Keep Your Lawyer Up to Date about Your Injury Status and Medical Care
When you have suffered injuries in an accident, the first thing to do is to attain proper medical treatment and care. Accessing professional medical care for your injuries will not only help you recover fast, but the documentation in your medical records also provides the necessary evidence for making a claim.
Your medical records will reflect the nature and extent of your injuries that you have suffered in the accident. Quoting such records, your lawyer will be able to file a claim with the insurance company to arrive at a fair settlement. This is your ultimate goal anyway right? Most likely the person did not collide with you on purpose or cause you to get hurt intentionally. They did not purposely leave wet, soapy water on the floor just to watch you slip and fall, right?
You have gained back what you have lost and now you can focus on getting your life back on track.
On the Same Page
The status of your injuries and the level to which you have recovered will keep changing when you are under medical care. It is therefore important to keep your lawyer up to date about these changes. Your lawyer should know the prognosis given by your doctor, and he should know whether your injuries are healing or getting worse.
If your injuries have become worse and your health has deteriorated, your lawyer will need to pursue a higher claim amount. He will have to revise the claim amount accordingly and inform the insurance company. Even when you are recovering quite well, it is important to keep your lawyer updated about your progress.
Updating your lawyer is pivotal; however, you should not be talking about your case with anybody else. The insurance company will be investigating your case and looking at ways to reduce your claim amount or not pay at all.
Your Attorney is On Your Side
If you start revealing everything about your case with anybody, there are chances the insurance company will hear about what is happening. The company can pick on seemingly mundane points and turn them against you, which can be damaging for you case. Therefore, it is important to trust only your lawyer, and not anyone else until your claim is settled.
The Right of Subrogation and the Lien
In Pennsylvania, the victim’s insurance company who is paying the medical bills of the injured person has a right of subrogation. This means the company can seek reimbursement from the party that was legally at fault for the accident. Since, Pennsylvania has no-fault insurance; the insurance company of the victim has to pay for medical expense and property damage.
The Person at Fault
However, the company can then seek reimbursement through subrogation, from the insurance company of the party at fault for the accident. If the party at fault does not have any insurance, then the victim’s insurance company can directly seek reimbursement from the person who has caused the accident.
Apart from insurance company of the victim, health insurance providers also have subrogation rights. This can work to your disadvantage, when you have taken the minimum or inadequate no-fault insurance for medical coverage.
Many people think that since they have a health policy that covers accidents, they feel it is not necessary to take higher medical coverage in the auto policy. However, this is a mistake, since the health policy provider has subrogation rights and can place a lien on your personal injury settlement. This means they will be able to obtain reimbursement for the amount they have paid towards your medical treatment for your accident injuries.
ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act)
Most ERISA health plans and HMOs have the right of subrogation and can obtain a lien on your personal injury settlement so that they are reimbursed for the amount they have paid you towards your medical expenses. However, on the other hand, your auto insurance company does not have subrogation rights and cannot assert a lien on your personal injury settlement.
Therefore, for Pennsylvania motorists, it is a fantastic and poignant idea to opt for higher limits of first party medical benefits in auto insurance. This way, you are not only covered adequately for medical costs, but also nobody will be able to place any lien on your settlement amount.
Why You should Stick with Your Own Doctor for Treatment after a Car Accident
When you are injured in a car accident, you will need medical treatment until you have fully recovered from your injuries. It is best to undergo treatment with your existing physician, as he will know your current health condition and medical history. If you have suffered any past injuries, your doctor will know if they have been aggravated by the current accident, and treat you accordingly.
No Stake in the Case
Your doctor has nothing to do with your claim with insurance companies or your lawsuit with the party at fault. Hence, the court will consider your doctor an impartial witness, in case expert testimony is required to prove the extent of your injuries during trail.
Giving the Other Side Ammunition
On the other hand, the attorney hired by you is partial, as he works on contingency fees and has a stake in the settlement amount you will be receiving. Your lawyer might suggest that you switch your medical care and obtain treatment from a doctor whom he recommends. This is not a fantastic or judicious idea, since the new doctor will have an agenda to exaggerate your injuries and even prescribe medicines that you may not need. The aim of this new doctor will be to see you get the highest settlement possible, and hence receiving treatment from such a doctor can be risky.
Your Doctor is Genuine
Your existing doctor will simply be treating you for the injuries you have suffered and is not concerned whether you receive a fair settlement or not. Therefore, you not only will be receiving safe treatment, but you can also ask such a doctor to come to the court and give expert testimony about your injuries. The court will also not have any doubts about the doctor’s integrity in providing facts about the extent of your injuries.
Being Honest about Past Accidents, Injuries, and Wage Loss in Car Accident Case
When you are injured in a car accident in Pennsylvania and making a claim for damages, your life practically becomes an open book. The insurance company will take all measures possible to find out details about your life that can reduce the settlement amount. When negotiations break down and your case goes to trail, it is very important that you be honest with your lawyer. You should reveal all the facts about any past accidents and injuries and the actual loss of income that you may have suffered.
Hurting Your Case
Do not let your attorney be surprised or blindsided by the opposition. Not only will your attorney be furious at you for this professional embarrassment they could just quit on you and now you have to find another attorney and start from ground zero. Your attorney has to be able to trust you or their fight for you will lose that edge and spark. If they lose this you will still receive some money but it may barely cover the cost of your treatment and perhaps some lost work time but it will not be nearly as much as you could have obtained for your pain and suffering.
Certainly your lawyer will let you know how much you could have probably have obtained if you told them the complete truth when you first both met.
Do not Assume
Some people feel that lawyers might not accept their cases if they find out there have been past accidents, while others simply believe that nobody will be able to uncover facts about their past injuries. Both assumptions are wrong, as past injury has never been a reason for a lawyer to decline a case, and insurance companies are quite capable of digging up past information.
The insurance company of the party at fault is not only entitled to gather all information regarding you, but is also excellent at this job. Hence, your past is not going to remain hidden, and it could be quite damaging in your trial, if the defendant’s lawyer is able to present before the court, your intentions of hiding such information. You might feel that the present accident has nothing to do with any previous accident. However, you need to reveal this information to your lawyer, so that he or she can prepare an argument in case the defendant’s lawyer springs a surprise to discredit your integrity and honesty.
Information from Your Employer
You should also be honest about the days you have not been working due to the present injuries, and the amount of wages you have lost. A letter from your employer or supervisor stating the exact dates of absence, and the amount lost will be very helpful at the trial.
What makes MHK Attorneys the Best Law Firm in Pennsylvania
MHK Attorneys is considered the best law firm in Pennsylvania, for personal injury and family law cases. The firm has recovered several million dollars for their clients that falls under the category of injury compensation, and has tried over 20,000 cases. The lawyers of this firm are highly experienced and specialize in different areas such as auto accidents, family law, worker’s compensation, slip and fall, dog bite, personal injury, wills and estate planning, and social security.
A Law Firm on a Higher Plain
MHK Attorneys have not only won thousands of cases for their clients, but also skillfully negotiated claims with insurance companies and provided valuable advice. Due to excellent negotiations, many of the cases do not go to trail, and clients have received good compensation for their personal injuries in a relatively short time. Many people have been greatly benefitted by their expert advice as well, as they have been able to make the right choices, which has not only protected their rights but also proved to be financially beneficial.
The varied achievements and reputation of MHK Attorneys can be clearly seen from the hundreds of testimonials of their clients, and endorsements from reputed rating organizations. The firm is a member of Super Lawyers, LexisNexis, and has a 10.0 rating with Avvo. Whether it is case of receiving fair compensation in a complex personal injury case or getting child custody, the lawyers at MHK are highly qualified and experienced, to fight for your rights.
A Righteous Law Firm
When MHK Attorneys ensure a favorable outcome to their clients, it is backed by their excellent track record and success rate. People of Pennsylvania have an excellent opportunity to get expert advice, as they can avail free consultation to have their case reviewed. Lawyers at MHK Attorneys are dependable, practical, motivated, and are able to evaluate all cases pragmatically.
Calling an expert witness is an important component in building a strong personal injury case. This witness is an expert who will provide advice or professional opinion about the personal injury, its evaluation, and the possible coverage of the personal injury. The expert witness will render expert testimony to either prove or disprove an aspect of the personal injury case. Such witness can be used by the defendant and the plaintiff. Some of the typical expert witnesses used in personal injury cases include doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, law enforcement officers, social workers, teachers, school counselors, medical professionals, product developers, engineers of different fields, and so on.
Two Critical Components
There are two important aspects for being an expert witness. One is having the necessary qualifications for rendering an opinion in the particular field, and having an opinion that is considered reliable in that field. Before the expert witness is called to testify in the trial, both parties have to disclose their expert witness testimonies during pre-trial preparations. This provides time to both parties to present their witnesses and prepare rebuttals to the opposing testimony. If expert witness testimony is not adequately disclosed in a timely manner, it can result in barring the expert from testifying at the trial, summary judgment, or case dismissal.
Making or Breaking a Case
Almost all cases of personal injury will have testimony by expert witness or witnesses, and hence this aspect has to be handled very carefully. In a personal injury case, the expert witness will mainly provide information substantiating the litigant’s claim, and hence provides the required elements for proving the case. Expert witnesses are called to provide testimony based on their knowledge acquired through a process of education, training in the field, and work experiences. These witnesses, apart from their testimony will also prepare written reports to substantiate facts about job injuries, liability, injury claims, and related topics.