If I was injured when my car got wrecked and the other driver was at fault, shouldI sue?

Last week I was going through an intersection doing the speed limit and a car turned in front of me. I hit him, ricocheted off, hit another car and then went head on into a concrete utility pole. They carried me out of my car on a back/neck board with my head and neck secured. I got an MRI, X-rays but had no broken bones. I do have severe back pain and no health insurance other than my auto coverage. The other driver was ticketed. My car is totalled; I owe less than it’s worth. Should I get a personal attorney and sue? I’m in Orlando, FL.

Asked on November 27, 2011 under Personal Injury, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The property damage and personal injury are separate claims to file with the at-fault driver's insurance company.  If the at-fault driver's insurance company is accepting liability, you can get all the medical treatment you need.  When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means you have reached a point where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the at-fault driver's insurance company will consist of these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault driver and registered owner if the registered owner is someone other than the at-fault driver.  If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance company, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

Until you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, it would be premature to file your lawsuit because you would not have the total medical bills, total wage loss and final medical report.  It would be advisable to speak with a personal injury attorney.


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