In these times of economic stress and uncertainty most of us are tightening our belts in our businesses and personally. Some, specifically insurance companies, are tightening their purse strings. Have you noticed an increase in denials of your patient’s PIP benefits? Is your accounts receivable ledger growing out of control?
An ever-increasing number of my clients are being needlessly sent to IME exams and denied PIP benefits to which they are entitled. Chiropractors and Osteopaths appear to be the main recipients of this unfair treatment. Fortunately the laws have recently changed in your favor.
If the PIP carrier wrongfully denies PIP benefits and a lawsuit is filed to force them to pay PIP benefits, they are required to pay court costs and attorney fees if they lose.
It has been my experience that the vast majority of the time we prevail in these lawsuits, and they will often quickly resolve the lawsuit to avoid court costs and attorney fees.
Have you provided treatment for patients involved in a motor vehicle accident and been denied payment? I can help. I am ready, willing and able to help you recover payment for the services you have provided and not been paid for, at no up front cost to you.
I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss how I can help you recover the reimbursement you have earned and are entitled to. Please give me a call.
Auto Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I have to stop if I have an auto accident?
A: Yes. In Oregon, the law says you must always stop after an accident. If you fail to stop and exchange information with the other driver or victim, you could be charged with crimes such as Hit and Run or Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver. You must call the police if someone was killed or injured. You must also exchange information with the other driver such as you name and driver’s license number, the vehicle identification number of the car you were driving, the name and address of your insurance company and your insurance policy number.
Q: What do I do if someone is injured?
A: Oregon law requires you to give reasonable assistance to anyone who was injured. You may need to call an ambulance, personally take the injured person to a doctor or hospital, or give first aid if you know how. Try to warn other drivers of the accident. Flares, hazard lights and raising the hood of a car are good ways to warn passersby. Get help for anyone who is injured and try not to panic.
Q: What information should I get at the auto accident scene?
A: Be sure to get as much correct and complete information as you can at the scene of the accident. Exchange driver’s licenses with the other driver. Make note of the other driver’s name, address, date of birth, telephone number, driver’s license number and expiration date, and insurance company information. Write down the other car’s year, make, model, license plate number and VIN. The name and personal information of the other car’s legal and registered owner if the driver is not the owner. The names and contact information of any passengers or witnesses to the accident. Take pictures with your cell phone or camera if you have one. Draw a quick diagram of the scene and how the accident happened; memories fade. Make note of the time of day and weather conditions. DO NOT VOLUNTEER INFORMATION ABOUT WHO WAS TO BLAME FOR THE ACCIDENT. You may think you are in the wrong and then later learn that the other driver was as much or more to blame than you.
Q: Should I see a Doctor after the accident?
A: A physical examination should be conducted on both you and each of your passengers after an accident. You could be injured and not know it right away. In Oregon, your automobile insurance will pay some or all of these health care bills even if the accident was your fault.
Q: Is it worth contacting a lawyer about my injury?
A: Any injury is worth a free consultation with an attorney. I never charge a fee to briefly discuss your personal injury case. I can usually give you an estimate of what your case is worth after hearing the facts and type of injury you have suffered. Keep in mind that each case is different. DON’T AGREE TO A SETTLEMENT WITH AN INSURANCE COMPANY WITHOUT TALKING TO A LAWYER FIRST.
Q: Do I have to report the accident?
A: Yes. If someone is injured or killed, you must immediately call the police or sheriff. Secondly, report the accident to your insurance company. Ask your insurance company or insurance agent what forms you should fill out and to help you make other necessary reports on the accident. Third, each driver must report the accident to the DMV if the damage to your vehicle was $1,500 or more or if anyone was injured or killed.
Q: Who will pay for my automobile repairs?
A: The answer to this question depends on whose fault the accident was, whether you and the other driver have automobile insurance and what kind of insurance you have. There are two major types of automobile insurance:
- Liability Insurance: If you are to blame for the accident, your liability insurance will pay the other driver for property damage and personal injuries up to your policy’s limits. If you are not at fault, the other driver’s liability insurance pays for your car damage and personal injuries and will reimburse your insurance company for medical bills they may have initially paid.
- Collision Insurance: No matter who is at fault, your collision insurance pays for damages to your car, minus the policy deductible.
Q: Who will pay for my medical bills if I am injured?
A: Oregon requires automobile insurance policies to include Personal Injury Protection, or PIP for short. Your agent or insurance company will set up a “PIP Claim” for you and provide you with a claim number after you report the accident to them. Ask your doctor or medical provider to use this claim number and bill your automobile insurance for services. If it is determined that the accident was not your fault, your insurance company will seek reimbursement for any bill they have paid, from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Q: What happens if the other driver does not have insurance?
A: If the other driver caused the accident and is not insured, your own policy will pay for your injuries under the PIP provision and for your personal injuries and pain and suffering if you uninsured motorist coverage. If you have collision insurance, it will usually pay for the damage to your care, minus your deductible, no matter who was at fault.
Q: What if someone sues me?
A: You should contact your insurance company immediately. Your insurance company will assign a lawyer to represent you. If you are sued for more money than your policy covers, you may also need your own attorney. Insurance company lawyers will represent you with regard to personal injuries caused; not traffic citations or criminal charges such as drunk driving or hit and run.
Q: What if I want to make a claim for my injuries?
A: If the other driver was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your personal injuries, car damage and other expenses such as lost wages. If you had your own insurance at the time of the accident, you may also be able to sue for pain and suffering. It is best to contact an attorney right away if you plan to sue. There are time limits for filing various types of claims, so act quickly! The Hopkins Law Firm takes auto accident cases on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you do not pay attorney fees if we lose the case. If we win the case, you pay a percentage of the amount of money you get.
- Always wear a seatbelt.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Drive defensively.
- Have adequate insurance coverage!
- After an accident, report it to the DMV if someone is injured or killed or the damage to either car is $1,500 or more.
- Make a claim with your insurance company following an accident.
- See a doctor following an automobile accident.
- Contact a lawyer if you are seriously injured!