Tag Archives: Personal Injury Lawyer

How Do You Pay for Medical Bills Before The Insurance Company Settles?

Personal Injury Lawyer

After a car accident, you may wait on the other driver’s insurance to pay your medical bills. Meanwhile, the bills pile up. The doctors, hospital, and therapists want their money. What are your options? It would be nice if you could just explain to the healthcare providers that you’re waiting on the insurance, but that is not usually how it works. Here are some things that you can do.

Use Your Personal Health Insurance  

Since you are responsible for your medical bills after a car accident you can, and should, use your own health insurance to pay the bills. Even if the medical provider tells you that another insurance is primary, you should still have them file your personal health insurance. Make sure to save any bills you receive and track your co-pays. You will want to be able to verify your expenses later. Your health insurance company may expect to be paid back if you do receive a settlement from the other driver. Since nothing is guaranteed, this is the best option to make sure your bills are paid.

Check with Your Auto Insurance Coverage 

If you have PIP and live in a no-fault state, you may have coverage for your medical bills through your own auto insurance policy. It might also be called “Med Pay.” Check with your own auto insurance policy to know whether you should file with them to pay your medical bills. It might seem like a long-shot, but you may have coverage that you aren’t aware of.

Negotiate with Your Healthcare Providers 

If you don’t have insurance, your next option is probably to try and negotiate with the hospital or doctors. Most hospitals will send your account to collections if you aren’t dealing with it. You may be able make payments until the settlement comes in. As a last resort, you may want to sign an agreement with the healthcare provider that you agree to pay when you receive a settlement. This can keep your account out of collections and from hurting your credit.

Don’t Pay Anything 

Although this is an option, it isn’t your best one. You may be stressed out from dealing with the accident and its aftermath, but you should try to find a way to deal with your medical bills. Your lawyer may be able to help you negotiate with the providers and find options that fit your needs. Talk to a  lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC, about your case to figure out what the next step you should take is. 

The Basics of Punitive Damages

Personal Injury Lawyer

When someone is injured in an accident, he or she can typically seek compensatory damages to cover medical bills, property damage repairs, pain and suffering, and other losses. Sometimes a judge will award the plaintiff punitive damages as well. What are they and when are they awarded?

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are a punishment for the defendant after he or she acted in a grossly negligent way. Most states will award a plaintiff punitive damages if the defendant showed intentional misconduct, acted with recklessness, showed gross negligence, or acted in deceit or malice. While the plaintiff may have already been awarded compensatory damages, he or she would be given an additional amount as a punishment and a statement to the defendant.

When Are They Awarded?

There are specific situations in which punitive damages are awarded. For example, if two people are in a car accident because someone failed to see a red light, causing a head-on collision, the at-fault party would more than likely owe compensatory damages. If the plaintiff’s lawyer is able to prove the at-fault party knew the light was red and took a chance anyway, punitive damages may be awarded.

Another example would include a faulty roof on a commercial building. If a portion of the roof fell and injured a customer, the owner of the building would typically owe compensatory damages. If an inspector had recently discovered damage and recommended a replacement, but the owner chose to ignore the recommendation, punitive damages may be awarded.

Are There Limitations?

There are some states that put a limit on how much a plaintiff can receive in punitive damages. For example, some states limit the amount at three times what the compensatory damages equaled. Other states have an actual amount, such as $500,000, and punitive damages cannot reach beyond that amount in any case.

How Strong Is My Case?

If you plan to sue for personal injury, and hope to receive punitive damages, you may wonder how strong your case is. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, as every case is different, but your lawyer can give you some answers after he or she has a chance to look over all the evidence. The more evidence you have against the defendant, the stronger your case will be. If you only suspect gross negligence, and have nothing to back up your suspicion, you may not end up with any punitive award.

Contacting a Lawyer to Get Started

If you’ve been injured in an accident, one of the best things you can do is get a legal professional on your side. Contact an attorney like a personal injury lawyer, at the law offices of Davis & Brusca, LLC, for more information.

How Long Do You Have to Go to a Doctor After a Pedestrian Accident Caused by an Obstructed Sign?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Traffic signs and signals provide important information to pedestrians. Do Not Walk signals protect pedestrians from oncoming traffic. Hidden Driveway signs alert pedestrians to the possibility of a vehicle unexpectedly entering their path.

Signs warning of danger may alert pedestrians to broken sidewalks, missing guardrails, or pathways that are not intended for pedestrian use. Train crossing signs tell pedestrians that railroad tracks are actually in use.

Pedestrians risk serious injury or death when they ignore warning signs. But pedestrians are sometimes injured because they cannot see a warning sign. When signs are obstructed by overgrown bushes or tree branches, they fail to serve their cautionary purpose.

The state or local government that erects a warning sign has a duty to assure that the sign is visible. That duty is fulfilled by regularly inspecting signs and trimming away foliage that might obstruct them.

Unfortunately, governments with limited budgets tend to neglect routine maintenance. As a result, signs become hidden from view. Pedestrians are injured when the government neglects its duty to assure the visibility of warning signs.

A lawyer, like a pedestrian accident lawyer from Butler Law Firm, can help injury victims recover compensation for pedestrian accidents that are caused by the government’s neglect of its duty. Talking to a lawyer immediately after an accident makes it possible for the lawyer to have pictures taken of the obstructed sign.

Going to a Doctor After a Pedestrian Accident Caused by an Obstructed Sign

A lawyer can also advise pedestrian accident victims of important deadlines. Every state has a statute of limitations that sets a deadline for settling or bringing a lawsuit for injury compensation.

A shorter notice of claim statute requires victims of government negligence to give notice of a claim that might later be filed. Failing to abide by deadlines can make it impossible to recover compensation for accident injuries.

The law sets no deadline for visiting a doctor after a pedestrian accident. It is nevertheless important to see a doctor promptly.

Pedestrians who have serious injuries will typically receive emergency or urgent care. Whether an injury is serious, however, is often a judgment call that a doctor should make. Internal bleeding can be fatal but it does not always cause immediate or intense pain. The same is true of brain swelling after a blow to the head.

Accident victims sometimes try to live with an injury, only to find that their condition worsens. Damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons might not heal if the pedestrian tries to resume normal activities. In fact, those injuries might become more serious if they are not treated. An injury that might be treated with rest or immobilization of a joint could eventually require surgical repair if the injury is ignored.

Settlement Benefits of Seeing a Doctor After a Pedestrian Accident Caused by an Obstructed Sign

When a pedestrian brings a claim against the government for injuries caused by an obstructed sign, the government will scour the pedestrian’s medical records for evidence it can use to deny or minimize the payment of compensation. Any delay in seeing a doctor will be viewed as proof that the injuries were caused by an event that occurred just before treatment began. 

Failing to follow through on treatment recommendations is also viewed with suspicion. The government will argue that the accident victim stopped treating because the injuries healed. Any later treatment will be attributed to a new and unrelated injury.

The government’s suspicions do not need to be true. The mere fact that a jury might believe them reduces the settlement value of the injury claim. To protect the opportunity to receive full value for accident injuries, it is important to see a doctor immediately and to follow the doctor’s instructions faithfully until discharged from treatment.

Comparative Negligence 

Personal Injury Lawyer

It’s been about two weeks since you’ve been involved in an accident and now the insurance companies are saying that you are partially at fault for the accident. How is it determined when you are at partial fault? Are you able to even receive compensation for your medical bills? Contact a car wreck lawyer, like a car wreck lawyer in Arlington, TX, if you need representation. 

Liability

Determining by law who was the negligent party in the accident and responsible for the damage is important. The individual who caused the accident is often responsible. All insurance companies that represent parties in an accident should be made aware of the accident and from there will help to gather information for investigating liability.

How is liability determined if you were deemed partially at fault for the accident?

If one person was more careless than another, then the majority of fault would lie on them. This does not mean that the person who was maybe to a lesser degree liable but still injured, will get full compensation for all medical bills. This will just be broken up into a percentage of what each negligent person is responsible for. If a person is in an accident at work and the accident is caused by a negligent party, the employer would be the liable party. What if the injured party was in a location that they were not supposed to be at? The individual who is at fault may not be liable for the accident since the injured party was in a place that was not authorized for them to be there. Did the defendant owe the plaintiff duty to care and fail to do so? The injured party would not be held at fault. 

Comparative Negligence

This is a law that was put into place to help determine the responsibilities for damages that occurred by every negligent person in the accident. This means that more than one person was at fault and the parties who are at fault will need to come to an agreement amongst themselves to compensate the non-negligent parties.

Depending on where you live, you may be able to recover damages for any amount of liability in an accident. In a lot of states there are restrictions that will not allow you to recover if you are over fifty percent liable for the accident, and even more strict states only allow compensation if you are only deemed “slightly” at fault for the accident. If a partially at fault person has $10,000 in damages but was found 50% at fault, he or she would only get a 50% recovery in the damages equalling $5,000.

There is no linear way to come to an agreement on comparative negligence. This will be determined through conversations with an attorney or through an insurance company and any investigative measures that are taken to gather more information. 

 


 

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into what comparative negligence is and how liability is determined in an accident. 

Wrongful Death Cases and College Students

Personal Injury Lawyer

When you send a child off to college, you’ll probably have many worries and anxieties. You’ll be concerned about how your son or daughter will cope with life on his or her own. You may stress out over how your loved one will fare with coursework and with the added burden of more responsibility. One thing you shouldn’t have to fear is whether your child is at risk of dying. If someone close to you dies while on a college campus, many factors could have caused the incident. If you suspect administrators at the school are to blame, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer in Trenton, NJ.

Types of Wrongful Death Claims on a College Campus

Like anywhere else, accidents can happen on campus. Before you get too serious about filing a lawsuit, it will be helpful to understand which scenarios may implicate the school itself. If your loved dies because of structural or mechanical failure in a building, you may be able to prove that school officials knew of such conditions but didn’t do anything about them. Another example may be if campus police of security failed to respond to a complaint or tip about suspicious activity on campus. If this oversight led to your loved one’s death at the hands of someone else, a wrongful death lawsuit may be valid. You may also sue if your lawyer determines the school had insufficient safety protocol in the event of an emergency. Or, you could file a lawsuit if your child died after exposure to a chemical or material in class, and the school didn’t provide the essential equipment.

Determining Fault

To successfully win a wrongful death lawsuit, the burden of proof is on you and your attorney to show that the school is liable for the loved one’s passing. Your lawyer will work to show that school officials acted with negligence through poor judgment or wrongdoing. You may even find that college officials deliberately covered up facts or intended to bring harm to your loved one.

Damages to Recover

In your lawsuit, you will seek damages for medical bills. Those costs may fall upon you as a surviving family member. You can sue for damages to pay for hospital stays, medication, surgeries and medical equipment. Your damages may also include wages your loved one lost or the pain and suffering you have felt due to this loss. You may even seek punitive damages, which would punish the school administrators for their actions or inactions.

A wrongful death lawsuit is a serious complaint. Your lawyer will make sure you pursue this correctly and get the help you need.

 


 

Thanks to Davis & Brusca for their insight into personal injury claims and wrongful death claims involving college students.

What Can I Do if I Am the Victim of a Shooting at an Apartment Building?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Unfortunately, violence is an neverending problem. Innocent victims of robberies and random shootings too often suffer life-changing injuries. Paralysis, brain injuries, and organ damage are among the most severe consequences of a shooting that the victim survives.

While some shootings can be random and unpredictable, the fact that a shooting might occur is often foreseeable. Owners of apartment complexes are often aware of the risk of violence that tenants and visitors face. A security negligence and shooting lawyer will help hold the owner accountable for failing to take appropriate security precautions.

Installing and repairing security locks on exterior doors is an obvious example for a property owner to create a safer environment. Tenants depend on locks to protect them from threatening individuals. Too many shootings occur inside apartment buildings that the uninvited shooter should never have been able to enter.

Poor lighting in common areas and parking lots also encourages violent crimes. Criminals act under the cover of darkness. Building owners who fail to install or maintain adequate lighting contribute to the risk that a shooting will occur on their property.

What Apartment Building Shooting Victims Should Do First

The first step for any shooting victim is to obtain medical care. If the wound is serious, call 911 and ask for an ambulance. Don’t worry about the cost. If you have no insurance, you might be billed later, but every emergency room is required to stabilize victims of life-threatening wounds. Even if the wound seems minor, it is important to obtain medical attention. A minor wound can still lead to a deadly infection. Prompt and professional wound treatment may save the victim’s life.

Following through on recommended medical care is essential for a few reasons. First, gunshot injuries heal more quickly when a victim follows a doctor’s treatment recommendations. Physical rehabilitation programs may be painful and time-consuming, but completing the program improves the odds of making a full recovery.

Second, insurance claims adjusters are more likely to make a fair settlement if the shooting victim follows through on recommended treatment. When victims discontinue their treatment, insurance adjusters argue that the injury must have healed. The fact that a victim didn’t want to take time away from work to keep an appointment will not persuade the adjuster that the victim was still in pain. Medical records provide essential documentation of injury claims. That’s why seeing a doctor and following the doctor’s recommendations is so important to obtaining a fair settlement.

Health insurance should cover gunshot wound treatment, but uninsured victims should make every effort to obtain the healthcare they need. Medicare, Medicaid, and VA insurance are among the sources that may help uninsured gunshot victims obtain medical care. Some doctors will also agree to provide treatment in exchange for an agreement to pay for treatment out of injury settlement proceeds.

What Apartment Building Shooting Victims Should Do Next

After obtaining emergency health care, a shooting victim should report the shooting to the police. Failing to cooperate with a police investigation might make it more difficult to make a successful legal claim against the building owner.

Prompt consultation with a crime victim lawyer is also important. Successful claims for inadequate security or unsafe premises are built on evidence. Your lawyer will want to gather that evidence quickly. Witnesses need to be interviewed before memories fade. Broken lights need to be photographed before the owner replaces them. A lawyer can also help the shooting victim deal with insurance adjusters. Saying the wrong thing to an insurance company can jeopardize a fair settlement of the insurance claim.

Finally, a lawyer can protect the victim’s rights by making sure that the limitations period does not expire. The victim will lose the right to collect compensation if a lawsuit is not filed, or the case is not settled, before the deadline imposed by a statute of limitations arrives. A security negligence lawyer can advise the shooting victim about all the steps that need to be taken to protect the victim’s right to obtain full compensation.