Injured In an Auto Accident? An Attorney’s Guide to Next Steps | Sponsored Content
Brakes squeal, glass shattered and lives can be changed forever. The physical and mental trauma from a car accident can linger on one person for years, especially if it involves injuries. It’s a situation that requires quick and informed decision-making – about who is to blame, what actually happened, and how medical issues should be addressed. However, immediately afterward, it can be difficult to focus on anything outside of the shock and pain.
“It is extremely difficult to remember what to do,” says Amber Goodman, attorney at Siferd & Associates, LPA. “Your top priority should be taking care of yourself and making sure you get better. But you also have the financial aspect. It is therefore important to hire someone straight away who can contact you – about bills, see a doctor, have everything written down. You really need someone in your corner to guide you. “
Beyond physical recovery, navigating a car accident can be difficult for anyone unfamiliar with insurance and compensation. How should you treat your injuries? How should you deal with the insurance provider? How and how much compensation are you entitled to? How should you handle medical bills? A lawyer can cut the web of questions and often give the client a more financially beneficial result.
“It’s important not to wait,” says Goodman. “If you’ve wait six months and haven’t done certain things that you had to do, we can begin to rebuild and restore them. But it’s much easier for us to be there from the start. “
Medical treatment and memory
The first step is medical treatment. In this way, all injuries caused by the accident are documented. It doesn’t have to be in a hospital emergency room, and it may not need to be done immediately, as injuries can result days later. However, it is important to seek treatment soon after and alleviate injuries by following doctors’ recommendations.
“If your doctor tells you to undergo physical therapy and you don’t do it and get on with your daily routine, you may tear something or cause further injury for not following your doctor’s advice,” says Goodman. “Your injuries can be compensated for by not following your doctor’s instructions. They actually made the injury worse. “
It’s also important to make sure that medical providers bill your insurance. Hospitals sometimes try to bill patients full price instead of the costs negotiated with insurance carriers – and given the time it takes to settle cases, personal credit can be ruined by thousands of dollars in unpaid hospital bills. Bring all medical bills to the attorney and keep a notebook to record everything that happens after the accident.
“People insist that they remember because their injuries are so bad,” Goodman says. “The fact is, when we’re two or three years later and you’re feeling better, you’ll never really remember those first few days.”
Insurance and compensation
What kind of compensation you can get from the accident depends on who was to blame. If you caused it, you are not entitled to any compensation, Goodman says. If someone else is causing this and is insured, you are entitled to compensation from their insurance company. However, there are some restrictions: for example, if you are in a car with a spouse or parent you live with, you may not be eligible for compensation.
If someone else caused the accident, you may be eligible to get up to the limits of their policy. In the case of a minimum government insurance of $ 25,000 / $ 50,000, this would mean that an individual could receive up to $ 25,000 and no more than $ 50,000 would be paid out in total. If the culpable driver is not insured, your policy will take effect. If the driver is underinsured – the cost of your medical bills is worth more than the policy can pay off – your policy can pay. Uninsured and underinsured insurance coverage is usually part of standard car insurance.
Make sure that the insurance provider, who usually calls shortly after the accident, records everything you say and is trained to get answers that can reduce the insurance company’s payment. “You will be very, very kind,” says Goodman. “That way they can build trust in you and you start saying things that you shouldn’t be saying, like, ‘Oh, I don’t remember if the light was red or green. ‘You have a lot of training to reduce how much the company is paying you. “
The adjuster can still call under the guise of checking in to try to get as much information as possible to be used against you. You won’t stop unless you hire an attorney to send the insurance company a letter stating they are representing you and stop the flood of calls.
Hidden costs of repayment
Some drivers also have a policy called Med-Pay, which covers up to an initial dollar amount of your medical bills – usually the first $ 5,000 and usually no more than the first $ 10,000. If you caused the accident, this money will cover the medical bills and will not have to be repaid as there is no other compensation. But if you didn’t cause the accident, be prepared – there are many forms of compensation that are repayable, a fact that those involved in the accident may not be aware of.
“Med-Pay usually has to be paid back unless you caused the accident. If your health insurance has been paid off, it must be repaid too. If you miss work and have short-term disability insurance, that has to be paid back as well, ”Goodman says. “An attorney works with each of these providers to reduce your debt. You are not ready to work with John Doe, but with John Doe’s lawyer. This is how we can help you pay back less. “
This is just one of the reasons why hiring an attorney for someone who was injured in a car accident makes the most financial sense. What about regaining miles to and from doctor visits or medical treatments, making up for wages lost in recovery, or keeping the claim going through the months or years that it may take to resolve?
A company like Siferd & Associates takes care of this so you can focus on getting better and getting back to work.
“The difference here at Siferd is that you don’t talk to our assistants very often. We usually speak to you personally, ”says Goodman.
Meanwhile, if you have a legal question, the lawyers can answer it, the assistants cannot. So you don’t have to wait for that call back or have an assistant answer you and then call you back after talking to a lawyer. We don’t do that here. “
Have you been injured in a car accident or are you looking for a law firm to guide you through the compensation process? Contact Siferd & Associates at (419) 222-5045, fill out the online contact form, or visit the website at Siferd.com for more information.