If you were recently involved in a car accident, you may need to undergo medical treatment. The following is some helpful information regarding how a personal injury attorney can help you pay for your car accident injury treatment.
What are the Most Common Types of Injuries Resulting From Car Accidents?
The following types of injuries commonly result from car accidents:
- Head injuries: Getting into a car accident can result in head injuries, such as a concussion. A concussion is the result of a person’s head being thrown back and forth (for example, in a head-on collision). If a person suffers a concussion, they might experience severe head pressure, headache, or a loss of consciousness. Concussions, brain injuries, and other head injuries can be serious and have long-lasting effects, so if you get into an accident and experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.
- Whiplash: Whiplash is a common neck injury that can result from a car accident. It is the result of a car making a sudden and unexpected maneuver that causes the neck to be “whipped” rapidly back and forth. This motion can cause major pain to the neck muscles and ligaments, often manifesting as neck pain, neck stiffness, or loss of range of motion. If you experience neck pain after an accident, seek medical attention.
- Broken ribs: The impact of a crash can result in broken bones. Broken ribs are specifically common, because of the way the ribs are positioned in front of the steering wheel. Ribs are fragile, and broken ribs can be extremely painful and require a lengthy recovery process. If you feel pain in your ribs after an accident, seek medical attention immediately because they could also be bruised.
- Scrapes and cuts: Scrapes are probably one of the most common injuries a person might get from a car accident. The impact of your car hitting another car or other object can easily result in scratches and cuts. Sometimes a seatbelt can even cause abrasions and lacerations on the chest and neck. These may not seem like serious injuries, but it is still important to have them checked out by a medical professional because they could get infected.
- Arm, leg, and chest injuries: Motor vehicle accidents can also result in arm, leg, and chest injuries. If you crash or are suddenly hit by another vehicle, you typically do not have time to protect your body from the impact. Your body may collide with the steering wheel, the windshield, or the car door, causing various injuries to your arms, legs, or chest. Similar to leg injuries, because of the way the knee is positioned under the dashboard, a sudden crash may result in a knee injury. Leg and knee injuries such as sprains or fractures may require crutches or even the use of a wheelchair. If you are feeling pain in any of these areas after an accident, you should have them examined by a medical professional to ensure that the pain does not get worse and that you have not suffered any major internal damage. If these injuries go unaddressed, you could experience long-term chronic pain or more serious health consequences.
- Spinal injuries: Car accidents are a common cause of spinal fractures, which can cause anything from minor neck and back pain, numbness, and muscle spasms to paralysis in the legs and arms. Some spinal fractures can healed with non-surgical treatment, but others may require surgery. Car accidents can also cause soft tissue injuries like a herniated disc, which is when a spinal disk pushes out to irritate a nearby nerve.
What Does a Car Accident Attorney Do?
- Communicating with the other driver’s auto insurance company
- Communicating with your health care providers to make sure they provide any necessary medical information so that you can prove damages in your claim
- Obtaining the necessary evidence to help determine which party was at fault for the accident
- Organizing your medical records and bills
- Presenting the evidence in your case in court in order to prove liability and damages
- Negotiating with lien holders on your claim (such as health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurers) to potentially reduce the amount of those liens
- Negotiating a satisfactory settlement among the parties
What Types of Medical Treatment Expenses Can My Attorney Help Me Recover?
Besides helping you obtain compensation for vehicle damage and other property damage stemming from an accident, a car crash attorney can also help you obtain compensation for some of the following medical care expenses that you may incur before insurance comes through:
- X-rays: Because x-rays are necessary to perform medical treatment, an attorney can help you recover these expenses.
- Hospital stays: If the treatment of your injury requires you to stay in the hospital, an attorney can help you recover these expenses.
- Emergency room visits: Many car accidents result in emergency room visits, which can be expensive. A good attorney will do his best to make sure that the cost of these visits are reimbursed.
- Ambulances/hospital transportation: Many people who are injured in car accidents take ambulances to the hospital. However, because ambulance rides can be expensive, some victims instead opt to use a taxi or ride share service in order to get to the hospital. An attorney should be able to recover these expenses.
- Mileage to hospital/rehabilitation facility: The mileage that it takes for the injured party to get to the hospital or to a rehabilitation facility for treatment should be recoverable.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy is considered a part of medical treatment for anything from recovering from major injuries or surgeries to whiplash treatment. And as such, an attorney can recover these expenses.
- Massage therapy: Massage therapy may be a beneficial pain treatment option, but expenses can be tricky. If a medical provider deems it to be a necessary part of your treatment plan, it will likely be recoverable. It is best to consult with your medical provider and your attorney regarding these expenses.
- Surgeries: If you need surgery after a car accident, an attorney can help you recover these expenses.
- Prescriptions: If your treatment plan requires that you take specific prescriptions, whether it’s for pain relief or another purpose, these expenses will be reimbursed.
- Chiropractic care: If you are injured in a car accident and require the services of a chiropractor, these expenses can usually be recovered.
- Household services: If you are unable to do typical household duties because of your injury and have to hire someone to do this work for you, an attorney can help you recover these expenses.
- Car seat replacement: If you had a car seat that was damaged due to the car accident, an attorney can help you obtain compensation to replace it.
What is the Settlement Process?
A settlement is an agreement to resolve a legal claim for injuries or damages. In a typical car accident settlement, the injured victim agrees not to sue for damages, or to end any lawsuit that has already been filed, in exchange for a payment from the liable party. Most car accident cases are resolved via settlements rather than with a trial. In most of these cases, the settlement process proceeds in the following manner:
- An attorney representing an injured victim will request a compensation amount from the liable party’s insurance company. The insurance company will then propose another, lower amount, and the parties will go back and forth trying to convince each other that their amount is the right one until they reach a fair and reasonable settlement amount. During this back and forth, the attorney will communicate with the client to determine whether or not the client is willing to accept any of the insurance company’s settlement offers.
- Once the attorney and the insurance company agree to a settlement amount, the client and the liable party will sign a written settlement agreement. The terms of the settlement agreement will specifically state the amount and timing of the payment; the legal rights the victim gives up by agreeing to the payment; and any other actions the parties agree to take to resolve the legal claim.
- After the parties have signed the settlement agreement, the case has been officially resolved. It is important to note that once the parties sign the agreement, the settlement is final and binding and as such, neither party can revise the terms of agreement.
How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help Me Obtain the Best Settlement?
A good car insurance attorney will be able to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company that will cover the costs of the medical treatment you need after an accident. A car accident attorney can help you obtain the best settlement from the insurance company in some of the following ways:
- An attorney will typically have good negotiation skills. It is important to note that if you choose to negotiate your own settlement, you will be stuck with that amount once you accept it. You cannot later go back and try to renegotiate for a better amount. As such, it makes sense to use an attorney, whose job is to ensure that you receive the best possible settlement to fully compensate for any injuries and other damages you may have suffered.
- An attorney is able to conduct a more extensive investigation. Experienced car accident injury lawyers conduct thorough investigations in order to identify every party that may have a legal liability to their client. In fact, in some cases, parties may have more of a liability to the victim than the victim originally anticipated.
- An attorney can help maximize your recovery. An attorney can help you “think outside the box” when it comes to recovery. For example, they may be able to seek certain damages from the liable party that you were completely unaware of. An experienced attorney will let you know of all of the damages you are entitled to and will attempt to obtain compensation for these damages during the settlement negotiations process.
- An attorney can help draft a better legal argument. If this is your first time negotiating a settlement, you may not know where to begin. An attorney will create a legal argument that will make it clear that you are entitled to compensation for your medical treatment costs.
- An attorney has experience communicating with insurance companies. If you are dealing with an insurance company, you may run into an issue where the communication is lacking or altogether nonexistent. Attorneys have experience communicating with these companies and they can reach out to check on the status of your settlement if you have been unsuccessful.
Were You Recently Injured in a Car Accident? Speak to an Illinois Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have recently suffered an auto accident injury, the Palermo Law Group can help. We will work hard to help you prepare a strong personal injury case and will ensure that you are able to hold the liable party responsible for your injuries. Call us today at (630)-684-2332 or use our online form to schedule an appointment today for a free consultation.