A semi crosses over the median on I-55 and collides with you head on. You and your wife suffer serious injuries that will require months of recovery. You get out of the hospital and receive a call from an insurance adjuster trying to obtain your statement. What should you do?
Immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Don't wait until you are contacted by the other driver's insurance company. The first goal the insurance representative will attempt is to lock you into a recorded statement. At the time they request the statement you may not even know the extent of your injuries. Your memory may still be fuzzy and incomplete. If you had an attorney at that point they would contact the insurance company and advise no direct contact with you can occur.
Next, the insurance company will throw you a low ball offer hoping you are desperate enough to take it. Your attorney will deal directly with these adjusters. It is surprising how many people tell me they only wanted to get their medical bills paid. I hear that all the time. If you are not at fault you have a very good chance at getting not only your medical bills paid, but also pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. As an example, I have a client who was struck head on by another driver. He didn't know what to do. The insurance company called him and offered 20% of his medical bills and explained that he was partially at fault for the collision. He stayed in his own lane the entire time and did nothing to cause the accident. We entered on his case and put in a reasonable demand. The insurance company countered with 10 times the original offer they made to the man. I rejected it as it is still too low a number given the facts of his case. I'm confident we will resolve the matter in his favor with or without a jury trial.
Once you are reasonably confident that you know exactly what your damages are you can attempt to settle the case. This oftentimes takes quite a while to reach that point. All your medical care must be complete. That includes your surgeries, follow-up, and physical therapy. Only then will you realize the what the damages are in your case. If the insurance company settle the case for your terms that ends it. You agree to sign a release and waiver of right to sue and the case is closed. If they reject the offer you must file a lawsuit in the appropriate court.
Jury trials are a final step in resolving your case. 98% of all cases are resolved without an actual jury trial occurring. Your counsel will know if settlement for whatever tems are on the table or jury trial is best for you. Mediation is used frequently nowadays.
Whatever your concerns, if you have been seriously injured, call us immediately for advice.