Having spoken to thousands of people with car accident claims, one of the most common questions I am asked is whether they need a lawyer. It depends. If you caused the accident or were not hurt, then you do not need a personal injury attorney.
If you did not cause the accident and received medical treatment, then you do need a personal injury lawyer.
One of the most common traps people fall into when handling a case by themselves involves health insurance liens. If you use health insurance for the emergency room and expensive diagnostic tests, then oftentimes your health insurance gets paid back from the other driver’s liability insurance.
The problem that typically arises is when a case is settled quickly for a nominal amount and the unrepresented person does not know that their health insurance company has a legal right to get its money back. They spend the nominal insurance company check, then get a threatening letter from their health insurance company demanding to get reimbursed for the money it paid out for the emergency room, ER doctors, radiology and any other diagnostic testing.
Self-funded health insurance plans (ERISA), Medicare and Medicaid all get paid back. Failure to pay back health insurance claims could result in a lawsuit against the person who settled for the quick buck. There are situations when you don’t even want your health insurance to pay for your own medical bills.
Seeking treatment with medical providers with a bad reputation will also hurt your chance of a fair settlement. Most personal injury lawyers will steer you away from treatment with such providers.
For more serious injuries, not knowing the ins and outs of insurance coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage and medical payments may result in leaving a significant amount of money on the table at settlement time.
So how do you settle a car accident injury claim without the advice of a reputable personal injury lawyer?
You don’t. How our firm can help you
At Holland Injury Law, we answer questions every day for accident victims without any obligation whatsoever. When we can’t help, we can at least explain the process to them and give simple advice that could prevent financial disaster down the road. Call