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Car Accident? Avoid the hospital!

Yes, I know it seems counter-intuitive, but unless you have a serious injury at the crash scene such that you are taken by ambulance to a hospital, going to a hospital is likely among the worst choices to make for medical care in a motor vehicle accident case. Why? First, hospitals are exempt from the 30 day billing requirements of No-Fault (PIP) insurance. This means that they can manipulate the submission of their bills to eat into personal injury settlement funds that would go to the injured person, so they can get paid more. Second, many hospitals have or claim some form of lien or assignment of benefits that entitles them to get paid, often even before the lawyers are paid. There are many instances were injured people are declined needed legal representation because the lawyers won’t fight with BOTH the at fault party and their insurer and the hospital to try to get paid for their efforts, only then to be confronted with an unhappy client that gets paid little on their case due to greedy hospitals. Third, many hospitals go haywire with racking up hyper inflated charges for often nominal injuries. Its not uncommon to see $30,000-40,000.00 in hospital bills with multi level expensive diagnostics performed, leaving little if any room for actual medical care with follow up physicians. By example, on a $50,000.00 bodily injury liability policy a $40,000.00 hospital bills essentially places the injured person in the situation where a settlement will likely do little more than pay the hospital bills leaving them uncompensated fore needed medical care, future medical care or pain and suffering.  Fourth, hospitals are “triage” facilities where they are only concerned with immediate loss of life or harm and whether you should be admitted for further care. They do NOT focus on long term care, rehab or other care functions, absent a catastrophic injury. This means that much of the information provided by hospital records is of little value in personal injury claims as they do nothing to document permanent impairment, impairment ratings, disability, projected care costs, or other information vital to maximizing payment on personal injury claims. These decisions must be made early on in the case/claim and cannot be undone once started. THIS is why its often critical to hire a personal injury lawyer ASAP, even calling from the scene if needed, to minimize these issues and with good legal advice avoid such traps, so that the injured person can maximize their recovery.

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