Hello IAQ and welcome to HW. I worked for attys for over 20yrs in personal and worker's compensation. We also did medical malpractice claims.
I will offer you some advice from my own personal knowledge, but I am not an atty. You will have 2 claims; 1. propoerty damage to your vehicle and 2. bodily injury claim. The only money you will see up front is for your damage to your vehicle. They will not pay for your medical expenses as you incur them. Your medical expenses, lost wages and pain & suffering is how they deterrmine any settlement offer on your claim.
Each state is different on their laws concerning auto accidents. I don't know where you live but you can get online for your state and find out what the laws are. Usually when a claim is made with the city they have their own claim form and a time limit on getting the form mailed back to them. Find out if the city their has a claim form for you to fill out. Any paperwork you recive thats needs to be completed and returned to the city or insurance company, always make a copy and keep it for your records. You need to make a folder for all the accident related expenses. You need to find out what the time limit is for your state to settle your claim, thats called the statute of limitations. Here in Tx we have 2yrs to settle before having to file a lawsuit.
The city may want to take a recorded statement from you over the telephone. This is simply to get your side of what happened in the accident. Now a days nearly all ins comp take a recorded statment and the cities I dealt with required it. This is just part of the claims issues. DO NOT GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT IF YOU HAVE TAKEN MEDS AND ARE GROGGY. Arrange a time you can do it with a clear head. You will be assigned a claim number on your claim with the city, this is how they identify you.
Yes, you could have gone to ER but at best a simple plain film x-rays would have been taken which would only show broken bones or a fracture. Maybe given something for pain and out the door you would have went. Don't worry about documenting your injuries, you did this by going to PCP's office.
From now on, stick with the PCP that knows you and make it very clear you only want to see him. He knows your previous history and he can make a determination on whats new since the accident and what was there prior to the accident. Request that your PCP makes a second chart with your accident date. I would make an appt and get in to see the PCP.
You may use your health insurance to get all of your medical treatment related to the auto accident. In return the health insurance company will subrogate at the end to get their money back off the top of any settlement. By law they are entitled to be reinbursed. This is called subrogation. You may get a letter from your health ins wanting to know if this is a third party claim and they will ask for that info which you will need to give them.
On your own personal vehicle you need to look at your insurance policy and see if you have Personal Injury Protection coverage. This will be an extra insurance you paid for and its a no fault insurance. You can file this and get 80% of any lost wages reimbursed to you as long as a dr says you are unable to work. Or you may use this to be reimbursed for any out of pocket medical expenses. You do not have to reimburse your ins coverage back if you have Personal Injury protection, its a no fault coverage. If you only have Med Pay, you really don't need to file it since you are using your health insurance for your medical care. Med Pay is what it states, it pays for medical expenses you pay out of pocket but at the time of settlement they get their money back. If there is any questions I can help with let me know. Susie
Hi again, Florida has a 2 yr statute, we had a case that hapened down there.
I can only tell you this, if you don't cooperate with the city you are not going get anywhere. Like the R/S if that is part of their program of working up a claim to decide liability, if you decide not to talk to them, then you get nothing done. They ask standard questions including have you had any prior accidents or claims. You must tell them of any, they have already done a check and know of any claim made. If you have a speaker phone at home, you can get a little handheld recorder and record the statement too.
I see a pain mgt specialist. Pain is what they treat, they can order tests such MRI's, they can also ref you to specialists. Have you ever seen a neurologist for your neck pain? Personally I have never found an orthopedic to be helpfull on a neck problem, but did with a neurologist. Te difference is alot between an ortho & pain mgt. Pain mgt drs are deal with nothing but pain problems, they know a great deal more about pain medications than an ortho or neuro. They are not afraid to write a script for pain meds either. Orthos on the other hand is not going to give anything more than vicodan and those will be very few and not for very long. They don't like giving meds. One of our ladies on here is a transciption specialist and one dr sent a woman home with plain tylenol as her pain meds from a major back surgery. Someone should shoot him.
I think you are right in using your health insurance for your medical care. You need to have proff from your mployer to document your lost wages. The city should send you a wage statement that needs to be completed by your employer, not by you.
Don't be surprised if you don't have any MRI right away. In fact, I would not push for one right now. Things develope over time and most of the time will not show up right away. Good luck and let us know how you are. Susie
Welcome to the forum IAQ! Sorry to hear of your accident but wanted to chime in here re just that!
First I am glad you went to the ER and found some help there at least and as for the advice re: Ortho/Neuro for a neck injury I would definately say Neuro here.
If you were rearended it was not a matter of fault as that is cut and dried and should you use your medical to cover a accident you can find yourself with a load of unpaid medical bills.
I would call an Attorney and take all of the guess work out of figuring out who is to pay and who isnt and the run around from the city and their adjuster. You are entitled to medical comp for the accident andything related to it and the PIP can be set up to pay for any and all expenses you occur as you incur them and for alot of states there is a limit moneywise here so it would be to your advantage to have an Attorney to help you pick and chose what treaments are going to be beneficial to your claim and in proving it.
The other option is using your insurance company and letting them pay for your bills at this point and then their Attorneys will collect from the city's insurance but either way you should not have to be dealing with these issues yourself as you were in no way at fault in this accident. And remember the old adage of "anything you say" may be used against you and that is especially tru when an insurance company is trying to get out of NOT paying. Please be careful what you say to the city and anyone in their employee at this point.
They may even go so far as trying to say your injuries were predisposed due to your prior injury/or disease another way of not paying for your care.
Your local phone book can give you names of Attorneys that take on these kinds of cases and be sure to ask how they expect to get paid as money at this point is an issue so one that reuires a cut should be fine just shop around as to how much of a cut they are asking for as it will vary even if most states have a ceiling on how much.
Hoping this works to your advantage here and remember alot of these tests such as MRI's can be extremely expensive and your medical can refuse to pay since it was an auto accident and again this is what I meant by an Attorney knowing which test to request from your treating Doc and alot of them have their own Docs on retainer lists that specialize in court cases and what to look for as you certainly dont want to run thru the insurance limits and not get anything that would do your claim any good.
Good luck to you!
IA, I forgot to tell you. My very first auto accident, I felt exactly as you did, I was also rear-ended. Mine was a hit & run, they left the car at the scene, a couple of illegal Mexicans were driving someone else's car and of course no insurance. That one cost me some dough. Had it not been for PIP I had which was only $2,500 I would have really been up a creek.
I did not go to ER, I went to work and by 5:00, I could not turn my head, I had a H/A from hell, in alot of pain, I was just miserable. I saw an ortho for 3 months which was useless, did 3 months of PT that only felt good while doing it. I next saw my sister's dr who did the chinese accupuncture with the needles. He had me totally pain free in 9 visits. Bear in mind, i had alot of muscles involved and not disc problems. It can work well for some people with musclular damage and I was one of them.But boy, did that accident ever set me up and predispose me to futher injuries later on.
Glad you found an atty to help you. Be sure to continue to keep your own file of records & receipts. To say the least you do have a complicated case because of pre-existing conditions. If you have not been seeking active treatment in a awhile, then that will nip that little problem in the bud.
Yes, its normal for your own insurance to want a statement. Remember, the purpose of these statements are to get everyone's side of the story as to what happened. You would be amazaed at how much people will lie when being involved in an accident.For instance, had a case where a man hit a woman head on, he managed to drive from the scene to his home. He reported to his insurance company that he hit a tree. They paid to fix his car, after all he was their insured. Fortunately, their was a witness to the whole thing, who not only got his license # but followed him to his house and got that address. Yes, people don't always tell the truth.
Hope you start feeling better soon. Susie