If I was in a car accident, should I hire an attorney?

I was hit from behind less than 7 days ago because a gentleman failed to yield. I was encouraged by his insurance company to file an injury claim and told that seeking medical attention was uneccessary. The claim adjuster is now using intimidation tactics to get me to dismiss the claim or accept a $300 check. I feel

I am being misled and may be taken advantage of. Should I hire an attorney?

Asked on March 14, 2016 under Accident Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

What the adjuster for the at-fault party's insurance company has been telling you is FALSE.  Ignore what you have been told.
You need medical treatment to document your personal injury claim.  Without medical treatment, you don't have any personal injury case.  Do NOT accept the $300 offer or dismiss your claim.  That offer is ridiculous.  No personal injury case settles for so little.  
The case cannot be settled until you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated.
At that time, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the at-fault party's insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills 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, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.
If the case is NOT settled with the at-fault party's insurance, your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.
It would be advisable to be represented by a personal injury attorney.


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