settle. Insurance companies almost always settle property damage easily as car values are readily available, values of injury claims are handled differently. The insurance adjuster is a trained negotiator/ Unless you are also, you should hire an attorney.

Mr. Padove is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. He can be contacted at (219) 836 2200. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Padove strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received. If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.


First, don't sign any forms (including a medical authorization) unless and until the insurance company puts forth an acceptable offer to completely resolve ALL of your claims.

Second, don't think about a settlement until you're done with medical treatment AND you have fully recovered from your injuries. If you are permanently injured, you need a lawyer's help (sorry).

Third, if your medical bills are vastly more than the at-fault driver's insurance and the insurance company verifies in writing the limits of its driver's coverage (by giving you a declarations page) AND YOU GET THE CONSENT OF YOUR OWN INSURANCE COMPANY IN WRITING, then you may be able to settle your claim without a lawyer.

Fourth, remember: You probably have automobile insurance coverage of your own that you aren't accessing. It may be helpful to seek legal advice even on this one small area. It would be a shame to pass up funds that you are legally entitled to.

Fifth, don't believe the insurance company's lies. If you start hearing things like, "If you don't settle now, I'm going to close the file," then you need to run to a good lawyer's office. This is a bald-faced lie. You have a statutory right to bring your claim within the limitations period. If you feel pressured by the adjustor, it's time to get a lawyer who has your back.

Stephen Laurence Hoffman

Stephen Laurence Hoffman


Excellent advice for nearly any injury!


Get a lawyer to get maximum compensation