What is a “Personal Injury” case?
Personal Injury is a situation where someone has sustained injury to their physical body vs an injury to a piece of property or to their reputation. A car accident, slip, fall, trip, trauma and physical attack could all be classified as a “personal injury” if it is due to someone else’s negligence. If someone caused the injury, (ie: they rear ended you) then they would be deemed “at fault”. Whereas an injury while at work is deemed a workers compensation case and not considered a personal injury case, yet a physical injury might usually exist to the person.
A personal injury incident is deemed a “case” once a “claim” of injury is filed with the at-fault insurance company. An individual not at fault will then coordinate with the other party’s insurance company to receive financial reimbursement for financial losses, damage to their vehicle and cost to treat the injury they experienced. If the police are present at the site of the accident, they will usually determine who is “at fault” within their reports. Otherwise, the insurance company would admit their client’s are at fault. Even if you are at fault, your insurance and the coverage you have paid for over the years can also be a source for financial assistance when you are hurt.
What is Medical Pay or Med Pay?
Individuals with car insurance usually have “Medical Pay” or “Med Pay” as part of their policy, which is available to help pay for medical care due to an accident. Most coverage is $5000, but $10,000 and larger coverage can exist on a policy. Often a visit to the emergency room will spend most of the funds available. The amount you have available depends on what you agreed to when you purchased your coverage, and unfortunately individuals sometimes “opt out” of Med Pay altogether. So, it’s important to understand your policy and to know your coverage. Med Pay represents prepaid funds included in your premium, and don’t have to be reimbursed when you use them because of an accident. Using your med pay cannot negatively affect your policy, but being the at-fault cause of an accident could negatively affect your premiums. Most people aren’t aware of the financial support they have access to from their insurance or from the other party involved in the accident.
Do I need an attorney for my car accident?
A personal injury claim doesn’t require the individual to hire an attorney to represent them. But individuals often find it difficult to represent themselves when dealing with insurance companies who might not offer fair reimbursement for medical care, damage to property, or for loss of wages. Individuals often consider consulting with an attorney who might help represent their interests during negotiation. But, having attorney representation doesn’t suggest that someone is suing another individual or entity either. They’ll simply have representation during a difficult time. Yet, if the negotiation process with the insurance company becomes unproductive, then an attorney is usually appropriate to help fight in your interest, and this may result in filing a lawsuit. The lawsuit is more an act against the insurance company rather than the person, but the at fault person is the liable person who the insurance company is representing. With lawsuits, the overwhelming vast majority of personal injury cases never make it court, and are settled prior. There are different advantages in considering working with a large attorney law firm, a medium group, or with a small one-person business. It just depends on your needs and what your objectives are. But, understanding your rights and your insurance coverage is important and an attorney can usually provide you the best perspective. At ESP Sports Medicine we understand that it can be overwhelming to negotiate with an insurance company when you’re hurt. We are here to help you navigate these difficult situations. We’re able to help you focus on healing your body, but can also assist you in organizing your thoughts in order to make the best decisions for the situation you’re dealing with.
Why does our office treat car accident cases?
At ESP Sports Medicine, Eric sees acute sports injuries and car accidents simply as trauma sustained in an acute traumatic event, regardless of the venue of injury occurrence. We’re able to relate the biomechanical factors, the type of forces and speeds involved, organize and relate them within potential diagnoses and develop a treatment plan. As with difficult, failed or challenging sports injury cases, we feel comfortable working with the med-legal world of accountability, organization and results driven. It just so happens that our professional standards and skills work well with car accident cases.
Are financial companies a good option to help pay for treatment related to a car accident?
Car accidents can create not only a huge amount of physical damage to your care and your body, but can also disrupt your finances due to the inability to work or simply the cost of receiving medical care. Your car insurance Med Pay can cover much of the medical expenses following an accident, but a visit to the Emergency Room could itself consume much of the available funds. Individuals then have to sort out whether they will use their health insurance, health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, or simply self pay (cash) for treatment. Regardless, medical costs can add up, especially in a world where even those with health insurance often have high deductibles greater than $4000 that need to be met before your health insurance really kicks in. Therefore, when the case is legitimate and the individual is not “at-fault” for the accident, your attorney and even a health care provider might suggest you consider help in affording the cost of the case. In these situations a finance company specializing in personal injury cases will evaluate the case to understand the risk and the financial limits at hand, and may offer to pay the cost of medical care but expecting reimbursement at settlement. Aside from self-pay options, financing your medical care in general will cost more in the end, but it can also provide financial stability, decreased anxiety and a sense of support during a stressful process. The financial groups can provide organized leadership to ensure medical costs don’t escalate unnecessarily, therefore protecting the client from a potentially negative financial situation. It is important to discuss with your attorney representation the different financial options available to you. ESP Sports Medicine could help you with financial assistance by offering to help you finance medical care ourselves, or by working with one of the many reputable finance companies within the industry.