Q & A

RICK WOODS HAS COMPILED THIS LIST OF FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING COMMON ACCIDENT-RELATED ISSUES. THE ISSUES COVERED HERE INCLUDE MEDICAL BILLS,GIVING INSURANCE STATEMENTS, AND MORE. IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION NOT COVERED HERE,CONTACT RICK WOODS TODAY TO GET THE ANSWERS YOU NEED.

Q: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING MY MEDICAL BILLS?

A: The patient and/or guardian or guarantor of the medical bill is directly responsible for all bills incurred. Many medical providers will file a lien and wait until the case settles to be paid. However, if your doctor insists on immediate payment, he is entitled to it. Many clients are unaware that they may have medical payments coverage on their automobile policy that can be used to pay medical providers. Medical payments coverage is available to the insured no matter who is at fault.

Q: WHAT IF SOMEONE CONTACTS ME TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A CHIROPRACTOR?

A: Do not fall into this trap.  The Arkansas Chiropractic Board allows its licensees to contact persons injured in car wrecks in order to solicit business.  Some questionable tactics include calling and informing the injured person that an appointment has been made for them to get checked out and that insurance will take care of the bill.  This is a scam.  Do not do it.  If you need treatment contact your PCP or seek a referral to a reputable physician who will provide you proper care.

Q: WILL THE INSURANCE COMPANY PAY FOR MY MEDICAL BILLS PRIOR TO SETTLING?

A: Usually the insurance company will not agree to pay medical bills while you are treating and prefer to wait until the end when they can settle the claim and close their file. Insurance companies are also reluctant to pay any expenses before final settlement because they view outstanding medical bills owed by you as a position of strength in negotiating a settlement.  You should immediately determine if your own policy contains medical payments coverage.  This no fault coverage can be used to pay your bills while your case is pending.  DO NOT WAVIE MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE.

Q: SHOULD I GIVE A STATEMENT TO THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER FOR THE OTHER PARTY?

A: NO! Insurance companies are infamous for dispatching adjusters to hospital rooms, residences and workplaces to get a statement while you are most vulnerable. Initially due to shock, adrenaline and other facts, you may not realize the extent of your injuries or have trouble completely itemizing your injuries. Nothing good can come from giving a statement to the adjuster right after the accident.

Q: HOW IMPORTANT ARE PHOTOS?

A: Photos are an important tool in preserving evidence such as skid marks, gouge marks, debris fields and other vital information that an accident re-constructionist may use to diagram and reconstruct an accident. Photos of injuries such as scrapes and bruises as they develop over the initial days following the accident are also most helpful.

Q: IS IT IMPORTANT TO HIRE COUNSEL EARLY ON?

A: Yes. Witness testimony is best when preserved at or near the time of the accident. Memories tend to fade with time. An attorney will generally have an investigator take statements early on to preserve testimony.

Q: SHOULDN’T I GET THREE TIMES MEDICAL BILLS AS A SETTLEMENT?

A: No two cases are exactly alike and neither are damages. Three times medical bills is a fallacy that does not exist. Damage compensation, among others, is based on; the reasonable and necessary nature of medical bills; the nature, extent and duration of injuries; loss of earnings or loss of earning capacity, pain, suffering and mental anguish; transportation, caretaking and lodging expenses and others. Many times in a catastrophic injury case, an economist will be hired to calculate the value of these damages and present it as part of the claim.