While we here at Moebes Law usually cover incidents and accidents that fall under workers’ compensation laws, today I’d like to talk about automobile accidents. Car accidents are a daily occurrence, even more so in major metropolitan areas like Atlanta. Car accident attorneys get call after call about the intricacies of victims’ rights and responsibilities after an accident.
Here are some typical queries and my best answers to them:
Should I see a doctor after my accident? If so, when should I visit one?
Yes. Okay, back up: Not only yes, but YES. Go to the doctor immediately if you have any pain, discomfort or indication of injury. If you ‘wait and see’ if you’ll ‘feel better’, you will likely weaken any case you may have for the reimbursement of your medical bills. Conversely, don’t go to the doctor or emergency room if you do not have any injuries in order to create a claim. The courts do not look kindly on fraudulent plaintiffs.
Is there any instance in which I shouldn’t call my insurance company?
In a word, no. People often cite the fact that they don’t want insurance companies involved for fear of their rates rising. If a police report is filed, your insurance company will find out anyway. Go ahead and be proactive; contact your agent and allow them to try and work on your behalf as quickly as possible. If you wait you could void any claim in your favor.
How do I handle my hospital or doctor bills post-treatment?
First, lots of insurers will say both that you need to send them your bills and that you need to sign a medical records release. Do not do this. They are not ordering your records and requesting your bills to facilitate payment. They want to try and find a reason to avoid cutting a check and will do so by any means necessary.
Second, you need to follow up with the hospital’s billing department to make sure that they bill your health insurance. Your health insurance will cover bills from car accidents, but only as secondary coverage. This means that your car insurance is billed first for any benefits available under the medical payments portion of your policy. Hospitals may neglect (or be resistant) to bill your health insurance because they want to collect at 100% rather than the fee schedule agreed upon under your health insurance.
Is there anything else of importance that I need to know?
Yes! Do NOT work with a doctor or lawyer that calls you unsolicited after a car accident. In the state of Georgia, it’s illegal to reach out to victims of wrecks, but there are those that do so. There are people that are paid kickbacks by attorneys and physicians to do that very thing. It’s immoral and unethical…don’t fall prey to them; to them you’re merely a dollar sign!
Entrust your case to someone you have carefully selected when you are not under duress or the influence of painkillers (ha).
While Moebes Law handles only workers’ compensation claims, feel free to contact our firm and we will put you in touch with reputable, capable counsel to assist you with your car accident case!