Legal Question in Personal Injury in Indiana

Insurance company trying to screw me!

I was rear ended last April (2002) and have an injured shoulder. The Dr. said tha there is nothing else that he can do except refer me to a surgeon to operate. The insurance company wants me to settle this now and they are only offering me 1500.00. My medical bills so far are 950.00. I told them that I would think it over. Do I need to hire an attorney? I know that you are going to say of course I do, but I can't afford one and I have heard horror stories about lawyers taking 50% of any settlement. I just really need some help here.


Asked on 4/15/03, 12:20 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Eric Southward Southward & Haggard

Re: Insurance company trying to screw me!

Honestly, considering the low dollar amount of your claim, most attorneys won't want to take your case. They couldn't recover enough to pay them for their time. As far as how much an attorney recovers, it is depending upon your written agreement with the attorney and you can negotiate anywhere from 30% to 50% of the recovery. Remember, an attorney must be compensated for the time spent trying to settle your case. Due to the low dollar amount, you should try and settle it yourself. provide the insurance company with all documentation of your medical expenses, opinions of the doctors, lost wages, etc. Send it to them in writing and stay on top of them.

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Answered on 4/15/03, 1:29 pm
C. David DuMond Law Offices of David DuMond

Re: Insurance company trying to screw me!

The insurance company is not trying to screw you. They just want you to take a premature unfairly low settlement offer so they can clear their books of this claim and maintain a good profit margin. Prematurity: if your injury is still not healed, then you do not know the full extent of your damage. Maybe you will require an operation to maximize your recovery. Statute of Limitations: be sure this accident happened in Indiana or some other jurisdiction which permits at least two years to file a complaint; if the incident happened in California or a one-year state, then you must hurry to the courthouse and file a complaint. Otherwise, settlement should proceed at your pace, not the insurance company's. Unfairly low settlement: who but an insurance adjuster would dream of a settlement of $1500 where there is clear liability, existing medical expenses exceed $900 and could be much higher as surgery is indicated (are you counting all the medical expenses, including those paid by your insurance? You should) and where the victim has suffered a year or more of continual pain and discomfort. Get thee to a law office, without delay. Ask your local bar association for a referral. Almost any lawyer will see you for free and take your case on a contingency. Do it soon. Good luck.

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Answered on 4/15/03, 3:37 pm
Ralph Tambasco Tambasco & Associates,P.C. Attornenys at Law

Re: Insurance company trying to screw me!

Damages are really the key to such a case. If you require further treatment and or surgery this will increase the damages amount which may yield a greater settlement. Attorneys will represent you on a contingency basis. That is a percentage of the amount received. This could be from 1/3 to 1/2.

In Indiana you have two years from date of the incident in which to file a action. If you intend to use an attorney, then you should start now. If you require further medical attention, you should seek it. Do not wait until two months before the two years runs thinking the insurance company will suddenly change it's position. An attorney will be better able to assist then trying go at it alone. However, the choice is yours.

Whatever your decision, best of luck to you.

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Answered on 4/15/03, 4:33 pm

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