I was in car accident in August 2010. My car was rear-ended by a SUV, and my car was totaled by my insurance company.I immediately went to my doctor because of neck and back injury, and was referred to various orthopedic and physical therapy specialists. Some of the pain in my neck has subsided but the back pain has not eased at all.I have gone to all of the recommended therapists and specialists as prescribed. All through the process, the SUV's insurance company (who is paying the bills), has delayed, denied, and made the payment process very difficult. Their game plan is obviously a tactic of impeding progress as much as possible, to terminate treatment as soon as possible.I even went to a third party evaluation, as required by the insurance company, to confirm the extent of damage to my back and verify the need for continuing treatment and possible surgery.I have received bills from doctors that have been refused by the insurance company, and now need legal advise on what my options are.Do I need to file a law suit against the driver of the SUV? or her insurance company?Is there a time limit on when I can sue?Are there any other remedy options that I should look into?
Hi,My name is XXXXX XXXXX X'd be happy to answer your questions today.The statute of limitations is different in each state. Where did this happen?
The accident happened in New Jersey, and both drivers are residents of NJ.
Thank you.If the accident happened in August 2010, they may just be dragging their feet in hopes that they won't have to pay you at all - the statute of limitations in New Jersey is two years from the date of the accident. So, you can still file suit, but you don't have a lot of time left.The way these cases work is, you have to sue the person who caused the injury. The person who legally wronged you here is the driver who rear-ended your vehicle. In the case, what you do is lay out all of the things that he did wrong. That's because, as a matter of public policy, whether he actually has insurance is irrelevant to whether he owes you the money. Then, when he is served with notice of the lawsuit, he will notify the insurance company. They have a contractual obligation to defend the driver. You'll probably be notified by a lawyer for the insurance company, and they'll do all the negotiating. But the actual suit is against the driver, because it's the driver that has a contract with the insurance company.The judge will review all of the evidence and determine who was at fault. Nothing the insurance company says or does to avoid paying is binding on the judge - and it may not have any bearing at all on the judge's decision. So, the fact that they're not paying doesn't mean that you won't win the case. In a rear-end collision, it's odd that they wouldn't pay, because it would be extremely difficult for them to establish that you somehow caused yourself to get hit from behind.What you're typically entitled to in this case is the cost of repairing the vehicle, any time missed from work because of doctor's appointments or the accident itself, and pain and suffering, which is typically 3-5 times the medical bills. If the bills were paid by your health insurance, you actually have to repay them from the settlement funds. Keep that in mind throughout the process, because you don't want to find yourself in a situation where you get a big settlement - and have to hand it all over to the health insurance company. This happens regularly. If you want a lawyer to help with negotiations and drafting the pleadings, a good place to look is http://www.martindale.com. Most lawyers accept these cases on a contingency basis, so you don't have to pay until the end. If you would prefer to represent yourself, here is some information that may help:http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/prose/10553_cmplt_supcrt.pdfGood luck.
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