D.C. Maryland and Virginia medical malpractice, accidents and work injuries questions answered by D.C. injury attorneys.
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Here are some of the questions people have when they first contact us about D.C., Maryland and Virginia medical malpractice, serious car accidents or workers compensation.
We try to provide as much information as we can based on our experience as medical malpractice lawyers in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and based on representing many hundreds of people who have been injured in accidents or at work in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Here are the basics:
Patients permanently injured by medical malpractice, or the families of patients killed because of medical negligence, when a hospital, HMO or healthcare corporation doesn't follow basic patient safety rules deserve justice - resources to help with the harms and losses due to the injuries or death of their loved one.
Drivers who don't follow the rules of the road, driving recklessly, driving drunk, speeding, and texting should be accountable for the harm they cause when their actions cause a car accident or wreck.
Workers hurt on the job deserve workers compensation benefits for lost wages, medical treatment and permanent injuries. If a worker is killed on the job, his family deserves workers compensation death benefits - to at least help with the financial loss of a loved one.
But since every person is unique, if you have questions or need information about an injury or death in your family, please contact us to talk it through. We'll talk to you, schedule a free initial meeting and give you all the information we can.
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My Father is in the Hospital After a Serious Car Accident and the Insurance Company Keeps Calling Him and Sending Forms. Does He Have to Talk to Them?
Don't Talk to the Insurance Company When You're Recovering From a Serious Car Accident.
Unfortunately, we see this all the time. After a serious car accident, especially when you or someone in your family is in the hopital or recovering from surgery, the other driver's insurance company wants you to give an interview or recorded statement, or fill out some forms, or provide authorization for your medical information.
Don't. Here's why:
The Insurance Company Will Use a Recorded Statement Against You.
Remember, their job is to deny or limit the amount they pay in damages. In a serious car accident, they want to do that - and they know if they get started right away, before you have an experienced attorney working for you, they have an advantage.
There is absolutely no requirement that you speak with the insurance company. What if you make a mistake or can't remember something because of your pain, medications you are on, or symptoms you are experieincing since the accident?
What if you're distracted by nurses and doctors coming in and out of your room and you forget to add a detail to how the accident happened? Or you forget to mention all of your injuries? Will they try to make it look like you were lying or hiding something?
What Will the Insurance Company Tell You to Get You to Talk to Them?
Remember, insurance claims adjusters and investigators for all of the major car accident insurance companies in the DC area - USAA, Geico, Travelers, Liberty Mutual and others - are experienced. They have handled hundreds, if not thousands, of car accident claims for the insurance company.
Who do you think has the advantage?
They may tell you that they need this information, or that if they don't get it by a certain date, they will "close" your claim. That sounds serious but it means absolutely nothing. That is just an internal term - in our car accident cases, we've had people come to us, worried about high medical bills and the effect of permanent injuries from an accident, who have had their claim "closed" but the insurance company.
Once our accident lawyers got involved, the insurance company opened the claim the next day.
The point is - you control this process (that's one of many things we do for the people we work with, our clients don't have to worry about this), not the insurance company.
As long as you are within the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit against the other driver, you are ok. But don't take this to mean you should wait until the statute of limitations is about to expire before contacting the insurance company or trying to get an experienced attorney - the best lawyers won't take cases that are close to the statute of limitations. We won't be able to help.
Get The Best Lawyer For Your Accident Case in the DMV.
Remember, this is a process. We want to be able to help you through every phase without having to worry about the insurance company or your case - we handle all of that so you can focus on your recovery and on getting better.
We can only help people with very serious injuries - that is who we focus on.
If you or someone in your family was hospitalized after an accident caused by another driver, call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 and talk to us before you talk to the insurance company (or sign any of their forms).
We'll get you started by talking with you and getting you all the information you need to make the best decision on your car accident case and how to take care of yourself and your family.
How Do I Get the Best Lawyer For My Accident Case - Someone I Can Trust?
We talk to people every week who got the wrong lawyer for their accident case.
Maybe they got a lawyer from a TV commercial or one who handled their brother's divorce or their friend's DUI. But they didn't do their homework - they didn't check the lawyer out. Read his reviews. Read the books he's published. Read what real clients say about him.
Unfortunately, a lot of people end up with the wrong lawyer, and their case is either not taken seriously or the whole process is difficult and takes too long.
First of all - if you have a serious injury and need surgery, hospitalizations, rehab, and can't work, you need an attorney who only represents people like you who are seriously injured. Insurance issues are complicated and insurance coverage needs to be investigated from the beginning by lawyers who do that every day.
Getting the best lawyer for your accident case in DC.
Above all else, these cases come down to trust. You need to be able to trust that your attorney is doing everything he or she can for you and your family.
For our clients, we have a relationship, so you want someone you can talk to, work with and trust.
You want someone who is experienced and understands the medicine to better understand your medical condition and your medical and rehab needs, both now and what those will look like in the future. There are a lot of issues we discuss with our seriously injured clients, like:
- Will you need full or part time nursing care?
- Will you need modifications to your home so you can live comfortably even after a serious injury?
- What kind of disability benefits will you be able to get in addition to any settlement from the other driver's insurance company?
- How will your medical treatment be paid for?
- How soon will you be able to get a settlement that starts helping you?
- Will you have to go to Court?
So the best accident lawyer is experienced and specializes in helping people with serious injuries, but is also easy to talk to.
Need help finding the best lawyer for you and your family?
We feel so strongly about helping you and your family get the best lawyer after an accident that we developed a checklist, or list of questions for you to ask any lawyer you may be thinking of working with, to make sure they have the right experience to help you. Just call us at (202) 393 - 3320 or email us at [email protected] and we'll send you a free copy.
Why do we do this?
First, we have a very exclusive law firm and we have to turn away many more people than we can help - we only agree to work with a select few, people with very serious injuries after an accident, because that is where we can do the most good.
Second, we see a lot of people who got the wrong lawyer for their case, and that just sucks.
If you've been in a serious accident in DC, Maryland or Virginia and need a lawyer, call us at (202) 393 - 3320 or contact us through the confidential website form and we'll call you. We'll give you an honest, down to earth assessment of what we think - and we promise we'll try to help you in some way, even if it turns out we're not the best lawyer for you and your family!
The call is free, confidential and helpful!
How Do I Know I'm Getting a Fair Settlement From the Insurance Company After a Car Accident?
Getting a Fair Settlement From the Insurance Company
Getting a fair settlement from the insurance company after a serious accident can be difficult - you really have to understand how insurance companies work and know the law on accident cases and insurance in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Accident cases can be more complex in the DMV than in other areas of the country because we often have the accident occuring in Maryland, hospitalizations and medical treatment in D.C. and the driver who caused it (and his insurance company) being in Virginia.
But there are a number of critical things that go into getting a fair settlement for your accident case.
Settlement of a Car Accident Case Depends on a Few Basic Questions
A good settlement will depend on a lot of factors. so there are a number of things an experienced lawyer who helps people with serious accident cases will need to determine (or you if you are trying to settle a case for minor injuries yourself - and don't believe what other lawyers tell you, or the TV commercials - for some cases you don't need a lawyer).
Are There Serious Injuries Caused By The Accident?
We're a lot different than most lawyers. That starts with the first thing we want to talk to you about, evaluate and help you with - you. We want to know how you're doing.
Are you still in the hospital or did you have a long hospital stay? Did you have surgery caused by the trauma of the crash? Do you need more surgeries in the future? Are you facing a long and painful rehab? Do you have to stay home or quit your job because you can't physically do it anymore? How has this affected you and your family? How are you paying for the medical treatment you need?
There is a lot to ask and find out about. And we want to help people who are the most severely injured - that's where we can really make a difference in someone's life.
How Did the Accident Happen?
Were you rear-ended? Did the other driver run a red light? Were you a pedestrian hit by a car?
The facts of the accident should be investigated immediately - getting the police report, talking to witnesses, going to the scene of the crash, taking photographs of the cars are all important steps in the process.
All three local areas in the DMV - DC, Maryland and Virginia have their own laws, courts and procedures, so where the accident happened may be a factor. But DC, Maryland and Virginia all are contributory negligence states, meaning that if someone is at all responsible for or at fault for (even 1% at fault) an accident that they are hurt in, they won't be able to win their case.
It's a harsh law, but the way it is. So insurance companies are always looking to blame you for the accident, or say that you were partially at fault (one of the reasons not to give a recorded statement to the insurance company without talking to a real accident lawyer first). They investigate the accident and try to blame you.
Is There Enough Insurance Coverage For a Fair Settlement?
If you have serious injuries and the accident was clearly caused by the other driver, you need to make sure there is enough insurance coverage to get a fair settlement. In this area of DC, Maryland and Virginia, the policy limits for car insurance are relatively low - $25,000 (and Virginia doesn't require auto liability insurance).
If you've been hospitalized, had surgery, have permanent injuries and can't work, that $25,000 won't go very far.
So it's critical to determine whether there is additional insurance coverage available - was the person who caused the accident on the job at the time? If so, his employer may be responsible. Some people have umbrella policies - an extra liability insurance policy, usually $1,000,000.00 or more that will pay in very serious accidents - but you have to understand to ask for that.
And every driver should have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage on his own insurance policy. This coverage protects you by providing additional insurance coverage over the limits of the person who caused the accident. UM and UIM is a little different in every state but is usually inexpensive and can really protect you if you're in a serious accident.
If You Have Serious Injuries Caused by an Accident, Talk to a Serious Injury Lawyer
Let's face it, these are just basic tips and to make sure you don't make a mistake or get taken advantage of by the insurance company, reach out to us today at (202) 393 - 3320 or fill out our short contact form and we'll get in touch with you. We know a lot about these cases, and we're happy to talk to you personally, confidentially and with no obligation to make sure you get the best information for you and your family.
What Should I Do After a Serious Car Accident on the Beltway
If You've Been in a Serious Car Accident, You May Be Shaken Up and Unsure of What To Do
After a serious accident on the beltway, I-66, I-270 or any of the crowded highways around D.C., there are a number of steps to take (and a number to avoid as well). Naturally, the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians comes first. Make sure everyone is safe and gets the immediate medical attention needed for any injuries caused by the accident. Even if you don't feel injured at the time, call an ambulance or go to the hospital to get checked out. Injuries may appear later on, even weeks later, due to the adrenaline your body produces at the time of injury.
After an accident caused by another driver, you'll probably be contacted by that driver's insurance company. The insurance adjuster will want want all kinds of personal information and try to get you to give a recorded statement. Especially if you have serious injuries, don't give a statement or sign any forms without getting information about your rights and responsibilities. Wait until you have a clear head and have spoken to an attorney about your rights before you allow the insurance company to set you up for a lower settlement. They may even try to deny your claim if you don't get medical treatment right away and get the treatment connected to the accident in the medical records.
Where Do I Start After a Serious Accident on the Beltway?
Here's a good starting point for people hurt in an accident in D.C., Maryland and Virginia - order our free copy of 7 Deadly Sins that will Wreck your Accident Case. For serious injuries that require surgery, hospitalization or prevent you from working and feeding your family - don't delay. Get specific information about your situation by calling us at (202) 393 - 3320. We will get you started on the path to success.
Do you offer video appointments for car accident cases?
Experienced Car Accident Lawyers in DC Can Help You with Video Meetings
An accident that wasn't your fault in DC or on the Beltway in Maryland or Virginia can have serious consequences. A lot of the accidents we see cause serious injuries requiring surgery, hospitalization and extensive rehab. And our philosophy is simple - we want you to focus on getting better, getting the medical treatment and therapy you need. We eliminate the stress of dealing with the insurance company on your case - so you don't have to worry about getting taken advantage of or making a mistake that hurts your case.
Our DC Accident Attorneys Deal with Insurance Companies So You Don't Have To
Our accident lawyers have a process we've developed over 25 years to make sure you are taken care of - just check out some of our reviews. Whether you were just visiting when the accident happened or you live nearby, our lawyers can help you without you ever needing to come to our office. We are fully equipped to meet with you by video conference, sign all the paperwork digitally and get started helping you with your car accident case today.
We've already helped several clients who were injured and hospitalized during the coronavirus, so couldn't have visitors at the hospital, and it was too risky to meet with them personally in their homes - since they were in a potentially compromised condition after being in the hospital.
One of the Keys to a Successful Accident Case is Getting Started Right Away.
With any serious injury case in DC, there is a lot to do right away. You need to determine and coordinate all of the insurance coverage - health insurance, the other driver's insurance, your car accident coverage, any other insurance policies or benefits that may apply, like long term disability or workers comp (if the accident happened when you were working or in a work vehicle), investigate the scene of the accident, assess all of the damage to the cars, interview witnesses and first responders, and coordinate all of the medical care you need.
So don't wait - if you've been hurt in an accident, call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 for a video appointment so we can help take away the stress of dealing with the insurance company while you focus on getting better.
Should I Use My Health Insurance To Pay Medical Bills ?
You Have To Use Your Personal Insurance To Get Medical Treatment After An Accident
If you are injured in a car accident in Maryland, Virginia or D.C. you can use your health insurance to pay for medical treatment from the accident. Its really a question of whether your health insurance company has a lien or right to be paid back from a settlement with the other driver's insurance company. In D.C. and Maryland, most health plans require repayment of what they have paid for medical treatment if someone gets a settlement or verdict from the other driver's insurance company. In Virginia, most health plans cannot recover their payments from a settlement (this is also called subrogation) because of Virginia's anti-subrogation statute.
Typically, most health insurance plans pay less than the actual charges, so it is usually better for someone injured in an automobile accident to use their health insurance rather than agree with the doctor or hospital to pay the medical bills out of any settlement because the health care providers will be entitled to the full amount from the settlement and if the case doesn't settle, is lost or not pursued, you are still on the hook for the medical bills.
The analysis also depends on whether you were injured in an accident in D.C. Maryland and Virginia, where you live, where you work (if that's where you get your health insurance), other car insurance you may have, etc. If you have questions about what to do after a D.C., Maryland or Virginia accident, just call us at (202) 393-3320 and we'll talk it through.
I Was in an Accident That Wasn't My Fault. Will The Other Driver's Insurance Company Pay My Hospital Bills?
After a Serious Accident in the DMV, the Other Driver's Insurance Doesn't Pay Your Medical Bills As You Go - Here's What to do About That.
We get this question a lot. A lot of people think the other driver's insurance company will take care of their medical bills - the hospitalization, surgery, rehab, specialists you need after getting hurt in a big accident in DC, Maryland or Virginia. But it doesn't work this way. The other driver's insurance won't pay those medical bills directly.
Instead - here's what you need to do.
First, if you have health insurance, use it.
Depending on where you live and what health insurance you have, you may have to pay back what your health insurance paid out of any settlement - that's ok for a couple of important reasons. First, your health insurance doesn't pay the full amount of the charges, so you only have to pay back what the health insurance paid, not what the hospital or doctor actually charged. Second, you only have to pay it back if you win or settle your case against the other driver's insurance company - they are not entitled to anything if you lose the case or never receive a settlement.
Second, understand how the system works.
Educate yourself on the insurance claims process - what kind of damages are allowed and how will you prove things like medical expenses, future medical needs and expenses, pain, future lost income and the other types of damages you may be entitled to as a result of the accident.
Third, keep records of everything.
In any case against the other driver's insurance company, if you can prove the other driver was at fault and that you were injured, you may be able to get a settlement, but this comes at the end of the process, usually after your injuries have healed or you don't need any more medical treatment from the accident. You need to have everything ready so you can make your best case to the insurance company.
If you don't have health insurance, part of your settlement will go to pay your medical expenses.
Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers Today.
We help people with serious injuries every day in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Call us at (202) 393 - 3320 to order one of our free consumer guides, books or reports and tell us your story to see if we can help you and your family.
The Insurance Company Said There is a Time Limit to See a Doctor. Is That True?
My brother was in a car accident in Maryland where it was the other driver's fault. How long does he have to see a doctor for his injuries?
The insurance company said there is a time limit to see a doctor. Is that true?
When someone is hurt in an accident, there is no time limit to see a doctor or get medical care. But to recover for injuries caused by a negligent driver, the medical care and treatment must be related to the accident. Obviously, if it was a fender bender and your brother waited 9 months to see a doctor, that doctor's visit probably wouldn't be related to the accident.
The best advice is that if you're hurt, get checked out by a doctor to make sure the injuries are not more severe than originally thought.
Realistically, the insurance company (or a jury if your injuries are serious and your case goes to trial) will not believe you were hurt in the accident if you didn't get medical treatment in the ER or from a doctor soon after.
And if you have severe, life-changing injuries caused by a serious accident, those can require lifetime medical care and treatment. As far as the case against the other driver's insurance company is concerned, you don't have to actually get all that medical treatment before your case settles or goes to trial.
We see that all the time in our cases usually we hire experts, life care planners and physicians, to analyze the future medical care needs and examine you so they can testify about all of the medical care and treatment you will need in the future. So there is no time limit on the future medical care and treatment; the present value cost of the future medical care and medical expenses must be taken into account at the time of settlement or verdict.
Have you been in a serious auto accident in DC, Maryland, or Virginia? Call us today at 202-393-3320 - we can get you answers today.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer to Deal with my Car Accident?
Why do I need a lawyer for a car accident?
If you were injured in a car accident, it may feel like the individual at fault for the accident and their insurance company have immediately jumped into action to try to lessen their financial or legal responsibility for the accident in any way possible. It can be scary to deal with this on your own. Insurance adjusters may try to bully you into unfair agreements or to place blame for the accident onto you. For these reasons, it is important to hire a lawyer quickly who will make sure that you are meeting the aggression of the insurance company with forceful efforts to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
In addition to advocating for you, a lawyer will help you to understand your rights and will ensure that insurance companies aren’t misleading you, making false claims, or using complex technical and legal language as a means of confusing you into accepting a settlement that is less than what you are owed.
As this article explains, it is likely that after a car accident, you will have incurred numerous unexpected expenses such as car repairs, doctor’s office visits, or missing work. A lawyer will work to make sure that your settlement accounts for all of these factors, along with compensation for your suffering and other intangible effects of the accident. Even if you don’t file a lawsuit, it is important to have a lawyer available to help you navigate the often complicated process of reaching a settlement agreement.
Choosing a lawyer who genuinely cares about you and your case, has a track record of success in car accident cases, and clearly understands how to fight and win against big insurance companies is invaluable in making sure you end up with the best outcome possible. It wasn’t your fault that you were injured, and you should never be bullied by an insurance company that simply doesn’t want to award you compensation that you are owed.
Having a lawyer by your side as your tireless advocate will help you to focus on healing. You shouldn’t have to deal with the stress of navigating complicated legal proceedings. Leaving that responsibility in the hands of your lawyer will help you recover more quickly and return to the normal life that you are accustomed to.
If you are the victim of a car accident and are seeking legal representation, don’t hesitate to call us today at 202-393-3320. Whether you are hoping to file suit, reach a fair settlement, or simply would like more information about the work that lawyers like us do to help car accident victims, we would be happy to help you get started. We have years of experience dealing with car accident cases and are happy to share our knowledge with you at no obligation to you – in fact, we don’t get paid unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
When should I hire a lawyer after a serious car accident?
That is a great question - one that we get a lot.
If you have a serious injury, you can ignore those CALL NOW!!! WE'RE AGGRESSIVE!! WE GET YOU MONEY!! screeching TV commercials you see (and same for the internet pop-up ads).
If you were in a tiny fender bender with no real injury, just some stiffness and you want some lawyer to send you to his chiropractor buddy to run up a bill and get some small settlement that pays the lawyer and the chiropractor more than you...then go ahead and call one of those commercials.
And don't be fooled by the more "tasteful" ads - some lawyers are just better at making commercials but they do the same thing with your case.
Quick story - I was moderating a panel of judges at a forum with a group of trial lawyers a few years ago. It was like a debate, I'd ask the questions and follow up and the judges would answer them. Right before we started, we were talking informally and getting prepared. One of the judges saw a lawyer who had just switched firms to a big TV advertiser and was now featured in their commercials.
"Oh," the judge said, "I see you're a big TV star now."
It was not a compliment.
Back to your question. There's actually a lot that goes into the decision of when to hire the best lawyer for you and your family (and getting the right lawyer for you - someone you can trust to give you the honest, best guidance and advice on your case so you can focus on your rehab and be able to make the best decisions for yourself and your family - is critical). Remember, it's a relationship. You have to be able to trust each other.
There is no real hurry in getting a lawyer right away but there are a few things you shouldn't do:
Don't talk to the other drivers insurance company adjuster - they are trained to get statements from you when you're in pain, on medication, not thinking clearly, worrying about your injuries, etc. - they want to get you to say something damaging about your case, something that they could use to pay you less than you deserve.
There is no reason to feel pressured to talk to the adjuster - they won't "close your case" if you don't call back (that means absolutely nothing by the way). They don't pay your doctors, therapists, surgeons, specialists, or hospital directly, so that is never an issue (but they might tell you it is).
We tell people all the time that we want you to focus on getting better - on your healthcare decisions, on your rehab.
Yes, we are here for you and can talk to you, but I guarantee you will hear us say that if you call. And we want to help you whenever you call.
Sometimes someone just needs us to answer a question or two, or called another lawyer and got bad advice, or needs some clarification and support on the insurance coverage they have available or whether their health insurance has a lien against their case (subrogation, or a right to be repaid what they paid out if your case settles).
And sometimes people want us to take care of all of the legal issues from the beginning, so they can focus on getting better. If that's you, that's OK too, we're happy to do that for people who want that.
So there is no hard and fast rule on when to hire a lawyer after a serious injury, especially in a car crash (if the serious injury happened at work, that can complicate things so call us to help give you specific guidance on that). And don't wait until you're close to the statute of limitations - we won't take a case that is close to the statute of limitations (the deadline to file a lawsuit for your injuries) because we may not have enough time to thoroughly investigate it and give you the best guidance and advice.
The main thing is that you are comfortable and make the right decision for you and your family. We have a lot of resources on the process of hiring the best lawyer after a serious injury and what to expect if you've been in a serious accident in D.C., Virginia or Maryland - they are all free, with absolutely no obligation - just call or click on them and we'll get them right out to you!