Then you and your friend both sound like you have excellent claims against the other driver.
Please contact a personal injury lawyer immediately, do not talk to the insurance company if they call you, and make sure you photograph all visible injuries.
You will be able to (as will your friend) collect for medical bills, your injuries, any future medical damages, lost wages, and pain & suffering and disfigurement.
I wish you luck and would be happy to talk to you.
Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
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.
File a claim against the other person's insurance. Hire a PI attorney to assist you. These types of cases are taken on a contingency which means fees are taken from the award and there is no upront cost to you. There are many good lawyers in your area.
Call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Do not delay since there are filing deadlines.
This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. This means that I am not your lawyer and I will not appear in court simply by posting on this site. If you would like me to represent you, you must call my office, sign a written fee agreement and pay a legal fee, assuming I do not have a conflict of interest and you are in Southern California. If I respond to your question and you have follow up questions by posting on this site, I may or may not reply. This information should not be construed as legal advice. I am offering my opinion. Each person's case is unique, and that's why you should contact a lawyer over the phone for a consultation for your situation. That's why you should not rely on any response that an attorney posts on this site. I am licensed in California. I am not licensed in another state or country. I do not practice law outside of California.
You should consult with a personal injury lawyer immediately. It has been proven time and time again that you stand to recover more when you hire an attorney compared to trying to settle the claim yourself. The insurance company may very well make you an offer up and above what you have in medical/property bills, but there are other variables that need to be considered. You might be surprised just how much of a difference an attorney can make in the final amount of your recovery.
Make sure you take pictures of not only your bodily injuries, but if possible, pictures of the vehicles involved in the collision. Keep in mind that these pictures may be used by the opposing insurance company and/or jury in calculating a settlement/verdict. You have to look at it from the jury's perspective. If your vehicle was rear-ended, don't just take a photo from directly behind the rear of the car where it might make the damage look less than what it was, take pictures from different angles so you can show the jurors just how much damage was caused and how hard of an impact you sustained.
Whatever you do, don't talk with the opposing insurance company until you've spoken with an attorney. One of the first things they may try to do is get you to make a recorded statement, and you better believe they'll be more than happy to use it against you later on even if you didn't mean to say what you did or were confused about their questions. The insurance adjusters, no matter how nice they may seem, aren't there to help you recover for your injuries...
Always keep in mind that it's not just the financial recovery that an attorney can help you with, but also the ability to reduce any outstanding medical bills and/or liens. Make sure your attorney will work with the hospital, doctors, labs, physician groups, etc. to get your bills paid in full while retaining as much of your recovery. Here in IL for example, there is a statute that limits the amount that must be paid to medical providers under certain circumstances.
My office offers free 45 minute consultations either by phone or we can come to you. I'd be more than happy to speak with you.
Jason B. Going
Attorney at Law
This answer is being provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, legal advice. An attorney-client relationship has not been created. Attorney is not obligated to pursure, or responsible for, your claim unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery.
You and your friend have a case and should hire an experienced personal injury attorney.
First, the fact that you did not have insurance is not good, but in no way does this disqualify you or your friend from pursuing a case. It does mean that you have less options regarding auto repair.
The insurance company covering the party causing the accident is liable to pay the value of your car. However, they may have different ideas then you about who is at fault and what the value of your car really was. This can be simple or difficult to resolve depending upon what company we are talking about,
What to expect? Well, that depends upon which company you are dealing with, the severity of your injuries, whether or not the other parties reports the same facts as you or has a different version of what happened, and a bunch of other things. What you need is an experienced attorney that has seen all of these situations many times before. Several of the attorneys that have already answered you question are good attorneys that can help you. I would also be happy to speak to you. Please call one of the attorneys listed here for a private free consultation.
Steven A. Sigmond'
Law Office of Steven A. Sigmond
345 N. Canal #1208
Chicago, IL 60606
Steven A. Sigmond offers confidential fee consultations to anyone who has been injured in an accident or hurt at work. However, a free consultation is not legal advice. This answer is general information and should not be considered "legal advice." Proper legal advice can only be obtained after hiring an attorney and providing full information regarding your case.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.