Few people are prepared for the consequences of a serious injury. When it happens, most people focus on taking care of their loved ones and trying to recover from the injury. However, in many cases the first hours and days after a serious accident are critical for collecting and preserving key evidence which may later play an important role in establishing how the accident happened and who was at fault. It is an unfortunate fact that the victim is often times the last person to begin collecting evidence which may help their side of the story. In our office when we are contacted by an injured person or a family representative, we go to work immediately assembling a team to find out how the accident happened, interview witnesses, and preserve the evidence.
The decision about whether or not to make a claim can usually wait until after the initial work of case investigation is completed. Sometimes, insurance coverage exists unbeknownst to the accident victim. For example, personal injury protection (PIP) covers certain expenses such as medical costs and wage loss in almost any type of personal injury regardless of who is at fault. Similarly, many liability insurance policies contain medical costs coverage provisions that pay for medical expenses. These coverage provisions are there for the asking, but few lay person know that the coverage exists.
A decision about whether or not a “third party” claim should be made in a workers’ compensation case, (in the event of an on-the-job injury), an application made for short or long-term disability benefits, or to file a tort claim notice if a public entity is responsible for an accident, are all complicated legal questions that require the assistance of an attorney experienced in these areas. Because our firm provides such a broad range of legal services to injured people we work to coordinate these claims to maximize recovery for the injured client.
In many cases, service providers may expect some repayment for services, and liens may be filed or claimed by medical insurance or workers’ compensation carriers. It is essential that an injured person fully understand their rights in regard to claimed repayments. Experience has taught us over the years that entitlement to insurance benefits are sometimes disputed when an injured person most needs them. Our firm represents clients in making “ancillary” claims aside from their primary personal injury claim, such as in the areas of Social Security, short and long-term disability, and workers’ compensation.