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Uninsured, DUI, Head On Collision
My wife, son, and I were involved in a serious head on accident about 5 month ago. The driver was intoxicated (habitual), didn't have a license, wasn't the owner of the car, and the car was not insured.
The whole situation is the worst scenario possible. The driver and his passengers were seriously injured, but everyone in my vehicle was able to walk away with no serious injury. My wife and I are still seeing doctors for soft tissue injury.
My insurance company has been good with settling on my vehicle and paying for our medical to it's maximum. When it comes to settling for pain and suffering, should I be first to submit a demand letter?
Considering the severity of the accident and the whole situation, should I ask for the 2X,3X the medical, or 5X? I don't know....or should I consult a lawyer?
WOW -- yeah you need a lawyer.
I will answer your questions to clear up a process, but please, do consult with an attorney in your local area to make sure all your "bases" are covered.
Insurance companies are very "good" about the car damages when they know that the possible exposure to damages is big. They hold their line a lot harder if you have a case that they believe they can win.
If they believe that pushing you into an attorney can make them end up paying higher dollar settlements, then they rather be nice and try to keep you happy as long as they can. Yeah, there are some insurance companies that are good form the beginning because that is their philosophy, however, most of them do not.
Injury adjuster look at different things when evaluating a claim. But they will only consider things that you ask for. If you do not raise a claim, then you basically waive it. For a complete list of the type of claims you can raise, visit:
The adjuster will try to tell you that your case is not evaluate (given value) because of the facts of the accident. In other words, that the fact that this fellow was not insured, was drunk, did not have a license, has nothing to do with your award for pain and suffering.
They will likely argue that pain and suffering is not a factor being drunk, not having a license, etc. But a factor of your "direct" neck pain. They are not giving you money for the pain and suffering because of the hassle of being in an accident, but because you had neck, back or other kind of pain.
They will settle for the pain in your back not the bad facts of the accident.
Is this correct? Most likely not. If you think about it, you are settling against your own insurance company for "whatever you are legally entitle to recover" from the owner or operator of an uninsured or underinsured vehicle (most insurance policies read this way).
What are you legally entitle to recover? What ever you settle for or what a jury and/or court would award you.
Do you think that the bad facts that you describe would have an effect on the jury? Most likely it would have a significant impact. You need a lawyer to make sure that this evidence makes it to the jury.
So should you ask 2 or 3 times the medical bills? Well, again, only an attorney can give you an answer about your case. Some attorneys use that type of measurements as a way to guide their case, but some do not. It just might be the case that your case might be worth 10x the medical bills.
Should I be the first to submit a demand letter? Well, this depends. Here is an article about demand letters:
Sometimes it is better to wait for their first move, and sometimes it is better to move first. This is why you should talk to a lawyer.
I hope my answer can help you make a decision
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