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Do I Need a Lawyer - What Damages Can I Recover


This is an excerpt from one of the recent episodes of 'Do I Need a Lawyer?' hosted by: Gary Martin Hays.

I'm Gary Martin Hays.

Now let's go to a question from one of our viewers:

"Good morning, Gary. I'm hoping you will take the time to answer my question.
I was hurt in a car wreck last week. I was at a complete stop at a red light. The other driver said she turned to give a pacifier to her baby in the back seat and she did not realize the light had turned red. You guessed it - she ran into the rear of my car. I was driving a 2013 Honda Accord and it had to be towed. The repairs are going to be about $3,000.00. I was just shaken up at the scene of the wreck and did not want to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. However, when my husband came to pick me up, I was hurting. He took me to the emergency room. The doctor has now referred me to an orthopedist.

Here are my questions:
(1) Who will pay my doctor bills?
(2) My car was less than a year old. What about the damages to it?

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you.

-Maddie in Ellenwood

Maddie, thanks for the email.

Let me start with one part of your question first:

You wrote - "I'm hoping you will take the time to answer my question."

I will always answer your questions! That's my job.

We offer a free, confidential consultation with no obligation. If we can't help you, we will often have recommendations for someone that may be able to offer assistance to you.

But we answer every question and I thank you for yours!

Your first question: "Who will pay my doctor bills?"

A claim will be made against the insurance company for the driver that rear-ended you to pay for these medical bills. However, please know that her insurance company will not pay for your medical bills as you treat with the doctor for your injuries. They will wait to settle with you when you have completed treatment.

So the first thing we will do is to look and see if you have med-pay coverage on your car insurance.

Med-pay coverage is like health insurance on your car.

It is sometimes listed as MPC.

If you have it, your insurance company will pay for reasonable and necessary medical expenses up to the limits of the policy - regardless of who is at fault.

Now what happens if there is no med pay coverage?

We can help you find a doctor that is willing to provide treatment to you through a medical lien.

A medical lien is essentially an agreement between the person that is hurt and the doctor. If and when the personal injury claim settles, the attorney agrees to pay the doctor's medical bills out of the settlement.

In most cases, doctors are not willing to treat a patient on a lien basis unless they know they have an attorney to protect the doctor's bills.

And here's one thing I'd like to stress to our viewers. If you have been injured in a car wreck, it is important that you get prompt medical care for your injuries. This should be done regardless of whether or not you plan on presenting any kind of claim against the at fault party's insurance company. You had your health before the wreck and you need to get that back as best you can.
Now your second question:

(2) My car was less than a year old. What about the damages to it?

We would certainly make sure the at fault insurance party covers the repairs to your vehicle.
However, there is another claim we would pursue on your behalf. This is a claim for the diminished value of your vehicle.

If you are involved in a car wreck, your car will suffer property damage.

When you get your car repaired, you know it will be worth less than it was before the wreck.

Think of it this way.

You walk onto a used car lot and you see two identical cars parked side by side.

One has never been wrecked, and one has been wrecked and repaired.

Most people would never buy the car that has been repaired.

And if you would even consider buying the car that has been wrecked, you would want a substantial discount.

Diminished value is what the market says your vehicle lost in value because of the wreck and repairs.

If you have been hurt in a wreck and you don't hire an attorney, you are letting the insurance company hang onto YOUR money. Plain and simple.

Now you are faced with . . .

* Who will pay for your medical bills?

* How do you get medical treatment for your injuries if you don't have health insurance?

* You are worried because the paychecks have stopped coming in, but the bills haven't.

* You are left without a car.

What do you do you do next?

If you would like to speak with my law firm about your claim, we make it easy for you.

Just pick up the phone right now and give us a call at (770) 934-8000.

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