One of the most important things to do following an injury is to obtain medical help and follow your doctor’s recommendations. Also, to keep a journal of all the medical professionals you visit, days missed from work and all expenses, including mileage to and from doctor visits.
What Defenses Do Insurance Companies Use To Avoid Paying Out On Claims?
Insurance companies may attempt to deny a claim if there is a gap in time from the date of injury and the date a person goes to the doctor for the injuries. If too much time passes, the insurance company may state the injury was not related to the accident.
What Information And Evidence Does My Attorney Need To Review prior To Filing A Claim?
Your attorney will need to know the date, time and location of the accident. Your attorney will also need to know exactly how the accident occurred and who was at fault if it is known. If you have a copy of the accident report or the information about the other driver, you should provide it to your attorney as well.
How Can I Assist My Attorney In Getting A Favorable Outcome For My Personal Injury Claim?
It is important to follow all the recommendations of your doctor. If you are injured and your doctor tells you not to go to work or to restrict your daily activities, it is very important to follow these recommendations. You need to attend all your medical appointments and physical therapy appointments in order to get the most favorable outcome in your claim.
Are Medical Bills Fully Paid In A Personal Injury Settlement?
Your attorney may have certain legal obligations to medical providers in your personal injury claim. If the medical provider has filed a “lien” and recorded it with the appropriate County Recorder’s Office, your attorney has a legal obligation to pay that lien out of the settlement funds. Your attorney may be able to negotiate with the medical professional in order to reduce the amount owed.
Are Future As Well As Past Medical Bills Included In A Personal Injury Settlement?
Your settlement may include medical bills already paid and monies for future medical treatment as well. Your attorney will work with you and your medical doctors to determine if future medical treatment costs are necessary.
In many cases, you will not want to settle your personal injury claim until you are finished with any medical treatment.
Should I Pay My Medical Bills As They Come In Or Should I Wait For A Settlement?
This can be a very tricky situation. If you do not pay the medical bills when due, the medical providers could turn the bill over to a collections account which could adversely affect your credit. However, you should always notify your attorney of the medical bills as they come in because the attorney will contact the medical provider and inform them of the representation and may be able to stop the provider from sending the bills to a collection agency.
Which Providers Are Entitled To Recoup Reimbursement Once A Settlement Is Achieved?
Each state follows its own laws regarding subrogation and liens, but the basics are the same. When you get a personal injury settlement, there may be “lienholders” that will expect a portion of that settlement. The most common lienholders in a personal injury claim are health care providers. If you have been in an accident, and you are hurt, there is a good chance that you cannot pay the medical bills yourself. Hospital stays, even short-term emergency room stays can be prohibitively expensive for the average person. If you have health insurance, the insurance company will pay your medical bills that are associated with your accident. So that the insurance company does not lose money, they will often place a “subrogation interest” on your settlement amount.
Subrogation means that the health insurance company has the right to be reimbursed for the medical bills that were paid due to your accident. Medicaid and Medicare are also entitled to subrogation. If they paid your medical bills, they usually place a lien against the money you get from your settlement. This is also true for the Veterans Administration, if you received federal benefits from the VA, they will have to be paid back out of your settlement. Medicare, Medicaid and VA liens take priority over all other liens, so they will get paid first, before your health insurance company. Also, if your auto insurance company paid your medical bills, they will also place a lien on your settlement proceeds.
For more information on Helping Your Personal Injury Claim, a free initial consultation is your next best step.
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