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Scottsdale Injury Lawyers Contacted by Woman Injured in Scottsdale Motor Vehicle Accident
On March 11, 2020, Scottsdale Injury Lawyers was contacted by a woman who was involved in a motor vehicle accident in North Scottsdale. The car accident occurred the day before and the woman was experiencing pain in her neck, back and mouth. The Impact was severe and the airbags to her vehicle deployed. The woman contacted the firm for advice on how to proceed.
The motor vehicle accident was at an intersection. The car accident happened at night near N. 92nd Street and E. Raintree Drive. The woman described the impact as heavy. Police came to the scene and the other driver appeared to have admitted fault. The parties are still awaiting the results of the police report. Below are actual photographs from the crash scene.
The woman, who was an exchange student from South America, had several questions about the process of advancing a personal injury claim. She had serious concerns about her injury, her lack of health insurance, her lost earnings and her inability to pay for needed medical and dental treatment. She could not afford to pay her dentist and when she called him was told that he would not treat her unless she paid out of pocket. She also wanted to know if hiring an attorney made sense and what an attorney could do for her. Scottsdale Injury Lawyers answered each of those questions.
What a Person Should Do who is Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident
The first thing someone should do who is injured in a motor vehicle accident is seek out medical treatment. This should be done without delay and with a medical provider who can see the injured individual right away. This may include an emergency room visit or appointment at an urgent care facility. Often times, family doctors or primary care physicians will not be able to see a patient for several weeks. The majority of these practices also lack diagnostic capabilities such as MRI, CT and X-ray machines. As such, they are not the best place to go to receive immediate medical attention. Receiving immediate medical attention is especially critical for an individual who sustained any type of head trauma as he or she could have a brain bleed or something else serious.
Following the initial evaluation, the patient should follow up with other medical providers as instructed. This includes a follow up with a medical doctor if symptoms persist. This also includes further diagnostic testing as required. If the person is prescribed a course of physical therapy, chiropractic care, occupational therapy or other treatment, that person should follow the regimen completely and closely. He or she should not miss appointments or be non-compliant with the treatment plan.
An experienced personal injury attorney knows what medical treatment an insurance company believes is reasonable and can assist the client with that.
The injured person should also seek out the care of specialists as needed and referred. This includes pain management doctors, orthopedic surgeons, neurologists or other specialists. There is a very particular course of treatment that an injured individual should follow that the insurance company is accustomed to seeing. Deviations from this course of treatment, causes insurance companies to pause and question injury claims. Generally, a person should not have significant gaps in treatment and must see treaters in a certain order and within a specified period of time for the insurance companies to consider their treatment reasonable and pay for it. An experienced personal injury attorney knows what medical treatment an insurance company believes is reasonable and can assist the client with that.
What a Person Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident Can do If they Do Not have Health Insurance
A person who lacks health insurance will have difficulty obtaining medical care. If emergent care is required, the injured person can present to a hospital. Typically, a hospital cannot turn away an injured person in need because they lack insurance or can not afford to pay up front. The hospital can then bill the client or claim a repayment later from the insurance company.
However, a medical provider such as a doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor, (or in this woman’s case- a dentist), does not have to provide such services without payment. Individuals are often under the mistaken belief that the other side’s insurance will pay for medical treatment as it is incurred and that the medical provider can just submit the bills to the at-fault party’s insurance for payment. This is not the case and not how it works.
The other side’s insurance will not fund your medical treatment—it will only consider repaying medical expenses when you have finished all your treatment. Even then, an insurance company will only consider paying medical expenses it believes are reasonable and necessary. In other words, it will only pay for treatment it believes was necessitated by the motor vehicle accident. It will also only pay the amount that it thinks is fair. If your doctor or provider charges too much, you will be left holding the bag.
However, most medical providers will not enter into such an agreement if you are not represented by an attorney.
If someone is without insurance, they may try to apply for AHCCCS for coverage. However, this may take a long time, during which the injured person will not receive treatment. Alternatively, the injured person can ask that the medical provider treat he or she on a lien. In this context, a medical lien is an agreement where the provider will provide the treatment with no up-front payment with the understanding that the injured person will pay them in full from any settlement reached with the insurance company. However, most medical providers will not enter into such an agreement if you are not represented by an attorney. Further, many medical providers will not agree to such an arrangement even if you have an attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney has relationships and knows which medical providers may treat you on a medical lien. This is critical as it may be what you need in order to receive the medical treatment you need to heal properly.
Can I Recover My Lost Earnings Caused By a Motor Vehicle Accident Injury
Like medical expenses, lost earnings caused by a car accident injury may be recovered. However, often times these claims are difficult to make and insurance companies are skeptical of them. This is especially true if the individual is self-employed, an independent contractor, has a commission-based position, works for a family member or owns his or her own business. Under these circumstances, the insurance companies often scrutinize lost earnings claims and require substantial proof. This includes providing years of income tax statements that will show a decrease in earnings.
With hourly employees, a lost earnings claim is easier to advance. However, these claims still require documentation and the presentation of evidence. Not only will someone need medical documentation as to his or her inability to work, he or she will also need to prove the lost earnings component. As to the inability to work, documentation from a doctor taking a person off of work will suffice. As to the lost earnings, this may be proved by pay check stubs or a signed affidavit from a person’s employer listing the amount of time that was missed and that person’s hourly wage.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney to Handle Your Car Accident Case Makes Sense
It makes sense to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you with respect to your car accident case. Unless you have years of experience handling personal injury claims, you will not be able to do it effectively and you will not receive maximum compensation. There are dozens of reasons why you should hire a personal injury attorney. Some of the most important are listed below:
- It will give you peace of mind
- You will not have to deal with the stress of trying to learn the process and failing
- You will not have to fight with the insurance company
- You will have an expert who knows how to best present your claim
- You will have an expert who knows the true value of your claim and injury
- You will have someone who will help you navigate medical treatment
- You will have someone who can negotiate liens on your behalf
- You will have someone who can notify you if you are being taken advantage of by a medical provider
- You will have the threat of being able to file a lawsuit if a fair offer is not made
- You will have someone who has a duty to look out for your best interests
- You will receive a resolution faster than if you tried to do it yourself
The above list does not include everything. A personal injury attorney usually pays for himself. Insurance companies know that they must pay higher amounts to settle a claim when an injured person is represented by an attorney. Insurance companies typically build the attorney’s fee into their settlement offers. Insurance companies know that the injured person will only accept a settlement based upon what he or she actually gets to put in his or her pocket at the end. As such, a person who has an attorney will generally receive no less than what he or she would get had he or she tried to do it themselves. In most cases he or she will receive more and will not have to deal with any of the work, stress and headaches involved.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney at Scottsdale Injury Lawyers Today
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, you have nothing to lose by calling Scottsdale Injury Lawyers. We offer a free consultation and will provide you with valuable advice on how to proceed. If we agree to take your case, it costs you nothing unless we recover for you. Being represented by Scottsdale Injury Lawyers is at no risk to you. We advance all costs and you only repay them if we prevail in your case. Contact us today to discuss your car accident case.