Articles Posted in Insurance

Medical Treatment After Car Crash

Medical Treatment After Car Crash

Medical Treatment After Car Crash

I’m Ed Smith, a Roseville auto accident attorney. Often times, the cause of a car crash is clear. Perhaps there is no denying who is at fault. Meanwhile, the injured party does not seek medical treatment for days. Or, sometimes weeks after the crash. Typically, a party hopes the injury will improve on its own.

Preserving Accident Evidence

Preserving Accident Evidence

Preserving Accident Evidence

I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer serving Elk Grove. Did you know that the first couple of days after an accident may be crucial in preserving evidence? This includes preserving the evidence of any personal injuries you may have received. We suggest taking the following steps for preserving accident evidence:

Future Med Expense and Affordable Care Act
FUTURE MEDICAL EXPENSES

Future Medical Expenses and How Some Argue the Affordable Care Act Affects Their Calculation

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney. Most would heartily agree that the Affordable Care Act has changed the health insurance landscape. Some defense attorneys in personal injury cases are now attempting to use the provisions of the law to limit the amount of compensation plaintiffs can receive for future and ongoing medical expenses. If successfully used in your personal injury case, you may find your compensation award reduced significantly. The best way to fight back against such an attempt is to retain the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Beware of Balance Billing

Beware of Balance Billing

Ed Smith is a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Health insurance is a complex topic, but most adults understand the basics of how the average policy is supposed to work. Suppose that Jorge goes to an “in-network” medical provider (meaning a medical provider with whom Jorge’s health insurer has agreed to certain contractual rates for services). Jorge receives services that total $700. He pays his $25 copay and goes on his way (assume Jorge has no deductible). The medical provider discounts Jorge’s medical bill to the rate it had agreed to with Jorge’s insurer, and then the insurer pays the provider the agreed upon rate.

Suppose further that Jorge goes to a medical provider that is not within his health insurance’s network of providers. The medical provider in this case can charge Jorge the full $700. Depending on the terms of the health insurance contract between Jorge and his insurer, the insurer may pay a portion of this bill. The medical provider would then bill Jorge for the balance that remains afterward. This practice is known as “balance billing.” Continue reading

Recently a man was killed in Natomas after sustaining fatal injuries from a hit and run collision while he was on a bicycle.  This incident occurred on W. El Camino Avenue on the overpass of Interstate 5. It was in the early morning hours when the victim was discovered by a security guard and was pronounced dead at the scene.  There was no information as to the other party involved.

Unfortunately tragedies involving hit and run accidents occur quite  often and with no information available for the responsible parties people often question if this type of collision would be covered through insurance. The answer is yes, hit and run injuries are covered by auto insurance through the uninsured motorist portion of the policy.

I’m Ed Smith, a Natomas Injury  Attorney with the primary accident information site on the web, www.AutoAccident.com.

Is State Farm or Allstate Insurance giving you what you feel is  an unfair offer on your auto accident? 

As a Sacramento Auto Accident Lawyer since 1982, I am often asked why the offers from insurance companies are so low.

A primary concern in pursuing any personal injury claim resulting from a vehicle accident is whether or not there is adequate liability insurance coverage to fully compensate the injured person. In California, the minimum amount of liability insurance that the owner of a private motor vehicle is required to carry is generally only a “15/30” policy, that is a maximum of $15,000 per person injured, not to exceed $30,000 for the incident. While this may be adequate for minor injuries, for crash victims who may suffer more serious injuries such as broken bones, spinal disc injuries, or traumatic brain injuries, a minimum 15/30 policy is often completely inadequate. Hopefully, in that type of situation, the injured person has a larger uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist policy of their own that will help make up the difference.

trucking accidents
Trucking accidents are significantly different, however, because the requirements for trucking company liability insurance is much greater than for ordinary passenger vehicles. In California, the DMV will only issue commercial trucking permits to companies who meet much greater minimum liability insurance requirements. These vary from $300,000 to $5,000,000 in per-incident liability coverage, depending upon the type of trucking vehicle being insured and the type of materials being transported. The most commonly seen trucking company liability insurance policies are from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 in combined, single-limit coverage, that is, covering all injuries from a single incident.

trucking accidents
Obviously, trucking accidents are more likely to result in major injuries to the extent that the vehicles are much larger than ordinary passenger vehicles, and the momentum they carry can produce proportionately greater damage. Additionally, large trucks are prone to problems that other, smaller vehicles are not, such as jack-knifing, brake fires, and spilled cargo on the roadways. And if that cargo happens to include hazardous materials, so much greater is the potential for damage and injury to the public.

1412510096v0fayWith nearly everyone carrying smart phones these days, it is usually quite convenient to get good quality accident scene photos.  Remembering to snap key photos at the scene can be very helpful to any sort of damage claim that arises from the accident.  There are certain things that are helpful to document after an automobile accident:

  • An overview of the accident scene from several vantage points;
  • All property damage – detailed photos of the damage to all involved vehicles and any other objects such as a destroyed fence;

health insurance in personal injury claimsAnyone who has had a visit in recent years to a hospital emergency room after a traumatic event — a traffic collision, slip-and-fall injury, dog bite — will likely have received a stack of forms from the hospital and from their health insurance company asking for details about the incident. Was another person responsible for the injury? Do you have an attorney representing you? Did you have any other applicable insurance for medical expenses, such as medical payments coverage on an auto insurance policy? Are you pursuing any claims against other people for these injuries?  Health insurance in personal injury claims has become a very complicated situation.

The hospital and the health insurance company aren’t doing this out of idle curiosity. They’re doing it because they want money out of any settlement or verdict relating to the injury incident. In the “old days” — 30 or 40 years ago — a person might get checked out in an emergency room after a car crash, the hospital would generate a bill that would go to the patient’s health insurance company, the health insurer would pay the hospital the reduced rate they’d previously agreed upon for these services, the hospital would waive or write off the difference, and the patient would never hear from the hospital billing department or health insurer again. If the injured person received a settlement from the auto insurer for the person who caused the accident, it was rare that the health insurance company or any medical provider who had accepted health insurance payments would ever show up asking for a piece of that settlement.

But times have changed. These days, it is inevitable that the health insurer will ask to be reimbursed for their payments out of any personal injury claim settlement. And the difference between bill and insurance payment that the hospital used to waive or write off? Well, not any more. Many hospitals will try to “balance bill” the patient for these amounts, especially if they are aware of any liability insurance being available to the patient for a potential settlement. Although the law in California says that such “balance billing” is often prohibited, health insurers and hospitals have become clever enough to re-write their contracts to get around this prohibition.

A young Doctor came into my office today for serious injuries which he suffered when he and his family were struck head on by a drunk driver.  He had graduated from Medical School a few years back, as had his wife. He had his own Neurology practice which he had started in 2010, and his wife worked as a Family Practice Doctor.   They were just starting their own family and had little ones – 8 months and 2 years old.

The injuries were severe. Both he and his wife suffered serious fractures and internal injuries. They were hospitalized for over 21 days. Luckily, their children came out of this one with relatively minor injuries.

Stay with me a minute as I’m setting the stage.

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