Here in Arkansas, if you have medical payment coverage, unless you’ve specifically signed rejections declining it, state law is that it must be provided up to $5,000. People often don’t realize that they’ve got that because if you don’t specifically reject it when you buy your insurance coverage, then you’ve got it. We’ve had clients that have come to us, and they didn’t buy it, but their insurance company can’t produce the signed rejections, and Arkansas law says that if you haven’t rejected it in writing, you’ve got it. We help people take advantage of the benefits they didn’t realize they had, usually $5,000, the state-required minimum.
You can buy more, most people don’t, but $5,000 goes a long way, and that can be used for out-of-pocket medicine that you may need, co-pays if you have health insurance, and other bills that might require large sums of money. So, your med pay medical payments coverage can help you get that. It opens many doors for you treatment-wise, which may be closed if you don’t have health insurance and don’t have the cash up front to pay for the care you need. One of the issues that we run into quite a bit is going to the hospital and hand them insurance information. They may try to file a lien on that med pay, and they try to get it right away. So, one of the things we can do as your attorney is to ensure that the hospital gets their bill paid by the health insurance and doesn’t try to collect the whole $5,000 to get paid when we can use that in better ways to get your bills paid.
Will My Insurance Rates Go Up If I Contact Them Or Use Them For My Injuries?
There are laws and insurance regulations in Arkansas that say your insurance rates cannot go up due to using this coverage that you’ve paid for. Your rate can go up if you’ve caused a wreck or if you’ve gotten a ticket for prohibited driving, but your rates cannot go up on their own just because you took advantage of coverage that you bought, paid for, and depend on in times that you need it.
Can My Attorney Go Through My Insurance Company And Handle Everything For Me?
Your attorney can handle everything with the insurance company, which is what we prefer. We prefer to set up claims with both insurance companies. One reason is that many people buy their insurance from the agent they’ve used for years, which their families used for years, and may feel a sense of loyalty to. They think it’s going to be a mark against their agent; it’s not. However, all of that pressure and potential guilt for using the coverage you paid for goes away if your attorney handles it.
What Are The Risks Involved In Having Contact With The At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company?
If you contact the at-fault party’s insurance company, they will want to take your statement. When they take your statement, you are talking to a trained claims professional whose job is to get the information about the claim, try to save the company money, and limit its exposure to paying out. They will ask questions in a way that devalues your claim that maybe put some of the faults on you. It’s human nature to want to get along, and when they suggest something that may not be entirely true and an accurate version of what happened, you may agree with it, and then they use that further down the line to hinder your claim.
Not many people are used to describing how an accident happened, and these adjusters are used to asking questions on how an accident happened, usually around ten times a day. It’s designed to devalue your case from the very beginning, and the insurance company takes advantage of that. Sometimes they will even try to send a check to get you to cooperate. For example, suppose you only have an ER visit, and you’ve got a follow-up scheduled somewhere, maybe with your family doctor or physical therapist or chiropractor. Of course, in that case, none of that will be covered, but the adjuster isn’t going to tell you that.
But you are going to have a check for $500, and you are going to have your hospital bill paid, and you are going to be cut off without them even seeing a single medical record to see what’s happened to you. They think that people will pounce on $500. It sounds like they are taking care of you when in reality, they are severely shortchanging you because they are evaluating your claim without having ever seen any evidence or medical records of what happened to you.
Should An Injured Party Ever Accept An Initial Upfront Settlement Offer From An Insurance Company?
An injured person should never accept an upfront settlement from the insurance company. I think that it’s unethical for any insurance company to try to settle your claim without even having seen your medical records. It’s ridiculous that it is even legal.
For more information on The Role Of Insurance In A Personal Injury Claim, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (479) 337-7077 today.