If You Get in a Car Accident .....


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Just get a lawyer. Well, if you're injured.  I should have done that from the beginning because it could have avoided a lot of stress.  It's been over a year and I'm still trying to get bills paid.  I thought since it was a simple rear ending and it wasn't my fault, it should be easy, but my insurance has been paying the medical bills and will get reimbursed by the other driver's insurance.  My insurance is still dragging their feet about paying my bills.


I felt like if I got a lawyer, that shows I just want a large settlement.  No, it shows you want to avoid a huge hassle!


I was 35 weeks pregnant and had to go to the hospital to make sure me and the baby were OK.  It doesn't take a huge impact to cause a placental abruption.  Thankfully we weren't in danger, but before the evening was over, I could barely lift either leg up.  It was even painful to put on my flip flops.  For months I couldn't roll over in bed without screaming in pain and my baby stayed in bed with me because it was too difficult to put her in her crib. For weeks I couldn't even lift an empty pot, let alone add water to that to boil some pasta.  I couldn't carry laundry up and down the stairs and my husband had to stay home for a month because I couldn't carry our baby up and down the stairs either.  :(



After my 36 hour labor (on top of my injuries), it was even more fun when I got the labor and delivery bill for $9,700.  My health insurance had denied my bill because I had an "open liability claim".  They had to reprocess it after I explained the car accident didn't get me pregnant or cause me to give birth. 


I still had to wait a month for any diagnostic tests because the doctor was giving me time for my spine to return to normal after giving birth.  I also had to wait until I was healed enough from delivery to go to physical therapy.  After a round of that, my doctor declared I wasn't feeling better enough for his liking, so he sent me for two MRI's on my spine, which was also very painful because I had to lie on my back for long periods of time.  Some degeneration was found, so that's when it got really fun.  I kept explaining that whatever was there before wasn't causing me pain. I was fine before the accident - jumping on trampolines, dancing, cleaning all day, carrying toddlers, etc. 


It took months for them to pay for my MRI's.  The insurance kept saying they needed "more documentation" and the MRI people said they were just playing games.  Then the insurance said my MRI's were medically unnecessary, so I had my doctor write a letter stating why they were necessary.  They finally paid for part of them, but left me with the rest because they said the office charged more than was reasonable.  The office said they don't have a contract with any PIP insurance, so there's no discount offered.  I had the same problem with my xray bill.


I then had to fight for my chiropractic bills to be covered and that was starting to help a great deal.  The insurance said their chiropractor was leaning towards calling it "chronic".  I had to have the chiropractor right a letter even though he documented in my chart that I was improving.  At our first visit, we couldn't do any tests with me on my stomach because I was screaming in pain.  I then wrote a letter to put in my chart and sent it to the insurance as to the ways I had improved. 


Then I got shingles.  I couldn't have anyone touching me because I was in so much pain.  My adjustor said if I took a break from chiropractic treatment, they wouldn't cover it when I went back. Seriously?!


They are claiming they never received my January bills for PT and PT is saying they resent them and that I owe over $1,000, yet they haven't sent me the balance.  I don't know who to believe.  And they still haven't covered one of the doctor visits.  I'm $400 away from exhausting my PIP and then everything else can go to my health insurance.  No one understands why my car insurance doesn't just pay the remaining $400 towards PT or whatever.  So frustrating.


I have spent countless hours on hold/on the phone/writing letters/writing emails, etc. when I could have been getting the rest I needed after delivery or just enjoying my baby the best I could.  If you get a lawyer, you're not being greedy.  Lesson learned. 

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For the love of Pete MorningStar, get a lawyer.  Maybe they can make the insurance industry think twice before dragging their feet around the next injured pregnant lady.

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I did finally talk to two lawyers and they were hung up on the amount of damage to my van.  Apparently it wasn't impressive enough. I explained that the woman just jabbed my bumper.  Her bumper was missing and two metal things were sticking out on front.  She hit me hard enough that my van was shoved forward and the guy in front of me felt the jolt.  He only got out because he thought I hit him.  After months of doing all of the work, the lawyer said after they take their cut and charge me for medical record requests, copies, etc., I could be left with hardly anything.  The other lawyer stopped responding after I told her how much damage there was. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!

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A few weeks ago my wife was in an accident and we went to a lawyer right away.  We too were initially reluctant because we didn't want to be the people who would try and take advantage of a situation to get a ton of money and enable ambulance chasing, but the simple truth is that insurance companies aren't going to give you a penny more than they absolutely must, even if it's your reasonable due.  A lawyer ensures that they pay out what they're supposed to.


It's sad that it's a necessity, but it is.  Insurance companies take advantage of people who DON'T get lawyers to help take up the slack from having to pay out more to those who do.  Is it fair?  No.  Would it be better if that weren't necessary?  Absolutely.  But the reality is what it is.

Edited by unixknight
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When I had my first child, I was covered by insurance from both my job and my husband's job (different insurance companies).  I would think - hey, we're paying 2 insurance companies, I should get 100% coverage - no out of pocket!  NOT.  Both insurance companies were ping-ponging my claims back and forth.  And then one of the insurance companies put my son's bday in 1901 instead of 2001... so, they wouldn't cover pediatric services (we were both in the hospital for over 2 weeks after delivery).  My 2nd child was already born and the thing still wasn't settled!


On my 2nd child, my C-section ripped wide open a few days after giving birth.  I did not want to stay in the hospital one more minute so the doctor sent me home with a home health nurse that comes by my house every day to clean the wound and change dressings etc.  The insurance company (we dropped my insurance - it's just my husband covering us at this time) wouldn't pay the claim because they marked it as an injury due to accident and sent it to my car insurance... which is stupid because I was never in a car accident.


Anyway, I dropped both insurance companies and we went on an Individual Hospitalization and Surgical insurance coverage - doesn't cover anything except stuff that is related to a hospital stay or a surgery.  I paid $120 per month that covers both my husband and I and our 2 babies.  We put the money that we used to pay on insurance premiums into an HSA and used it to self-pay stuff not covered by the insurance.  We had over $10K in the HSA because we stayed fairly healthy - my kids didn't have any major health issues... except for when my son broke his elbow (100% covered coz it's surgical and he was in the hospital for 3 days) and my other son ripped his head open (also 100% covered coz it's surgical... we even used a plastic surgeon so he will have the least scarring possible because it's on his face). 


And then Obamacare forced us back into my husband's company's insurance because our bare bones insurance is not being offered anymore.  We haven't had to use the new insurance yet.  We're paying a whole lot of premium money for a whole lot of nothing that we could have stashed in the HSA....

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