What Do You Do if You've Been Injured in A Serious Accident?
If you've been injured in an auto accident, you have a lot to worry about. Where do you get medical care and who pays for it? Who pays for your lost wages? Who compensates you for pain, suffering and inconvenience?
An attorney who focuses exclusively on injury law will help you answer these questions. The insurance company for the person who caused the accident may say the right things but their job is to protect their own client and company – not you! You will need a knowledgeable injury lawyer that works for you, protects your rights and makes sure that you are treated fairly and receive appropriate compensation for your injuries and damages.
You have the right to pick your own doctor and do not need pre-approval for treatment. However, the at-fault auto insurance company typically does not pay your medical bills. Who pays for your medical care differs in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Many injury attorneys, practicing across state lines aren't knowledgeable with each state's unique laws – this can cost you dearly if certain benefits are or aren't used! For example, some policies have benefits to help pay bills (and/or lost wages) which are called PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and/or Medical Payment (Medpay) benefits. Using these will NOT raise your insurance premiums. However, if you live in DC, using PIP can cause you to forfeit your claim against the at-fault person – so be very careful when hiring your lawyer and choose wisely.
Many doctors will say that you can't use your health insurance for post-accident care. This simply isn't true. Both Virginia and Maryland laws allow the use of your health insurance after an auto accident. However, you may be responsible to pay back your health insurance company and will need an experienced injury lawyer who knows your jurisdiction to help navigate the laws.
Once you finish your care, the at-fault insurer will make a settlement offer. Offers can vary significantly and unless you know the intricacies of injury law in your area, you will not know if you are being treated fairly! While the laws can be confusing, putting yourself into the hands of an experienced attorney who only handles accident and injury cases in your state/locale ensures that you can focus on getting better. Insurance companies know the ins-and-outs, shouldn't you have someone working to protect your rights and ensure that you are fairly compensated? Know your rights, choose wisely and call an attorney immediately following an accident!
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