AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT, NEVER SAY NEVER MIND, ADVISES PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
You may think you feel just fine after a car accident, but “Never mind!” is definitely the wrong answer when you’re asked whether you want to be checked out by a doctor. Just as your car needs to be checked out for damage following a crash, so do you.
There’s a medical reason for going to the doctor: Injuries may not be noticeable immediately after an accident, especially if they’re internal injuries or traumatic brain injury from whiplash. Seeing a doctor right away can ensure you receive proper diagnosis and treatment. Trying to “tough it out” is the worst choice you can make. If children were passengers in your car, it’s especially important to have them examined immediately. Little ones cannot always evaluate the severity of any physical damage. And if you or one of your passengers was pregnant, medical attention is vital, since accidents can cause miscarriage, or bring on pre-term labor.
There’s a legal reason for visiting a doctor as soon as possible after an accident: Insurance companies – yours and the other party’s – are going to be involved. And every insurance company, like it or not, is in business to maximize profits and minimize what they pay out in benefits. For that very reason, insurance adjusters often attempt to deny, weaken, and delay claims. Most drivers, on the other hand, assume their expenses will be paid for by either their own insurance or the other guy’s, not appreciating that as claimants, they have become adversaries to those insurers.
Who pays in the meantime?
Under Indiana law, if another driver caused the accident, that driver is financially responsible for your medical and repair bills. The problem is, investigating an accident and determining who was at fault (and remember, it is to the advantage of the insurance company to postpone payment as long as possible) takes time – a lot of time.
The first line of defense when it comes to covering the bills is the MPC, or Medical Payments Coverage on your own auto insurance policy. The MPC covers you – and your passengers’ -medical bills (up to the policy limits) no matter who caused the accident. You do need to know what health insurance resources you have in the form of employer-sponsored group health insurance, an individual policy you purchased, Medicare, or Medicaid.
Indiana is a “fault state”. “Comparative fault” is a legal term that compares the fault of each person involved in the accident, assigning monetary damages accordingly. In Indiana, you have a choice of using your own insurance or first using the at-fault driver’s insurance. Meanwhile, though, taking care of your health and that of your passengers is first on the “To Do” list.
Because laws are in place to protect victims of motor vehicle collisions, the qualified and experienced attorneys at Ramey & Hailey are able to help many accident victims – or their surviving family members – recover from their losses. Unfortunately, following an accident, accepting an insurance company’s offer of a settlement is not what you want to do next. As personal injury attorneys dealing in auto accident cases for more than forty years, we’re on your side of the now-adversarial relationship. But, even before you come to talk to us, there’s something you should do right away – seek medical attention!
Saying “Never mind” after an auto accident is never the best idea!