Personal Injury FAQs

How do I choose a doctor to evaluate and treat my injuries?
How long should I continue to see my doctor?
Why should I get insurance involved if the other driver is willing to pay to fix my car?
Who will pay my medical bills and lost wages?
What is PIP?
What if I am involved in a hit-and-run accident or an accident with an uninsured driver?
How much is my case worth?

Q: How do I choose a doctor to evaluate and treat my injuries?

A: You may choose to be treated by any doctor you like. Some of our clients see their family physicians, while others ask friends, or even their lawyer, to recommend a doctor. If you have health insurance, it may be best to follow the provider’s standard procedures. Some health insurance providers require you to see your PCP (Primary Care Physician) to obtain a referral before going to a specialist, such as an orthopedist.

Be sure to tell your doctor that your injuries are the result of an accident. Liability insurance companies (i.e. the insurance company of the person or company who injured you) will want to see proof that your injuries were caused by the accident, and your doctor cannot properly evaluate or document your injuries if you do not tell him or her how you got them—don’t make your doctor guess!

Q: How long should I continue to see my doctor?

A: You should see your doctor until you recover fully or until you achieve maximum medical improvement. At that point, your doctor will discharge you from treatment. It is important that you do not leave treatment before your doctor releases you from treatment. If you do, you may be endangering your health. You may also be weakening your personal injury claim. Insurance companies will only take your claim as seriously as you do—if you leave treatment early, or miss your doctor appointments, the insurance company may argue that your failure to follow your doctor’s treatment plan shows that you were not really hurt.

If you feel better before you are discharged, you should report to your next appointment and talk to your doctor. He or she relies upon your feedback to determine an appropriate treatment plan.

Q: Why should I get insurance involved if the other driver is willing to pay to fix my car?

A: Never leave the scene of an accident without writing down the other driver’s insurance information. These days many drivers will say, No one is injured; let’s not get insurance involved—I’ll just pay to repair your car. While no one wants to risk higher insurance rates, it is important that you fully protect your rights by obtaining the other driver’s insurance information. In most states, drivers involved in an accident are required by law to show their license and insurance card (if asked) to anyone else involved in the accident. Be sure to ask the other driver for his or her driver’s license and insurance card.

You may not think that you are injured at the time the accident occurs. However, many injuries, including serious ones, do not present symptoms until hours later. Additionally, the adrenaline-rush of a frightening accident may suppress the pain of an injury. You should not be responsible for paying medical bills for injuries caused by another driver’s negligence.

While it may be possible to investigate a claim without the other driver’s insurance information, you are putting yourself at risk if you do not accurately obtain that information before leaving the scene of an accident.

Q: Who will pay my medical bills and lost wages?

A: In most cases, your attorney will help you file a claim for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering against the insurance carrier of the driver who was responsible for the accident. If the driver who caused the accident is uninsured or does not have enough insurance coverage to pay you what you deserve, your attorney may advise you to file a claim against your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage.

The purpose of car insurance is to protect each one of us from the potential negligence of another driver. However, insurance providers are for-profit companies that hire highly trained and experienced professionals to maximize company profits. That means they look for ways to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. The best way to protect yourself and ensure that you receive the money you deserve is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Unfortunately, these claims can take quite a while to resolve. Many of our clients worry about how they will pay their medical bills now to ensure that they receive proper medical care and prevent damage to their credit reports.

One way to pay for treatment is with money paid out from your PIP coverage (see FAQ below for more details about PIP). Additionally, if you have health insurance, you should follow the standard claims procedure of your health insurance provider and it should cover your medical expenses according to your policy. If you are one of the growing number of Americans without health insurance, you may still be able to receive the treatment you deserve, by using your PIP coverage or with the help of doctors who understand the difficult process of personal injury claims, and are willing to wait on your lawsuit before collecting their fees.

Q: What is PIP?

A: PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection. It is an optional part of car insurance for Maryland and District of Columbia residents that usually provides a minimum of $2,500 towards medical bills and lost wages arising from an accident. In Maryland, insurance companies are required to offer you PIP coverage when you purchase an insurance policy.

PIP is known as no fault coverage, which means that you can receive money regardless of who caused the accident, and your insurance rates should not go up because you applied for PIP money. PIP coverage is provided by your own insurance company for you and your passengers when injured in a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. It can cover medical bills and up to 80% of lost wages up to the limits of coverage purchased.

Q: What if I am involved in a hit-and-run accident or an accident with an uninsured driver?

A: If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, you should immediately report the accident to the police. If you saw the vehicle that hit you, try to write down the make, model, color, and tag number. Get the names and telephone numbers of pedestrians and other drivers who saw the accident; ask if they saw anything that may help identify the other driver. It is best to stay at or near the scene of the accident until a police officer arrives. He or she will look for evidence and talk to any witnesses. The officer should fill out a police report, which will document the hit-and-run incident. If the police are unable to identify the other driver, it is likely that you are still entitled to compensation from your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage. In order to get the most money out of such a claim, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to help you with the claims process. If you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance, you should follow the same procedures in the FAQ above, What should I do to protect my rights if I am involved in a car accident? It is likely that you are entitled to compensation from your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage, but you may be asked to provide evidence that the other driver was actually uninsured. You should still get his or her name, address, and driver’s license number and write down the make, model, color, and license plate number of his or her car. If you would like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about a hit-and-run accident or an accident with an uninsured driver, please contact us to schedule an appointment.

Q: How much is my case worth?

A: Whether you have been injured through the use of a defective product, medication, or the negligence of a driver, or a doctor, or a property owner, the value of your case is directly related to the severity and permanency of your injuries, the amount of time it takes you to recover, and the pain and suffering you endure because of your injuries. If you miss work because of your injury, you are generally entitled to money for lost wages. If your injuries result in a permanent disability, you are usually entitled to significantly more money to secure your lifelong income and medical care. Because each case is different, the value of your case depends on the facts and circumstances of your specific situation. The best way to determine how much money you can reasonably expect to receive from a personal injury claim is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. If you wish to consult with an attorney at Andalman & Flynn, please call (301) 563-6685 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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