What to do if I was in a car accident and the guy hit me from behind while I was stopped at a red light?

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What to do if I was in a car accident and the guy hit me from behind while I was stopped at a red light?

He had a trailer with 2 commercial lawn mowers. He has a home business that his father left him when he passed away. He did not have insurance.

Asked on October 21, 2013 under Accident Law, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you had auto insurance, you can file an uninsured motorist claim with your auto insurance company.  Your uninsured motorist claim would be for the property damage (cost of repairs) to your vehicle.  If you were injured, your uninsured motorist claim filed with your insurance company would also include a personal injury claim.

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 having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  Your personal injury claim should include these 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 your case is settled with your insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from your insurance company, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.  Since the other party was uninsured, it would be advisable to consider settling the case with your insurance company.

If you do reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party, when you obtain a judgment against him, place a lien on his property to enforce the judgment since he is a business owner.

If the case is NOT settled with your insurance company, you must file your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

If you didn't have uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy, then you won't be filing an uninsured motorist claim and your only recourse will be to sue the at-fault party for negligence.  Again, after you have obtained a judgment against him, enforce the judgment by placing a lien on his property.


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