Today I’m going to talk to you about what not to do if you’re involved in a car wreck. Perhaps to put it another way, the things people do that damaged their ability to pursue a claim following a car wreck for personal injury. First, sometimes people following a wreck decide not to call the police. Whether it is because the other person involved asked them not to call the police or out of convenience, sometimes following a wreck people decide to not call the police. That damages the claim because now there is no record or report made of the exact time, date, location, and people involved. So, if you are in a wreck make sure that you do call the police and make an appropriate report. Second, sometimes people choose not to seek medical treatment. Whether it is for inconvenience or cost or other reasons, people that are injured in wrecks decide not to seek medical treatment. If you are injured in a car wreck, if you are suffering from pain or injury make sure to get your health taken care of first. Whether it be going to the emergency room, making an appointment with a primary care physician, or even going to an urgent care, any of those things will document your medical condition and document what happened to you in the wreck that can prove valuable later on. Third is do not exaggerate the nature of your injuries or damages. People involved in wrecks do not need to exaggerate the injuries or damages. So, don’t do that whether it is to a doctor or somebody else. Do not exaggerate the nature of the claims. Also, a big one is do not get on social media. Many times, people following a wreck will get on Facebook or Twitter or some other social media and post photos of the wreck and make comments as to what happened. That type of stuff typically harms the person making the claim. Finally, people decide not to contact an attorney. Any attorney that you call should be willing to give you a free consultation, answer any questions that you have, provide some guidance for you regarding what to do following a car wreck and discuss your options. If you’ve been in a car wreck and you would like to discuss your options, please call me at (913)-451-9500. Thank you for listening.
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Your insurance company may ask you to attend an independent medical examination. This could prove to be quite anxiety provoking especially if you are still dealing with the injuries associated with your accident. The good news is that you can protect your rights during and after the examination and if the doctor who assessed you made a harmful or inaccurate assessment.
Having Support During your IME
Ask a family member or friend to come with you to your IME, and make sure they are fully aware of why the examination is taking place. Mention that you would like them to act as a witness and take notes during and after the examination. The notes can detail:
• When the examination begins
• Any questions the doctor asks you
• What tests the doctor performs
• How long the tests took
• And anything else that may be important
It can be helpful to have a witness with you, particularly if an insurance adjuster misinterprets the doctor’s findings. In addition to this, taking a witness to the IME can also ensure that the doctor treats you fairly.
Making the Insurance Company Happy
Independent medical examinations are typically carried out by doctors who work for the defendant’s insurance company. It is therefore natural for the doctors to have a desire to please the insurance company, and they may wish to do this by minimizing your injuries, or stating that no such injuries exist. If this occurs do not worry, you have not automatically lost your personal injury claim, there are a few steps you can take to protect yourself:
Ask for a Complete Report
Do not discuss any aspect of the report with the insurance company, instead, ask them to send you a complete copy of the report. Some insurance companies may try to send you one or two sections of the report, or their version of it, but this is not good enough. Tell the adjuster you want a complete copy of the doctor’s report.
An Unfair or Brief Assessment
If the IME was brief, unfair, or took place without the doctor knowing your complete medical history you should make the adjuster aware of this. You should also tell the adjuster that you had a witness with you during the IME and that they can support your claim that the IME was brief or unfair.
You should also think about mentioning how your own doctor’s medical report contrasts with the brief or unfair IME, and that it shows your doctor took a lot more time to diagnose and then treat your injuries.
An Incomplete or Inaccurate Report
Tell the adjuster if any part of the report is incomplete or inaccurate. This could indicate that the report is an unreliable assessment of your injuries. If you can, use your own medical records to highlight this issue.
A Negative Report
If your IME report is negative and the adjuster is using it to give you an unfair settlement figure, you may wish to ask your doctor to respond to the report. Take the IME report with you to your next doctor’s appointment and ask for that letter, and be prepared to pay for it. Find out how much your doctor will charge you for the letter so you can make a decision as to whether the letter is worth the cost.
The IME Doctor and the Insurance Company
Ask in writing for the number of referrals the insurance company has given the doctor that carried out your IME over the last 5 years. You may also want to ask how much the doctor is paid per IME, and how many they have carried out over the last 5 years.
The insurance adjuster will not give you the information you have asked for, but their refusal can make the doctors report seem less reliable because of this. Your attorney may, therefore, suggest that the insurance adjuster and the doctor have something to hide, or are not telling the full story.
An independent medical examination can be quite stressful, however, being prepared for it and taking a witness with you could help your personal injury claim.
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exaggerated personal injury claimsTags: Injury, Involved, Lawyer, Overland, Park, personal, Wreck