Car accidents happen. Some are more serious than others. One thing is certainly true, you will fair much better if you have an attorney at your side to help you with your case. Insurance companies look for ways to either deny your claim or pay as little as possible to compensate you. At Snyder Law, we know all their tricks. We are more than equipped to help you maximize your settlement.
Although we do not suggest you taking on your case alone, here are some of the basics that will help you and also aid you in understanding what we do.
Setting Up A Claim
The first step in any case is setting up your claim. The best way to do that is to look at your police report. The police report will show you the insurance information of the person who hit you. Start by calling the insurance company listed. Be sure to have the police report with you. Have the responsible driver’s policy number and the details of the accident ready to be quickly given to the claims handler at the insurance company. Explain to the claim handler the accident details. Once that has been accomplished, an adjuster will be assigned to your case with a claim number and contact information. Keep these for your records because you will be talking to them again.
Medical Record Collection
Usually, you will have either been transported by EMS or driven to the hospital. These records substantiate your claim and are necessary for the highest settlement possible. You will need to contact each provider, obtain bills and medical records from each provider you have visited. It is time-consuming and at times, infuriating. HIPAA laws are very specific and require the utmost attention. Your records will likely take at least a month to be processed and sent to you. If you hire us, we will take care of this process for you.
After the adjuster has all of your medical records and medical bills, the negotations for settlement begin. The adjuster will point out all the “weak” parts about your case. One of the most common is gaps in treatment. That is where there are spans of time between when you were treated by one physician, and then treated by another. If there is a large gap, the adjuster will argue that you, “must not be all that hurt because you waited so long to go to the doctor.” We have strategies to help rebut this argument. But in general, it is very important for you to get treatment and not wait to continue with what the doctor orders.
Every case is different. Different facts, injuries and other details largely effect how much you recover. Generally, the higher the bills the higher the settlement. We have a experience in knowing what “the right amount” is and can greatly aid you on this front.
Paying Your Bills
After you get your settlement, it’s time to pay the bills. Many times, medical providers will take out liens. These are debts against your settlement, NOT you. That means the lien will not negatively affect your credit, while a bill will affect your credit if reported to a debt collection agency. (Note, we can help prevent bills from affecting your credit most times.) How you pay liens vs. bills is different. North Carolina has a statute that only requires up to half of your settlement be paid to lienholders. What our firm can do is drastically reduce the amount you have to pay back to medical provider/lienholders, thus increasing the amount you get to keep. This is a complicated process. We do not suggest you do this on your own.
Note as well, if you have Medicaid, Medicare, or insurance through an employer you may have to pay back your insurance company the money they paid on your behalf after you receive your settlement.