If you are involved in an automobile accident, you probably wonder what your next move should be. Of course, you should seek medical attention right away. Even if you don’t feel that you are hurt, you should receive it because you may not realize how injured you are. The next thing you should do is contact an experienced personal injury attorney and here’s why.
Their insurance company
An insurance adjuster’s job is to try and get you to settle for as little as possible. They’ll probably contact you and offer you a settlement. This should never be agreed upon until you discuss it with an attorney. Depending on the circumstances, you can possibly receive more in compensation than the insurance company offers. While it’s tempting to take the money due to loss of work and bills coming in, hold out. You’ll more than likely find it worth the wait.
Your insurance adjuster may involve their attorney or offer you a structured settlement as opposed to a lump sum. Your attorney will know how to deal with their attorney. A structured settlement is a settlement that is paid out annually. This means you’ll get part of your money over a year or a number of years. You would most likely benefit more from receiving a lump sum. Your attorney can handle these aspects and more.
Your insurance company
If you have no insurance, an attorney is the best choice. He can help understand the law and how it pertains to your case. Another issue an attorney can help with is if your insurance liability is too low.
If serious injuries such as severed limbs are the result of the accident, a knowledgeable attorney would know what the next step should be. Unfortunately, death can be the result of a serious accident, and your attorney can take care of your suit which may end up being a wrongful death suit.
If there are other parties and vehicles involved in the accident, acquire an attorney as soon as possible. They may have injuries, as well, and their attorney will be on the case trying to prove fault .
It’s difficult to consider all the things you will lose when you are involved in an automobile accident. Lost wages from missing work is one of those things. Your injury may be so severe that you lose work altogether. You may become disabled and not able to return to work or may need therapy and can’t return for a while.
You may lose time with family due to court, medical procedures or therapy. Mentally, you may not have the same capacity that you had before the accident. Depression may set in or fear of driving. Whatever issues arise, your attorney can help get compensation for you and your family to cover these things.
Other reasons for an attorney
The police report may not accurately show what happened in the accident. An attorney can help get the proper report to cover you. You may be confused about paperwork you have or legal forms. Your attorney understands the paperwork and can explain it so that you can understand.
The other driver’s attorney may serve you with a lawsuit. Having your own attorney in this case will ensure that you have peace of mind.
The most important reason to speak with an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney after an accident is the he has the knowledge to give you the best possible representation, and he will do the legwork to get the case going. He also will act on your behalf through the entire process such as handling the insurance companies for you.
How Do I Get My Medical Bills Paid?
In most personal injury cases, medical bills represent the greatest share of damages. While a personal injury claim may take anywhere from several weeks to years to resolve, you have medical bills that need to be paid now. What can you do? This is especially concerning for people who do not have health insurance and those who cannot work after a car accident. There are options that allow you to seek treatment for your injuries without paying the provider while your claim is pending. Here’s what you should know.
Medical Expenses in a Personal Injury Claim
Medical expenses in a personal injury claim typically include all reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred by the victim of an accident. The at-fault party is responsible for paying the victim’s medical expenses, which usually means the at-fault party’s insurance company needs to approve the claim and offer a settlement.
Medical expenses include past expenses that you have already paid (or have been paid by your health insurance company) and future medical expenses. This includes:
- Hospital bills
- Diagnostic tests
- Therapy and rehabilitation
- Prescription medication
- Some insurance-related costs like co-pays
- Management of pain and suffering
- Transportation to and from medical treatment
It’s vital to keep records of all bills and receipts throughout the process to prove your medical expenses.
Getting Care Without Health Insurance
If you do not have health insurance and were hurt in a car crash, many medical providers accept a “letter of protection” or LOP, a legal document usually issued by an attorney that states that the cost of services rendered related to your accident will be paid out of the personal injury proceeds you are eventually awarded. In exchange for the LOP, the provider will defer payment while the claim is pending.
Some medical providers will even agree to place a hold on your account. With a hold agreement, the provider agrees to not contact collection agencies (which damages your credit) while you agree to pay the medical bills once your injury claim is settled.
Getting Care With Health Insurance
If you have insurance, your health insurance provider will likely pay for services rendered. Depending on who was at fault for the accident, the provider likely retains the right to seek reimbursement for the medical expenses from the proceeds of your injury claim.
Understanding Medical Liens
A medical lien gives the lien holder (such as a doctor or hospital) a security interest and legal right to recover payment for the medical services rendered associated with your injuries. In many cases, your personal injury lawyer will be able to negotiate with the lien holder to accept a reduced amount on the lien. This is essential as the lien amount will reduce your recovery from your accident and most providers automatically demand full value for their services, not a reduced charge.
Covering Out-of-Pocket Expenses
You will likely have many out-of-pocket expenses throughout the claims process, including Prescription medication, transportation to seek medical care, and more. You may be able to seek immediate compensation for necessary and reasonable out-of-pocket medical expenses resulting from the accident from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
It’s important to consult an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney if you have suffered serious injuries in an accident. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on paying medical expenses, reaching an agreement with providers, or seeking immediate compensation for some of your medical expenses to reduce the financial burden you are facing after a serious accident.
Should I Get A Lawyer After A Car Accident?
Being in a car accident is definitely no walk in the park. If you or someone you know has been involved in one, you know the myriad of emotions that swirl through your mind all at the same time. There is the physical component that must take center stage, and this involves working with hospitals and doctors to take care of your medical expenses at the same time that you are trying to recover. That is just the tip of the iceberg, however, as there are insurance companies, employers, and other factors that must be taken into consideration as well. Because of this, you should retain a lawyer as soon after a car accident as possible.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
It really does not matter how major or minor your car accident may seem at the time. An experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney should still be consulted just to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the aftermath. This is particularly true if you were not at fault. The other parties insurance company may try to contact you immediately after the accident to settle. With them only looking out for their own bottom line, they may not always offer you adequate compensation for the accident, but you might be willing to take it in order to have some closure. A lawyer can navigate those waters for you and negotiate the settlement on your behalf.
Taking Care of the Bills
Sadly, there are a lot of bills that are typically incurred after a car accident. Somebody has to pay these, regardless of fault. Naturally, it is your hope that insurance or the other party take care of them, but this might be difficult to accomplish without a lawyer. Attorneys can work with your hospital or clinic to ensure that the bills are handled by a third party. In addition, you will have a car that either needs to be repaired and replaced. Again, the insurance company may take care of this for you, but you might not receive what you know the car to be worth. You should not be without the car that you love simply because another person collides with you. A professional and experienced lawyer will work to get your car taken care of, allowing you to focus on your recovery. This is the most important thing.
Peace of Mind
Because there will be so much going on after a car accident, having a lawyer on your side gives you the peace of mind to just take care of yourself and your family. They will handle the work behind the scenes, negotiate your settlement, and represent you in a court of law should it come to that. They will also work with your employer to help ensure that you get the time off that you need to recover from your injuries and that your position will be there when you’re ready to return. This is important as it speaks to financial stability and your ability to take care of your family. Again, without a lawyer fighting on your side, this would be a lot to tackle on your own.
Contingency Fee Basis
One other reason that a lawyer is so advantageous in the aftermath of a car accident is that the case will be taken on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not need to pay out of pocket for any expenses that the lawyer incurs until your case is settled in your favor. This is a definite advantage when you are facing mounting bills all at once.
If you have been involved in a car accident anywhere in the Los Angeles area, contact our office for a consultation today.