When filing any type of insurance claim for personal injury, one should be aware first and foremost that the insurance company is not your friend. Their policies and procedures are designed to minimize the amount that they pay out on claims or to deny the claim altogether.
Some of the things you should know when you’re filing a personal injury claim are how important it is to document everything.
- Take pictures if you can.
- Get witness statements.
- Document the identity of every and all witnesses.
- Keep a diary of how the injuries are affecting your day-to-day life, whether it’s the inability to wash your hair, the inability to shave your legs, the inability to sleep a regular eight hours of sleep like you normally did before the accident.
- It’s imperative that all these things are documented because sometimes these claims take a year or two years and when the question is asked to you two years down the road, “How did it affect you?”, you might not remember all those small things.
- The appropriate time to hire an attorney after an incident is when you recognize that you’re injured.
- The attorney’s job is to collect information, to collect all the data, and most people simply don’t know what to look for.
So, you want to hire an attorney as soon as you’ve realized that you’ve been injured as a result of somebody else’s negligence. That’s the appropriate time to hire an attorney. That’s the appropriate time to have that attorney start his investigation into how it happened and what your injuries are.
Health Insurance and Personal Injury Claims
So after you’ve been injured in a car accident should you use your health insurance to pay your medical bills? Surprisingly we actually get asked that question all the time. I’ve had lots of clients over the years who believe that their health insurance shouldn’t have to pay for their medical care because the accident was somebody else’s fault, so their insurance should have to pay for your care. That’s not the right approach.
- You have health insurance for a reason, you pay your health insurance premium every month for a reason and the reason is to cover your medical expenses regardless of the cause that leads to those expenses. So we want all our clients to use their health insurance to pay for their medical care. That’s why you have it.
- Sometimes your health insurance will have a right to be reimbursed for that care and that’s okay, we’ll deal with them at the end and we’ll take care of that for you. But we want you to use your health insurance to pay your medical bills. Because if you don’t, what does sometimes happen is not every case works out.
- If it turns out we find out a month later that there wasn’t auto insurance coverage, that the at-fault party didn’t have coverage even though we thought they did and you’ve incurred five thousand dollars worth of medical bills that haven’t been paid for, you personally are on the hook to pay those. We don’t want that to happen. So the advice we give every client is you use your health insurance to pay for your medical care.