Were you or a loved one involved in a car wreck? Check out these 3 car accident tips for guidance, then give our Hamburg lawyers a call today.
1. Car Accident Medical Bills
When you’re seriously injured in an auto accident, people automatically worry about their medical expenses. Especially in this day in age where many people have high deductibles, private insurance plans, or you might have to pay three or four thousand dollars out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in. The good thing with car accident cases is that whatever vehicle you are in, whether it’s your vehicle or someone else’s, the no-fault coverage on that car insurance policy will pay for your medical expenses, so that’s a wonderful thing. There are no deductibles involved and even if they don’t cover all of the expenses, the medical provider cannot go after you for the difference; they’re locked into that rate that’s set by the insurance carriers as to what can be paid. That’s the benefit of the no-fault coverage.
The negative side of no-fault coverage is that sometimes they send you for what’s called independent medical examinations to try to stop your medical payments. We get involved in that situation. We send representatives with clients to those examinations to make sure that those benefits are continued.
2. Independent Medical Examinations
Sometimes, during the litigation process, people are asked to go for a physical exam referred to as an “independent” medical examination. I find that term to be a misnomer because it’s basically an insurance examination or a defendant examination. There’s nothing independent about the people who perform these examinations. They know where their bread is being buttered, and they often approach these exams with a viewpoint that slants their findings toward what the insurance carriers would like to see.
These “medical exams” require our clients to go and be examined by either a no-fault doctor, workers’ compensation doctor, or a doctor who was hired by an insurance company in a regular lawsuit. These doctors examine our clients, review their records, and then render opinions as to whether or not they were injured in the accident, whether or not there’s any degree of permanency involved, and other such things. There’s nothing independent about them. Unfortunately, our clients do have to attend these exams.
Fairly often, especially when these exams are lawsuit-related, we send a representative – either someone from our office or from an independent agency – along with our client to monitor their exam. They make sure our clients are not being asked to complete paperwork they shouldn’t be completing. They also ensure that, when we see the final report submitted by the doctor, it coincides with what they actually observed during the exam. For example, if a doctor says, “I did this range of motion testing,” but did not, our observer can say, “No we didn’t, Dan. I was there.” Those are two important things of which we can be sure when we have somebody present with the client at the examination.
3. Settling an Injury Case without Consulting an Attorney
The other day, I was contacted by a client who had been injured in an auto accident and had been contacted by the insurance carrier for the person who struck them. That insurance representative had made a settlement offer and they wanted to know – before they signed – “Should I take it?” Of course, I told them they shouldn’t. I always recommend that injured persons get an attorney involved early on because they are best prepared to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and accurately assess the value of your claim as well as the nature and extent of your injuries. Chances are, if that insurance representative is making an offer to you, there’s more money available, and they will potentially have to pay off down the line once you’ve enlisted counsel to best advocate for your interests.
Were you involved in an auto accident and have questions about these 3 car accident tips? You may be entitled to much more than they are offering. Contact the experienced Hamburg car accident lawyers at Chiacchia & Fleming, LLP for a free consultation. We treat your case and your injuries seriously and do everything in our power to bring you relief.
Let our experience work for you.
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