If you’re considering settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer… don’t. It’s important for you to understand the risks associated with settlement and why hiring a personal injury lawyer is a critical step in getting your medical bills paid and receiving a fair value for your injury. Quite often a potential client will reach out to our office to inquire about whether they should accept an offer made by an insurance adjuster; our answer depends upon a few factors, and yours will too. Our strong advice is to hire a personal injury attorney to help you settle your claim. We have found the end result is better for you and you get the legal protection you need and deserve. If you’d like to speak with an attorney today, call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we’ll reach out today.

Completing Treatment Is Key

If you haven’t completed your treatment, you’re not aware of your total damages. The reason for this is that your damages are a combination of your medical costs associated with treatment, and the injury itself. Until your doctor or team of physicians releases you from care, it’s impossible to be certain of the full extent of your injuries. Insurance adjusters will be happy to settle your claim before treatment is finished. That way, your injuries and medical bills are no longer their responsibility. If you settle your personal injury claim without a lawyer and you receive bills after settlement, the insurance company won’t pay them. The same is true for understanding the value of your claim– if you settle before treatment is finished, you’ll be settling for a lower value in almost every case. When settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer, you run the risk of accepting less than you deserve. Remember, you can’t go back to the insurance company for more money once you settle and release them.

Understanding Health Insurance Liens

The insurance company may claim that they will handle all of your medical bills. Keep in mind that in North Carolina, your medical providers—including your health insurance company—may have a lien against your settlement proceeds. When settling a personal injury claim without a lawyer, you run the risk of your insurance company refusing to cover future treatment until your lien is paid. Lastly, if the health insurance lien is not paid from settlement proceeds, the health insurance company has rights which may extend as far as placing a lien against your home or other valuables you own. In this FindLaw.com article, the over-reaching arm of health insurance companies is discussed:

“Your health insurance company often has a right to take part of your auto accident settlement, depending on what you agreed to in your health insurance policy. Often, your health insurance company is entitled to recover everything it paid for your medical care, which is called subrogation. The theory behind subrogation is that a person should not have his medical bills paid twice-once by his health insurer, and a second time in the form of a settlement or judgment for damages in an accident liability case. So, rather than having your medical bills paid by the insurance company and getting the equivalent sum to keep from the settlement, you would have to pay the amount you received for your medical expenses in the settlement to your health insurance company.”

Your Charlotte personal injury lawyer will ensure that your liens are valid, negotiated, and paid as part of orchestrating your settlement. This result insures you avoid the pitfalls you will encounter when settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer.

Reaching A Fair Settlement

Fairness is subjective. Our experience has been that our clients do better with a personal injury lawyer than when settling your personal injury claim without a lawyer. One reason is economics. Once you involve a personal injury lawyer with your claim, you have leverage against the insurance company. Instead of asking themselves how much it will cost to make you go away, they instead have to face the prospect of spending thousands of dollars in court against you and your lawyer. In the end, your lawyer fee will most often not out-weigh the increase in settlement offer you receive by hiring a personal injury lawyer.

Peace of Mind

Consider a scenario where the insurance company offers you $2,000.00 in your pocket after paying all medical bills and you settle your personal injury claim without a lawyer. Now consider the same scenario where you hire a Charlotte personal injury lawyer to represent you. Suppose the lawyer is able to obtain a $6,000.00 settlement, with the net result being the same—you end up with $2,000.00 in your pocket. The numbers are the same but there’s a difference. With the personal injury lawyer’s involvement, you get peace of mind. You can be sure that:

  • All medical bills/liens are paid unless otherwise agreed upon;
  • You didn’t accept a low offer only to be left wondering if you could have done better;
  • Your health insurance provider will not withhold treatment or come after your assets for repayment;
  • A licensed professional has done all of the work instead of you managing your own claim while trying to move on with your life;

Call A Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer Today

We’re here to help. Call 704.749.7747 to speak with an attorney today, or click here to request a FREE CASE EVALUATION today. We know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

Will My Personal Injury Bills Go To Collections?

Car accidents lead to hefty personal injury bills for both property damage and medical treatment. Hopefully, you’ll recover enough in your personal injury settlement or your child’s personal injury settlement, to take care of all of your bills. The problem is that many personal injury claims take a year or longer to settle. Medical providers are not always as patient with your billing as you might want them to be.

Communication With Billing Providers Is Key

If you’re represented by a Charlotte personal injury attorney, generally they will reach out to your providers to let them know they represent you. This puts the billing provider on notice that it will be a while before the bill is paid. The hope is that once your provider knows your bill is being paid in conjunction with settling your personal injury claim, they will hold your bill until the case settles. In many cases, the provider will check in with the personal injury attorney’s office every few months for a status update on the case. They will then mark your file to be reviewed again in a couple of months.

What If They Send My Bill To Collections?

Even if your personal injury attorney tells the billing provider you are represented in a personal injury claim, the provider may still choose to send the bill to collections. This could also mean that credit reporting agencies will be notified that your bill is delinquent. While this is annoying and you don’t deserve this treatment, the providers have the right to treat unpaid bills this way.

Should I Make Monthly Payments On My Medical Bills?

There is nothing wrong with making payments on your medical bills until your personal injury case settles. When the case does settle, you can get credit for any payments you’ve made on the bills, the same way you will get credit for paying co-pays at the time of treatment. This may be a way to keep the bills out of collections until your settlement comes through.

Will My Personal Injury Attorney Negotiate My Personal Injury Bills?

We have written a few articles on this website in our Personal Injury Blog about negotiating medical bills. Typically your personal injury attorney will negotiate your medical bills. There are relevant North Carolina statutes which also limit the amount of your settlement that medical billing providers are entitled to. Your attorney will use these statutes together with arguments about your case, to encourage medical providers to lower their bills.

Filing Bankruptcy After Personal Injury

If your personal injury settlement is insufficient to pay all of your personal injury bills, you might consider filing bankruptcy. Our firm has helped numerous personal injury clients with bankruptcy filings. Clients generally have additional debt such as credit card debt or unrelated medical bills, which make filing a bankruptcy a smart decision. We’re happy to discuss how bankruptcy works, or you can visit our Bankruptcy Blog and get some questions answered there.

Speak With A Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have questions about working with a personal injury attorney, or if you have questions about a medical bill from a car accident, call us today. You can call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION and we will contact you immediately. When it comes to choosing a personal injury law firm, we know you have options. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.