Many people travel and take vacations during the summer. With more cars on the road there are naturally more accidents. However an accident does not mean you HIT THE LOTTERY and that the insurance company will pay a lot of money.
In Vegas if you roll an Eleven you win your bet. Follow these 11 steps and though you did not hit the lottery you will “win more money”.
- Take cell phone pictures and video of both cars/ injuries and statements of all parties before they talk to their insurance company or lawyer and revise what happened.
- Call the police even when there are no apparent injuries because the accident report will provide information on all parties, witnesses and liability and because you may hurt later.
- Don’t talk without your lawyer’s permission as it is evidence. If the defendant is uninsured or lacks adequate insurance, your company will be responsible under UM/UIM and what you told them could come back to haunt you. Exchange information with the other driver and TAKE DOWN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA. The insurance companies watch Facebook and Twitter posts which may show you playing sports or talking about a vacation. This suggests you are OK and not getting medical treatment and that you probably lifted your luggage.
- Get medical attention immediately, either by ambulance to the Hospital or Urgent Care. Some victims do not take an ambulance because they have to pick up their kids or are concerned about hospital and ambulance costs. Otherwise the insurance company argues, if the victim was really injured s/he would have sought immediate medical treatment.
- Do NOT give the hospital Medicare/ Medicaid information:
Once Medicare/Medicaid is notified it takes 6-12 months to get them to respond to lien payment information. In addition there is a new law that the only medical bills the jury can consider are those not paid by insurance, Medicare/ Medicaid. If Eisenhower charges $50,000 and accepts $9,000 from Medicare with the patient responsible for $1,000 we can only submit $1,000 for the jury to consider. Thus we may get settlement offers of less than $5,000.
- Contacting a Lawyer immediately prevents the insurance company from contacting you for a statement. Your lawyer never knows what you said or what the investigator thought he heard you say.
- Your lawyer helps you obtaining the right medical care on a lien:
Doctors are not taught how to prepare a med/legal report which is needed to collect the full case value. For years I lectured on “How to Write a Medical/Legal Report” to the International College of Surgeons at their yearly conferences. The doctor’s report is almost as important as the injuries.
- Go to your lawyer’s body shop not the Insurance companys who gives a low estimate. Adjusters argue if the property damage is low, then how could the Victim be injured? The last thing a lawyer wants is for his client’s friend to repair the car cheaply.
- You need high auto liability and UM/UIM coverage because many drivers have no insurance or inadequate limits. If so we make a UM/UIM claim against your carrier….even if you were walking or on a bike when hit. If the D doesn’t have insurance we make a UM claim against your carrier for up to the policy limits. If the defendant has a $15k policy we can collect that amount from the other carrier and then make a claim against your policy for up to the policy limits. Be sure you have Medical Payments coverage because no matter who is at fault you can present a claim under the med pay section of your policy for up to that amount of money to pay your medical bills.
- Sometimes your attorney has to threaten or go to trial to get the true value of a case from the defense. I have had cases where my client refused to go to trial because of fear of what would be in the med report: an abortion they did not tell their husband about; illegal drugs listed in med report; their treatment with a psych and or an affair with another person and a venereal disease.
- Do not sign anything as it could be a release…or an authorization to obtain your medical records. Do not trust the adjuster who says if you have further problems they will take care of it.
If you have any questions or suggestions for future articles contact me: 760 837-7500/ firstname.lastname@example.org.
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, CALL A TAXI OR UBER………IT IS A LOT CHEAPER THAN HAVING AN ARREST OR ACCIDENT AND CALLING ME ………SO DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER
“TOP LAWYER” – Palm Springs Life (DUI/ACCIDENT)2011-2017 (California’s Prestige Magazine)
“TOP LAWYER”- Inland Empire Magazine Nov 2016
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