The only way your own auto insurance company will cover costs for injuries up front is if you have medical payments coverage on your auto policy. Other than having medical payments coverage, your auto insurance would not be paying for any of the injuries unless the other party that caused the accident was uninsured. Even then, the insurance company does not pay as you go along, but at the end, once you have finished treatment.
Medical payments coverage is an optional coverage that will pay medical bills if you are injured in an auto accident, slip and fall, trip and fall, or dog bite, regardless of fault. So even if it is your fault in an accident, then you can use your medical payments coverage. A lot of medical payments coverages today are excess, meaning you use your health insurance first and either get denials from your health insurance that they won’t pay or from the physician that they don’t take your insurance. For example, a chiropractor doesn’t take your insurance, you get the denial, send that to your med-pay and they send a check for those bills. Also, if you must pay out-of-pocket, perhaps for co-pays or bills you’ve paid on your own, you can then send those receipts to your med-pay and get reimbursed.
At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company Communication
There are risks to having contact with the at-fault party’s insurance company. For one, they will try and use your words against you later, even leading you into giving them certain answers. For instance, if you speak to them early on, perhaps on the day of the accident, they may ask how you’re doing… We’re conditioned in this country to say, “I’m okay.” They can use that against you, claiming you were fine on the day of the accident and not injured at the scene.
Another reason not to have contact with the insurance company is that their initial adjusters are trained to try to keep people from hiring representation. They try to build rapport with the injured party and keep them from retaining attorneys. We hear often from clients who come to us weeks after the accident, “the insurance people were so nice at first. They called me every day and were really helpful. Now, the adjuster won’t call me back.”
Make no mistake about it, the insurance company is not on your side. They do not have your best interests at heart, but their own interests and those of their clients. Often when people have contact with insurance companies, they don’t think of it as being an adversarial relationship. The insurance company is being so nice, acting as if they care. People let their guard down, say things that they shouldn’t have and then the insurance company will lock that in as you’re not injured.
In the end, they’ll make extremely low offers because they know your only other option is to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit. Insurance companies know that someone not represented by an attorney does not have the knowledge of how the claims process works and they take advantage of that.
Never accept an offer that the insurance company makes right away. Often when they make these offers, it’s so early in the case, the client has only just been to the hospital or urgent care. They don’t really know what their injuries are yet. We had a recent case where the client was offered $3,000 upfront. Thankfully she didn’t take it and instead hired us.
She did not recover quickly, although she was going to the doctor regularly and following the doctor’s orders. She went through the recommended course of treatment and ended up having epidural shots. Luckily, she did not need surgery, but her injuries were significant enough we were able to settle the case for the other party’s policy limit, at $15,000. If she had taken the offer right away, she would have gotten $3,000 and she would not have gotten better. She never would have been able to pay all the bills she accrued from necessary treatments. Our priority is for our clients to get back to where they were, physically, before they were injured in the accident. Sometimes that takes time.
For more information on Insurance Covering Upfront Treatment Costs, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (562) 600-0807 today.
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