We get calls all day long from anxious car accident victims with questions ranging from property damage fairness to complex surgical options. Over the last 2 years as health insurance and car insurance regulations have evolved, one thing is clear; there is a dearth of good information out there. Without further ado then I will hit today on the top five mistakes that we see people making after they are injured in a car accident.
1) Putting off going to the doctor: This is the biggest. I cannot tell you how many car accident victims call us 10-14 days after the accident saying that they are not getting better and are going in to see their doctor about pain. If this is the first medical visit, it can be too late for the car insurance company to consider the claim in many cases. Let me backtrack by saying what the car insurance company thinks of you is irrelevant in the long run but a significant delay in getting medical care after an Atlanta car accident can significantly lessen your chances of getting a positive jury verdict.
This is not to say that you should run out to the emergency room if you are not hurt. If you are feeling good, do not go to a doctor just to create a claim. The world has enough liars as it is. On the other hand, don’t shortchange yourself because you think that the human body can heal every wound on its own.
2. Failing to Call Your Own Insurance Company About the Crash: A lot of clients say that they do not want to tell their own insurance company about a crash because they are afraid their rates will rise. First of all, if there is a police report, the company will learn of it eventually anyway. Whatever will happen with the rates is out of your control. The downside to not telling your insurer in the first few days is that most insurance policies require that you give notice to them within as little as 30 days lest you void your coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is critical where you have a significant injury and the at fault driver has minimum limits.
3. Failure to Follow Up with the Hospital to Make Sure They Bill Your Health Insurance: This is a biggie. Health insurance does cover hospital bills from a car accident, although it is second to pay behind any medical payments coverage you may have on your policy. Many Atlanta hospitals are refusing to bill your health insurance because they want to take a lien on your claim and get paid at 100% rather than the agreed to fee schedule price you are entitled to through your health insurance.
4. Signing a Medical Release for the Other Insurance Company: Many car insurers will tell you to send them the bills and that they need you to sign a medical records release. DON’T. When they say send them the bills, they do not mean send them to us and we will pay. They want to order all of your records including prior medical care to see if there is a way to weasel out of taking responsibility for injuries you sustained in a crash. If you don’t believe me just ask them to put it in writing that they will pay all of your medical bills that you are sending over.
5. Do Not Work with a Doctor or Lawyer that calls you out of the blue after a crash. In Georgia, it is illegal for runners to reach out to you after a car accident, but they do it. These people are the scum of the earth bottom feeders who prey on car accident victims. They get paid kickbacks by the lawyers and doctors who they call for.
Be sure to read our full article, “Atlanta Car Accident Dos and Dont’s” and watch the video here.