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.

How is pain and suffering calculated in north carolina

How Is Pain And Suffering Calculated In North Carolina (NC)? Pain and suffering is calculated differently by personal injury attorneys and insurance companies. As a result, often your attorney and the insurance company will argue about the value of your pain and suffering. As you might imagine, the insurance company’s number is always lower than the attorney’s number. This article addresses how pain and suffering is calculated in North Carolina. It attempts to help you understand the value of your personal injury claim. Keep in mind every claim is different, and a personal injury attorney can assist you with establishing your claim and fighting for a fair result.

Liability Is Key To Any Recovery

Before we ask “How is pain and suffering calculated?”, we must first establish that there was responsibility on the party from which you seek reimbursement. In other words, was it their fault? It is a given you had injuries resulting from a car accident or slip and fall. The next step is to prove that the other party was at fault, or responsible. If you fail to prove that, your pain and suffering—in fact your entire recovery—will often be zero.

Proving liability can be challenging. North Carolina makes it more difficult with the Contributory Negligence rule, we have written about on our website. This rule states that if you are even 1% responsible for the accident or injury, you should receive nothing. North Carolina personal injury attorneys spend their days fighting this rule for their clients.

How Is Pain And Suffering Calculated In Different Car Accidents?

Imagine a scenario where two individuals are in two separate car accidents. In Accident #1, the injured party is rear-ended while sitting at a stoplight. They suffer a concussion. In Accident #2, the injured party is injured when another driver changes lanes, and the two vehicles collide side-by-side. The injured party suffers a concussion, just like in Accident #1.

In Accident #1, liability is clear. The personal injury attorney and the insurance adjuster may end up arguing over the value of pain and suffering, which is normal. In Accident #2, the attorney and insurance adjuster will also argue over the value of pain and suffering; however, the insurance adjuster will potentially only offer half of what they are offering in Accident #1. Why? Because there is an argument that if the case went in front of a jury, the jury might decide that the insurance company’s client was not at fault. Or, the jury may decide that the injured party was 1% or more responsible, and offer them nothing, based on the rules of Contributory Negligence.

In the instance above, we have identical injuries, yet the pain and suffering calculation for each injured party will likely be different. Here are a few other factors which affect pain and suffering calculations:

Medical Treatment Sought—A failure to seek proper medical treatment immediately after an accident can result in a lower value of your claim, despite legitimate injuries.

Time Of Recovery—If an individual takes an abnormal amount of time to recover, their pain and suffering is arguably higher than someone who recovers quickly.

Age Of The Injured Party—Children may receive higher pain and suffering than adults, to compensate for the emotional content of their experience.

Extenuating Circumstances—Therapy needed for anxiety can change pain and suffering. Also, if the accident caused you to miss your child’s wedding or graduation, this would be considered as well.

One Method For Calculating Pain And Suffering

When taken in context with the information above, some attorneys will argue that pain and suffering starts with a calculation based on the medical treatment received. Insurance adjusters and personal injury attorneys will then argue about the billed amount of the treatment vs. the actual cost. The reason is that health insurance often pays far less than what the doctor billed. The same is true of Medicaid and Medicare. Lastly, these health providers may have Personal Injury Settlement Liens, and those will need to be addressed with any settlement figure reached.

A Second Method For Calculating Pain And Suffering

A method far less popular is to assign a per day amount that pain and suffering is worth. The personal injury attorney takes that amount and applies it to the length of time from the date of the accident until the last date of treatment for the injured party. The concept is to compensate the injured party for the number of days it took for them to return to full health.

Insurance Company Pain And Suffering Calculations

Often, you will find that insurance companies try to ignore the attorney calculations altogether. Instead, they rely on advanced software designed for their industry. That software takes into account your injuries, medical treatment, lost wages, and many other factors. Importantly, the software will also take into account past jury verdicts in your area. The idea is to offer a settlement reflective of what a jury might give you. The insurance company will want to lower that number however, because by settling with you, they are reducing the risk for you that a jury would give you less.

The Importance Of Working With A Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury cases get complicated very quickly. It’s easy to compromise your rights by giving a recorded statement to the insurance company, or signing a release. A personal injury attorney will not only protect you from these pitfalls, but also help to maximize the value of your claim. You will typically find that the attorney’s fee is far outweighed by the end settlement amount, and by the peace of mind that you are being protected along the long path to recovery.

If you want to know “How is pain and suffering calculated?” or if you have questions about working with a personal injury lawyer for your 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.

Charlotte personal injury attorney reviews

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Reviews

In our opinion, Charlotte personal injury attorney reviews will tell you more about working with a specific law firm or attorney than anything else. If you’ve been in a car accident, have a work-related injury, or suffered a slip and fall, choosing a personal injury attorney is important, and can dramatically affect the outcome of your case. Typically, a Charlotte personal injury attorney review is written by a client who has worked from start to finish with a Charlotte personal injury law firm. The review is representative of the client’s actual experience with the firm, and when combined with other reviews, gives you priceless insight in deciding which Charlotte personal injury attorney to hire.

What A Law Firm Claims vs. How A Law Firm Actually Behaves

There are countless law firms with websites and commercials, all claiming they are the right choice for you. You’ve been injured, your case is worth money, and law firms wants to represent you. The distinguishing factor between a website or commercial, and Charlotte personal injury attorney reviews, is that the reviews reflect the actual experience. The commercial or website is simply the upfront promise. It’s relatively easy to put together a glossy website or expensive commercial, and use it to bring in business. Without a doubt, it creates an impression upon the customer who is trying to decide whether to hire that particular Charlotte personal injury attorney.

Reviews, on the other hand, can give you an inside look at what it will actually be like to work with the law firm. The rest of this article will focus on what we believe to be the value of Charlotte personal injury attorney reviews, and how you can use them to make your decision.

One Bad Review Is Not The End Of The World

Let’s start off with the idea that if you do business long enough, you’re going to have an unhappy customer. Perhaps its that the result achieved was less than what the client thought or expected. Sometimes, the result is fine, but the client felt like the law firm or lawyer didn’t care for them—phone calls weren’t returned, the client did  not feel like they were being updated regularly, etc.

In our opinion, whether it’s a law firm or a restaurant, a bad review can actually taken as a sign that all the reviews collectively, are an honest assessment of client’s experience with the law firm. In other words, if every review was absolutely perfect, you may have a reason to be a little bit skeptical about the reviews. On the other hand, if 9 out of 10 of the Charlotte personal injury attorney reviews are horrible, that should also tell you something about the firm.

Thoughtful Clients Write Reviews

It takes a lot of effort and desire to write a review of a business. That typically means that the person writing the review feels very strongly about the review they are leaving. Nobody is forced to leave a review—in fact lawyers are not allowed to provide incentives for reviews for ethical reasons. So, when someone chooses to write a review, it’s usually because they had a strong reaction to their experience with the lawyer or law firm. Essentially, most people don’t expect to get anything out of writing a review. So, it’s safe to assume they are trying to alert others who are deciding about the lawyer or law firm, to either hire them or find another person to represent them for their personal injury matter.

Does The Number Of Reviews Matter?

We think so, to some degree. If a large law firm helping thousands of clients a year in the Charlotte, NC area only has 12 reviews, that could be a bad sign. We want clients to have a very strong and positive reaction to working with us. Our goal is that the client is so excited about the result, and so excited about their choice to work with our firm, that they decide to write a review to express their excitement. If only one out of every few hundred people is doing that, perhaps the general experience with the firm is a mediocre one. While Google doesn’t show all reviews, the number of reviews and stars next to the lawyer or law firm’s name is something to consider. A single five star review is probably not enough information to base your decision upon. Twenty or more five star reviews seems sufficient to allow you to consider the reviews in your decision-making process.

What Are The Reviews Really Saying?

If you read between the lines in any client Google review, you can usually interpret the client’s experience. Our experience as a personal injury law firm is that people leave a review when they are happy with BOTH the result we achieved for them, and the way we went about achieving it. That is to say, the experience matters. You generally work with your Charlotte personal injury attorney for many months in order to try to resolve your personal injury claim. Many claims are extremely emotional. A client who leaves a great review for a Charlotte personal injury law firm is usually trying to say “This law firm cares.” We think it’s the greatest compliment a law firm can receive.

Speak With A Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Please read our online reviews. We are proud of the number of clients who have taken it upon themselves to tell the ‘world’ about our firm and how much they liked working with us. Every time we see a new review, it gives us the continued confidence that we are doing good work. If we see a bad review, we try to learn from it and of course reach out to the client to see how we can do better.

If you’ve read our reviews and would like to speak with us about a personal injury matter, we’re here to help. You can call 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CASE EVALUATION. When it comes to hiring a Charlotte personal injury law firm, we know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.

court approved child settlement

Child Personal Injury Settlements In North Carolina

If a child is injured in a car accident or slip and fall in North Carolina, they are commonly entitled to the same rights as adults. One major difference in the outcome of a personal injury claim for a child or minor, is the distribution of funds to the child.

Child Settlements Without Court Approval

In small child personal injury settlements, often the settlement can be reached without court approval. Truthfully, this is a question of risk tolerance for both the insurance company and the personal injury law firm. The fear is that if a child settlement is reached without court approval, the child may later claim they were not treated fairly by the settlement. In most cases, insurance companies feel they bear most of this risk. As such, the insurance company will typically decide whether they are comfortable settling without court approval. A settlement of $5,000.00 or more by the insurance companies we work with regularly, typically requires court approval.

In child settlements without court approval, the funds are delivered to a parent or guardian, with the assumption the parent or guardian will use the funds in the best interest of the child. While this saves time and cost as compared to a child personal injury settlement requiring court approval, it is not always possible when the settlement amount is higher.

Child Personal Injury Settlements With Court Approval

In those cases where the insurance company requires it, or the attorney feels it is advisable, a settlement can be reached by the parties and then be submitted for court approval. In doing so, the personal injury lawyer appoints a Guardian Ad Litem to represent the child in court. Typically, this is one of the parents. A lawsuit is then filed in the name of the Guardian Ad Litem, for the benefit of the child. The primary purpose for the lawsuit is to gain access to the court system so that the settlement can be stamped as approved by the court.

If the parties are agreeable, the personal injury attorney will submit medical bills and records, together with all fees. The parties will communicate to the judge that they are in agreement. The judge will review the records and approve the settlement as proposed, or recommend changes.

Disbursement Of Funds In Child Settlements

The court will generally hold the proceeds from a child personal injury settlement, to be later distributed to the child upon reaching the age of majority (18 years old). While there is a small fee for the court to do so, the interest on the money usually covers that fee. If funds need to be disbursed from the settlement to cover ongoing medical costs, a provision for doing so may be built into the court approved settlement.

Further Reading

Do I Have A Personal Injury Claim

Child Injury Lawyer In Charlotte, NC

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If your child was injured in an accident and you’d like to speak with a lawyer, we’re here to help. We advise clients every day about their rights in personal injury matters. We’re happy to hear your story and help you understand your options. You can call us at 704.749.7747 or click for a FREE CONSULTATION and we’ll call you shortly. We know you have choices. We hope you choose to Recover With Us.