What Are Your Options for Recovery After an Accident?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of John Sloan with Sloan Firm.
Medical expenses and lost wages are just two of the financial challenges a person may face after suffering an injury as the result of a car accident. The good news is that after an accident, you may have several options for physical and financial recovery available to you. In some cases, more than one option may be applicable. To discuss the option that is right for you, reach out to a car accident attorney sooner rather than later.
Insurance may be an option for recovery after a car accident.
Depending on the type of insurance you carry, your auto insurance may or may not be of help to you after an accident. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payment (MedPay) coverage is included with many insurance policies but may be waived by the policyholder.
Car accident attorneys across the board do not recommend waiving these protections, because if you are injured in a car accident, PIP or MedPay might provide a means of paying your medical bills. In fact, if you are able to purchase additional PIP or MedPay coverage, this is often recommended. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is an additional policy that lawyers recommend purchasing as it ensures some financial protection for you if you are injured in an accident with an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver.
In some cases it may be possible to combine multiple insurance policies to provide you with maximum protection; this practice is called “insurance stacking” and may require the help of an experienced car accident attorney to do so effectively. It’s also important to note that depending on your insurance plans, you may prefer to have your medical costs billed to your health insurance. This is another practice that a car accident attorney may be able to assist you with.
If the accident occurred due primarily to the other party’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim for recovery.
This method of recovery is particularly important to consider for those who suffered a serious injury as the result of a car accident. Even if the driver is concerned that they may have partially contributed to the accident, they may still be eligible to make a recovery through litigation depending on their state. A personal injury claim or lawsuit allows the injured party to collect and present evidence regarding when, where, and how the accident occurred, as well as presenting evidence of their damages including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The at-fault party may then choose to offer a settlement, or go to court to try the issue before a judge and jury. If offered a settlement, the injured party may still choose to take the case to court if they feel that the amount offered was insufficient to compensate for their damages. In any accident where the injuries or damages are significant, it’s important to consult with an experienced accident attorney before accepting a settlement offer.
If the accident occurred during work-related activities, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation, or “workers’ comp”, is a type of employee injury insurance which most employers carry. This insurance helps pay for certain medical bills after an employee has been injured on the job, and may also cover lost wages during their treatment and recovery period. However, it’s important to note that in most cases an employee receiving workers’ comp benefits is not allowed to sue their employer. Exceptions to this rule might be when the employer does not offer workers’ comp, offers insufficient workers’ comp, or directly caused or contributed to the injury due to negligence.
To learn more about your specific options for recovery after an accident, reach out to a car accident attorney.