Asked Sep 23, 2009, 01:56 AM
THANK YOU FOR READING THIS!
I have been researching literally all day and trying to determine if getting a personal injury lawyer is actually worth the fees or not and I'm still not sure and getting more and more frustrated and desperate!
(I also still need to go to a doctor somewhere asap but don't know who's best and most worth it to see and how to find them but I'm going tomorrow somewhere somehow. Should it be a regular doctor first, and then hopefully an orthopedic specialist or something, or can I just forego the cost of the first general doctor and go straight to a more specific doctor? I do not have a regular doctor nor health insurance so this sucks. It should be covered in the settlement but in the meantime it's uncertain how I'll finance it. That's a whole other problem. Sigh.)
Here are the overall details of this case:
Myself and two friends were REAR-ENDED BY A DRUNK DRIVER very early Saturday morning. There were actually police officers already at the scene that witnessed the accident. There was essentially no traffic except a car in the middle of the road that two police officers had stopped at what appeared to be some sort of completely random checkpoint or something. ((The only warning signs or indication of this stop/checkpoint, by the way, were literally just the two cops and the car it had stopped, along with their police car parked in center turning/divider lane. They had the car stopped in the leftmost lane on a road with a 35 mph speed limit, not at an intersection or anywhere significant, just randomly in this long stretch of road. If you ask me, this checkpoint also seems suspect and almost odd enough to even play some role in contributing to the accident.))
I was driving and we'd stopped behind the single car the police had their flashlights pointed in. They had just let the car in front of us proceed and it started driving away and they moved on to us, starting to point their flashlight in our direction, when all of a sudden they start shouting "whoah whoahh whoahhh" and I hear a split second of haunting sound of a fast moving car and we are slammed into by this lady! She probably didn't slow down whatsoever as there were no breaking or screeching tire sounds or skid marks. It was crazy and horrible. Apparently the officers were quick enough to make it out of the way of both our vehicle being pushed forward and hers hitting us.
Anyway, I'm sorry this is getting way too long! Longer story short...the police took an accident report. The lady that hit us was arrested for DUI. The three of us all have neck and back pain, among other smaller things. I have multiple pictures of the accident scene, including the damage to my vehicle and hers. Both are all but certainly totaled. Thankfully she was insured and HER INSURANCE COMPANY HAS ACCEPTED LIABILITY. I have the police report number and essentially what should be at least two witnesses who happen to be the police officers who took the report. There really is no question that she is completely at fault.
What would really be the worthwhile benefit of hiring a personal injury lawyer and having to pay them such a high percentage of our settlement? Isn't the lawyer contingency fee usually around 33%? None of us plan on having loss of wages and have not yet at this point. Basically, it seems to maybe come down to whether or not a personal injury lawyer could really get us 33% or more compensation for pain and suffering? Do liable insurance companies usually include and compensation for future medical care in their settlement offers? How would punitive damages factor into this situation, if at all? I really don't want to go after her personally and ruin her more than she's already ruined herself. I absolutely do want, however, to be provided the quality complete medical care I, and we, deserve to be made fully 'whole' again. It'd be terrible to only get some medical care making it inadequate and having these injuries come up again in my life after we've already settled. I just struggle to see how much added value a lawyer could really bring to the table in order to justify paying around 1/3 of our settlement to him/her. So, please help by sharing your experience, knowledge or expertise or even any thoughts at all!
IS IT REALLY WORTH IT TO GET A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER FOR THIS CASE?
THANK YOU SO MUCH for any and all responses and your time for reading this! I really do appreciate it!