Catastrophic Injuries: How Can a Lawyer Help?
January 31, 2019
Finding Medical Professionals
Oftentimes, when you incur a catastrophic injury, you are facing a grim future, facing months, perhaps years, maybe even a lifetime of medical treatment. A lifetime of medical treatment is a lifetime of medical bills.
Your lawyer can help by finding the right doctors or specialists that will treat you at the right costs. In addition, if you do not have health insurance, a lawyer can help set you up with a doctor that will treat you without billing you personally. These doctors may be a specialist, medical doctor, physical therapist, or chiropractor. How is this possible? Instead of billing the patient, the medical doctor will assign a lien over to your lawyer’s office that entitles them to repayment upon receipt of any monies from your personal injury settlement or trial.
Navigating the Insurance Claims Process
The insurance claims process is set up with one goal in mind: pay as little as possible on every claim. When you do not have a lawyer to help you with your personal injury claim against an insurance company, you will not receive the full value of your case—ever.
A lawyer can help navigate this process by collecting all of your medical records. They may also help by collecting all related evidence, photo evidence, any investigative evidence, police reports, expert reports, things of that nature, and put them all together in a demand package to send over to the insurance company. A lawyer can help negotiate a settlement with an insurance adjuster that is fair and reasonable in relation to your injury.
Given the experience of your lawyer, assuming your lawyer is experienced, he/she will know and have a history of the value of catastrophic injuries and will be able to guide you to the best settlement. Your lawyer will help weigh the pros and cons of going forward with a lawsuit versus taking a pre-suit settlement.
In the case that the insurance company is not offering enough money with respect to your catastrophic injury, a lawyer will help by filing a lawsuit. Once a lawsuit is filed, your lawyer will guide you through the litigation process. This includes, and is not limited to the following:
• independent medical examinations
• court appearances
• a trial
Your lawyer will guide you through this whole process and make sure that at any step of the way you are considering or you are doing everything in your best interest to get the most money possible in your case.
In addition to the litigation process and healthcare process, your lawyer will help guide you through the lien resolution process. Oftentimes when you incur large hospital bills, which may be paid by insurance, your insurance company will assert a lien to get recovery of the money that they paid to the hospital. Your lawyer will help by negotiating down these liens, and ensuring that as much money as possible does not go to an insurance company, but rather into your pocket.
Other Information about Catastrophic Injuries
Let’s start with the basic takeaway. Although you may be catastrophically injured, the law requires that the plaintiff must demonstrate that your injury was caused by another person’s negligence. Oftentimes, catastrophic injuries occur in auto accidents where it might be your own fault.
Unfortunately, you will not have a negligence claim where any assignment of fault can be made on your behalf. That said, it’s important that you find a lawyer that understands the intricacies of the state law in Maryland, Virginia, and DC.
Oftentimes, catastrophic injuries that are the result of a slip and fall become burdensome to prove. Again, what you have to prove is that the defendant was negligent.
In the case of a slip and fall, you have to prove that the defendant knew or should have known about a certain dangerous condition and failed to warn you of such. Not only do you have to prove either the source of a dangerous condition or that it was there for a long period of time, you also must prove that under the circumstances, any reasonable business would have known about it or would have warned you about it.
If you suffered from a catastrophic injury or are not sure if your injury qualifies, give us a call at 202-464-0727.