I was in an auto accident, while proceeding thru a green light a cadillac ran thru the red light and collided with me in the intersection my front end hit her driver door. Police were immediately on the scene (one block from police station.) After police sorted everything out they told me I was not at fault, after they talked to witnesses. Later at the hospital the driver was discoverd to be intoxicated and according to the police she is insured. My question is should I contact a lawyer or try to deal with the insurance company on my on ? I also have back and disc injuries.
6 Answers from Attorneys
It looks like you have a good case. You will usually recover more money with an attorney. The insurance company will probably try to low ball you.
I am sorry to hear about your accident.
You can do it yourself without a lawyer and deal with the adjuster who is trained to short change you. Regardless of their smile and good humor to you and all the promises of fairness they may make, when it comes to actually paying you, you will see the other side (the dark side) of an adjuster.
If you are going to do it yourself just remember: 1- never trust an adjuster--if it is not in writing, it does not exist no matter how much the adjuster may appear sincere when making the promise; 2-The adjuster is not qualified to over-rule the findings of your own doctor. That is if your doctor says, god forbid, your disc condition may have worsened because of the accident, the adjuster has no business telling you that your doctor doesn't know what he is talking about; 3- I always tell my clients not to give a recorded statement: the adjuster may tell you that without a recorded statement he will not evaluate the case--that is against the law and you have remedies and ways to make him to his job; 4- I always advise my clients not to sign any authorizations, releases, documents an adjuster sends them without having first had an attorney look it over; 5- you have two years to file a lawsuit and so if you suspect you may suffer from future conditions, you do not have to settle your case immediately--no matter how much the adjuster may force you or tell you that he will then close the case and other such nonsense-Even if he does close the case, he will have to re-open it when you are ready to talk settlement.
Keep in mind that do it yourself is not recommended. The adjusters use all sorts of tricks and arguments to make you feel that you were at fault--even to some percentage. After all, if you had hesitated just a little before gunning it into the intersection the accident would not have happened... right? (I am being sarcastic--I have heard worst things from adjusters).
Generally, studies have shown that the percentage you end up paying an attorney results in higher settlement amounts. So it is money well spent-- I work on a contingency basis - that is you do not pay anything--no fee unless I recover for you--and more money you make, more money I make.
If you like to speak further, feel free to contact me. Otherwise, I wish you the best of luck and again, sorry for the ordeal you have to go through-
You should hire an attorney if you have diagnosed injuries, especially to the spine. A proper investigation needs to be conducted asap, including photographs of the scene, the other car, your car, as well as a background investigation of the other driver. If there were witnesses, statements need to be taken. Additionally, since the other driver was intoxicated, an investigation as to where he or she became intoxicagted should be conducted as the provider of the intoxicants may have some responsibility.
I do agree with Mr. Taradji, do not give a recorded or any other statement to the adjustor under any circumstances. Adjustors are specially trained to do what is best for their employer, the insurance company and the other driver's insurance company is not in business to pay you fairly. They are in business to make money, not to give it away. They want things all one way; a recorded statment, records relases, etc. from you. I guarantee you that if you ask the adjustor for an opportunity to take the statement of the other driver, he or she will say "no, we cannot do that."
I have been representing injured victims in Illinois for almost 30 years. I accept injury cases on a no recovery, no fee basis. Feel free to contact me at my toll free number to arrange a more detailed free consultation.
Hire an attorney right away.
Our office has been in existence for nearly thirty (30) years and has successfully handled many such cases.
It is usually to your advantage to hire an attorney to represent you in a serious case. An attorney can establish damages and future damages using witnesses and consultants.
Please call our office should you wish to discuss your case. (312) 977--9900
John C. Wunsch
JOHN C. WUNSCH, P.C.
You will definitely want to retain an attorney.
Personal Injury cases are Contingency Fees, meaning in you do not recover there is no fee!
Most Injury attorneys offer free consultations. I suggest you consult with a few and go with one that you are comfortable with.
Fell free to contact me with any questions you may have.