Personal Injury FAQs
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PERSONAL INJURY CASES
- What is the most important thing for me to do after my injury?
See your doctor as soon as possible following your injury. Follow the doctor’s orders. For you this may mean some, or all, of the following steps:
- Do not miss appointments with your doctor. Stay in touch with your doctor and be certain to maintain your appointments. If you have to cancel, notify the doctor with as much notice as possible. The words “no show” on a doctor’s record sheet can be used against you at the time of settlement or trial.
- Attend physical therapy sessions as prescribed. Your physician or hospital may prescribe therapy to facilitate recovery from your injury. Such a procedure is often helpful in many types of injuries including strains, sprains, and other so- called “soft tissue” injuries. If physical therapy is prescribed, be sure to keep your appointments and participate actively in the process. Again, if you have to cancel an appointment, be sure to call, but try to avoid cancellation as much as possible.
- Do what your doctor tells you to do. If your physician prescribes certain medications, therapy exercises, or limitations on activities, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders. Failure to follow your doctor’s advice can be used against you when it comes time to settle your case, or can be used against you in court if your claim proceeds to litigation.
- Keep accurate record of time missed from work due to the accident.
- How do I pay my medical bills?
Your lawyer will discuss the payment of your medical bills in detail with you. In summary, your medical bills may be paid by one of the following methods:
Depending on the nature of your case, your medical bills may be covered by any of the above possibilities. If there is no insurance coverage, your bills will be saved by you and your lawyer, and will be paid at a later date when and if your case settles.
- Your own health insurance from your employment benefits package.
- Your own health insurance that you may have paid for personally.
- Health insurance obtained by your spouse for your benefit or by your parents if you are under age and living with such parents.
- Personal injury protection or medical payments insurance coverage from your own automobile policy if you were driving your automobile and were involved in an automobile collision.
- Your own personal funds if you were not insured and are able to pay medical bills as they are incurred.
- Workers’ compensation insurance if your injury occurred while you were working on the job and the injury occurred as a result of your employment.
- Other possible sources, such as an attorney’s letter of protection.
- Will the doctors, hospitals, and other medical facilities wait for payment if I am unable to pay my bills as they are incurred?
In most cases where there is no immediate method to pay medical bills as they are incurred, many doctors, hospitals, and other medical facilities will wait to be paid for their services when the case is finally resolved by way of settlement or verdict in court. It is important to let medical providers know early in the process if you have no insurance or financial means to pay medical bills as they are incurred. Have any medical providers contact your lawyer.
- How does Frenkel & Frenkel, L.L.P. make sure that the doctors and medical facilities will get paid?
Most lawyers have a policy of withholding money from the settlement or court verdict to pay doctors and medical facilities. It is important that the client makes the lawyer aware of all medical providers.
- Why won’t the insurance company for the person or company who caused my injuries automatically pay my medical bills as they occur?
Most insurance companies for the person, persons, or company who caused your injuries will not automatically pay medical bills as they occur. There are many reasons for this. One reason is that they do not want to spend a substantial amount of money for medical bills and then be faced with an unreasonable or excessive demand at the time of final settlement. In other words, they do not want to expend a substantial sum of money on medical bills and then be faced with the chance of defending a lawsuit. Secondly, most insurance companies want to conclude or settle the claim with one sum of money. Therefore, most liability insurance companies will wait for the letter of demand from your attorney and then try to conclude the case all at once with one payment.
- How do I keep track of all my bills?
One of the most important things for you to do is to keep an accurate record of your medical bills.
- a. Be sure that your lawyer receives a copy of each medical bill, prescription bill, or other bill related to your injury. It is important for your lawyer to receive copies of all your medical bills as well as a copy of your medical bill summary when your case is ready for settlement. Even though your lawyer may receive copies of bills directly from the medical facilities, a double-check process will assure that your claim settles for the maximum value. If your lawyer does not have a record for all your medical bills, your case may be settled for much less than its actual value.
- b. Keep a record of medical bills even if they are processed through a health insurance carrier. Even if your medial bills are paid by a health insurance company or your employer, you must still maintain copies for yourself and be sure to get copies to your lawyer.
- Do not talk to anyone except Frenkel & Frenkel, L.L.P. in regard to your case.