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Hit By a Car, Need Surgery 2011/11/9 17:32
I was recently struck by an automobile driver who did not stop (or even slow down) at a stop sign. I was thrown from my bicycle and banged up pretty bad, including a bruised right side of my skull. My wrist was broken pretty badly and requires surgery to fix. I will have to have a titanium screw put in for the rest of my life.

The driver's insurance company is of course paying for my medical bills and my days off from work, but with the lost use of my left hand for 3 months, the severity of my pain and suffering, the permanence of a screw in my bone, and the fact that I could easily have been killed, I believe I am entitled to more.

I have received mixed opinions between consulting a lawyer and dealing with the insurance company myself. I don't want to let my company deal with the insurance, because they will simply be swift as possible. Does anyone know what I am entitled to in this case, and whether or not a lawyer will help me to settle for a better claim with the insurance company (on a contingency basis)? I really appreciate any help I can get with this.
by Heathathon  

Re: Hit By a Car, Need Surgery 2011/11/10 19:26
of course you're entitled to more.

don't be ridiculous, of course you need a lawyer. quit wasting time asking strangers and talk to a good lawyer to represent you. the insurance company will do the bare minimum to help you and in the future if your injuries resurface or become worse you'll be hung out to dry.
by winterwolf rate this post as useful

Re: Hit By a Car, Need Surgery 2011/11/11 01:32
You are entitled to a lot, actually.
I mean, financially speaking, just based on the described extent of your injuries I find it difficult to imagine total compensation not in the millions of yen IF you are currently employed fulltime, the accident was 100% the fault of the other party, and you are diligent in your outpatient care.

And insurance companies are not all evil.
Some are surprisingly forthcoming and (believe it or not), generous.

When I was rear-ended at a stoplight by a careless driver, the insurance company paid 100,000 above the repair quote, paid the equivalent of my daily salary every day that I visited the clinic, paid an outpatient bonus, and paid for transportation.

They went above and beyond in my case.

However, I have lived in Japan for a long time, had lot's of advance information on how to deal with insurance companies, speak native-level Japanese, and am very persistent when I feel I have been wronged.

It could just be they thought it was better to appease me than deal with a potential headache.

Also, my accident was a case of 0-100%.
This is how liability is assigned in accidents and this dictates how the insurance company responds to each case.

So, the first thing you have to establish is, what is the liability % in your case? Is the other party 100% at fault?

And taking a few steps back...

When did this accident happen?
Did you call the police immediately?
Did you ride an ambulance to the hospital?
Did you file an accident and injury report with the police?
Did you receive a copy of the police accident assessment?
Did you receive injury assessment papers from the insurance company to have completed by your doctor?
Do you speak, read, write Japanese?
Have you already met with the insurance agents of the other company?
Did you contact your insurance company?

There are probably 50 other relevant questions you need to answer.

About involving your insurance company: If they offer this service, don't just brush it off. With a good insurance company, your rep will fight for you. Your rep knows how insurance companies think, calculate, and respond. Don't assume they won't work in your favor. That would be a huge mistake.

About involving a lawyer: I will in no way advise you against getting a lawyer but do realize that hiring a lawyer to handle your case with the insurance company can be a perilous road and you won't necessarily achieve as much as you hope.

Before you actually use a lawyer, make sure you consult in depth about the risks and how insurance companies respond.

That said, if you are not fluent in Japanese, getting a lawyer to handle everything for you may be your only viable option if you do not trust your insurance company to represent your interests.
by kyototrans rate this post as useful

Re: Hit By a Car, Need Surgery 2011/11/14 00:18

Does anyone know what I am entitled to in this case, and whether or not a lawyer will help me to settle for a better claim with the insurance company (on a contingency basis)?

You may already know this, but anyway.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Met with insurance company 2012/1/16 17:29
So, after several weeks of attempted contact, I finally met with the driver's insurance company. I was informed that I was about 15-20% at fault due to having no headlight and turning the wrong way down a very short (maybe 35m) one-way street.

The insurance company refused to pay for anything beyond my days off work and my hospital bills, regardless of the driver being 80% or greater fault. They won't even pay for my broken bike! I thought they would at least fix my bicycle and offer a little something.

Anyone have any advice from this point? Should I just accept what the insurance company is offering me because of partial fault?
by Heathathon rate this post as useful

Re: Hit By a Car, Need Surgery 2012/1/17 13:39
Heh, I saw this posted on gaijin pot as well.

The advice posted on there you should follow, consult an attorney and do not admit fault. If no attorney picks up the case then it means there is not much to be gained on your behalf.
by Steven Irurueta rate this post as useful

Re: Hit By a Car, Need Surgery 2012/1/17 19:59
even your bicicle had light off,the driver didn't stop at a stop sign!!did you call the police at the time of the accident??
by marui (guest) rate this post as useful

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