Should I contact an attorney regarding personal injury and comparative negligence or just resolve it between the insurance company and myself? 33 Answers as of January 13, 2013

While standing in front of my car that was being lowered and talking with the mechanic, another mechanic operating the hydraulic car lift had lowered it onto my foot. The injury resulted in my foot being fractured. The insurance company investigated the incident and determined that it was the result of an accident. They mentioned that they would compensate me for any medical and any lost wages.

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Law Offices of Mark West
Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
If you believe the insurance company is making you a fair offer you can handle it yourself. If you feel they are not making a fair offer you can then hire an attorney to take over. However, if you make a statement or make statements to them, that might play against you if done without the advice of counsel. Believe it or not, even in civil matters, everything you say can and will be used against you in attempting to settle your claim.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/13/2013
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT T. DURBROW, JR. | Robert T. Durbrow, Jr.
Should you have been in the work area where you were injured? Did the mechanic whom you were talking to tell you to remove yourself from this work area? You need to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. I think you have a case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/10/2013
The Law Offices of Mark Wm. Hofgard, Esq.
The Law Offices of Mark Wm. Hofgard, Esq. | Mark William Hofgard
Sometimes having an attorney handle the claim can increase the amount the insurance company will pay. The attorney should take into account all the the damages you suffered: pain and suffering, medical, lost wages, lost income earning capacity. However, the attorney will need to be compensated, either hourly or as a percentage of the recovery. Many personal injury attorneys charge 25% of the recovery if accomplished without filing a lawsuit, 33% if settle after filing the lawsuit but before trial, and 40% if the matter must be tried.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 1/7/2013
Shean Law
Shean Law | John Shean
As a personal injury attorney, I believe that I can virtually always get more for my clients - even after fees - than they can for themselves. It's up to you.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 1/7/2013
Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
Contact an attorney. The defense of "comparative negligence" can be confusing, since the defendant is saying, but for your negligence the accident would not have happen. Proving this will reduce the amount due you.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/7/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You are entitled to something for pain and suffering and something for permanency if the doctor says there is any permanent damage (broken bones are not like new bones. A broken bone has some residual damage even if small) you have a small claim but you will likely need the help of a lawyer. the insurance adjuster will take advantage of you if he(she) can. that is what they do.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    If your injury is not permanent, there is no harm in trying to settle it yourself. After getting an offer, if you feel it is unfair, then you could retain an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Kram & Wooster, P.S. | Richard H. Wooster
    You should hire an attorney, they were negligent and they owe you compensation for your injuries, including pain and suffering, as well as your medical expenses and wage loss.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    It's almost always best to retain a lawyer. He or she may find kinds of compensate damage of which you may not be aware.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    Yes, contact an attorney. You are also entitled to pain and suffering and there may be future medicals and your foot may not be 100% after this incident.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    Hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    I suggest you retain an attorney to discuss the facts of this case and to ensure the best possible outcome.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    More than likely you can handle it yourself. Just make sure that your foot is entirely healed and there are no lingering issues. You may also ask the insurance company to throw in an extra $1000 or two for pain and suffering because you would hate to take this to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM | I.Donald Weissman
    Consult with an attorney. One injured due to the negligence of another is entitled to reimbursement of medical expenses (paid or not), reimbursement for time form work (including reimbursement for suing vacation time or sick leave in lieu of having the paycheck docked), future medical expenses and loss of earnings, if any and emotion distress. A business usually general liability insurance that will cover the medical expenses for injuries that occur on the premises, without regard to fault, incurred within one year of an accident and up to the insurance policies limit for medical payments. The business' liability does not end there. this is a no fault provision for medical bills only. Consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    On its face, it is moderately fair, but don't sell yourself sorry. It did hurt, did it not? You can recovery damages for pain and suffering (but don't go crazy). Additionally, you will want some money, or a fund for physical rehabilitation, or your able will never be the same. You will also want a reserve fund in case of any complications, such as loss of mobility, future breaks, tendonitis. I recommend an attorney, but don't turn it into a huge battle, or the insurance company may batten down the hatches and refuse to settle. Think about an attorney that takes a lower percentage id it settles quickly.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Law Office of J. Michael Gatien
    Law Office of J. Michael Gatien | J. Michael Gatien
    Unfortunately, insurance companies will typically take advantage of you because you do not know how to completely present the case or compute a proper evaluation. Due to the way they do business, and attorney's capability of filing a lawsuit when the valuation is not reasonable is a significant aspect.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    You most definitely should contact a personal injury lawyer in your area. Here's why: The old saying is: "He who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client". The reason for that saying is that this is a tricky business and there is no room for do-it-yourselfers. You would be up against professional insurance people, lawyers who know what they're doing and rules upon rules upon rules that you don't know anything about. Assessment of an appropriate settlement requires detailed analysis of liability and damages, including application of legal principles, evidentiary factors, medical documentation, out of pocket expenses, calculation of future losses and experience in your jurisdiction as to likely range of prospective jury awards. Specifically, you mentioned comparitive negligence. That is an issue that requires particular skill and experience in managing. Look at it this way: If I have negotiated hundreds of personal injury claims over the last three decades, and you've never negotiated one, which one of us do you think would be able to do a better job? If you retain a lawyer you will be much more likely to get the right result.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C.
    The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C. | Russell Gregory
    You should have a lawyer, without question. Insurance companies know that you're not an expert at case valuation, the nuances of settlement agreements, or other crucial facets of the process. Don't sail this ship alone. They have expertise, you need it, too.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    You would do far better with an attorney. He will be able to properly build the case and get proper medical reports. The insurance companies pay far more to those who have attorneys than those that don't know the value and cant file suit. Feel free to call us for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Timiney Law Firm
    Timiney Law Firm | Leigh Anne Timiney
    I am very sorry to hear about your accident. I hope you are recovering well. It is extremely difficult to work with insurance companies on your own. Handling a personal injury claim can be difficult, time consuming and exhausting and insurance companies tend to take advantage of unrepresented injured parties. Keep in mind, the insurance company is not on your side in this situation. Their objective is to find a way to compensate you as little as possible for your injury. I would strongly suggest you retain a personal injury attorney to handle this matter for you. My office offers free consultations and we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you have no out of pocket attorney fees and we are paid once your claim is settled and you receive compensation. Feel free to give me a call. I would be happy to assist you further. Good luck to you.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    You should talk to an attorney. They need to compensate you for more than just medical and lost wages. Like the commercial says, you wouldn't let you doctor do your taxes or vice versa. Get an attorney to do this for you. If the insurance company makes you an offer before you hire the attorney, ask the attorney not to take a fee on that amount as you secured it without their help.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Law Office of Malosack Berjis
    Law Office of Malosack Berjis | Malosack Berjis
    I'm so sorry to hear about your injury. I am a firm believer and, many attorneys will agree with me on this that you should always have an attorney on your side when dealing with insurance companies (and their adjusters). It is amazing how differently they handle claims when dealing with an attorney, as opposed to an individual with no knowledge of their legal rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Meyer & Kiss, LLC
    Meyer & Kiss, LLC | Louis J. Meyer
    You should also be compensated for the pain and suffering and other non-economic injuries. That is why you should hire an attorney. To make sure you get just compensation.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    If they are paying your medical expense now, not later, then probably not. If the foot is permanently lamed out, then yes, sooner would be better. You also may need a private detective to video the lift in operation.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    It's your call. If you were standing I'm a place of some risk, and were not paying attention, you will probably screw up your case as well.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Your question depends upon the reasonableness of the offer and whether or not there is going to be a permanent injury or damage to you which is being adequately compensated for.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    The Law Firm of Stephen M. Reck, LLC
    The Law Firm of Stephen M. Reck, LLC | Scott D. Camassar
    This sounds like a case in which you would be best served by having a personal injury lawyer representing you. Thank you
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Steven Kalishman, P.A.
    Steven Kalishman, P.A. | Steven J Kalishman
    Your car insurance (Personal Injury Protection) should pay for your medical bills and lost wages). If the mechanic was negligent, their insurance should pay for any out of pocket medical bills and lost wages your insurance doesn't cover, plus non-economic damages (pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity). You have one chance to recover all damages for the rest of your life. Without an attorney, you will not get anywhere near full compensation.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    You should definitely contact an attorney. It appears that even though the insurance company is admitting responsibility they are not including pain and suffering in their offer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Blaske & Blaske, P.L.C.
    Blaske & Blaske, P.L.C. | John F. Turck IV
    Contact an attorney. It's a near certainty that you'll get significantly less if you represent yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    This question is not easily answered partly because I've not had the benefit of knowing the doctor's opinion on future medical, antalgic gait and to ask further questions concerning low back pain. If the injury is completely resolved and you don't care about being compensated for pain and suffering then settle, but if not or if you are walking "funny", have a change in gait or are developing low back pain as a result, then you need to slow down, hire a lawyer and handle the settlement with a lawyer. If you don't know what "antalgic gait" is look it up on Wikipedia or in the online free medical dictionary.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 1/7/2013
    Lewis B. Kaplan | Lewis B. Kaplan
    Two choices. Talk further with an attorney. I was wrong. That is the only sensible choice.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/7/2013
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