Should I deal directly with my insurance company if I was rear ended by a drunk driver? 24 Answers as of November 22, 2013

My husband and I were on our way to dinner. We were stopped at a red light. We were the front vehicle in a three-car accident. The back car was an F350 being driven by a drunk driver who had ER and were both diagnosed with back and neck strain. This happened 4 days ago. I am having significant amount of neck and back pain. I return to the doctor today. I have learned the drunk driver has the same insurance company that I do.

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David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
Need a lawyer to obtain fair settlement.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/22/2013
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
You could if you wanted, but before I would talk with the insurance company or even a lawyer, I would do some research on the internet to see what free info is available to educate myself on how the system works. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 11/19/2013
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
An independent study showed that people do better, even after fees, with a lawyer than without.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/19/2013
End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
It works best if you and your husband hire a lawyer to represent you for the claim. You do not know how you will recover from your injuries. A personal injury lawyer will make sure you and your husband receive fair compensation for the case.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 11/19/2013
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
Get best medical care, document case, hire a lawyer and do it right.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 11/19/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    Retain counsel, cost you nothing, and the insurance company is not your friend, that includes yours. You have been warned.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Don't be "penny wise and pound foolish." Get a knowledgeable lawyer. You have a reasonably strong case, because you cannot be charged for doing anything wrong, however the issue is going to be as to the extent of your resulting injuries, the impact of them on your quality of life, and the dollar value to which you are entitled.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Ellis & Abouelsood | John Danelon
    The insurance company likely would have a conflict of interest in determining the settlement amount, thus it would be best to consult an attorney who offers free consultations to discuss the merits of your case. Keep in mind, the agreement which you are in with the insurance company may stipulate how such a matter will be handled, and could potentially be binding.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    E. Ray Critchett, LLC
    E. Ray Critchett, LLC | Ray Critchett
    If you are still injured, get treatment. You can let your insurance carrier take care of the damage to your vehicle, but I would refrain from discussing your injuries, treatment or settlement until you and your husband have fully recovered. If your insurance company is pressuring you to do thing that you are not comfortable with, schedule an appointment with an attorney. Most initial consultations are free.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Padove Law | Burton A. Padove
    You have a particularly sticky situation as you are required to cooperate with your insurer yet the insurer has one objective to save money and to compensate you as little as possible. Do not think that the insurer will do you a favor because you are a customer. Do not think of them as good neighbors or having good hands. You should hire counsel and do so immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Pius Joseph A Professional Law Corp. | Pius Joseph
    Depends on how well you can deal with your own carrier. Insurance companies will not be generous with individuals including their own insured. So if you want to obtain maximum value you may want to talk to a lawyer. If you want to just resolve for whatever they offer you can handle it yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Gregory S. Shurman, LLC
    Gregory S. Shurman, LLC | Gregory S Shurman
    You will likely end up with far more compensation if you have an attorney. I'm happy to help.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Candiano Law Office
    Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
    Go to an orthopedic surgeon to rule out serious injury and to guide your care. If you have any injury beyond a strain, hire an attorney. Make sure that ALL of your medical care is billed through your group health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Pete Leehey Law Firm, P.C.
    Pete Leehey Law Firm, P.C. | Pete Leehey
    You should report this incident to your insurance company. There is no reason to not deal directly with your insurance company, even though it also ensures the other driver. If you get to the point that you feel you are not being treated fairly by your insurance company, then you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for assistance. You should not commit to any settlement offer without having it reviewed by a lawyer. Most experienced personal injury lawyers will evaluate a settlement offer for free.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Kevin H Pate
    Kevin H Pate | Kevin H Pate
    You will fare better on final in your pocket dollars using experienced counsel than you will if you do not use counsel to represent your interests. Same insurance company or not, their adjusters work for maximizing the benefit of the company, not their customers. Your counsel works for you.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Wayne J. Wimer, Inc. P.S.
    Wayne J. Wimer, Inc. P.S. | Wayne J. Wimer
    You can deal directly with your own insurance company. In the process of doing so, make sure that who ever you talk to is representing you under your policy as opposed to representing the drunk driver under his policy. Don't give a recorded or non-recorded statement to the insurance company in its capacity as representing the drunk driver.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Jules D'Alessandro | Jules D'Alessandro
    You Should not deal with your own insurance company, especially because they are also the insurance company for the at fault drunk driver. Your insurance company's sole interest is to pay out as little money as possible. They could not care any less about your injuries they are only concerned about their bottom line. If you deal with them directly and do not know what you are entitled to and therefore do not ask, they will never tell you. You need to hire an attorney to deal with the insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    I would suggest that you at least confer with an attorney before agreeing to any settlement. Get your car fixed, and do not rush but go to the doctors to determine, and document, if there are any long lasting or permanent injuries.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Easy case to handle. Get the treatment that you need and hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Ricks & Associates | Kenneth R. Ricks
    Not necessarily. Without knowing what type and amount of coverage you have with your carrier it's hard to say whether or not your policy would be able to get you the damages you are entitled to. Your insurance company will seek recovery of the property damage and medical payments from the drunk driver's carrier that they paid to you but likely that won't cover all of your damages and your carrier will not seek anything from the other carrier above what your carrier pays out to you. Seriously consider consulting an attorney if you have any significant damages/injuries at all.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Vasilaros Legal,LLC
    Vasilaros Legal,LLC | Steven T. Vasilaros
    You really should consider discussing your case with an attorney. Most will consult with you for free. You need to know all your options.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
    Absolutely not. You should not say a word to the drunk's insurance company. Please contact my office or another attorney so that you do not get compromised by an insurance company that is only looking to protect themselves.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Johnson & Johnson Law Firm, PLLC | Richard Johnson
    If you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) on your car then for sure you need to get your own company on board to get your bills paid. It will subrogate against the insurer for the at fault vehicle. In clear liability situations, many times the ins co for the at fault will deal directly with you on your car damage. If your car is repaired, a rental car should be provided. Then, you will want to have a liability claim against the at fault / his ins co. for your pain, suffering, disability.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/19/2013
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC | Matthew R. Kober
    I strongly recommend hiring a qualified personal injury attorney. There are intricate legal issues in this type of case that you don't want to miss. There are also special laws surrounding the drunk driver issue that you want to be aware of. A qualified personal injury attorney will be able give you the advice you need to strengthen your case from the beginning. I have many clients how tried to deal with the insurance company themselves and every time they says "I wish I had known...." and now its too late. Do yourself a favor and get a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/19/2013
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