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  1. #1
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    Mar 2018
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    Default Pain and Suffering Allowance After a Moderate Traffic Incident P I Firm or Not

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: California

    Hello. I have a question about compensation for pain and suffering after a moderate traffic incident, and the pros and cons of negotiating with the insurance company alone VS finding a P.I. attorney.

    Backstory: ten days ago, I was rear-ended while stopped at a stop light. I was in an older mid-size pickup truck. The driver was in a modern sedan. Estimated speed of impact is between 10-15 MPG. The driver admitted fault and claimed she thought the light had turned green and hit the accelerator (I suspect she was texting).

    The sedan hit my truck dead center on its trailer hitch, which is obviously bolted directly to the frame. As you likely know, pickup trucks have no rear crush zones, i.e., the energy of the impact was transferred directly through to the frame, to the cab and into my seat. My head went back, and I felt a twinge. I also felt something happen to my right hip. Police were not called. No airbags deployed.

    After the incident, I went home and spent the rest of the day with an ice pack on my neck. I also spent 1.5 hours on the phone with both insurance companies.

    The next day I had an evaluation by my chiropractor. He acknowledged that there was injury to my neck and hip. He ordered X-rays and ultrasound (no damage to vertebrae — only soft tissue). I have subsequently had a series of migraine-like headaches that he says are consistent with the neck injury. I am now seeing him every other day for the foreseeable future.

    This has been a MASSIVE pain in the rear — figuratively and literally! Ten days later I am still feeling a lot of discomfort in my neck and hip joint, e.g., while sleeping, sitting or driving. I have also been terribly inconvenienced, having to spend a LOT of time driving and communicating to manage: the repair estimate, the insurance claim process, the repair process, the rental car process, chiropractor visits, visits to the clinic for X-rays and ultrasound. Basically, so far, I have lost a week+ of time — obviously there is more to come. FYI, I do not have a 9-5 job, but I have many other important responsibilities that have been neglected.

    I want to be compensated for all the pain, anxiety and inconvenience. I have told the other driver’s insurance company this. They acknowledge there will be discussions at the end. No doubt they will low ball me. Thing is, I don’t know what this kind of thing is worth for a counteroffer. So, I am wondering:

    • Is this too trivial to be handled by a P.I. firm?
    • If not, is it good to contact them now, or do I wait?
    • Do they normally work on a contingency basis or retainer?
    • Is there an alternative to a P.I. firm for such issues?

    Any advice or opinion in this matter would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    3,287

    Default Re: Pain and Suffering Allowance After a Moderate Traffic Incident P I Firm or Not

    If you have ongoing pain you really need to see a doctor. One with M.D. after their name. Because at this point you have no idea what is wrong with you.

    Virtually all personal injury law firms work on contingency. If they won't then you don't have much of a case.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: Pain and Suffering Allowance After a Moderate Traffic Incident P I Firm or Not

    Quote Quoting LowTide
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    • Is this too trivial to be handled by a P.I. firm?
    • If not, is it good to contact them now, or do I wait?
    • Do they normally work on a contingency basis or retainer?
    • Is there an alternative to a P.I. firm for such issues?

    1. No.
    2. The sooner the better.
    3. Contingency.
    4. The alternative is to do it yourself.

    On thing to discuss in the initial consultation is whether the attorney believes that any increase in compensation you obtain as a result of the lawyer's services is likely to outweigh the fee you will pay. For example, if you have $10k in economic damages and could negotiate a settlement for an additional $5k in non-economic damages but the attorney could get you an additional $10k (i.e., $5k more than you could get yourself), but you have to pay the attorney 1/3 of your recovery (in this case, $6,666.67), then your net result with the attorney will be worse than you could do yourself.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2018
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    Default Re: Pain and Suffering Allowance After a Moderate Traffic Incident P I Firm or Not

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    If you have ongoing pain you really need to see a doctor. One with M.D. after their name. Because at this point you have no idea what is wrong with you.
    PayrolGuy: Thanks. Yes, my PCP is aware of the situation. So far, he does not seem overly concerned.

    Quote Quoting pg1067
    View Post
    One thing to discuss in the initial consultation is whether the attorney believes that any increase in compensation you obtain as a result of the lawyer's services is likely to outweigh the fee you will pay....
    pg1607: Thanks. Yes, this is exactly why I have posted this question. Perhaps I might spend a dime to earn a nickel? I don't know if there is a formula for intangibles such as pain and suffering. Lost wages, etc., sure, but this is subjective -- very real (at least to me), but still subjective.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Pain and Suffering Allowance After a Moderate Traffic Incident P I Firm or Not

    Quote Quoting LowTide
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    PayrolGuy: Thanks. Yes, my PCP is aware of the situation. So far, he does not seem overly concerned.
    Just t be clear. Has he seen you about the injury?

  6. #6
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    Mar 2018
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    12

    Default Re: Pain and Suffering Allowance After a Moderate Traffic Incident P I Firm or Not

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    Just t be clear. Has he seen you about the injury?
    No sir, not physically, though he has seen the X-rays and the written opinion (he had to approve the script written by the chiropractor because I went to my clinic's radiology department), and we have communicated via our hospital/clinic's web portal. I can see him soon if I so desire.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Pain and Suffering Allowance After a Moderate Traffic Incident P I Firm or Not

    How bad do you really think it is? Have you missed time from work?

    If you decide you want to sue, get a lawyer. If you are really injured you need to see a real doctor.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2018
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    12

    Default Re: Pain and Suffering Allowance After a Moderate Traffic Incident P I Firm or Not

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    How bad do you really think it is? Have you missed time from work?

    If you decide you want to sue, get a lawyer. If you are really injured you need to see a real doctor.
    I really don't know how to answer your first two questions, though my initial post stated this: "I do not have a 9-5 job, but I have many other important responsibilities that have been neglected."

    Regarding your second paragraph, I don't want to sue if at all possible. I was asking advice about negotiation, with or without counsel. However, that said, per your input, I will see my PCP next week. Thanks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    410

    Default Re: Pain and Suffering Allowance After a Moderate Traffic Incident P I Firm or Not

    Quote Quoting LowTide
    View Post
    I really don't know how to answer your first two questions, though my initial post stated this: "I do not have a 9-5 job, but I have many other important responsibilities that have been neglected."

    Regarding your second paragraph, I don't want to sue if at all possible. I was asking advice about negotiation, with or without counsel. However, that said, per your input, I will see my PCP next week. Thanks.
    Are you saying that you're self-employed? Unemployed? What are your damages from not being able to take care of these "important responsibilities"?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    12

    Default Re: Pain and Suffering Allowance After a Moderate Traffic Incident P I Firm or Not

    Shadowbunny: Thank you for the reply.

    I purposely did not get into specifics because the rules and suggestions for posting on this public site suggest doing so.

    It's the pain, discomfort, anxiety, inconvenience and an inordinate amount of wasted time spent dealing with this matter are what I am hoping an attorney can help me quantify it's not just a simple matter of time off of work. That would be the easy part.

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