Most people associate The Hartley Law Group with Real Estate Transactions and do not realize the firm handles personal injury matters. Personal Injury Law assists ciients with recovery of damages from injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and slips and falls.
In fact, in 2013 we obtained almost a half a million dollars in settlement monies paid out to our clients.
WHAT TO DO if you are injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident:
1. Call 911 and ask for an officer to come to the scene. Always cooperate with the police; they are there to assist.
2. If you are injured, seek medical attention right away. Even if you just feel achy or jarred, you may have a soft tissue injury and not seeking medical attention right away may adversely affect your claim down the road.
3. Take pictures of the damages to your vehicle, the vehicle that hit you, and your injuries. If your injuries prevent that at the scene, locate where your car has been towed and enlist a relative or friend to obtain pictures if you cannot. Smart phone pictures are acceptable.
4. If you are not at fault, the other party's insurance company should pay to repair your vehicle. Be careful what you say to the adjustor. The other party's insurance company is not there to protect your interest so do not discuss your injuries with them.
5. Contact The Hartley Law Group at 757-802-3732 for a free consultation. The Hartley Law Group does not charge any fees unless we receive a settlement for you. We are here to answer any questions you have and to navigate you through what can be a very difficult time.
6. Use your medical insurance. Personal Injury matters are not funded until your treatment is complete, all the medical records and bills are collected, and a demand package has been sent to the adjustor. This can take months so you do not want to potentially damage your credit by waiting for the settlement to pay your bills. Co-pays and monies you have fronted will all be included in what is demanded.
7. Follow up with your primary care physician and stick to the treatment plan. Gaps in treatment can adversely affect your case.
The Hartley Law Group is your advocate, not the insurance company. Most insurance companies now use a software program to calculate settlement value based on:
- The type of injury. Were there any broken bones? Fractures that are easy to verify? Is it a soft tissue injury?
- Hospitalization. Were you taken from the scene and whether you were kept overnight? If you did not go to the hospital after your accident, your claim can be devastated.
- Type of treatment. Diagnosis from primary care physicians, physical therapists, and specialists has a higher value. Diagnosis from chiropractors and less traditional providers are ignored.
- Treatment length. Chiropractic treatment over 20 or 25 visits will be ignored, however a higher value is given for physical therapy treatments.
- Delays and gaps in treatment. This can devastate your claim. If there are reasons for delays, make sure your doctor documents those reasons in your medical records.
- Medication. Whether you used medication, how regularly, and how long.
- Level of impairment. If you have some permanent impairment, have your doctor document that in the medical records.
Also keep in mind that if you have injuries that are severe and the adverse party has minimum insurance coverage or no coverage at all a claim will be made under your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Many people only have $25,000 minimum, however surgery and an overnight hospital visit will exceed that minimum so I recommend at least $100,000 uninsured/underinsured coverage.
If you are in an accident or just have some questions on the information provided, please do not hesitate to contact us at 757-802-3732.