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Getting the Most out of your Insurance Policy after an Accident

Posted on:4/12/2015
Written By: Anne Rider
If you or a loved one has been severely injured or permanently disabled as a result of their accident, your award should be substantially more than a minor injury claim and should be enough to pay for lifelong medical and social service care and – if needed – accessibility adaptions to the home. To get the level of compensation you or your family member deserves, you should seek legal advice from an attorney.


Getting the Most out of your Insurance Policy after an Accident

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and you have sustained injuries, you may need time off work to recuperate and medical treatment. While you understandably want to focus on your recovery, if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence and you want compensation for loss of working hours, pain and distress or medical expenses, you will first need to deal with your insurance company. Unfortunately even in accidents where it clearly isn’t your fault you will have to prove that this is the case.

Establishing Fault in Vehicle Accidents

Before your insurance company will agree to a pay-out they will want to know all the details of the accident to determine whether or not they think you are at fault. It is in their interests from a financial standpoint to disprove any claims you make so that they can avoid paying you and increase their profit margin. Law varies between states so there are different criteria that companies follow to establish fault and in some states even if a tiny percentage of the fault rested with you, this will be enough to disqualify your claim.

Pre-Existing Conditions and Injuries

If you have a pre-existing injury, illness or disability you may find it harder to obtain compensation as some insurance companies will use your prior medical history as evidence that you were not currently injured in your car accident. Previous car accidents could potentially be used as evidence for dangerous driving and establish you as the at fault party in the current accident. That is why it is important to obtain detailed medical reports and police reports of the accident so the chronology of events is clear and a medical professional can verify that your injuries are new.

Compensation Pay-Outs

If your records show that your accident was caused by someone else and you have sustained your injuries as a result of that accident, your insurance company will then have to provide compensation. However, another way they can increase their profits is to offer you a payment that is less than what can be typically be awarded in a similar personal injury case. If you require ongoing medical treatment or an extended period of time off work (and therefore a greater loss of wages) you will need a compensation pay-out that reflects that. Your remuneration should be sufficient to cover your related medical bills and help you meet your household bills while you are off work.

If you or a loved one has been severely injured or permanently disabled as a result of their accident, your award should be substantially more than a minor injury claim and should be enough to pay for lifelong medical and social service care and – if needed – accessibility adaptions to the home. To get the level of compensation you or your family member deserves, you should seek legal advice from an attorney.

Navigating the Paperwork

If you accept a one off payment that doesn’t include ongoing care, your insurance company is not obligated to provide any further payments so if you suffer late effects of your injury (an illness or disability that came about as a result of your original injury) you will not be given any funds to cover your expenses so don’t accept an offer without first discussing it with an attorney. You shouldn’t sign any paperwork without obtaining legal advice or accept a payment before you are aware of what your total expenses will be as your expenses may exceed your award. Hiring an attorney to navigate through the paperwork for you will make the process a lot easier so you can concentrate on your rehabilitation without the added stress of trying to complete a claim. It will also mean that you are more likely to get a fair payment.

Health Insurance Benefits

Personal injury claims aside, your health insurance policy should now pay your emergency medical bills even if you have travelled outside of your health plan’s network so if you’re injured outside your state, you can seek help at any ER without worrying that you will be refused. For new policies, there is also no limit on the number of times you can claim over your lifetime so if you have a long-term injury or disability, you won’t be penalized. Children under 19 who are listed on your plan cannot be excluded because of a pre-existing condition.

If you are visiting the US from abroad, it pays to have the right insurance. You should take out a travel insurance policy that covers pre-existing conditions so that if the unthinkable happens while you are away, you’ve got it covered.

For assistance finding a lawyer or information about personal injury claims, contact The National Association of Personal Injury Lawyers today.


  
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