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Do I have to repay my health insurance out of my car crash settlement?
The answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no. It is a complex topic as governmental programs such as Medicaid and Medicare require reimbursement and a failure to do so can result in trouble.
Private insurers such as Kaiser, Blue Cross or Aetna often seek repayment but not always. Truly these issues are why having an experienced lawyer handle your case is worthwhile.
Do I have to go to trial in my car accident case?
No you don't. However you may have to accept an offer you aren't happy with. Insurance companies make billions of dollars and one way they do so is offering settlements in car and truck accident cases that bear little resemblance to what jurors may award.
Fortunately, the choice is ultimately yours and with good legal advice offers can be coaxed up to higher sums and in some instances medical bills that must be paid out of settlement can be coaxed down.
Do I have to file a lawsuit in my Maryland car accident case?
The answer is no. However, the decision to file or not file a lawsuit is usually a function of the at-fault driver's insurance company making an unacceptable offer. If the liability insurer makes an offer that is not to your liking the only alternative may be to "suit it up."
In a Maryland Car Accident Case can the Injured Victim Seek both Workers Comp and PIP?
The answer is yes but there are some qualifications including potential offstes. This is a subject matter for review with an experienced attorney such as Clark and Steinhorn, LLC.
I Got PIP Payments in my Maryland Crash Case. Does Liability reimburse them?
In Maryland the answer is no. Your PIP is subject to the collateral source rule and the at-fault driver and their insurance company do not benefit from your forethought. For More go to:https://www.maryland-law.com/blog/covid-19-complicates-maryland-crash-injury-lost-wage-claims.cfm
Do I Need a Doctor to come to Court and Support my Claim?
It Depends. Smaller cases seeking $30,000.00 or less in compensation can be supported by medical records in conjunction with a legal pleading, referred to by lawyers as a 10-104.
Cases seeking more than $30,000.00 require the testimony of healthcare providers to buttress the relationship between the injuries alleged and the treatment received as well as reasonableness of the charges.
Are police reports admissible in evidence at Maryland car accident trials if the police officer is there?
This answer confounds lay people but lawyers try and admit police reports with some regularity and invariably unsucessfully. However, the officer can use the report to " refresh their recollection" which can have the same impact.
Do police reports come into evidence if the officer is absent?
No they don't except in some small claims cases and then only in the discretion of the trial judge.
Do I have to settle my car accident claim for property damage and personal injuries at the same time?
No. They are dealt with separately. Property damage is routinely resolved early in the process whereas personal injury cases often take far longer.
Do I Have to Settle my Maryland Car Crash Case?
No you don't have to but in many instances you will receive more compensation by doing so. The fact is that many Maryland car accident cases involve limited available insurance and once the insurance limits are gobbled up, it is rarely worth pursuing the at-fault driver for any perceived underpayment.
Trials of large cases invariably involve medical expert testimony and that is expensive. Similarly depositions if frequent enough and long enough can eat up money that would otherwise go in your pocket.
What is an IME?
An IME is a so-called independent medical exam. The qualification that it is "so called" stems from the fact that when an insurance company sends you to an IME doctor, they are choosing one who is unlikely to be "independent".
Which is to say that a small cadre of doctors make large amounts of money seeing victims of personal injury and consequently can be relied upon by the insurance industry to opine that the injured person wasn't that hurt or didn't require the treatment they underwent or a host of mother opinions calculated to devalue the victim's claims.
Will the at at-fault driver's insurance company pay lost wages?
No they won't, unless they are compelled to by a judge or jury or do so voluntarily as part of a personal injury settlement. Better get a good lawyer.
Will the at-fault driver's insurance company pay my medical bills?
No they will not. There are some circumstances where an at-fault driver's PIP insurance may pay some of your medical bills but that is the exception more than the rule. At-fault insurance companies will pay what a judge or jury makes them pay, which can include your medical expenses but only if the judge or jury awards those medical expenses.
Do I have to pay my doctors out of my settlement?
The answer to this question is complicated. If you have signed a written agreement or as it is usually called, an authorization and assignment, then your failure to do so and your lawyer's failure to do so can get you both sued by the doctor. The best approach under these circumstanced is to negotiate with the doctor on a reduced payment.
If you haven't signed anything and the doctor isn't nipping at your heals (or his collection agency) then you have a decision to make. You can wait for the three year statute of limitations to expire in which case the doctor can sue but will get booted out of court for not filing in time. Or, you can contact the doctor's office and seek a reduction.
What if you submitted your health insurance? This too is complicated but typically health insurers have agreements with doctors to accept a certain amount of money for certain activities. For example, a doctor may perform an x-ray of your low back and the bill says $100.00. Blue Cross may have an agreement to pay them $33.00 for the x-ray. So what happens to the missing $67.00?
Nothing should happen to it. The doctor is a party to a contract with Blue Cross that stipulates that they get paid a certain amount and that is that. Talk to your lawyer if the doctor is trying to collect the remaining money,
Do I have to go to the insurance company's doctor before undergoing surgery?
Periodically our clients are compelled to undergo surgery as a result of vehicle accident injuries. Increasingly insurance companies are pushing for crash victims to see their doctor before surgery. Clark and Steinhorn, LLC take the position that crash victims have no obligation to see the doctor of the insurance company whatsoever. If a case is in litigation the at fault driver can through his or her attorney seek an examination by a physician of their choosing but even that exam can be resisted or constrained.
Do I have to file a lawsuit in my Maryland car accident case?
At Clark & Steinhorn, LLC we are often asked if our clients have to file a lawsuit in their Maryland car and truck accident cases. The answer of course is no. Nobody has to file a lawsuit ever.
However, a lawsuit may be necessary in order to obtain fair compensation. Insurance companies often low-ball injured crash victims before suit. Some lawyers and victims take the unduly low offers to avoid the time and hassle of a lawsuit. However, when they do this they often leave money on the table.
At Clark & Steinhorn, LLC we try and advise our clients on the best way to maximize their economic compensation while minimizing the hassles and delays.
I was in bad accident. Do I have to go to the insurance company's doctor?
Periodically we are asked about insurance company requested medical appointments and whether victims of crashes must attend them? The answer is maybe. If a case is in litigation (a lawsuit has been filed) then the answer is generally yes. However, there are various limitations. These include limits on how far you would have to travel for such an examination, how many times and when the exam is scheduled.
Often the insurance company has to provide transportation or pay for mileage to and from the doctor and parking.
However, if the case isn't in a lawsuit the answer is no unless under some circumstances the P.I.P. insurance can request such an exam, which is however quite rare in Maryland.
Why does the liability insurer want my social security number and should I give it to them?
When you are in a crash and seek compensation for your injuries, the insurance company will seek your social security number so they can use the so-called index system to look for prior claims by you. You don't have to give it to them but they don't have to negotiate a settlement with you either so generally we suggest providing this information.
Can Insurance Companies Look at My Old Claims?
Yes they can and yes they will. The insurance industry routinely aks your atorney for so-called "Indexing information" which often includes your social security number, address and date of birth.
Should you disclose prior injuries?
Many victims in car and truck accidents reinjure parts of their bodies that have been hurt previously. The inevitable question is whether or not they should disclose the preexisting problems to the insurance companies, their doctors and their lawyers?
The answer is an emphatic "Yes"! Insurance companies have access to a database which purports to reflect all prior injury claims, so once they get your date of birth and name they know quickly whether or not you have been hurt before, what part of you was injured, how it was injured, who the insurance company was and how much was paid.
For doctors, effective treatment requires knowledge of your past medical history both to treat and to ensure that their medical reports are credible.
As for your lawyer, they must know the truth about everything and most particularly about prior claims and injuries in order to maximize your fair compensation.