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Post Info TOPIC: I got rear-ended, do I need a lawyer?
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Guru

Posts: 691
Date: Nov 7, 2011
I got rear-ended, do I need a lawyer?
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HI Geeks! I was rear-ended last Thursday. I was stopped at a red light, and the car behind me hit me. I called the police, drove myself to the ER. Now I am hearing so many different stories from so many different sources, I don't know what to do? I have  neck and back pain, numbness on my right arm and hand. The ER diagnosed whiplash and told me to follow up with my PCP for MRI's if the pain continued. So I will be seeing doc tomorrow. At this point, do I need an attorney? If so, what for? I feel like I should wait and see if a problem arises. Advice?



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"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." Henry David Thoreau



Jedi

Posts: 4391
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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Honestly, the ONLY time you need a lawyer is if the insurance companies BOTH (yours& theirs) deny the claim or if you're left with perminent disabling injuries. All those Ask Garry commercials are a load of crap for sue-happy people.

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aka PBJ (M)

Posts: 33990
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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What the prom queen said. Did you get a license plate number of the other vehicle? Did cops arrive at the scene?

If so, then it should be as simple as filing a claim with your insurer.

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Guru

Posts: 937
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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I got a lawyer for my last wreck. However, I was hit by an unlicensed driver, who was driving somebody else's car, and would not talk to his or my insurance company. His insurance agreed the accident was the other driver's fault. But, would not settle until they spoke to the woman (not the word I want to use). The woman left the area because she did not want to go to jail.

It was a nightmare. So, I called a lawyer. However, it was my non-car insurance company that settled the problem. Boo's working life is insured for $250,000. That company did not want to have to pay out because another company would not provide a rental car to help desensitize her to the accident. They went after everyone. So, I guees I did not really need the lawyer. I just needed to call the third insurance company sooner.



-- Edited by h2ofall on Monday 7th of November 2011 02:34:29 PM



-- Edited by h2ofall on Monday 7th of November 2011 02:35:14 PM

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aka PBJ (M)

Posts: 33990
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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Sorry to hear that, H2O.

Sunny, I'm glad you're okay! Or okay enough to type anyhow.

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Aardvark

Posts: 7945
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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A driver that rear-ends you is automatically at fault. If you traded insurance information, you need to call both your insurance company and the other party's. File a claim with the other party's insurance. Be sure to get a copy of the police report as well. Like the others said, you won't need to get a lawyer unless the other driver/insurance company is uncooperative.

Glad you're not terribly injured. Being rear-ended is quite a shock. I had mild PTSD after I was rear-ended.

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Guru

Posts: 691
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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Yeah, the police came and took both of our info. The other person's insurance has contacted me already and they are taking care of my car. I am soo thankful that the other person HAD insurance! She was driving a car that was held together with duct tape, and my first thought was that she doesn't have a dime, much less insurance. When her insurance agent called me, I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief!
As far as a lawyer, I think the area that I live in is the reason that I was advised to get a lawyer. I live in one of the top lawsuit happy places in the US! I should know, I work for a doctor and we have the highest malpractice insurance rates in the country. I don't think I need one unless there is a problem, and so far, the insurance company has been great, going out of thier way to make sure I have everything I need.

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"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." Henry David Thoreau



Aardvark

Posts: 7945
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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You should be set, then. It will probably make the other driver feel really good that you're not getting a lawyer given the sue-happiness in your area.

I'm glad the insurance company is taking good care of you. If they didn't, I'd have to come spork them...it's only about 5-6 hours drive for me.

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Jedi

Posts: 1246
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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You said police were at the scene, hopefully they completed the accident report. I would get a copy of the accident report as soon as it's ready, just to make sure the cop got it correct about who was at fault. I assume you've already contacted your insurance and the claim is in process. Your insurance company should be handling everything on your behalf. If they have to go after the other guy's insurance they will.  But better to know now that the accident was portrayed correctly by police. Your insurance company may already have a copy of the police report, you could ask them to see it, or go to the police station yourself to get it.

Also, your medical insurance probably will go after the at-fault guy's auto insurance for reimbursement, as well they should. So you may have to explain all this to the medical insurance company, or have your auto insurance company deal with them, so they get the info they need to get reimbursed.



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I'm a cool kid

Posts: 28654
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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I hope you heal quickly, sunny!

flan

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Guru

Posts: 691
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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Yes, I have the accident report and it is accurate. I did contact my insurance company. SO far, the other person's insurance company is handling everything and the medical bills are going directly to them. SO, it looks like everything is being handled the way it should be. I have zero experience in these matters.

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"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." Henry David Thoreau



On the bright side.... (M)

Posts: 30931
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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It depends on if they give you the run around. You are entitled to all damages to your vehicle, depreciation, lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. If they deal fairly with you - and you suffer no permanent damage, you'll probably be ok. BUT, insurance companies tend to behave better when attorneys are involved.

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LawyerLady

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JPT


Jedi

Posts: 1154
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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When I was rear ended by an insured driver, their insurance co was trying to hold out paying my doctor's bills until I signed a "final" settlement (which my doctor advised me not to until my injury was resolved). I considered getting a lawyer, but then called MY auto insurance co, who told me they'd take care of it through subrogation. Once the other insurance realized they didn't have a leg to stand on, they started paying the medical bills immediately.

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Always misinterpret when you can

Posts: 21647
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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It looks like you will have no out-of-pocket expenses. You might need or want physical therapy, if the pain doesn't resolve quickly.

Payment for "pain and suffering" depends on your state. New York is a "no fault" state, and there can be no lawsuits for losses under $10,000 so a lawyer might have you go to one of his "friendly" doctors to run up the bills.

Without a lawyer, you will get nothing for "pain and suffering", but your actual medical bills, which are already being covered.

 

If you wind up with severe, intractable pain, a lawyer would be needed to try for compensation.

 



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I believe in I.D.I.C.

Posts: 16596
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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Just make sure that you don't sign any kind of "release" until you are 100% back to how you (AND your car) were before the accident AND are satisfied with any amount that they paid you for pain & suffering. Because once you sign that form, the money and payments stop.

It's rare, but sometimes insurance companies do the right thing... so far it sounds like that's the case here.

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William Shatner

Posts: 3052
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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23 years ago I was in a wicked accident and went thru the window of the car. My son was in the back seat. We flipped over three times forwards. I had whiplash and was in therapy for three years. My son , thank goodness, was fine in his carseat. Upside down in the car ...in the ditch. The police chief knew me and told me to sue. It hurt alot more the next few days after the accident. I was just glad my son was alive and okie...without a scratch on him. They said my pain would never end and stopped therapy. I still hurt..but have learned to live with it. Apparently there are hospitals that teach you to live with pain. My doctors had told me about this. If I were you...I would get into therapy right away...the sooner the better. And get a lawyer. Most give a free consultation. I sued the truck driver and won. Tho I lost a bit for panicking....tho I don't know who wouldn't panic when being cut off by a tandom truck and run off the road into oncoming traffic.

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At Gnome in the kitchen

Posts: 14809
Date: Nov 7, 2011
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sunny: Sounds like everything is proceeding as it should. Based on what you typed here, I don't think you'll need an attorney.

I got rear-ended in summer of 2010 and my neck still isn't back to normal. Until the accident, I was able to turn my head far enough where my chin would be just past my shoulder. Now, I can barely get it to my shoulder. I'm still doing the exercises and someday I should have my pre-accident range of motion back. In my case, the at-fault guy's insurance starting pussyfooting around so I offered for my attorney to speak to them. They straightened up and got 'er done after that. I didn't actually have an attorney at that point but all I would've had to do was call my insurance and get one.

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