Feb 11 2014

Your Accident Paper Trail

,

Accidents are stressful on your body and your wallet.  There are a few things you can do to help you save stress and money after being involved in an auto, truck  or pedestrian accident.

Have the at-fault party repair your vehicle.  If the other party’s insurance company repairs your vehicle you do not have to pay your deductible.  If you choose to go through your own carrier to repair or replace your car, you will eventually get your deductible back, it just may take 6 months to up to 1 year before you see it.

Should you find yourself at the emergency room or needing immediate medical attention, list your car insurance as your primary health insurance.    This will allow your bills to be paid directly to your car insurance  under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.  The minimum amount of coverage required by law in the state of Utah is $3,000.00 and that amount must be exhausted before your private health insurance company kicks in.

Carefully read and complete the paperwork from your car insurance company after an accident.  They will send forms to help you quickly recover any lost wages and there are also benefits available to you if you have needed someone to come and care for you.  Also take inventory of lost or damaged property quickly.  Maybe your cell phone, iPod or laptop was damaged in the car crash.  If you had car seats in your vehicle at the time by the accident, by law they will have to be replaced, whether or not there is any visible damage to them.   The quicker you gather your receipts or can research the current value of the items that were lost or damaged, the sooner you can be compensated for those losses, assuming you have the proper coverage.

Keep track of all of your medical expenses.  Keep all of your receipts from prescriptions and provide them to your insurance company for reimbursement.  Be aware of your medical bills that will have outstanding balances even after health insurance payment.  This will make it easy for you to make payment plans instead of letting unknown balances slowly make their way to a collection agency.

Be organized!  Make a file for all of the important paperwork you are receiving in the mail.  Carefully read it.  Know what things you are signing and what information you are providing.  These simple things bring peace of mind at a time where things are feeling out of place, confusing and scattered.

Most importantly, HIRE AN ATTORNEY!  Be sure to still follow all of the guidelines mentioned but know the best way to save money is to let an attorney handle your settlement because the bottom line is any insurance company will try their best to convince you that your injuries are worth 2-3 times less than what they really are.  Insurance adjusters are very savvy and their job is to pay out as little as possible.  You don’t want a handout, just what you are legally entitled to after an accident.  You didn’t ask for this crash and you certainly don’t want to be left with a bag full of medical expenses especially if you do not have private medical insurance to pay for them.   Let the experience and knowledge of William Rawlings & Associates help you recover ALL the money you deserve.