What to Do After an Accident (Cont. 2)
Adjusters love to fight injury claims by saying that the patient was uncooperative or that the symptoms were not as significant as the victim claims. By attending all medical appointments, you demonstrate your cooperation with medical advice and you give doctors a full opportunity to provide all treatment that they feel would benefit your recovery.
This step is crucial. Whether you have private health insurance, employer-provided health coverage, Medicaid, Medicare, or any other type of health insurance, always use your personal health insurance to fund all accident-related medical care. Health insurance protects your credit, opens doors, and helps you to access all treatment necessary to support a full recovery.
In some cases, health insurance pays for medical care and you collect again for the same medical bills in your car accident settlement. Here, you collect twice for medical bills! In other cases, you must reimburse your health insurer when the injury case is resolved. Always determine your health insurer’s rights early to avoid legal complications that can jeopardize your settlement and/or your health insurance coverage. If your health insurer shares in your settlement, you or your lawyer should negotiate their claim downward to increase your net share of the injury claim proceeds.
Insurance adjusters hope to ignore your future medical needs and your future pain and suffering. Further, they never pay for injury permanency or for future pain and suffering without proper medical evidence. Following release from active medical treatment, a qualified medical expert must render an opinion to show permanency of injury and to prove that you will incur future medical care costs. Proper expert medical evidence vastly increases the settlement value of your injury case. If you have a lawyer, let him or her handle all medical inquiries. Lawyers can help you to secure proper medical narratives without alienating your doctors, and we can focus the medical inquiry to help you and your doctors avoid the need for a jury trial.
Serious injuries can cause dramatic changes in your career path. Insurance companies will not pay for these future income losses without proper evidence. A qualified expert in economics and vocational rehabilitation can document the impact of injury and disability on earning ability. If you cannot earn the same pay because of injuries, the responsible parties should pay for this future income loss. Trial experts can also prove lost work-life expectancy in cases where the effect of an injury will likely require early retirement. This evidence allows you to collect now for these lost years of employment.
Free consultations are always available to accident victims. Even if you intend to handle your accident case alone, without an attorney, you should invest your time to speak with a lawyer about your specific circumstances. Avoid attorneys who will not provide a free consultation without pressure. Also, if you prefer to have representation, it is always best to hire an attorney as soon as possible. Once an attorney is involved, insurance companies are not allowed to contact you, and they must work solely with the lawyer who seeks to build your case and protect your legal rights.