Where you seek medical treatment following an accident can have a significant impact on your recovery and your personal injury case. Sometimes, accident victims delay getting medical treatment following an accident because they don’t have insurance and they are concerned about the costs. Alternatively, accident victims sometimes may go to a clinic that holds itself out as specializing in auto accident cases. Sometimes accident victims are attracted to such places because they offer treatment without insurance and any upfront costs. Usually, such clinics are run by chiropractors rather than medical doctors, but the word “chiropractor” is oddly not included in the name of the practice. If you don’t have insurance this might seem like a good deal but like all things that seem too good to be true, this is too. Generally, it is best to see your family doctor following an accident. Of course, if the pain is significant enough, you should go right to the hospital, in an ambulance if necessary, and then follow up with your primary care doctor. If you don’ have health insurance, you may have medical payments coverage that will pay the cost of a doctor’s visit. This is standard coverage with many polices but the amount of coverage varies from as little as one thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Sometimes, you can quality for health insurance through Medicaid and they will cover your bills even if you apply after the accident. The trouble with many of these injuries clinics is that they have run up significant bills that ordinarily would not be covered by health insurance. Some of these clinics will provide treatment 4 to 5 days a week and employ numerous modalities that health insurance companies would deem unnecessary. The liability carrier will have the bills examined by their professionals and will not pay unreasonable bills. I’ve had clients who have had bills of over $30,000 for chiropractic treatment and the clients never received one bill until after the treatment. Until the bill came, the client had no idea that every ice pack, heating pack and electrical stimulation was costing hundreds of dollars each. All of this treatment is provided without knowing how much insurance coverage the defendant has and whether the insurance company is going to accept responsibility for the accident. If the negligent party carries only the minimal coverage, the clinic may try to take the entire settlement. Some of these clinics actually have their patients sign agreements that essentially gives the clinic control over the case. There are some medical doctors who will work on what is known as a lien basis, but they can be hard to come by. This is one of the reasons why you need to consult with a lawyer soon after the accident to make sure you are not lead astray by unscrupulous practitioners who attempt to take advantage of you. A lawyer can require the insurance company to disclose its policy limits and also examine your auto policy to see whether you are entitled to have your bills paid by your own insurance company. A lawyer can also help you navigate a myriad of insurance issues that can arrise after an accident. If you have been injured, please call us discuss your legal rights.
Teenagers and young children are frequently injured at amusement parks, particularly at temporary rides set up at festivals and fairs throughout Illinois in the summer months. There are many reasons for such accidents, including improperly trained personnel, inadequate supervision, faulty equipment, and improper maintenance. Go-Kart (aka go-carts) rides can be particularly dangerous as some involve high speeds with young inexperienced drivers and poorly trained teens “supervising” the rides. A question I am often asked is whether the fact that a sign was posted stating: “Ride at your own Risk,” or some similar language printed on a ticket, means that the parents cannot bring a claim to recovery for injuries to their children and for medical bills the parents have paid. The short answer is no, such signs and disclaimers do not absolve the ride operator from liability. It is important to contact a lawyer soon after the event before the ride is dismantled and moved on to another town. If you are able, get photos of the area where your child was injured. Take photos not only of the ride buy any signage around the ride. If your child has a ticket stub, put it somewhere safe. Try to find out if your child, or any of their friends, posted any photos or videos online of the accident. Be sure to try and find a manger and tell them where and when your child was injured. Get their name and contact info. If you are asked to make a report, make sure you take a photo of the completed report. If your child is injured at an amusement park, a fair, or even a playground, please call for a free consultation.
Do you and your family have proper liability insurance coverage? Too often, I meet with seriously injured clients who didn’t understand the importance of having the right insurance company with the right amount of coverage. As we head into a new year, now is a good time to review your automobile policy. You want to have a solid national company with a high liability limit and underinsured/ uninsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). Your auto policy not only protects you if you are sued, but also protects you and anyone riding in your car when the at fault driver has little or no insurance. Too often, clients tell me that their insurance agent never explained the importance of UM/UIM coverage. A trip to the ER can easily run $20,000. If you are admitted to the hospital, the costs can quickly reach over $100,000. If you are seriously injured in an accident, you may not be able to return to work for months, if ever. Without proper insurance, you could find yourself in serious debt. Or, if you cause an accident you could be held responsible for the other persons medical bills and injuries. You do not want to have less than $250,000 in coverage and if you have any assets, you will likely need higher limits and may want to consider an umbrella policy. If you must save money on insurance coverage, drop towing coverage and get a higher deductible. Shop all the well-known companies as policy costs can vary by hundreds of dollars. Just think, if you were riding with a car with your children and perhaps a couple of their friends, and there was an unfortunate accident that was caused by an uninsured driver, wouldn’t you want your children and their friends to have enough insurance to cover medical bills and pay for pain and suffering? If you were driving and accidently harmed someone, wouldn’t you want the person you hurt to be compensated. It does not pay to go cheap on liability coverage. Accidents happen more frequently than many people think.