If family member was killed in auto accident, is it worth it to go to personal injury lawyer or just file with the auto insurance company?

UPDATED: Feb 12, 2012

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If family member was killed in auto accident, is it worth it to go to personal injury lawyer or just file with the auto insurance company?

Accident was other party’s fault; they were drunk. Other party has no assets or insurance. Family member’s insurance policy has a high liability for bodily injury and uninsured motorists insurance.

Asked on February 12, 2012 under Personal Injury, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is always worth while meeting with a personal injury attorney; for example, many will provide a free initial consultation for purposes of evaluating a case (you can clarify this before meeting with the lawyer). Even if the other party ostensibly has no assets or insurance, 1) there may be assets of which you are not aware, but which could be found in the course of litigation, which would provide recovery; 2) if the wrongdoer is working, his or her income could be garnished; and 3) a judgment is valid for many years--if they later come into any money or assets (e.g. an inheritance; a business takes off and succeeds), you can try to recover from them at that point. Therefore, it's worth taking the time to have the conversation with an attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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