Taking personal injury insurance is a blessing but it entails certain obligations from your side. For one, you have to report any injuries you receive whether you claim benefits or not. The health insurer, Medicare, or any state agency paying your medical bill is eligible for reimbursement for any compensation that you might get. You can protect your legal rights by taking a few elementary precautions outlined below. Knowing about the insurance policy and your rights in this regard will help you develop the right outlook to deal with any situation that might arise.
Know About the Rights Included in a Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury right gives one many privilege. The main things include these:
- Right to deny initial settlement offer.
- Right to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Right to Deny Initial Settlement Offer.
Notifying the insurance company about the accident you encountered and giving them the details is the first thing you have to do. Though this seems obvious, this is what many residents of Port St Lucie fail to do. Agents from the insurance companies will reach out to you as soon as they get the message. They will give an initial settlement offer through which they try to buy your legal right to bring an action against the at-fault party. Remember this amount they offer never will reflect the actual amount of financial losses you have suffered.
For many, this initial offer may seem like a good option. To accept this if you think adequate is enough. But, make a note that this amount is much lower than what you deserve.
Right to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit.
When you are sure that the initial offer doesn’t reflect the full extent of the loss or damages, and your effort to secure a bigger settlement is not successful, then you must consider filing a lawsuit. But, going to trial to get justice must remain the last-ditch effort. You or the other party does not control the outcome of the case. When you negotiate a settlement, your Personal Injury Attorney West Palm Beach, and you are in complete control of the dealing and outcome of the case.
Resolve the Lien
When you take out a health insurance policy, the language defines the lien. This lien is applicable for each of your backers and you must resolve this first before you receive any money.
- Resolving Medicare Lien: The federal law takes care of the Medicare lien. Through this lien is automatic, the effect is the same as that of all the other liens. Suppose the lawyers settled the case for you, he is not supposed to disburse the money to you until Medicare gets the reimbursement from the proceeds of the settlement.
- Resolve the Lien of the Health Insurer: This lien is in the contract. The health insurer is eligible for 100% payback on what it has paid towards your medical bill. Once again, the lawyer cannot pay out the money unless he reimburses the health insurer first. In many states, the amount you pay your lawyer will reduce as a percentage of the settlement. Also, a pro-rata share of the expenses and legal costs will get reduced.
- Resolve the Medicaid Lien: If a state agency is paying your health insurance, then it is most likely a Medicaid claim. And like the lien is given to Medicare, the state agency also receives the same lien.
Negotiation Possible with the State Agency
You can negotiate the amount you have to pay by talking it over with your health insurer and lawyer. This is because the health insurer gets his money only if you get repaid. This makes both your interests same. This also means that if you go to trial and lose, the health insurer will not get any money. So, if your lawyer can convince the insurer that your case is not strong enough, he may accept a lower amount than what is originally owed. But, if the health insurer sees that you have a strong case, he will insist on getting the full amount due to them.
You must pay the amount to reimburse Medicare in full in a personal injury claim. Medicare will not accept a negotiated amount because the federal law doesn’t allow it. In all general cases, you have to assume that you cannot negotiate the amount paid to Medicare as reimbursement.
Take Steps to Protect Your Claim to Compensation
You should not wait until after the accident is over and treated to protect your claim. You must begin to protect it from the moment you suffer an injury. It is also important never to admit the fault and keep collecting evidence.
- Don’t Accept a Settlement at Once – Delay the process as much as you can. The insurance company will come forward with an offer if you got involved in a motor vehicle accident. Wait until your Personal Injury Attorney Port St Lucie advises you on what you are to do and say. Insurance companies will try to hedge and squeeze the most out of the situation.
- Be Careful about What you Say – No matter what kind of accident, it becomes easy to take the blame on yourself. Most people begin to apologize for their actions without thinking about their situation. A person who apologizes will become a guilty party. So, be careful and don’t talk about the accident at all.
- Speak to an Attorney to get Advice – Time limits exist on all personal injury claims. We call these statutes of limitations. Every situation has a different time limit. Your lawyer will know what is the best line to take. You have to file your claim before the deadline.
- Collect as much Evidence as Possible – The memories will disappear over time so you must make it a point to collect evidence. Right after the accident, if possible, write down everything that took place. Keep it together with police reports and public records.
Get the contact information from the witnesses and take photographs of the scene of the crime. This helps your lawyer build the case for you.