An Auto Accident Attorney You Can Rely On
A large percentage of clients who have been injured in a car accident come into the office with some idea that their injury claim will be valued at three times their medical expenses. While there was some truth in that years ago—insurance companies and injury lawyers often used multipliers in determining the value of a claim—the true value of an auto accident claim is determined by its unique facts, as well as by the injured party. Calculating damages for things such as medical expenses and lost wages is one thing; however, determining what is adequate compensation for physical pain, mental suffering, and other general damages is something else altogether. Each case is unique, and every person different, so no two auto injury claims are handled the same way or given the same valuation. In valuing an injury claim, your auto accident attorney must look not just at medical bills and lost wages, but to the total impact the injury has had on the injured person, as well as any impact the injury will continue to have in the future.
If you have suffered an injury as the result of a car accident, speak with an experienced auto accident attorney, such as Knake Law, regarding the estimated value of your case, and make sure you are comfortable with the determination that you and your attorney reach.
First, you should speak with the auto injury lawyer handling your claim before you contact any of the insurance companies potentially providing coverage for your accident. Most people are aware of auto insurance carriers, both their own and the carrier for the party who caused the accident, but unless you have been injured in a car accident before, most are unaware of other potential insurance coverage which may be applicable to their claim.
Contrary to what many health care providers will tell you, you want your medical bills to first be paid through your health insurance provider. Submitting your bills to health insurance allows you to take advantage of the contractual rates your insurance carrier has negotiated with your health care providers. It also assures that your bills will get paid on time.
Med pay is coverage under your auto insurance policy that will cover bills related to treatment of your accident-related injuries regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Unfortunately, med pay is not mandatory in Nebraska, so not every policy has it. Med pay is useful in paying your deductible or any leftover balances not covered by your health insurance. An additional benefit of utilizing your medical payment coverage is that your accident attorney may be able to take advantage of state subrogation laws when settlement occurs, likely resulting in you receiving a greater net settlement amount.
Medical payments coverage comes up often when dealing with injury claims resulting from car accidents. Medical payments coverage is insurance coverage that you can contract for with your auto insurance carrier which will provide for payment of medical bills in the event you are injured in an accident. Medical payments coverage is not mandatory in Nebraska and typically ranges from $1,000 to as much as $50,000 in coverage. Other than accident injury attorneys, most people are unaware of whether they even have medical payments coverage. Others are discouraged from making a claim after they have been in an accident for fear that their auto premium may increase. Even insurance agents have been known to advise their clients against opening a med pay claim. The truth is that in most cases where you have been injured in an accident, it is in your best interest to open a claim with your own insurance company for any available med pay benefits. In addition to obvious benefits of immediate access to money for payment of medical bills, copays, and deductibles, there can also be additional benefits down the road if your injuries were caused by another person’s negligence. If you have been injured in an auto accident, make sure to speak with your lawyer about the potential benefits and drawbacks of opening a med pay claim.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)
It is sad to think of the number of good claims that are never made by people who have been injured after being in an accident with an uninsured driver. When the person who causes the accident does not have insurance or when the person who caused the accident does not have enough insurance, you can make a claim for benefits under your own auto insurance policy. Other than lawyers who handle accident injury claims, most people do not know they have benefits with their own auto carrier that will provide for coverage in these situations. Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is mandatory in the state of Nebraska, so if your vehicle was insured at the time of the crash, there will be a minimum of $25,000 in UM/UIM benefits available.
Coverage Under Other UM/UIM Policies
In addition to insurance on your own vehicle, depending on your living situation, there may be additional policies from those in your household which could provide coverage for your accident. Typically, insurance policies provide benefits for other individuals living in the same household even if not specifically listed as insureds in the policy itself. For instance, a high school student with no car, who is injured while riding in a friend’s car, can make a claim for UM/UIM benefits under their parent’s auto insurance policy. Make sure to speak with your attorney about the possibility of any other insurance policies which may provide coverage regarding your injury claim.
Get the personalized legal aid you need when you rely on the experienced auto injury attorney at Knake Law. Call today to schedule a half hour appointment for your free legal consultation to determine the viability of your claim.