Do I need an attorney?

I loathe injury/accident attorneys and their incessant ads. However… I am wondering if I need one.

More specifically, I am wondering if my 23-year old daughter needs one. Two weeks ago she was in a rideshare that was rear ended on a highway. The other driver was arrested. Thus, we presume DUI.

My daughter and her friend thankfully did not require immediate hospitalization and went home on foot (it happened nearby) escorted by police. The next day, feeling sore, she went to Urgent Care, who basically said she should be scanned which they cannot do, and they advised she go to the ER. She went to the ER and they diagnosed severe whiplash and prescribed muscle relaxant. She is still sore 11 days later.

My auto insurer advised me (she’s on my policy) that our policy will cover all medical bills, even though was not driving and was not in her car or mine.

The rideshare’s insurance company is now calling and emailing her to ask her questions. I told her not to speak to them until I figure out next steps.

Friends of my say, just make your life simple: get an attorney for her, and he or she will handle this. They said you have no idea how long her soreness will last or if there will be further issues at some point.


I’d speak with your insurance agent first, just to get their feel for the situation. I’d probably lean towards getting a lawyer.

Yup, get an attorney.

Sigh. Thank you guys.

@stusser @tomchick I obviously meant to put this in the "everything else’ forum. Could it be moved? Sorry for the inconvenience.

This. Get an attorney.

Also, I moved the topic for you @tylertoo

Thank you for both @Telefrog.

Agree, get her an attorney.

Not this guy:

Also, sorry you and your loved one are going through all this, I hope they feel better soon!

Yeah, you should definitely at least have a consultation with someone so you can understand what options are available to you and decide whether they are worth pursuing. I know a guy in the greater Seattle area.

My wife has been in two accidents in the past 10 years (not her fault but totaled the car both times and required a lot of medical afterwards). We never used an attorney and dealt directly with the insurance companies who covered the other person.

IMHO an attorney is just going to take 30-50% of what you would get. But the red flag I’m seeing in your case is the rider share company is calling you and not their insurance company, which means they are likely self insured?

The advantage of working with their insurance company is that they will pay for the medical care instead of you paying out of pocket and then getting reimbursed.

In one of the cases we worked with our insurance company and they dealt with the other insurance company but that was actually worse than dealing with the other ones directly which we eventually did.

Your have two years to settle, so didn’t feel rushed to settle on the pain and suffering until you are certain the pain is all gone. My wife negotiated directly and felt satisfied with the amount. It was as lot for what was about 9 months of PT.

In any regards I’ll answer any Qs since we’ve been through this twice and are in the tail end of the 2nd one as I type this.

Nope, it is the rideshare’s insurance company, Farmers, that is calling her.

But again, the rideshare driver was the one who was rear ended. So the liability will like fall on the apparently-drunk driver’s insurance company, and I don’t know who that is, or if the driver even has insurance.

So potentially three insurance companies involved, mine, Farmers, and the drunk’s insurer.

I may just start with this.

This is true, they will take about 50% of the settlement.

But they will also likely get you at least 50% more money, if not more, to cover that cost

I would bet an attorney can get 10x as much money here, unless he knows all the things to ask for, how to word it AND the drunk’s insurance is cooperative.

This only works if the DUI? guy has insurance. Your daughter should be able to get a copy of the arrest / accident report if you request it. See if he had insurance.

If so, then while I don’t have experience, I would tend to say that DUI should net you far more because of the negligence and a lawyer would probably help there. If he doesn’t have insurance, then an attorney will only help if there are severe / long term medical - and like I said you have two years to figure that one out so no need to rush.

The only thing I would recommend is for your daughter to start a daily diary with all her pain and experiences. Nothing is too small. Anything that you would not be doing / doing if it weren’t for the accident. “couldn’t sleep”, “rough time at work couldn’t keep focused”, “had to go visit doctor”, “couldn’t have sex with my partner”, “couldn’t take the dog for a walk”, etc, basically anything that the accident affected. Have this diary!

Don’t be surprised that if you were to get an attorney that they would eventually go after both the guy who hit the ride share guy and the ride share guy. In my limited experience with these type things everyone goes after everyone else.

yeah, everything needs to be documented.

I think that since it happened during a rideshare, that the lawyers likely could go after the rideshare company’s insurance.

They also will choose to not take your case if they don’t think they can make money. The good accident firms will charge you 0 dollars ever, and only take money out of the final settlement. I have a family member that works for an accident law firm as a paralegal, and they decline to take on cases all the time, the consultation is free though.

If she’s in PA like you, then I think it’s the law that you have car insurance. If the DUI guy didn’t have it, that’ll throw more law into the mix.

My dad recently (as in, this week) received his settlement from a pretty major accident with clear fault on the other party from… November 2020. Just to temper your expectations - it could be a slow process depending on the extent of pain and injury for your daughter.

Also recommend her sticking with any PT that’s recommended and starting it sooner than later. I was rear ended (also in late 2020!) and it took me a while to get seen and recommended to a clinic. Part of this was due to the other driver being uninsured and my coverage really dragging their feet on doing anything for me. I stopped going because of the clinic’s awful COVID protocols and while I don’t regret that choice the lingering shoulder pain suuuucks.

Did you get an attorney?

I didn’t - aside from some other major life stuff happening around that time, the other driver was uninsured and very young. I would have never seen a cent and probably ruined their life in the process (after getting their license plate and asking for insurance info, they figured out what was happening and sped off). Now, it may have made working with my insurance easier but it wasn’t top of mind with everything else going on. I would definitely recommend it.