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                    [post_content] => Imagine your income stops, and at the same time you are racking up thousands of dollars in medical bills.  Though it seems like a horrible nightmare, for many who are the victims of car wrecks or other accidents this is a reality.  How do you survive financially when faced with the financial equivalent of the Perfect Storm?  Unfortunately, there are no easy answers since settling your case can take months or even years.  However, you do have options in the meantime.



Payment Plans

One of the greatest challenges you may face after your accident are the medical bills.  Even if you have health insurance, co-payments alone for surgeries, physical therapy, hospitalizations, medication and more can be huge.  For those without access to health insurance, the costs may be far worse.  If you cannot pay, you will be unable to get the treatment you need to fully recover.  Fortunately, many medical care providers are willing to work out payment plans if you simply ask.  In some cases, you may be eligible for forgiveness of medical bills, or financial assistance in the form of Medicaid.  Your attorney may be able to recommend treatment providers who are willing to treat you with the expectation of getting paid when you settle your claim.

Financial Assistance

Another option is to borrow money with the idea of paying it back when the case settles.  Your lawyer cannot loan you money due to ethics rules, but there are other sources of funds.  A home equity loan or even an unsecured loan is often the best option, though these may be impossible to obtain if you are unable to work due to your injuries or have bad credit.  Another choice is borrowing from friends or relatives, though this is not available to everyone.  There are also loan companies which specialize in lending money with an understanding they will only be paid back if you receive a settlement.  However, this source should be a last resort since this type of company nearly always charges interest rates that are in the stratosphere.

Bankruptcy

When all else fails, filing bankruptcy may be necessary.  A bankruptcy petition creates an “automatic stay,” which prevents your creditors from attempting to collect on your debt except through the bankruptcy court.  Ultimately, some debts may be discharged through this process, meaning you do not have to pay them back.  However, bankruptcy will negatively affect your credit for years to come and may require selling many of your assets.  In addition, discharge of your medical bills will likely prevent you from recovering for those bills as part of your personal injury claim.  There are other technical effects of bankruptcy which can endanger your personal injury claim, so you need to consult with your personal injury attorney before filing to ensure this does not occur.

Financial stress is just one of the many ways that an injury can change your life and make it more difficult.  Hiring an attorney early in the process, can help minimize the difficulties you face.

Frank A. Wright, Jr., Esquire

 
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                    [post_content] => No one likes having to go to the doctor.  Doctors are busy, and getting in to see them often requires a long stay in the waiting room.  With health insurance covering less and less, the out of pocket cost to patients keeps going up.  As a result, most of us avoid going to the doctor like the plague.  When you have a personal injury claim, however, failing to follow up with your doctor can be a mistake with tremendous consequences for your case.  Here’s why you don’t want to fall into that trap.



Doctors Help Us Get Better

With all the healthcare bureaucracy, it’s easy to forget that your doctor’s primary goal is to help you heal.  When you fail to follow up for necessary treatment, the doctor has no way to accomplish that goal.  Doctors tend to assume if they do not see a patient that the medical problems have resolved.  Typically, doctors also prefer a conservative approach, moving to more aggressive treatments only when necessary.  If you don’t go to the doctor to report continuing problems, he or she will never know that more aggressive treatment is necessary to heal you.  In addition, jurors will be unlikely to believe you were really having problems since the insurance company lawyers will argue that you “didn’t bother” to go to the doctor.

Doctors Prove the Injuries

In a personal injury case, a doctor is an essential witness to proving the nature of your injuries, regardless of their severity.  For more serious injuries, such as broken bones or damage to internal organs, your doctor will need to testify to explain the results of x-rays or other diagnostic testing to the jurors.  For more common injuries, such as a strained neck or back with no broken bones, the doctor’s testimony can be even more important.  There is often no visible evidence of this type of soft tissue injury, which frequently cannot be confirmed by diagnostic testing.  Your doctor’s expertise can be critical in convincing jurors that the injuries are real and significant.

Doctors Document the Symptoms

Your court case may not settle or go to trial for years after the initial injury.  Although the symptoms are foremost in your mind while you are recovering, they are easy to forget by the time you need to testify about how your injuries affected you.  You may remember some of the worst symptoms, while forgetting others.  Without evidence of what you experienced, obtaining fair and complete compensation is impossible.  Doctors, however, generally keep careful records of your symptoms.  We obtain copies of these records as part of our representation, which can help prove all the ways you were affected.  Not only that, the records will help refresh your recollection as to symptoms you may have forgotten.

The bottom line is that your doctor is one of your most important allies in recovering from your injuries.  Cooperate with the doctor and follow their recommendations to the letter to maximize your chances of complete physical and financial recovery.

Frank A. Wright, Jr., Esquire

 

 
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                    [post_content] => Why do we need the police involved in an accident where it is clear what happened?  How can they help sort your accident out?  What happens if they are not there?  These are all good questions that you may not be thinking about at the accident scene….but maybe you should.



Information Gathering

The first question is why do we need the police at the accident.  This seems obvious at first, as any accident scene may need police on the scene to coordinate first responders or to regulate safe, post-accident traffic flow.  But beyond that, the police officer is there to facilitate information exchange.  This is how you, the accident victim, get vital information about the person who hit you, as well as the insurance coverage information for the defendant driver.  In the end, your recovery will come from the other’s driver’s insurance company.  Without the police, the parties at the accident risk leaving that scene of confusion without the information they need going forward.

Documentation of Facts 

Of equal importance is what the police can do to sort out the accident.  This goes beyond information exchange as the police can help define who is liable.  They do this by interviewing the parties, examining the accident scene and writing up a police report.  In the police report, the officer describes the accident, as well as any improper actions taken by the at-fault driver.  The police officer also writes any traffic tickets associated with the accident.  Where the police officer writes a ticket to the at-fault driver, it is very difficult for the driver (or his or her insurance company) to avoid liability for the accident.  So in this way, the police officer helps to set up your automobile accident case from the very beginning.

When There’s No Officer

Now what happens when the police are not called or decline to get involved?  This can be devastating to your case.  While it may be clear to you who is at fault, and the other driver may even be apologizing, the insurance company on the other side is free to investigate the accident and draw their conclusions as to liability.  And where there is no police report or traffic ticket, the insurance companies tend to think pretty long and hard before admitting anything.  Similarly, when your accident occurs in a parking lot, the police may be there but may still decline to get involved because it is “private property.”  Again, you face a larger battle on the liability side in these instances.

In the end, the police who respond to your accident scene play many roles and often times make the difference when the insurance company is deciding whether to accept or deny liability on behalf of their insured.

Samuel F. Vance IV, Esquire
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                    [post_content] => Lawyers Get Results

You’re injured in an automobile accident that was not your fault. Then you get a call from Nationwide, Allstate or Progressive. The adjuster claims to want to help, and makes you an offer. The offer might even sound pretty good.  Should you attempt to negotiate and settle your own case?  It’s not a good idea.  Once you settle, you have forever waived your claim.

Statistics prove that injured persons who hire attorneys obtained, on average, three times more for their personal injury case than those persons who did not have an attorney. Insurance companies are aware of this, so there is nothing they would like any better than to attempt to settle your case without an attorney involved.



Insurance Company Tactics

How do adjusters go about trying to settle with you? You’ll find different adjusters in different companies take different approaches. Some will try intimidation. They will be very aggressive and attempt to pressure you into a settlement.  They may even imply you are stupid, greedy or dishonest.  The goal is to wear you down, so you will decide it’s easier to accept whatever the insurance company is willing to pay.

Other adjusters will try the opposite approach, trying to keep contact with you, and being very pleasant every time you speak. This type will try to make you think they really care. Beware: these adjusters are merely wolves in sheep’s clothing!  The only thing they really care about is the bottom line. That is, the bottom line for the insurance company.

Profits Not People

Remember that the purpose of an insurance company is to make as large a profit as possible.  The more they pay for claims, the less in profit they can show their shareholders.  Insurance adjusters are often under pressure from management to do anything they can to minimize payouts on accident claims.  If you remember Matt Damon’s movie The Rainmaker, you’ll know that insurance companies are not interested in making fair payouts.  They are in the business of profits, not people.

Adjusters are really good at making an offer sound great. They will offer to pay your medical bills and give you an extra thousand dollars or two, which may be money you desperately need while recovering from the wreck.  In reality, your case may be worth a lot more.  The law says you are entitled to compensation not just for medical bills and lost wages, but for the pain, inconvenience and stress your injuries cause.  As anyone who’s been through a wreck knows, these factors can be devastating and are often worth far more than the medical bills.

Before you go down this road, consult with an attorney.  At Overbey, Hawkins, and Wright, PLLC, your first conference with us is free, and there’s no obligation. Check out our website for frequently asked questions.  http://overbeylaw.com/  We are here to help.

David Hawkins, Esq.

 
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                    [post_content] => Most people over the age of thirty remember when a sharp blow to the head was just “getting your clock cleaned.”  In years past, folks seldom saw a doctor for such an injury, and doctors rarely prescribed much, if any, treatment.  However, as medical technology has improved, the medical field now recognizes that even a seemingly minor blow to the head can have permanent effects.

concussion

 

The 2015 movie Concussion addresses how improved knowledge of these injuries impacted the National Football League. In many cases, these concussion injuries result in a diagnosis of a traumatic brain injury. Given our increased knowledge base, here are some tips for treating a concussion:

1. Treat the Concussion Immediately

If you try to “tough it out” and ignore your symptoms, the problem will probably become worse.  Consult with a doctor to get recommendations on limitations while you recover.  Doctors often prescribe rest, and particularly recommend that you avoid stressful or physically demanding activities.  You will need to get a recommendation from your doctor about whether you are able to work, and if so whether your employer needs to make accommodations due to your condition.  When you are ready to return to your normal schedule, it is best to do so gradually so that your brain has time to adjust to the increase in activity.

2. Avoid Another Head Injury

While recovering from a concussion, you are especially vulnerable to further head injury.  A bump that would not ordinarily do significant damage is more likely to result in brain swelling or permanent damage.  Because of this, you should be careful to avoid activities such as sports that have a high likelihood of another blow or jolt to the head.

3. Find a Helper

In addition to headaches, concussions often cause memory difficulty, confusion, and cognitive problems.  In part because the symptoms affect the patient’s memory and ability to think, the patient is often unable to communicate symptoms effectively with doctors.  In fact, patients frequently are unaware that they have any symptoms.  For that reason, the patient must find a close friend, co-worker or family member to tag along for doctor appointments and help provide a complete picture of symptoms.  You should also consult with your helper before making important life decisions.

4. Seek a Specialist

Emergency room doctors often suggest any follow up for a concussion, particularly when mild, be with your family doctor, who is most likely a general practitioner.  However, a neuropsychologist or neuropsychiatrist has special training to identify concussion-related symptoms that will only show up with thorough testing.  Such testing often takes several hours, or even a full day, but gives your provider a much more detailed and accurate picture of how your concussion is affecting you. The therapies that are available for treating concussions and traumatic brain injuries today are providing people with great result, but you need to start treating these symptoms early, within the first 3-6 months of your injury. If you don't start treating for your condition, it may never get better. During this time you should be focusing on your physical and emotional recovery to ensure that, later on down the road, you receive a financial recovery.

5. Develop Coping Strategies

Symptoms of a concussion can make tasks that were once easy seem difficult or even impossible. For example, you may go to the grocery store and realize you have forgotten why you are there. Making lists can help you avoid this type of issue. You may need to enlist your helper to write up instructions for tasks that you once performed without having to think about them, such as running a dishwasher or washing laundry.

6. Hire an Attorney

If your injury resulted from the negligence of another person or company, an attorney can help ensure that you recover full and fair compensation for all of the ways the concussion has affected you. Posted by Frank A. Wright, Jr., Esq. [post_title] => Concussions Are More Than Just a Headache [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => concussions-are-more-than-just-a-headache [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-12 18:39:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-12 18:39:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://overbeylaw.com/?post_type=news&p=1539 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 5 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1681 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2017-08-08 17:07:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-08 17:07:01 [post_content] => Imagine your income stops, and at the same time you are racking up thousands of dollars in medical bills.  Though it seems like a horrible nightmare, for many who are the victims of car wrecks or other accidents this is a reality.  How do you survive financially when faced with the financial equivalent of the Perfect Storm?  Unfortunately, there are no easy answers since settling your case can take months or even years.  However, you do have options in the meantime. Payment Plans One of the greatest challenges you may face after your accident are the medical bills.  Even if you have health insurance, co-payments alone for surgeries, physical therapy, hospitalizations, medication and more can be huge.  For those without access to health insurance, the costs may be far worse.  If you cannot pay, you will be unable to get the treatment you need to fully recover.  Fortunately, many medical care providers are willing to work out payment plans if you simply ask.  In some cases, you may be eligible for forgiveness of medical bills, or financial assistance in the form of Medicaid.  Your attorney may be able to recommend treatment providers who are willing to treat you with the expectation of getting paid when you settle your claim. Financial Assistance Another option is to borrow money with the idea of paying it back when the case settles.  Your lawyer cannot loan you money due to ethics rules, but there are other sources of funds.  A home equity loan or even an unsecured loan is often the best option, though these may be impossible to obtain if you are unable to work due to your injuries or have bad credit.  Another choice is borrowing from friends or relatives, though this is not available to everyone.  There are also loan companies which specialize in lending money with an understanding they will only be paid back if you receive a settlement.  However, this source should be a last resort since this type of company nearly always charges interest rates that are in the stratosphere. Bankruptcy When all else fails, filing bankruptcy may be necessary.  A bankruptcy petition creates an “automatic stay,” which prevents your creditors from attempting to collect on your debt except through the bankruptcy court.  Ultimately, some debts may be discharged through this process, meaning you do not have to pay them back.  However, bankruptcy will negatively affect your credit for years to come and may require selling many of your assets.  In addition, discharge of your medical bills will likely prevent you from recovering for those bills as part of your personal injury claim.  There are other technical effects of bankruptcy which can endanger your personal injury claim, so you need to consult with your personal injury attorney before filing to ensure this does not occur. Financial stress is just one of the many ways that an injury can change your life and make it more difficult.  Hiring an attorney early in the process, can help minimize the difficulties you face. Frank A. Wright, Jr., Esquire   [post_title] => The Perfect Storm: Financial Chaos [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-perfect-storm-financial-chaos [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-11 18:32:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-11 18:32:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://overbeylaw.com/?post_type=news&p=1681 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => news [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 34 [max_num_pages] => 7 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => 1 [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 5d0142b45f185b37fae4fa5e4d276be5 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Perfect Storm: Financial Chaos

Dealing with the financial stress of bills while personal injury claim is pending? Here are some tips & advice from our attorneys on how to handle them.

attorney advice for personal injury medical bills financial crisis
Category:
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Monday, July 10, 2017

Your Doctor is Crucial in an Auto Accident Case

Your Doctor is Crucial in an Auto Accident Case

No one likes having to go to the doctor.  Doctors are busy, and getting in to see them often requires a long stay in the waiting room.  With health insurance covering less and less, the out of pocket cost to patients keeps going up.  As a result, most of us avoid going to the doctor like the plague.  When you have a personal injury claim, however, failing to follow up with your doctor can be a mistake with tremendous consequences for your case.  Here’s why you don’t want to fall into that trap.

Category:
Continue Reading >
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Police Are Crucial in an Auto Accident Case

Why do we need the police involved in an accident where it is clear what happened?  How can they help sort your accident out?  What happens if they are not there?  These are all good questions that you may not be thinking about at the accident scene….but maybe you should.

Category:
Continue Reading >
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Insurance Adjusters Are Not Your Friend

Adjusters are good at making an offer sound great. They will offer to pay your medical bills and give you an extra thousand dollars or two, which may be money you desperately need while recovering from the wreck.  In reality, your case may be worth a lot more.  You are entitled to compensation not just for medical bills and lost wages, but for the pain, inconvenience and stress from your injuries.  These factors can be devastating and are often worth far more than the medical bills.

Category:
Continue Reading >
Sunday, June 4, 2017

Concussions Are More Than Just a Headache

Most people over the age of thirty remember when a sharp blow to the head was just “getting your clock cleaned.”  In years past, folks seldom saw a doctor for such an injury, and doctors rarely prescribed much, if any, treatment.  However, as medical technology has improved, the medical field now recognizes that even a seemingly minor blow to the head can have permanent effects.

The 2015 movie Concussion addresses how improved knowledge of these injuries impacted the National Football League. Given our increased knowledge base, here are some tips for treating a concussion:

Category: Personal Injury
Continue Reading >