Attorney David I. Fuchs
Jan. 11, 2020
Car crash injuries are very difficult to diagnose and treat. Whiplash is a good example. The sudden motion of a car crash causes this head/neck injury. X-rays, MRIs, and other common devices often cannot detect whiplash. If promptly and properly treated, this injury is manageable and generally curable. But without prompt and proper treatment, it can cause severe injuries such as paralysis.
Continuing medical care after a car accident is not just important for health reasons. It’s also important for legal reasons. If the victim receives ongoing care, a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney is better able to prove damages and obtain fair compensation. To learn more from a skilled lawyer, call David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. at (954) 568-3636 or use our online contact form.
This question comes up a lot. Post-accident medical care is usually very expensive. For example, emergency care alone after a head injury could exceed tens of thousands of dollars. This figure does not include continuing medical care after a car accident, such as follow up doctor visits and physical therapy. Most families do not have the resources to pay these expenses.
Furthermore, many health insurance companies refuse to pay injury-related medical expenses. Even if coverage does apply, deductibles and copays alone can be overwhelming.
Insurance companies know that the victim is under financial pressure. So, in the days and weeks after a crash, representatives usually call constantly to demand settlement. Sometimes, it’s tempting to take these offers. But victims simply have no idea whether or not the offer is fair.
So, attorneys usually send letters of protection to medical providers. These letters guarantee payment when the case is resolved. Thus, the provider charges nothing upfront for continuing medical care after a car accident.
There’s more. Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys connect victims with doctors who are well-versed in this area. As mentioned, only highly skilled doctors can diagnose and treat whiplash and other such injuries.
It is important to note that Florida PIP (personal injury protection) coverage is a first party policy that you own that will pay 80 percent of your medical bills after any deductible up to the policy limit. The state mandates a minimum of $10,000 for this coverage. This coverage will be at your availability immediately after the accident.
Once medical care is at least substantially complete, settlement negotiations can begin in earnest. If an attorney settles the case too quickly, the settlement might not fully include all medical expenses. Since it is almost impossible to reopen closed cases, victims might have to pay these expenses out of their own pockets.
Medical bills are usually very solid evidence in both settlement negotiations and court hearings. These bills contain not only financial information, but also diagnosis and treatment information. Furthermore, medical professionals often add notes which indicate the victim’s pain and suffering.
If there is no dispute as to liability, Florida law usually requires insurance company to settle accident claims in a few weeks. However, there is usually at least some question as to liability. So, especially in complex cases, settlement might not happen quickly.
The good news is that, in almost all cases, settlement does occur. In fact, out-of-court settlements resolve over 95 percent of all civil claims. The settlement usually includes compensation for both economic and noneconomic losses. Ongoing medical care helps an attorney more easily establish both kinds of damages.
If the case does not settle straight away, it usually settles during mediation. A neutral mediator, who is usually an unaffiliated Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney, works to facilitate a settlement between the victim and insurance company.
Mediation is usually successful, provided that both sides negotiate in good faith. In this context, “good faith” means that each side, particularly the insurance company, is willing to make sacrifices to reach an agreement.
Ongoing medical care is essential after a car accident. Continued care, especially physical therapy, helps victims fully recover. Additionally, the steady stream of medical bills helps determine the amount of compensation.
For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale, contact David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A.. We routinely handle matters in Broward County and nearby jurisdictions. Call us at (954) 568-3636 or use our online contact form.