Why should the other three people included in a car accident I was in affect my case to proceed? 16 Answers as of April 15, 2014

Can I tell my lawyer I no longer want him to work for me if he is taking too long to contact me back and processing my case? I got into a car accident with four other people in my cousins car I was in the back passenger seat on September 18 2013 and I still have not heard anything back from the lawyer in 3 month. I called today and he states he has to wait for all four to be done with treatment in order to proceed. Why should the other three people affect my case?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
Apparently he is representing all 4 of you. In a way it makes sense, particularly if there is a maximum amount that will be paid by insurance and all of the claims together will exceed that amount. You could go to another attorney and see if he or she would represent you in the case. Then you could fire your attorney.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 4/15/2014
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
Cases are not settled until parties are through with treatment. In this case apparently your lawyer and the adjuster have talked about settling all four.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 4/15/2014
Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz & Bhaya | Donald E. Marston
Your lawyer is handling your case properly. When there are multiple people injured in an auto accident, none of them can settle until the amount of available insurance is known and the injuries of all victims have been evaluated. Everyone must be treated fairly. These cases take a lot of time to resolve.
Answer Applies to: Delaware
Replied: 4/15/2014
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
That shouldn't affect your case, and one lawyer shouldn't represent the driver and passengers in a car accident.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/15/2014
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
Because the insurance company might not be willing to deal. There is probably limited liability coverage and so it will have to be determined how badly everyone else is in order to decide who gets what.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/15/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Any of a number of reasons. If there were serious injuries it is quite possible the coverage is insufficient to pay all of the damages.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    He is using all the parties to get closure quickly. However, having the others included could lower the amount one may receive. If you are done with all of your medical needs, it does not sound like your judgment will be large. You can change attorneys, but your agreement with your current attorney will require you to pay for the time he has put into you case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    If you are unsatisfied with your lawyer you can change.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/15/2014
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    They should not, unless there is a policy limits issue.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    Ask the attorney to explain why he believes he needs to wait for all to be done with treatment, so you can better understand. My guess is he is saying that the insurance company for the at fault driver/owner probably won't be able to settle 1 or 2 claims without knowing the nature and extent of the injuries of all the injured folks because the insurer has to try to conserve the policy limits and apportion them appropriately based on the nature and extent of each claimants injury. As a for instance, if there is a 20,000/40,000 liability policy covering the crash (this is the minimum that a Michigan driver must purchase) and there were 5 injured folks, then the policy pays no more than $20k to any 1 claimant and no more than a total of $40k per crash. So if the insurance company paid 1 claimant $20k because they had significant injuries, the other 4 claimants would only have $20k in policy limits left to split amongst themselves, and that could create problems for the insurer and the claimants and the lawyers - so it is typical to try and reach a "global" settlement with all concerned that is fair under the circumstances. But again, your lawyer would be in the best position to explain the specific circumstances, limits, type of injuries being claimed, etc. so you so how you fit in the picture. You may also want to note that an attorney and/or the claimants may have conflicts of interest if each is vying to maximize their individual recovery in a minimal pool of coverage.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    I can't say for sure, but my guess is that there is a limited amount of insurance monies available for payment of damages. If such is the case, the funds will have to be distributed pro rata. It may be that the division will be based on the severity of the injuries. The value of each case will depend on the severity of the injuries. Therefore, everyone needs to reach maximum improvement in their condition so that the permanency of each one's condition and the effects on their earnings ability, if any, can be determined. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    Probably the at-fault driver had a minimum policy ($30,000 for all claimants) and the insurance company will not settle the cases piece-meal. For instance, if they paid you (say) $7000, and then it turned out that one or more of the other claimants had more medical expenses and had a larger claim, there wouldn't be enough money to go around, and the other driver could sue his own company for exposing him to a judgment. This is a common problem where there are multiple claimants.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    It would be difficult for one lawyer to represent all the people in one car especially if one is the driver. There may be a conflict of interest.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    You can fire the lawyer and get another one.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    Each person's claim is normally separate, so that each person's case would be independent of the other claims (i.e., they could be settled separately). There may be exceptions, but your attorney should have an explanation for you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/14/2014
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    I don't understand why your case should have to wait if it is ready for attempted settlement. Why don't you ask your lawyer if he could try to settle your case now? I think he probably should be able to, although I do not know all of the intricacies involved with your claim.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 4/14/2014
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney