Personal Injury Protection

Lost Wages, Medical Expenses Recovered in Car Accident Settlement

One weekday morning in Eugene, Oregon, our client was driving to work in his Toyota Rav4. He was wearing his seat belt and driving his usual commute – nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing, that is, until a Jeep Cherokee driving in the opposite direction swerved across the center line and collided head-on into our client’s vehicle. Oregon Auto Car Accident Attorneys, Accident Attorney Oregon | Dwyer Williams Dretke PC | Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys Emergency medical personnel responded to the accident and took our client to the hospital, where his facial abrasions, strained wrist, bruised knees, and neck and back strains were examined and a treatment plan involving four months of physical therapy and rest was prescribed.

Given the relatively early hour of the auto accident, our client was surprised when he learned that the other driver was driving under the influence of intoxicants. When he contacted the police to get the other driver’s insurance information, he got the bad news that the information was incorrect. The police and our client assumed that the other driver was uninsured, leaving our client in a bad situation. Unsure of what to do next, he sought the help of an experienced auto accident attorney specializing in DUII accident cases.

As soon as I took the case, I looked into the at-fault driver’s insurance information and found out that he was insured. I got the correct information and filed a property damage and injury claim with the DUII driver’s insurance company. I also opened a personal injury protection (PIP) claim with the client’s insurance, which would cover his medical bills and lost wages initially, until we could settle the case with the at-fault driver’s insurance. I then provided our client’s medical records to the DUII driver’s insurance company, demonstrating the cost and extent of his injuries. Ultimately, I was able to negotiate an excellent settlement with the insurance company that covered our client’s medical bills, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering. Our client was very pleased – and glad that he had called Dwyer Williams Dretke.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident involving a DUII driver, we can help you get the best settlement possible. One of our expert Personal Injury Attorneys will be happy to discuss your Oregon Personal Injury case with you. Call us now: 541-617-0555

Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer Defends Client’s PIP Coverage

Our client was driving through a construction zone on a busy street. She was driving slowly and attentively, eventually coming to a full stop behind the traffic in the lane in front of her. The car directly behind her changed lanes, and the driver in the car behind it failed to notice that traffic had stopped. He crashed into the rear end of our client’s vehicle. She was injured in the auto accident and had to seek medical treatment.

Our client’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy was covering her medical bills. Then, her insurance carrier performed an independent review of her medical records and retroactively stopped medical expense coverage. Oregon Auto Car Accident Attorneys, Accident Attorney Oregon | Dwyer Williams Dretke PC | Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys This left our client with significant outstanding medical bills that she wasn’t sure she would be able to pay. She turned to an Oregon auto accident attorney at Dwyer Williams Dretke for help.

When I took the case, I started with a review of the client’s medical records and the carrier’s independent review report. I immediately spotted some inconsistencies and errors. For example, the independent review was conducted by a general surgery physician and not a specialist in the field of her injury. The independent review occurred months after her treatment, and there were several factual errors in the independent review that were easily corrected by statements in her actual medical records. Additionally, the insurance physician never actually examined our client, just her medical records. After compiling information regarding the errors and problems, I contacted the PIP carrier and disputed their reasons for stopping her medical expenses coverage.

In addition to contacting the PIP carrier, I opened negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Ultimately, we succeeded in getting our client’s PIP carrier to reinstate her medical benefits and pay off all of her outstanding medical bills. The at-fault driver’s insurance company also offered a fair settlement to compensate our client for her pain and suffering and medical costs.

If you have been in a car accident and your PIP carrier or insurance company is refusing you the coverage you deserve, contact us. One of our expert Personal Injury Attorneys will be happy to discuss your Oregon Personal Injury case with you. Call us now: 541-617-0555

I just got in a car accident, who is going to pay my medical bills?

Car Accident Related Medical Expenses

By Arne Cherkoss

Generally speaking, the insurance company covering the car you were in at the time of the car accident will cover your medical bills, at least initially.  This is called PIP, or Personal Injury Protection.  You may recall that PIP is available regardless of fault.  Please see my other blogs covering PIP for more detail.

Are there limits to how long PIP will pay or how much it will cover?

Yes.  PIP usually covers accident related medical expenses incurred within the first year following the accident.  Often times the amount of PIP benefits purchased by the insured is inadequate to cover all the medical expenses.  In that scenario the PIP benefits are said to have exhausted.  Reminder:  Call your insurance carrier and raise your PIP limits.  The minimum in Oregon is $15,000 in PIP coverage.  That will not cover much if you are involved in a serious auto accident.

I just got in a car accident, who is going to pay my medical bills?Another way to lose PIP benefits is by being cut off by the insurance company.  The PIP insurance company may have you examined by a doctor of its choosing.  The insurance companies call this an “independent medical examination.”  My experience is that these “independent” medical exams are generally slanted towards the insurance company.  The insurance doctor will usually blame the ongoing injuries on anything other than the auto accident.  If the “independent” doctor concludes that the need for treatment is unrelated to the auto accident, the insurance company will stop paying.

If the PIP year runs, the PIP benefits exhaust, or PIP stops paying, the next insurance in line to pay for accident related medical expenses is health insurance.  Health insurance generally will not cover medical bills until PIP is no longer paying.

 PIP ran out and I don’t have health insurance.  Now what?

Under this scenario, you will be responsible for paying for your ongoing medical treatment.  It is a good idea to speak with the health care providers and ask about working out a payment plan while you are still treating or ask whether they can put the bill on hold pending settlement of your case.

Of course there are other intricacies involved in the payment of automobile accident bills.  This blog is just meant to give you a brief sketch of who pays for accident related medical bills and the pecking order for who goes first.  I hope this sheds some light on this issue.  Remember, raise your insurance limits!