The Law Offices of Adrian Crane, P.C.
Getting Medical Care After Your Car or Truck Accident
Getting medical care after an auto or truck accident can be one of the more confusing issues to people who have been injured in a car accident.
DO NOT DELAY IN GETTING TREATMENT!
The first you need to know is that it is very unwise to delay in getting treatment.
Many people wrongly believe that if another driver was at fault for the accident, the insurance company will automatically pay for all the medical care after an auto accident injury to treat their injury much like a health insurance policy would.
Unfortunately, insurance adjusters often mislead people into believing this in order to delay your treatment. After a victim has delayed their treatment, the adjuster will argue that they weren’t that seriously injured as evidenced by the fact that they delayed in getting treatment when really what you were doing was waiting to see if you were going to get well on your own, thinking that you could always get care later.
Another argument an adjuster may make after a victim has delayed treatment is that they suspect that the delayed treatment was actually needed because the person has been in another accident that happened after their accident with insurance company’s insured.
They mislead you and then “lower the boom on you” by giving you an insultingly low offer when it is too late for you to do anything about it. It is difficult to prove that you weren’t injured in another accident. It is difficult to prove that the medical care was needed by an accident that happened weeks or months before.
Lawyers at The Law Offices of Adrian Crane Will Protect You From Abusive Insurance Companies
The insurance company for the liable party (the insurance company for the party that caused the accident) is most certainly not going to refer you to a doctor. Even if they did, you shouldn’t go to them anyway because they have a conflict of interest; they will be motivated to categorize you as less injured than you are because the insurance company referred you.
A Car Accident Lawyer in Dallas, Texas can Relieve Your Stress
One common technique is that insurance company adjusters string you along leading you to believe that they are going to treat you decently by making you a good settlement offer. “You don’t need to get medical care, I’m going to make you an offer at the end of the week”.
Once you have waited and waited, never seeing a doctor, they will claim that you weren’t really injured in the car accident or that you were injured in another car accident or in some other way.
Then they’ll tell you that they won’t pay you anything for your pain and suffering or for any medical treatment. They don’t have a duty to be honest with you; they’re not under oath and they have no legal duty to you, in fact they have a legal duty to their shareholders to minimize payouts to accident victims.
What If I Have No Health Insurance?
A letter of protection can be issued by a lawyer to guarantee that the lawyer will pay the medical provider out of any automobile or liability insurance proceeds that the lawyer can collect on the case, at the same time the client is paid. Not all doctors will accept a letter of protection as there is no guarantee of settlement. The medical provider must wait for the case to be settled before they get paid. Of course, this reason keeps many medical providers from accepting letters of protection for treatment. Your attorney at The Law Offices of Adrian Crane will do whatever they can in order to find medical providers for you who will work under a letter or protection to get your the medical care you need.
Is Getting Medical Care for a Car or Truck Accident Different than Getting any Other Medical Care?
You should treat getting medical care for injuries sustained in an accident just like you would any other medical problem. There are no special rules or guidelines in obtaining treatment. You should do everything to get well and do it until you do get well. You should follow your doctors’ orders and always be honest, not only with your medical providers but also with your lawyer.
If you have health insurance, you should explain to all your medical providers that you want them to get paid by your health insurance if at all possible. The reason for this is that no settlement is guaranteed and medical providers may damage your credit report if there is a significant delay in getting paid. Of course you should communicate with your medical providers if you don’t have health insurance. And, remember that your lawyer can often arrange for medical care under what is known as a letter of protection which will allow the medical provider to get paid out of settlement proceeds.
The automobile liability insurance company normally will settle with you after the settlement process has begun and that does not usually begin until you have reached maximum medical improvement; once you are done treating for your injury, and your lawyer has obtained documentation of all of your out of pocket expenses, debts that you have incurred, medical records that describe your injuries, and documentation of future medical care if any, your attorney will begin the settlement process.
If possible, you should go to a doctor who you have seen before to get treatment, especially for your first examination, and of course, that is in the case where you were not sent to a hospital by ambulance after the accident. If you do not know a medical provider who can render medical care to you for your car or truck accident, your lawyer at The Law Offices of Adrian Crane can make arrangements for you to be seen.
When you use your health insurance, they will often assert a right of subrogation in an attempt to get their money back. At some point after you start getting medical care through your health insurance, your health insurance company will send your lawyer and sometimes even the automobile insurance companies who are involved, a “notice of subrogation” for the payments they paid in connection with your automobile collision. Subrogation for an insurance company is they collections department in the claims department.
They will seek reimbursement from the automobile insurance company to get their money back. This seems unfair to many if not most people; you paid for the insurance, why should they get reimbursed when they have already been paid for the risk? Unfortunately, that is the law and when you signed up for the insurance, they probably informed you of that situation in the fine print as insurance companies are known to do.
Most injuries caused by car and truck accidents take time to heal. Recovering from surgery, or getting therapy of some sort takes time. Therefore, your claim should remain unsettled until after you are well but before the two year statute of limitations expires.
One exception in this case is when several or many people have been injured and there is a possibility of insufficient insurance coverage. If this is the case, if you wait until you are well and the other injured people get their claims settled before you get your claim in, their settlements may use up all the money that is on the insurance policy. This is also a reason to have a good lawyer on your side; to advise you on how you should proceed.
A Car Accident Personal Injury Lawyer in Dallas, Texas can Relieve Your Stress
Liability insurance policies have “limits”; that they will only pay up to a certain amount of money for any one car or truck accident or incident. Once they have paid the full limits of their liability limits, they will not pay any our any more money. So if you are the last person to submit your claim, you run the risk that the insurance may be gone meaning that regardless of fault, you can only look to the assets of the person who caused the accident or your underinsured motorists coverage.
The damages that are often recoverable in car and truck accident personal injury cases include the following: past and future medical bills, past and future physical impairment, past and future disfigurement, past and future mental anguish, past and future pain and suffering, loss of body member (fingers, arm, leg, etc.), loss of body capacity (smell, taste, hearing, eyesight, . . . ), loss of consortium (comfort from the relationship of spousal, parental, child/filial), loss of services such as household services, emotional/mental trauma (bystander injury), and prenatal injury.
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