Medical Care and Gathering Evidence Following a Car Accident
This is Part 3 of the “Everything You Should Know / Do Following a Car Accident” series. Check out the links at the bottom of this article to jump ahead or back in the series. In part 3 of our series we discuss evidence gathering and getting medical care following a car accident.
Following a car accident, a competent injury attorney will get to work on your case immediately. Time is of the essence to preserve evidence and get the process moving. To give you an idea of what immediately means, within the first two weeks of opening a case, we typically complete a series of tasks.
Table of Contents
Gathering Evidence Following a Car Accident
- Conduct a thorough interview with you. The interview will include the facts of your case, your medical history, any prior claims or accidents, your background, and talk with you about what will happen next.
- Order your accident report.
- Interview and obtain statements from witnesses.
- Send preservation of evidence letters when necessary.
- Send letters of representation to all insurance carriers involved.
- Make sure that you are receiving the medical care that you need.
- Assist you with handling your vehicle damage claim.
- Conduct an insurance coverage analysis.
- Revoke any prior medical releases you may have signed.
- Gather and save any physical evidence and store it securely.
As you can see from the list above, there is much ground to cover in the weeks following a car accident. It is important to have a lawyer working on your case immediately. Waiting to hire a lawyer will harm your case.
Getting Medical Care
Once you have hired a lawyer, your primary role in the legal process is to focus on healing your injuries. We ask clients to keep a list of each medical provider they see, including the practice name, the doctor’s name, phone number, and address. Also, whenever you see a specialist, like an Orthopedist, we ask that you call us to keep us informed.
Once Your Medical Care is Completed
Medical care is complete once a client has made a complete recovery from his or her car accident injuries, or the client has reached maximum medical improvement. Most clients who follow their treatment plan make a full recovery. Unfortunately, some never fully recover. For clients that do not fully recover, their treating doctor will let them know that they have reached maximum medical improvement. This term means that the injury has healed as well as it will with medical care.
When medical care is complete, we order medical bills and records directly from doctors. We send record requests the same day that clients tell us treatment is complete. But note that most providers take between 30 and 45 days to send us itemized billing and records that we need to move on to the next step in the legal process.
Review of Medical Records and Demand Preparation
Once we have medical records, we review each page line by line. Depending on the amount of records, it typically takes one to two weeks to complete our review.
After we have reviewed medical records in detail, we call our clients to review the records or schedule a meeting to review them in person. This is an important step in the process because we want to make sure that everything transcribed by your doctors is factually correct. It is also why we tell injury victims to never sign an insurance company medical records release form.
At this point we will understand your case’s value and share our professional opinion regarding its value. This is important because we must state a specific sum of money in our demand to the insurance company.
Two types of demands we send to insurance companies
- Liability demands. These go to the insurance carrier that provides coverage for the at fault driver. The liability carrier is allowed 30 days to reply.
- Uninsured or Underinsured (UM) demands. These demands are sent when the person who caused the accident has no insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages. The UM carrier is allowed 60 days to respond.
How the insurance company or UM responds will determine your next steps. The process of ‘Negotiation vs Litigation’ is the topic of the next part of our series.
If you want to know more, check out the rest of our series below. Of course, you can always reach us by calling us directly at 404-400-1175.
- Part 1: What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
- Part 2: How to Choose a Car Accident Lawyer
- Part 3: Car Accident Injury Claims Process – Medical Care and Gathering Evidence
- Part 4: Car Accident Injury Settlement vs Litigation
- Part 5: Car Accident Trial Process – Litigation and Trial