Taking the Confusion Out of Common Injury and Estate Planning Worries: Answers to Your Frequent Questions
The most important job for any attorney is making sure that his client understands every aspect of her case. Although some lawyers are comfortable keeping their clients in the dark, we feel that you deserve more. You deserve to have all of your questions and concerns addressed in order to pursue your own case confidently and successfully. This is why we take the initiative to answer common questions that you may have even before you even step into our office. If you don't see your question answered below, please contact our office at 855-522-5291.
- Page 1
I was in a wreck. Will the other driver lose their home?
If you have been injured in a car crash, you likely have a claim against the driver of the car that caused your injuries.
Sometimes, this “at-fault” driver is an individual you don’t know and sometimes it is someone you do know (if you were the passenger in the car). Either way, my clients oftentimes ask me if filing a claim for injuries is going to “harm” this other person.
When you make a claim against the negligent driver, that person’s insurance company is responsible for providing them with a defense of claim and also paying for what they are liable for.
If you are unable to reach a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you will have to file a lawsuit and the defendant will be the at-fault driver. However, the same holds true – the insurance company will be paying for the defense and for any jury verdict. So typically, when you make a claim against the other driver, it is the insurance company that pays, not the driver himself.
There are times, of course, when this isn’t true. If the at-fault driver didn’t have insurance at all (in violation of the law) or didn’t have enough insurance at the time of the crash, you do have every right to try to get a verdict against that person and then try to collect the money awarded from the verdict. Also, sometimes, the at-fault driver’s insurance company doesn’t properly protect his interests. In these circumstances, the individual’s personal assets may indeed be at risk.
If you are injured in a car crash, you should definitely consult with an attorney who can fully explain what would happen if you file a claim.
Do I have to use the proceeds from my settlement to pay my medical bills?
When it is time for you to settle your case or take it to trial, you and your attorney will revisit your incurred medical bills issue. If your medical bills remain unpaid at the time your case is resolved, the proceeds of the case will likely be used to pay your bills.
While you might be able to choose to not pay your medical bills with the case proceeds, you are ultimately responsible for the payment of the medical bills.
As such, your attorney will likely suggest that you pay them with the funds. Often times, your attorney can work with your medical providers and have your outstanding bills reduced so that you can pocket more money.
If your medical bills were paid by MedPay, typically in Illinois, the insurance company who paid those bills on your behalf is entitled to their money back. While it may sound like it doesn’t make sense then to use MedPay at all, it is still wise to do so for a couple of reasons. First, using your MedPay funds will allow you to pay off your unpaid medical bills and avoid collections. Second, your attorney can likely get a reduction on what needs to be paid back to the MedPay carrier. In Missouri, the news is even better because state law prohibits the MedPay carrier from seeking reimbursement.
In other words, in Missouri, you don't have to pay MedPay money back.
If your bills were paid by health insurance, your attorney will have to review your contract with your health insurance carrier. Typically, when you sign up for your health insurance, whether you know it or not, you agree to pay back your carrier if they pay your bills and then you collect from the at-fault driver.
How much you have to pay back depends on how your contract reads.
As with the unpaid medical bills and MedPay, sometimes, your attorney can get that amount reduced. The medical bills issue can be difficult to navigate - it helps to have an attorney guide you.
Recently I was in a crash. The other driver ran a stop sign and the impact broke my arm. The other driver’s insurance company called me and said they want to send an adjuster out to my house to interview me. Is this normal? Do I have to meet with them?
We are so sorry to hear about your crash, and we hope your arm is healing up quickly! Insurance adjusters are trained to call you immediately after a wreck.
To be honest, they know that if they can get to you before you hire an attorney, it could save their company money.
They literally put this in their training manuals.
Under your insurance policy, you have an obligation to cooperate with YOUR company, but that doesn’t mean you have to talk to them while you’re still injured or in the hospital. If you get a call from your adjuster, tell them you want an opportunity to consider hiring counsel and that you will cooperate with them after consulting with an attorney.
If the other driver’s adjuster calls, you have NO obligation to provide them with information, and you should not talk to them until you consult with an attorney.
If you would like to set up a free consultation with us, we would be happy to look at your crash report and medical records in order to determine if you need an attorney. If you do, you will not pay anything unless we secure a settlement or verdict for you.
For more information on what to do after a crash, please order your copy of our free book ‘When the Rules of the Road Get Broken,’ or download your copy HERE.