Seeking Treatment in Auto Accidents With Injuries

Dallas Car Accident Lawyer, Attorney Doug Goyen

WHEN SHOULD YOU SEEK TREATMENT AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT INJURY?

If you are injured in an accident you need to seek medical attention immediately. The longer you wait the more the insurance adjuster will try to use that against you. Often people think the pain will subside and that they do not need medical treatment. Delay in seeking treatment after your auto accident only delays your recovery if you have suffered an injury that requires treatment. Insurance adjusters will try to use this against you. Seek treatment immediately to verify what kind of injury you have and if it requires additional medical attention.

What type of treatment can you get after a car accident injury?

Several questions come up regarding medical treatment after a car accident injury. Can you use a medical facility on your health insurance or do you need to see a facility that the auto insurance approves? Do you have to see a chiropractor for a car wreck injury? What if your deductible is high, how can you afford treatment with such high copays and deductibles? What if you are on Medicare or Medicaid? What if you were driving for work when injured? What if you need to see a specialist?

You can go to whatever medical treatment facility you need for your injury. The other driver's auto liability insurance has no say in who you see. They do not approve or disapprove your treatment.

If you have a medical facility that you are comfortable with, then you should go there. If you want to use a medical facility that is listed on your health insurance then that is fine too.

If you are worried about costs out of pocket for copays and deductibles that you cannot afford, or if you do not have health insurance, then we can help you find a medical facility that can treat you for your injury.

There are many variables when people are injured in auto accidents due to different situations. Contact us to speak with our car accident lawyer. We can advise you on what type of medical facility is best in your situation. Each case is different and your particular situation needs to be discussed to determine what is best for you.

Can you afford medical treatment for a car accident injury?

Letters of Protection: You can afford treatment for your injury. A personal injury lawyer can find a list of treating facilities to see you under a "letter of protection" if needed. The letter guarantees their office that they will be paid out of the proceeds received from the automobile liability insurance involved in the car accident. This way you do not have to pay and then get reimbursed. They get paid when the insurance company releases the funds after the case is settled. 

Personal injury lawyers keep track of which medical facilities accept letters of protection. If you need a letter of protection to get the treatment you need we can send you a list of multiple different treatment facilities for you to choose from that accept letters of protection. This way you choose where to go for your treatment.

What kind of medical facility can you see on a letter of protection in a car accident injury?

There are a wide variety of medical facilities that accept letters of protection. They include medical doctors, chiropractors, therapists, osteopaths, orthopedics, radiologists, neurologists, surgeons, and other types of medical providers. You should be able to receive whatever type of medical treatment needed for your injury.

You can see a medical facility on you health insurance 

If you have health insurance and are most comfortable going through your health insurance plan to treat your car accident related injury then you definitely can use your health insurance plan. There is no requirement to seek treatment on a letter of protection. We want you to treat where you are going to get the best treatment for your injury.

Note: Some hospitals and ambulance services demand that you use your automobile insurance after an auto accident instead of using your health insurance. Auto liability insurance will not pay those bills until your case is ready to settle. If you are treating for an injury this may be weeks, or even months, depending on the injury. Many people injured in accidents prefer their hospital bills and ambulance bill get paid immediately by their health insurance so it does not get sent to collections. You can demand that the hospital related bills use your health insurance. 

You have the right in Texas to demand the hospital use your health insurance if you provide your health insurance to them. Texas Property Code Section 55.004 makes it illegal for a hospital to place a lien against you or your injury claim against the automobile liability insurance if you have provided the hospital with your health insurance. Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code (CPRC) Section 146.002 requires that health care providers must bill the health insurance you provide them in a timely manner. Texas CPRC Section 146.003 bars healthcare providers from recovering anything from you if they violate Section 146.002. When health insurance pays a claim related to an auto accident they have the right to collect against any automobile liability insurance for reimbursement. This means the health insurance company will get their money back they are legally entitled to if they make the request - so nobody is getting wronged in this situation.

Dealing with health insurance and auto insurance due to a car accident injury can be complicated. It is best to hire an experienced car accident lawyer to ensure you comply with any requirements and are treated fairly. Our office has the advantage of having decades of experience dealing with these issues and resolving claims in a way that protects our clients and maximizes our clients' recovery in cases.

What to do if your preexisting old injury was reinjured in an accident

Every case is different because different people are in different situations. If you prefer to go back to the medical facility that originally treated you then you definitely should do so. The problem you can run into is that many medical facilities will not see patients for a car accident injury. Check with your medical facility first. Some do not want to get involved because they do not want to risk being involved in litigation. Car accident injury cases have a chance of going to litigation.  

If your original treating facility will not see you because you were involved in a car accident, we can get a list of medical facilities to you who do take letters of protection (see above for information on Letters of Protection). These facilities will be able to order your records from your prior doctor so they know your condition (be sure and tell them about your prior treatment so they can review the records and differentiate anything new or changed). They can verify whether your old surgery was damaged or aggravated in the car wreck and then get you the medical care you need. Once your auto insurance claim is resolved and the auto accident claim is no longer outstanding your original medical facility usually will have no problem seeing you again as long as your car accident claim has been resolved.

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF A CAR ACCIDENT INJURY SETTLEMENT?

The value of a car accident injury settlement depends on three factors, the severity of the injury, liability, and ability to collect.

1) Damages in a car accident injury: The severity of an injury, percentage of liability, and ability to collect for an injury claim are all factors in determining the value of a case. First is the severity of the injury, the most severe injuries typically cost more to treat, disrupt a person's ability to work, cause physical impairment, cause disfigurement, and often cause pain and suffering and mental anguish that is easier for adjusters and juries to easily recognize. The more severe injuries typically have higher settlement values.

2) Liability in a car accident: Liability issues can help or harm the value of a case. If the defendant is 100% responsible for an auto accident, then that is more valuable than when the liability is split 70%-30% (in cases where the injured person is considered partially at fault for an auto accident). If an injured person was 30% at fault then the value is reduced by 30%. In Texas, if the injured person was 51% at fault for the auto accident or more Texas law bars them from recovering from the other driver. We fight for our clients to prove liability and gather whatever evidence is needed to prove their claim.

3) Ability to collect in a car accident injury: If the person who caused the injury is indigent, has no insurance and has no assets, and there is no way to collect, then the value of the case is low regardless of the damages. Verifying collectability important and is done by our car accident injury lawyer very early in a case.

Note on Average Settlement Amounts: In a survey by Nolo.com 74% of their readers indicated that they received settlements between $3000.00 to $25,000.00. Nolo also indicates that about 26% of their readers received settlements over $25,000.00. This could be anywhere from $25,001.00 to well over $1,000,000.00. They have an average of $52,900.00 - meaning the very high dollar cases that were settled (the million-dollar cases) when averaged into the more common lower dollar cases ($3000.00 - $25,000.00) and moved the average value up into the $50,000.00 range.

Other factors may help or hurt the value of an auto accident settlement

Illegal Acts and Dishonesty: Certain actions by the other driver can sometimes add value to a car accident injury claim. Certain illegal activities can change the value of a car accident injury claim, and dishonesty can also change the value of a car accident injury claim.

Illegal Acts: Drunk drivers are an example. The settlement value of a car accident injury case involving a drunk driver is higher than in cases without drunk drivers.

Dishonesty: Dishonesty can change the value of a car accident injury claim.  Another example is when a company creates a dangerous products and get caught trying to cover up their wrongdoing or cover up their knowledge of how harmful their product is. Juries do not like dishonesty. If a defendant is caught telling an obvious lie about what happened this can anger a jury and increase its award – which can increase settlement value as well. 

This cuts both ways. If an injured plaintiff lies about anything relevant to their case this can seriously harm the value of the plaintiff's case. Always be honest with your lawyer regardless of how bad the information seems to you. Your attorney can formulate a strategy to deal with bad information if they know about it. Its more difficult to deal with bad information if blindsided with it by the other side. Help your case by giving your lawyer all the information requested, good or bad.

How to ensure you are fully compensated for your car accident injury

Regarding Liability in a Car Accident: Give your lawyer all the information they request as soon as possible. Give your attorney anything you have regarding the auto accident such as a copy of the police report, names and contact information for witnesses, photographs of the scene, any other reports or documents, photos, video, audio recordings, letters, emails, texts, or anything else related to the case. Be sure to include any communication such as emails, letters, and messages related to the car accident and injury that you have had with anyone since leaving the scene.

Get medical treatment for your injury soon after the car accident: With car accident injury cases you should get medical treatment as soon as possible. Auto liability insurance only pays for what is related to the accident. If you wait too long to seek treatment then the insurance company may think that you were hurt in some other way that is unrelated to the auto accident.

If you cannot afford to seek treatment let us know: Our office keeps a list of medical facilities that accept "Letters of Protection". This is a letter from your attorney's office to a medical facility that guarantees they will be paid once the case is settled. Not every medical facility takes letters of protection, but a good personal injury lawyer will have a list of places that will accept them.

Follow the advice of your treating physician after a car accident injury: If you skip appointments the gaps in time between treatments can work against you allowing an adjuster to claim: 1) You must not have been in much pain; 2) You must have recovered from your injury and then reinjured yourself; or 3) Your non-compliance caused your injury to be worse which is not the fault of their driver.

Communicate all your injuries: Failing to report all injuries to your treating facility may cause a problem in getting the full value of the claim from the auto insurance. Be sure to list every part of your body that you are feeling any pain.

Ability to collect for a car accident injury: Make sure you have given your lawyer all the insurance information you have related to the auto accident and related to you. We need to know the other driver’s liability insurance information, all you have about the other driver and owner of the other vehicle.

We will also need to know your own insurance information. This includes auto insurance information (even if it is not used – the attorney needs to know what you have in order to properly give you advice on your case). We need to know your health insurance or any disability coverage you have used or may possibly use related to your injury (again to properly advise you of what your options are or what to be aware of that may affect your auto accident injury claim).

Hire the Law Office of Doug Goyen as your car accident lawyer: We know car accident injury cases inside and out. We recognize and are able to deal with issues that can enhance the value of your auto accident claim, and recognize those that can seriously harm the value of an auto accident claim and can help deal with those issues. People without training or experience will not recognize these issues and the value of the case can be seriously harmed. Call us at (972) 599 4100 or contact us on our website contact form.

WHAT KIND OF LAWYER HANDLES CAR ACCIDENT INJURY CASES?

Personal injury lawyers handle car accident injury cases. If you were injured in a car accident in the North Texas area call attorney Doug Goyen at (972) 599 4100. We will handle your case, and deal with the insurance company. We do not settle the case without your permission first. We get the information needed to maximize your recovery. Our experience ensures your claim is being handled in a way that will maximize your compensation.

If you have a car accident injury then you likely have medical bills, lost earnings, property damage, and other damages that you need to recover. Call Dallas car accident lawyer Doug Goyen at (972) 599 4100.

FREE CASE REVIEWS

Call (972) 599 4100 for a free consultation and a free strategy session with our car accident lawyer regarding your accident and injury case. The strategy session includes a summary of your case, identification of the legal issues involved with your case, and identifying those legal issues that will help maximize your recovery in your case. We will email a copy of this strategy session to you for you to keep.

WHAT WE CHARGE

There is no fee unless you win. We charge a contingency fee. This is a percentage of what we can recover for your case. A contingency fee aligns our interest with your interests. The more money we can recover for you, the better we are paid. A contingency fee contract makes our incentive to get as high a recovery for you as possible.

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We represent clients who have been involved in car wrecks with injuries, and other personal injury cases as well, in the Dallas / North Texas area. We represent victims of texting drivers, distracted drivers, drunk drivers, hit and run drivers, uninsured or underinsured drivers, and all other types of motor vehicle collisions involving injuries.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an automobile accident or car accident, CONTACT US ONLINE or call to speak to an attorney (972) 599 4100 to set up a free consultation with a lawyer today.

DIRECTIONS TO OUR OFFICE

Directions to our main North Dallas Office: (Click the following link for directions to our Addison office: Law Office of Doug Goyen)

15851 Dallas Pkwy #605, Addison, Texas 75001

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By Doug Goyen, douggoyen@goyenlaw.com

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