Tips that can help you avoid losing out on potential settlement claims after a car accident in WA
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, your first concern is getting the medical attention you need, but what about the medical bills associated with it? In Washington state, there are certain rules and regulations as to who is responsible for these bills, and having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can help you get your medical bills paid after a car accident. They can help you understand your compensation options following the accident and hold the at-fault party responsible for your damages and losses.
Consider contacting a knowledgeable Washington attorney if you have been injured in a car accident as soon as possible. They can help you identify the right source of compensation for your medical bills and guide you through all the steps that will protect your legal rights and improve your chances of a successful settlement.
Many accident victims are surprised to learn that even though the at-fault driver’s insurance company is legally responsible for all damages a victim has suffered, the insurance company typically does not pay for the victim’s medical bills until the injured victim has completed their medical treatment and been released by their treating physician and/or other medical providers. This means auto accident victims in Washington state must cover medical expenses in the interim until they can negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. Trying to manage this on your own can be stressful and confusing, which is why a Washington personal injury lawyer can help you determine the best way to get your medical bills paid after the accident.
Options for Paying Your Medical Bills After a Car Accident
Using your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) [https://www.insurance.wa.gov/personal-injury-protection-pip] coverage through your auto insurance policy:
In Washington, PIP coverage typically comes in limits between $10,000 and $35,000 and is no-fault coverage, meaning that accident victims can use PIP coverage even if they were at fault for the collision. However, PIP coverage may not last very long depending upon the nature and extent of a person’s injuries.
Private Health Insurance:
Once PIP has been exhausted, injured victims can use their own health insurance coverage to pay for additional medical treatment. If the victim does not have health insurance coverage, they will either need to pay for their medical costs out of pocket or find a medical provider who is willing to make other arrangements.
Medical Liens In Lieu Of Payment:
Many providers understand, especially in situations involving legal representation, that victims may take time to recover damages and will hold or otherwise delay the billing process to work with you on providing care while your case proceeds, in what is known as a medical lien.
Subrogation After You Receive a Settlement [https://www.insurance.wa.gov/what-subrogation]
Once a settlement is agreed upon, the funds from the settlement are used to pay for outstanding medical bills, as well as pay back costs your own insurance company has covered up to that point, in a process known as subrogation.
Accident victims are often surprised that Washington state’s subrogation laws require the victim to pay back their medical providers after recovering a settlement but given that the claim is made based on the medical costs incurred by the victim, insurance providers who covered the costs need to be repaid for providing that coverage.
An Attorney Can Help You with Your Medical Bills After an Accident
When involved in an auto accident in Washington, understanding who pays your medical bills is key information. Knowing these details could save you time and money when dealing with medical payments after a car accident. The Law Offices of Michael Clark can help you navigate your specific situation and maximize your settlement. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, CONTACT US Today!
Seek Medical Treatment After An Auto Accident
If you feel there is any chance that you may have been injured after an accident, immediately seek medical attention. Medical records validate your injuries, and a lack of medical documentation can be used against you by insurance companies to reduce or deny your settlement. Be sure to attend all medical appointments and keep a record of your progress. If your accident occurred while you were performing your job, also contact Labor and Industries. (https://www.lni.wa.gov/)
Collecting evidence is important to build a strong legal claim and maximize your settlement. This can include police reports, photos or video of the accident scene, photos of your injuries, eyewitness or victim statements, electronic records, or expert analysis. This evidence supports and validates your claim, and your attorney can follow up to establish negligence for the other party’s actions.
Avoid Making any Statements to the Insurance Company
It is not in your best interest to give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies have extensive experience handling car accident settlements and have developed an array of strategies to protect their own profits. Following a serious crash, you should handle all correspondence with the other party’s insurance company through an attorney.
Hire an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a car accident that was not your fault or caused by the fault of a negligent driver, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. With a skilled lawyer by your side, the insurance company will take your claim far more seriously.
We know how to hold insurance companies accountable and ensure that our clients receive a full and fair settlement. If they fail to do so, we are always ready to take our clients’ cases to court.
We will protect your rights and expertly negotiate on your behalf with all parties involved until a fair agreement is reached.
There Are Multiple Items You Can Claim After An Auto Accident
Although it is extremely difficult to put a monetary value on the human condition of experiencing pain, Just because it is difficult does not mean that we should not do it. Here are several different types of damages you may suffer because of your injuries.
- You can claim compensation for loss of regular use of body functions
- Emotional damages
- Out-of-pocket losses
- Medical expenses
- Car repair costs,
- Rental car costs
- Lost wages due to inability to work
- And pain and suffering
Don’t Wait to File Your Case
After an injury occurs, you have time limits to file your case, don’t wait. Also, filing your case lets you begin to gather evidence formally and lets the other side know that you’re serious about getting a fair recovery.
While it’s natural to want to quickly resolve the claim and move on, rushing the process may lead to accepting a lower settlement. Insurers often try to take advantage of this by offering quick, but low-value settlements. Furthermore, once you settle your case, it is over. You will not be able to re-open it to get additional compensation if you discover additional injuries of which you were not aware when you settled your case. Being patient can yield a more favorable and larger settlement.
Stay off Social Media and Make A Good Impression
The phrase, ‘everything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law,’ also applies to what you say on social media. It’s always best to keep your accident, and all information concerning your accident, as quiet as possible.
The other side is going to make a settlement offer based on what they think a jury might do at trial, therefore, always try to be polite and respectful regardless of how frustrated you might be.
An Attorney Can Help you get the Settlement You Deserve
The Law Offices of Michael Clark can help you determine what needs to be done to help maximize your settlement and will help you build your case and communicate with the other side. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, CONTACT US Today!