After an auto accident, do I need a lawyer to get a settlement for bodily injury?

After an auto accident, do I need a lawyer to get a settlement for bodily injury?

I was involved in an auto accident where the other party was at fault, and the other parties ins co already admitted fault. I only had liability (never again) and my totalled car had a value of $13000. However, the insured was only covered for up to $10k, shorting me $3k. I have minor scrapes and visible scarring on my head from the airbag hitting my glasses. I really only want the value of my car, but if I have to go through lawyer to get property and bodily injury claims of over $25k, after lawyer fees, what am I left with? I want to settle with the Ins Co directly.

Pieandch

I am so sorry you were in such a bad accident. I am glad, generally speaking, that you're ok. Let's explain something about attorneys---1. They take 33% + administrative costs of any settlement you get. What they'd have to do is sue the owner/driver direct, because the insurance has paid their policy max for property damage. 10k is all they've got to pay ya. However, seeing as your car is worth 13k, you would have had to pay that to an attorney anyway, so while unfortunate-I wouldn't suggest hiring one for your vehicle damages as it wouldn't be worth anyone's time or money. Honestly, it's not likely the driver/owner has assets if all he carries is 10k for property damage, anyway...2. I believe the lowest state minimum for bodily injury is 10k. The insurance is going to check out how much in $$$ was paid out for your medical, and then consider the punitive (work missed, loss of services, etc). Your doctors are all going to submit chart notes as to how long and to what degree of recovery you will make. Again, bear in mind that a policy max is just that. Insurance co's won't disclose this amount readily, so you may want to ask if they feel their insured is at least appropriately insured for your bills. If not---3. Do you carry UIM(underinsured motorist, not to be confused with un-insured motorist). This is coverage for bodily injury only, that you purchase thru YOUR insurer, that covers you if the other party isn't appropriately covered for the loss. Your insurance will make sure the other carrier's max has been reached, and offer assistance. There is no deductible for this.4. Speaking of which---if you carry collision, you can part with the deductible and your insurance can pay the difference in your vehicle damages. Talk to them about it, and let them know you've already signed a release and taken money for your car. But hey, losing 500 bucks or whatever is better than 3k, and it's a non-fault loss so your premiums may not go up.----------------Hope all these options/explanations have helped. Remember, an attorney is in it to make money and they'll only take your case if they feel they have something to gain from it. Otherwise the job of the other insurance is to settle your claim as fairly as possible. Undercutting you would be unethical, and isn't likely to happen.Source(s):I am a claims adjuster for a major insurance co

CowboyBill

Some claims facts and advice: always try to settle with the insurer direct vs going through a lawyer. A lawyer will ALWAYS get his fee, no matter what the settlement amount is. A lawyer CANNOT double your settlement or force an insurer into settleing for policy limits (even though they will all tell you they can). Fact is, insurance companies aren't afraid of lawyers -- they all have dozens working on staff and will fight tooth and nail for as long as it takes if they are being bullied by some pushy lawyer. A lawyer ALWAYS works for him/her/itself 100% of the time -- NEVER for you- 99% of ALL claims handled by lawyers are settled BEFORE the court date, often only hours before. They hardly ever, ever go to trial so forget about having 'your day in court' against those mean old insurance companies. The second you even mention the word 'lawyer' to the insurance company they are obligated by law to cease all conversation with you and handle everything through them, so if you aren't happy with your lawyer you can no longer deal directly with the insurer. A lawyer will take up to 40% of your settlement.Why don't you try settling with the adjusters first? You can always hire a lawyer later --Source(s):Old claims guy

morequestions

you had liability on a $13,000 car??? wow!you can try to get a reasonable settlement from the insurance company but you might want to get a lawyer. insurance companies have a history of not paying up and they help keep personal injury lawyers in business. the fee they will take depends on the state. i am not sure if there is a federal cap. in NY and NJ it is 33.3% of the recovery after the damages related to tthe accident (i.e. the cash calue of the car, hospital bills, lost wages, rental car, etc) so the only way the lawyers will get their money is to claim pain and suffering because that's all they can touch. the rest belongs to you.Source(s):been there before

la428282

Wait- maybe i read this wrong... but do you actually think you are going to be getting 25 thousand dollars for your glasses cutting your forehead and leaving a scar?Your property damage and bodily injurie claims are completely seperate. Youve gotten paid for property damage- its a done deal. You got the actual cash value of your car.Now onto bodily injury.. you say you have scarring.. how long ago was the accident? Have you been to a plastic surgeon who confirmed that it will be permenant for the rest of your life? Are you a model who needs your face to be perfect for work?I guarantee that you are none of the above and the airbag caused some minor cuts that have not gone away. Regarding... please... please.. dont think you are getting more then a few thousand bucks (including medical bills in there) for this claim.You have not won the lottery. Other people here who are not educated in car insurance will tell you differnetly b/c theyve watched too much tv. lawyer or not.. settlement will be a few thousand bucks... if you want to give them 1/3 of that.. great.Source(s):claims adjuster

lovablegal77

No you don't have to have a lawyer we did not have one not only did they pay for the value of my car we got the bodily injury too. We just dealt with the insurance appraiser from other party. If you don't agree with the amount let them know you don't accept that amount and for bodily injury keep all doctor receipts and insurance statements that is included in how much they pay you.

bundysmom

No you don't need a lawyer, but you do need to get your facts straight. Lawyers don't get involved in the property damage portion of a claim, although they can advise you on it.The property damage and bodily injury are covered under different coverages. One doesn't have anything to do with the other. You are restricted to the maximum amount the insurance company will pay you. Notice I said what THE INSURANCE COMPANY WILL PAY YOU, not what the guy owes you.A lawyer can't do for you what you can't do for yourself.

Nate

If the at-fault driver only had 10k in Property damage, then that is the most you will get from his insurance company. You can sue the driver personally for the rest...but good luck getting anything. If you feel you do have Bodily Injuries (did you go to the hospital?), then yes the insurance will reimburse you up to your medical costs, or the insured's limits, which ever is lower. You will not get any tort $$$(ex: pain and suffering) without a fight.Good luck, hope this helpedSource(s):Insurance Agent

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