QUESTION

Should I deal directly with my insurance company if I was rear ended by a drunk driver?

Asked on Nov 18th, 2013 on Personal Injury - Utah
More details to this question:
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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19 ANSWERS
Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 4:35 PM
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.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 4:20 PM
An independent study showed that people do better, even after fees, with a lawyer than without.

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Paul L. Whitfield
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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 4:13 PM
Get best medical care, document case, hire a lawyer and do it right.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 4:12 PM
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.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 4:12 PM
Retain counsel, cost you nothing, and the insurance company is not your friend, that includes yours. You have been warned.

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John P Danelon
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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 4:12 PM
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.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 4:11 PM
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.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 4:11 PM
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.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 4:10 PM
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.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 1:02 PM
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.

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Kevin Hunter Pate
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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 12:32 PM
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.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 12:32 PM
You will likely end up with far more compensation if you have an attorney. I'm happy to help.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 12:31 PM
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.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 12:23 PM
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.

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John F. Brennan
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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 12:23 PM
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.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 12:22 PM
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.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 12:22 PM
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.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 12:22 PM
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.

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Answered on Nov 19th, 2013 at 12:21 PM
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.

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