If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, we can help. Our attorneys represent hundreds of auto accident victims every year and know what it takes to make sure you get fair compensation from insurance companies. There are specific things you can do after getting in an accident that will make it easier for us to prove your case and will maximize your potential settlement or verdict.
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I’ve Been in an Accident, Now What?
Most people who have been in an accident have a lot of questions: Who is going to pay my medical bills? Do I have a good case? How can I support my family if I can’t work? How long is it going to take? Do I need an attorney? What should I do next?
At the law firm of Driggs Bills & Day, we are here to help you through the insurance maze and legal system to make sure you’re fairly compensated for your injuries and other losses. Since 1993, our attorneys have recovered more than $100 million for our clients. We have hundreds of active cases working through the legal system. Our attorneys are experienced trial lawyers and are dedicated to helping you and answering your questions.
Who is Going to Pay my Medical Bills?
Quite simply, insurance should pay for your medical bills. That’s why we all buy insurance. However, figuring out whose insurance will pay is more complicated.
Utah law requires all automobiles to have liability insurance and personal injury protection (known as PIP). Liability coverage is provided by the at-fault driver’s insurance for the other party’s injuries. For instance, if you are rear-ended, the driver that hit you is liable and his insurance should pay as part of liability insurance.
PIP, on the other hand, is provided by the injured party’s own insurance and must be used before liability insurance. For example, if the medical bills from getting rear ended are $5,000 your insurance would typically pay the first $3,000 as PIP insurance, and the at-fault driver’s insurance would pay the remaining $2,000.
Do I Have a Good Case?
Although there are a myriad of factors that go into how good a case is, there are two questions that can help you know if your case would be good.
First, was the accident someone else’s fault? If someone ran a red light and hit you, they should be liable, but if you ran the red light, the accident was your own fault.
Second, are your medical bills over $3,000? If not, you should be able to get your own insurance to pay all your bills under PIP without much hassle. If your bills are over $3,000, then PIP would likely be exhausted and you would have to get the at-fault driver’s insurance to pay. That is where we can help.
If you have any question as to whether you have a good case, give us a call and you can talk it over with an attorney for free.
How Can I Support My Family if I Can’t Work?
In addition to paying medical bills, PIP also provides payment for lost income up to $250 per week for a maximum of one year. PIP can also provide $20 per day for household services. Contact your insurance company for more information about your PIP benefits.
Even with all that help from PIP, the medical bills can still stack up. In such cases, if you have a good case, we may be able to work with your doctors and services providers to put a lien on any settlement we get for you. That way, you can get the treatment you need to get better and your accounts won’t go to collections.
Do I Need An Attorney For My Automobile Accident?
An attorney can take care of getting you fairly compensated for your injury while you focus on getting better. Insurance companies are in business to make money and accordingly, they will try to minimize your claim.
You can protect yourself and your rights by hiring an attorney. A good lawyer understands the way insurance companies work and has the additional leverage of threatening legal action if a fair settlement is not reached. We can help you get a larger settlement and do it faster than if you are unrepresented.
We realize that accident victims can sometimes be in a tough spot financially, so we pay all of your legal costs up front and only collect from you if we win.
In addition, there are many pitfalls in the process that a good attorney will be aware of and will help you avoid. One of these issues is the statute of limitations, which limits the amount of time you have to sue for your injuries (as little as one year). In order to avoid losing your claim, it is usually best to consult an attorney sooner rather than later.
What Should I Do Next After My Auto Accident?
The most important thing you can do at this point is document everything. This will protect your rights by making it possible to prove your case later, in court if necessary.
- TAKE PICTURES – Take pictures of your injuries and your vehicle.
- LOST WAGES – Keep a record of all the time you were unable to work because of your injuries.
- KEEP A JOURNAL – Keep a record of all your complaints and how your injuries progress.
- YOUR DOCTOR – Keep appointments with your doctor and see him or her as often as necessary for treatment of your injuries.
- MEDICAL BILLS – Keep a copy of all your medical bills and related expenses (such as prescriptions).
- WITNESSES – Make sure you have the name, address and phone number of any witnesses to your accident.
- CAR REPAIR – Don’t have your car fixed until you are sure you have pictures of it.
Last, you should not talk to anyone from an insurance company about your injuries. They will be trying to gather information to get a lower settlement or avoid paying you altogether. If you are represented by an attorney, you can refer all calls to him.
For a free consultation with an attorney, call 801-363-9982, or simply tell us about your case here.