In the industry, these medical payments are called “Medpay.” Medpay is money you can get from your own insurance when you have been hurt in a car accident. It doesn’t matter who was at fault for you to make a claim for this money, you could have been at fault, and you can still make a claim for it. You will normally see this as an amount like $1,000.00 – $2,000.00, though some insurance companies have been known to sell people some for $10,000-50,000. In order to get this money, you have to send your carrier the bills you have received. They will then send you a check for the amount you owe or have paid, up to the amount of your coverage. You do have to show them that you have gotten bills, meaning you can’t just call them and tell them you were hurt and they will send you a check. Also, you can’t get the money to then get treatment; this aspect can be most frustrating as it can be hard to find the money to get the treatment you need first. You have to have medical bills to obtain this money. Continue Reading
If the accident wasn’t my fault, why does my insurance have to pay? Why am I responsible? We hear this all the time when clients first come to our office. The simple answer is yes; you should give the hospital your health insurance information. It benefits you to file your health insurance for several reasons. First of all, even if the hospital says they will file the at-fault-drivers car insurance, you still are the responsible party on that bill. There is also a common misconception that car insurances will pay the bills as you get treatment. This is simply not the case. The hospital or doctors offices are merely just waiting to get paid out of YOUR settlement, and until there’s a settlement, they come knocking at your door for the payment. Because people involved in serious accidents may end up receiving treatment for months or years, these bills can languish and sometimes even go to collections. People often don’t even know the bills are owed or going to collections because they think the liability insurance pays immediately like health insurance. But that is not the case. You are the one responsible for those bills.
There are a few other reasons to make sure your providers have your health insurance information, beyond saving your credit. There are laws about how hospitals can bill people, for these laws to be used to your advantage by your attorney at the end of the case, it is very important that you do a good job documenting that you at least advised the hospital that you had health insurance. Even a simple note to yourself of when you gave them your health insurance information and who you spoke to. If possible, even encourage them to make a copy of your card and document if they refuse. This is helpful regardless of the type of insurance you have, private, Medicare or Medicaid.
A third reason to make sure to give providers your health insurance card is because the adjusters want you to. If you give your health insurance information to the medical providers, your health insurance will pay a lower amount than is charged in other situations because they have agreements with providers to cut down the costs. This, in turn, saves money for the insurance company when calculating your medical costs. Adjusters will claim you have not “mitigated” your damages, meaning you have not done your best to cut down the medical treatment costs, and will then try and pay a smaller amount on a bill, even though, you of course still owe the WHOLE bill. In these instances, it is very helpful for your attorney to have documentation of who you tried to give your health insurance information to. It comes down to the simple fact that hospitals think they will get paid more by the car insurance company rather than your health insurance. Don’t let them bully you, push them to file your health insurance. How to best handle all your medical bills from a car wreck is very complex, but a skilled attorney can help you navigate these complicated issues. Please call us today if you have any questions. There is no fee to discuss your injury case.
If you are a passenger in a car accident, it can be a confusing and stressful situation, especially if you are seriously hurt. You know the accident was not your fault, but whose insurance coverage is responsible for paying for your medical bills and other expenses you incur because of the crash?
Filing a Claim Against the Driver’s Insurance
On December 18, a federal mandate requiring the installation of electronic logging devices (ELDs) on all commercial trucks went into effect. Still, other proposed regulations designed to improve highway safety have been rolled back or are on hold.
According to a recent story on NPR, the Obama-era mandate was one of several proposed regulations that were designed to make the roads safer by preventing drivers from operating their vehicles while fatigued. The ELD mandate, specifically, requires all trucks to have ELDs, which would replace the easily altered paper logbooks that many drivers still use to track the hours they spend on the road and the hours that they spend at rest.
Some truck drivers complain that the new devices are prohibitively expensive (the devices cost about $500) and that they do not take into account the actual conditions and delays that drivers experience while on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced a proposed rule that would enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication for all new light-duty vehicles. The proposed rule aims to prevent car accidents by letting vehicles communicate with each other.
This idea was first floated by the NHTSA nearly 3 years ago. If put into effect by 2019 as proposed, it would start phasing in the new rule in 2021, with 2023 set as the deadline for compliance.
How V2V Technology Works
V2V technology uses dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) to allow vehicles within about 1,000 feet of each other to exchange information about location, direction and speed. That info is sent 10 times per second, and vehicles with V2V can use that information to warn the driver about safety hazards.
If a vehicle has automated driving features, it can also use the V2V information to adapt its speed, direction, or braking in order to avoid crashes.
A new report released by State Farm Insurance has found that both North Carolina and South Carolina are “high risk” states for deer accidents. South Carolina ranks 12th in the country, with 1 in 93 drivers filing a deer damage claim each year. North Carolina is close behind, with one annual deer damage claim for every 112 drivers.
These can be expensive accidents. The average deer damage claim in 2016 totaled nearly $4,000. They can also cause serious injuries and even death.
It is especially important that area motorists are on the lookout for deer during the fall driving season. Deer are most active and aggressive during the months of November and December. If you are driving this fall in rural areas of Upstate South Carolina or Western North Carolina, please keep your eyes open for deer.
Three Tips to Help You Avoid Deer Collisions
- Watch for the Deer Crossing Signs
Those deer crossing signs are important. They are put up in areas where deer activity is known to be especially common. While deer accidents can certainly occur outside of those marked zones, you should remain especially vigilant when driving through a deer crossing area.
A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 35,092 people died in car accidents in the U.S. last year – a 7.2% spike over 2014, and the biggest increase in 50 years.
The increased deaths are not just for passenger vehicles, but across all categories: cars, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, etc. According to the National Safety Council, North Carolina had the 5th highest increase in the number of car crash deaths in the United States from 2014 to 2015, a shocking 26% increase.
The sudden increase is surprising, since advances in safety, such as improved airbags, automated braking, backup cameras and blind spot warnings, should theoretically continue to prevent more and more accidents and make injuries less severe when they do happen.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) are proposing a rule for heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks to be equipped with speed limiters (also called “speed governors”), preventing the vehicle from exceeding a set maximum speed. The maximum speeds suggested for the final rule are 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour. The government agencies involved say they will consider other speeds after receiving input from the public.
Speed limiters are being recommended in order to save lives and fuel costs. Heavy-duty vehicles inflict much more damage at high speeds than lighter-weight vehicles, so the hope is that capping speeds will reduce truck accident fatalities and serious injuries. According to NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind, “This is basic physics…. Even small increases in speed have large effects on the force of impact. Setting the speed limit on heavy vehicles makes sense for safety and the environment.”
New research confirms that drivers affected by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to be involved in serious car crashes. An article in JAMA Psychiatry reports that drivers with ADHD are about 50 percent more likely to be in accidents as compared to the rest of the population.
The National Resource Center on ADHD notes that individuals with ADHD are prone to distraction, inattentiveness and impulsive behavior. These three issues also happen to be among the most common causes of car accidents.
To make matters even more challenging for parents of young drivers with ADHD, cell phones have become an increasingly tempting distraction. Parents need to be able to keep their young drivers safe. In the unfortunate event that a serious accident does occur, you need to have an experienced car accident attorney by your side throughout the claims process.
ADHD and Car Accidents: Understanding the Risks
According to a report from Reuters, a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry has found a clear link between ADHD and car accidents. After reviewing the driving history of more than 40,000 young drivers, the researchers determined that people with ADHD are 50 percent more likely to be involved in a serious car accident. This is a very alarming figure.
For those wondering why their city suddenly seems to have more people out and about, a hit new game called Pokémon Go has people of all ages outside searching for Pokémon (yes, from that ’90s Japanese craze) to add to their collection.
The smartphone app superimposes cartoon characters on top of the image from the phone’s camera and, in conjunction with its GPS, creates a virtual reality game that makes it look like the Pokémon are on your street, or in parks, restaurants, businesses, etc. The app was an instant success, earning $7.5 billion in just two days, and according to Reuters, already had a higher usage rate than Twitter or Instagram less than a week after it was released.
Risks of the Game
The runaway success of the app has some undeniable benefits. Local businesses, museums, and even churches are seeing more traffic and interest because of the hordes of people looking for Pokémon to collect. Many people are going outdoors more often than before, getting more exercise, and interacting with other Pokémon Go players. But there are major risks involved in playing the game.