An auto accident is an unfortunate and traumatic event. Many people are unsure of what to do and who to speak to when they have been in an auto accident. Unfortunately, many gravitate to the first name they see on an advertisement as a first contact. This can be a very big mistake in many cases for many reasons.
First and foremost, if you are injured seek care as soon as possible after the accident. A delay in care can be viewed as you not truly being injured by the insurance company. More importantly, undiagnosed injuries can be life threatening. Your health comes first!
Secondly, picking an attorney name off the internet or from an advertisement is hit or miss at best. Law offices spend thousands if not millions of dollars on advertising just to get your attention. The money for this advertising comes from past clients like you! Some attorneys will charge 40% of gross settlement. Some will drop your case if a specific amount of property damage hasn’t been met. Do you know which attorneys do this? At our auto injury treatment office we know which attorneys are likely to: drop clients for low property damage, charge excessive fees, or not return phone calls.
Notice it’s mentioned above that some attorneys take from “Gross” settlement. This is in contrast to “net” settlement. Here’s an example:
$10,000 settlement with $4,000 in medical bills:
Math with GROSS settlement:
Attorney gets $4000
Medical bills are $4000
Client gets $2000
Compared to math with NET settlement:
Medical bills are $4000 that leaves a “Net” of $6000.
Attorney who takes a “net” settlement will get $2,400 and
the client will get $3600!!
Notice with the example above the difference between signing with an attorney who takes Net vs Gross is the difference between the client getting more money and the attorney getting more money! Who was injured? Who should get more money?
But, wait! There’s more! In the above case scenario the medical bills are being paid out of the settlement. What if the client has Medpay (Medical payments) on their auto accident policy? Let’s assume the client has $5,000 medpay coverage so all the medical bills are paid for.
With Medpay coverage settlement amount the math is as follows:
$4,000 to attorney
$6,000 to client
It stays the same whether the attorney takes their fees from the gross or net settlement.
That leads us to discuss another attorney trick! When your medical provider charges your medpay they do not bill for filing the medpay with insurance. Some attorneys will advise their clients to let them file the medpay on the clients behalf. The attorney then charges the client hundreds of dollars to file for services provided by a doctor that would have filed the same claim for FREE! In some cases, the attorney will have the insurance company pay the fees to them and count it toward the settlement (monies collected)! In that scenario the math can be present as:
$10,000 settlement with $400 medical bills
$4,000 medpay collected
Total of $14,000 recovered x 40%= $5,600 to attorney
leaving $4,400 to client (as medpay was paid but attorney fee was
based on recovered funds).
Tricky math but, it results in more money to the attorney than if medpay had been billed for and paid directly to the medical provider! In addition, if the attorney charged $500 to bill the medpay, the attorney would get $6100 and the client would get $3900! Again, who was injured? Who should get more money?
So how does one go about negotiating the “money side” of an auto injury case? Here is a summary of items to help you:
- • Your health comes first. Always seek medical care if you are injured
- • Have Medpay on your auto policy. It’s illegal for your premiums to be raised for using it. A good amount to have is at least the cost of your health insurance deductible. Medpay can only save you money.
- • Don’t fall for the attorney advertisements. Find a medical provider that treats auto injuries and can refer you to an attorney.
- • Don’t let you attorney charge you to file your medpay!
- • Don’t let you attorney dictate the type of care you need. You can be “pain free without pills”TM. Some attorneys like to see prescription (opiate medications) prescribed as it helps the “value of your case”. This is often done with little or no regard to the patient’s health or the potential for addiction/dependence that comes with prescribing such medications.
- • Agree to attorneys taking “net” settlements (getting paid after your medical and other bills have been paid) rather than gross settlements.
- • Be cautious of big name law firms with large advertising budgets. The money for those advertisements came from other people’s injuries. If your accident isn’t catastrophic your case can get lost in the “big machinery” of a larger law firm
- • Beware of law firms where you speak only to paralegals or phone calls don’t get returned promptly.
There is also the question of: Do you really need an attorney? That’s a difficult question to answer. Many people will cite data that using an attorney results in larger settlements. However, when one takes into account the fees attorneys take from the settlement, the math of using an attorney may not be to the client’s advantage in a “smaller case”. If the medical bills are paid for and the insurance company offers a “fair” amount, why share 33-40% with an attorney?
Dr. Granger wrote a short, 8 page eBook titled, “What to do after you have been in a car accident.” This eBook can save you time & money on your personal injury accident. Please click the image below for a FREE direct download.
If you are involved in an auto accident, the insurance company claims adjuster will be the person responsible for managing your case throughout the claims process. It is important to contact your insurance company right away if you are in an accident in Marietta GA or the Greater Atlanta area so that your claim can be processed as quickly as possible.
After an accident, the claims adjuster assigned to your case will need basic information about you and your policy and the name and policy information for the other driver, if you have it. You will need to provide the date and location of the accident and as much information as possible about how it occurred. If you have an accident injury, your adjuster may request medical bills or other information about the treatment you’re receiving for your Auto Injury Treatment. If you decide to hire an attorney, your attorney may communicate with the adjuster on your behalf.
Auto accidents are common everyday occurrences in Marietta GA and the Greater Atlanta area —in fact, most auto insurance companies assume the average person will file an accident claim once every 17.9 years. While most auto accidents are minor, they can still lead to serious injuries that may temporarily or permanently cause pain or affect mobility. If you have a loved one suffering from symptoms such as head or back pain after a car accident, it’s important to pursue the right tools and resources for a healthy and full recovery.
Seek Medical Help
Auto accidents are frequently associated with many types of injuries. While some injuries are immediately visible, such as bruises, cuts, or broken limbs, some auto accident injuries are invisible, such as sprains, strains, and joint damage. Even if your loved one seems healthy and well after an accident, prompting him to undergo a professional medical exam is the best way to ensure that no hidden injuries exist. Especially if your loved one complains of soreness, stiffness, headaches, or back pain in the hours, days or weeks after an accident, a professional medical assessment is needed to ensure a diagnosis is made and care is administered.
Provide Emotional Support
An auto accident can be a frightening or disturbing experience, even when it is minor. Your loved one may avoid or show nervousness when driving or riding in a car for several days or weeks after the accident. Providing emotional support to your loved one during this time is important; keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to feel after an accident, and that feelings of fear or hesitation are normal. However, some feelings of anxiety, fear, and stress can interfere with normal daily functioning—this may be a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. If your loved one continues to suffer feelings or flashbacks that interrupt his daily life or still feels anxiety and fear more than two months after the accident, it’s best to seek the help of a professional for treatment.
Seeking treatment for an accident injury in Marietta GA and the Greater Atlanta area, is essential after a car crash. However, it is also important to take steps to protect your rights in the immediate aftermath. Watch this video for advice on taking the right steps after an accident.
The most important to step to take first is to get help for any serious medical injuries and to call the police. If it is not necessary to go to the hospital for immediate medical treatment, take pictures of the scene, including the position of the cars, the traffic conditions, the weather, and the immediate surroundings. Exchange information with the other driver and the police, but don’t discuss the accident. See a doctor as soon as possible for medical care, even if you feel fine. Some injuries, such as a whiplash injury, don’t cause symptoms right away but may require long-term pain management.
Nearly one-third of automobile accidents in the United States are rear-end crashes; these incidents are also one of the most frequent causes of whiplash injury. Fortunately, rear-end accidents are some of the easiest accidents to avoid, helping you to prevent costly damages and car accident injuries that require prolonged medical care in Marietta GA and the Greater Atlanta area.
This video explains why rear-end accidents are so common and how you can take steps to avoid them. Staying focused on the speed of the car ahead of yours and the distance at which you are following are key factors in avoiding rear-end automobile accidents. Keep in mind that the driver ahead of you may be able to see things you can’t, and may have different braking behaviors than you as well. Adjusting your speed for weather and poor road conditions can also go a long way toward avoiding rear-end crashes on the road.
Whether you have suffered a workplace injury, a car accident injury, or any other type of accident injury in Marietta GA or the Greater Atlanta area, dealing with the aftermath can feel like a challenge. Following any type of accident injury, it’s essential to schedule a medical exam so you can begin receiving any medical care you may need for pain management or to promote proper healing. In many cases, your medical treatment will consist of several visits over time to monitor your condition and evaluate and create ignorer to spend up the healing process.
After an accident injury, it’s important to remember that recovery will take time. By taking proactive steps to seek medical care as soon as possible, you will reduce your recovery time and minimize any pain or discomfort you will feel for a faster, healthier, and fuller recovery.
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