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Acker Law Blog

Sunday, October 28, 2012

What To Do If You In A Car Accident

 

What to do after you are involved in a car accident.

 Assume you are driving your car in New York and you are involved in an accident in which you have sustained injuries.  You have been taken to the hospital and you anticipate that treatment will cause you to miss several months of work.   Following are some things you should do.

 A policy of insurance that conforms with the law of New York automatically provides coverage for medical and hospital treatment, for lost wages and for other necessary expenses.  There is a minimum amount of coverage even in the least expensive policies but the amount of coverage may be greater if you have purchased additional coverage.  

All occupants of the car are entitled to benefits under the policy. 

 The accident must be reported to the insurance company as soon as possible.  Once the happening of the accident has been reported to the company a claim number should be obtained.  The claim number functions much like an insurance card.  The company should send out an application for no-fault benefits.  That application must be completed, signed and submitted to the company in order for it to pay any benefits.  The injured party will receive instructions with the form.

 If you have gone to the hospital and no information was given to the billing department the hospital should be contacted and given the name, address and telephone number of the insurance company insuring the vehicle along with the claim number so that the bill may be sent to the insurance company for payment.

 Once you have been discharged from the hospital, or if you were not treated at a hospital, you should go to a doctor or doctors in the specialties that address the particular injuries complained of.  All too often we have clients who tell us they have seen a medical doctor  but they don't know what type of doctor, orthopedist, neurologist, etc. they have seen. Know the names and addresses of the doctors and the specialties in which they practice. In addition, understand that if you retain an attorney the records of the treating doctors generally will not be provided automatically and typically, the attorney pays for the records.  The payments made by the attorneys are called disbursements and are repaid to the attorneys if and when the matter is resolved.

 At some point after the claim has been made the insurance company that insured the vehicle will send you to a doctor or doctors of their choice in various specialties.  The exam, often referred to as an independent medical exam (IME) is anything but independent and is performed as a way for the insurance to justify a termination in benefits.   These exams are usually set up by companies in the business of making appointments and the doctors who do the exams are often well known in the industry.

These doctors will then issue reports of the examination which may result in a denial of benefits or may allow the benefits to continue.

 Lost wages will be paid so long as the company has three things, the application for no-fault benefits, a disability note or certificate from the treating doctor and the employer has submitted a verification of lost wages.  You must have a disability note from the doctor every thirty days.  Lost wages can only be paid for a limited period of time pursuant to the policy.

 

If you have an accident you may contact the firm.  The initial consultation is free of charge. 




Robert T. Acker, P.C. assists clients in North Massapequa, NY as well as Seaford, Amityville, Wantagh, Farmingdale, Copiague, Bellmore, Levittown, Bethpage, Lindenhurst, Merrick, East Meadow, Old Bethpage, West Babylon, Melville, Uniondale, Hicksville, Roosevelt, Plainview, Wyandanch, Freeport, Babylon, Hempstead, Baldwin, Westbury, Jericho, West Islip, Garden City, Deer Park, Point Lookout, Carle Place, Syosset, Woodbury, Rockville Centre and Oceanside in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties.



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