Not On Your Side; How Insurance Companies Work Against You
POSTED BY Jon Corra . September 28, 2018
When you’re injured in a car accident, you’ll almost certainly experience a range of emotions. When the accident initially occurs, you may experience fear. After the accident, you’ll probably worry about your recovery. However, once you start to deal with the insurance company, you’ll likely experience frustration. Insurance companies do a lot to hinder the process. Here are some of the most common things insurance companies do to make the process more difficult for those seeking compensation:
They don’t communicate well. If you’re involved in an accident you’ll probably have to deal with an insurance adjuster and an insurance company you’re not familiar with. Depending upon the insurance company, the insurance adjuster may have more than 100 cases/individuals to keep track of at any given time. Chances are good that, when you call the adjuster, he or she may not return your call. When you call company’s main number, you’ll probably end up speaking with someone in a call center who has little to no information about your case.
They try to get you to admit fault. Insurance companies may attempt to get you to admit fault, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. They may go as far as asking you “loaded” or confusing questions about the accident that may trick you into admitting you were at fault for the accident. For instance, if you were in the front car in a rear-end collision, they may ask you something like “what could you have done to avoid the accident?”
Ask you to sign paperwork. An insurance company will need to obtain your medical records. To do this, they will need you to sign a medical release. This is pretty standard. However, be sure to review the release thoroughly. Some companies may try to get records from before the accident, or records that have nothing to do with your case. This is often done in an attempt to find something other than your accident that could have caused your injuries.
They’ll try to get you to settle for less. Insurance companies are notorious for this. They often give you far less than you deserve. If you settle with the insurance company, it’s not uncommon that they will delay the process of sending your payment. Meanwhile, your medical bills are piling up, while your concern for your financial future is increasing daily.
They’ll tell you not to hire an attorney. Insurance companies don’t want you to work with someone who is well versed in the law. An attorney knows what constitutes a fair settlement for the type of accident you had, and they’ll fight to make sure you’re compensated properly. This means that the insurance company will have to pay you more than they want to.
For many people, being involved in a serious accident is one of the most trying times in their life. This is only made worse by the actions of the insurance company. The first thing they’ll do is tell you no. That’s why you need an attorney who won’t take no for an answer. If you’d like to know more about the service we offer, call us today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form. A member of our team will contact you to schedule an appointment at a more convenient time.
How Does a Lawyer Evaluate a Car Accident Case?
POSTED BY Jon Corra . July 18, 2018
The days following a car accident can be scary. If you’re injured or witness a car accident, you need to plan your recovery. If your injuries will keep you from working, you’re probably going to be worried about finances. and if you witness a car accident you should not take a risk to put yourself in danger.
And lastly, you’ll likely be looking for an attorney to represent you. But which personal injury attorney should you choose? You’ll have a lot of options to choose from, no matter where you live.
Here are 4 factors that a personal injury attorney will typically use to evaluate your claim:
One of the largest factors for any personal injury claim is an actual injury. You can’t pursue a personal injury claim if an injury hasn’t occurred.
If you are injured, you must have some sort of medical treatment in order for a favorable decision to occur. Medical evidence is the most important aspect of your case. Medical records from a credible medical professional are crucial.
When did the accident occur? A lot of people will start searching for an attorney quickly after their accident happens. That’s good. However, some people may wait. You shouldn’t wait too long.
Timing varies from state to state, but most areas have a statute of limitations. In West Virginia, the statute is two years.
Who is at fault?
The police report will play a big part in determining who was at fault in a car accident. If you’re at fault for the accident you were in, you will have a difficult time receiving compensation or arguing your case.
Have you settled?
Insurance companies are notorious for under-compensating you for your Injuries. They will send you an offer that will likely be far less than you deserve. These offers can be tempting for accident victims. But if you accept the offer, you may not be able to pursue a personal injury claim.
Car accidents can be scary, but seeing an attorney shouldn’t be. We offer free case evaluations by experienced, caring professionals. If you’d like to know more about the services we offer, call us today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so we can contact you at a better time.
How Does the RFC form Impact Your Disability Claim?
POSTED BY Jon Corra . December 11, 2017
Anyone who has even considered applying for Social Security Disability will tell you that there are a lot of acronyms. An individual pursuing Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income will quickly learn that DDS is an abbreviation for Disability Determination Section. They also quickly find out that ALJ means Administrative Law Judge, and DE is short for Disability Examiner. Even Social Security Administration is typically abbreviated to SSA. But one acronym that many Social Security applicants may not be aware of is RFC.
RFC is short for residual functional capacity. Now that you know what the letters stand for, you’ll likely want to know what it means. Here is how the SSA explains RFC:
“Residual functional capacity assessment. Your impairment(s), and any related symptoms, such as pain, may cause physical and mental limitations that affect what you can do in a work setting. Your residual functional capacity is the most you can still do despite your limitations. We will assess your residual functional capacity based on all the relevant evidence in your case record.”
Essentially, SSA is determining what limitations you may have due to your conditions. For instance, back pain may limit your ability to stand for longer than 4 hours out of an 8 hour day or social anxiety may limit your ability to work with the general public. SSA will be looking to see if there are still jobs within the national economy that you can do despite the limitations defined within your RFC.
If you have multiple disabilities, SSA will consider the combined limitations established for all of them to determine your ability to work. For instance, your back pain may limit you to only performing sedentary type jobs but your mental health diagnosis also limits your ability to concentrate for longer than 30 minutes at a time. The physical & mental limitations combined would further reduce the jobs you could perform than only one limitation by itself. That’s why it’s important to list ALL of your disabilities when you apply for benefits. Or, if you’re working with an attorney, you’ll want to make sure they’re aware of all of your disabilities, as well as the ways in which they limit you.
[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOK7KTjXhVs” width=”500″ height=”380″]Now that you understand the basics of RFC, you may be curious as to who determines your RFC. Actually, it’s a combination of people. Disability Determination Services is a state agency, and is the first level of determining disability benefits. DDS has individuals called Disability Examiners who work with a medical consultant to determine your RFC. These individuals consider limitations your doctor has assigned you, such as the inability to stand more than 10 minutes or lift more than 10 pounds. This is why it is extremely important to have your doctor document the limitations along with your symptoms within your medical records.
The RFC is first used to determine if you can do the type of work that you’ve done for the past 15 years. If you’ve done sedentary work for the past 15 years and your RFC states that you can do light work, which is above sedentary work, they will likely suggest that you return to your previous type of work. If the Disability Examiner determines you can’t do your prior job, they will then determine whether, given your RFC, your age, your education, and your skills, you should be able to learn another job.
This can be a difficult process to understand and navigate. That’s why so many people turn to the team at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law to help them get the benefits they deserve. If you’d like to know more about the services we offer, or if you’d like a free consultation, give us a call today. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. If you can’t talk to us now, fill out this form so that we may call you at a better time.
Exploring a new trend in automotive safety
POSTED BY Jon Corra . September 05, 2017
If you are in the market for a new car, there’s a good chance that safety is at the top of your list of priorities. The auto industry is now offering more advanced safety technology than ever before, and most vehicles offer options like automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and more airbags.
But one new feature, in particular, has generated interest in the industry. Airbag equipped seatbelts may not be as common as some safety features, but they can offer additional protection for vehicle occupants.
Most consumers haven’t heard of airbag equipped seatbelts, in part because they are currently only offered by two manufacturers.
Ford Motor Company offers them in Ford and Lincoln models, and Mercedes-Benz currently offers their own version of the inflatable seatbelt in a few of their cars.
They are more readily available from Ford, and it’s important to note that they are offered as an added, optional feature in some but not all Ford models, and aren’t currently included as a standard safety feature on new vehicles.
Ford’s Edge, Flex, Fusion and F-150 as well as Lincoln’s MKT, MKX and MKZ are the only ones that offer the enhanced seatbelts as an option.
Per Ford’s website, the feature is a $650 upcharge. It’s also worth noting that these seatbelts are for the rear seat, and are not offered on the front seat of any vehicle.
So why would anyone consider a seatbelt with an airbag? The inflatable belt is meant to reduce the force on the head, chest, and neck in a collision.
Generally, children ride in the back seat, and their bones are not fully developed yet. The inflatable seatbelt could possibly keep a child from having broken bones from the seatbelt as the result of a crash. According to the Ford website, the benefits of the seatbelts are as follows:
During a crash, the inflatable belt helps distribute crash forces across more of a passenger’s torso than a traditional belt – up to five times more. Spreading the pressure over a larger area helps reduce pressure on the passenger’s chest, and helps control head and neck motion.
If your little ones are still in car seats, then you should do some research. Not all car seats work with the inflatable seatbelts. The belt is thicker than the standard belts that most cars use, and also a little less flexible.
If you purchase a car equipped with inflatable seatbelts and have children in child seats, simply search online to see if your seat is compatible. Ford dealers should have up-to-date lists of compatible seats, but if you purchase your vehicle used, you will likely have to do your own research.
There is not a lot of research or testing to back up the claims made by Ford Motor Company. Ford has offered to sell the technology to other automakers, but it is unclear if any manufacturers have expressed interest.
Ford has been using it since 2011, and it does not appear that anyone else is introducing the technology in the coming model year.
After a motor vehicle accident, it’s not uncommon for someone to claim that they’re suddenly suffering from whiplash. Although the term does have a valid place in medical terminology, it sometimes gets used by people as a catchall term for a variety of minor to insignificant injuries. Despite this, there is a very real form of whiplash that can have lasting harm on a person’s body. In these cases, the best thing for a person to do is contact a knowledgeable Parkersburg personal injury lawyer, who can then help them figure out what the next step to take, is. Before determining what to do in the event of whiplash though, it’s important to first discuss what the neck pain is, how it originates, and ultimately how to deal with it.
What Is It?
The neck pain that results from a crash is the result of a rapid movement of the muscles located in the neck. When they’re swung back-and-forth in a sudden and disruptive motion, it can create unnecessary stress on the muscles and cause the ligaments to stretch and possibly even tear. This undue stretching and tearing causes even more pain than would otherwise normally occur and is the primary reason neck pain has become a serious issue after car accidents.
Although motor vehicle accidents are the most common reason behind neck pain, there are also plenty of other situations that cause the ligaments to unnecessarily stretch and tear. These situations include extreme physical abuse, unusually rough contact from sports, horseback riding, or any fall that involves the neck being thrown back or the head making contact with a heavy object. Given the variety of ways in which neck pain can result, it’s no wonder that many people seek out a Parkersburg personal injury lawyer to help with the issues that arise from it.
What Are The Most Common Symptoms?
Despite the frequency with which people claim to suffer from neck pain, the symptoms that are associated with torn or stretched ligaments aren’t entirely well known. For those are wondering if they’re suffering from genuine neck pain, there are a few key symptoms to keep track of. First, those suffering from neck pain tend to have a general stiffness in their neck that can’t be corrected with posture. In addition, they typically report suffering from dizziness and headaches, which are primarily centered at the base of the skull. Aside from general dizziness, those suffering from legitimate neck pain also tend to report suffering from blurred vision and a level of fatigue that manifests itself as constant weariness.
While those are just some of the most common symptoms, there are also other symptoms that appear, but less frequently. These less common symptoms range from the relatively harmless to the incredibly serious. In terms of less serious symptoms, some people have reported a general irritability, as well as difficulty with sleeping at night. For those suffering from more severe problems, there have been reports of people suffering from chronic pain long after the accident occurred, as well as significant issues with concentration and memory.
It is because of this wide range of symptoms that neck pain has come to envelope so many distinct problems with the upper part of the human body. This problem is compounded by the way people react in the moments immediately following an accident. In general, people try to focus any injuries to a specific area of their body, so it’s simply easier to assign everything to the neck, even if the actual problems are deeper or more disparate across the entire body.
In fact, more serious complications can occur if what began as neck pain has now moved on to pain in other parts of the body. It’s recommended that you contact a doctor if your neck pain has evolved into pain across your chest, shoulders, and head. This is especially true if your pain has turned into a general numbness or weakness. While you should be in constant communication with your lawyer to ensure that your case is being handled appropriately, you should spend just as much time speaking to your doctor to ensure that your body is being similarly treated appropriately.
How Is Neck Pain Diagnosed?
While most lesser forms of neck pain can be treated with simple home remedies, such as with the concentrated application of an ice pack or a few painkillers, that doesn’t mean there aren’t more serious cases of neck pain that need more rigorous treatment. As previously mentioned, there are certain red flags associated with specific types of neck pain, which can mean you need to seek out immediate medical attention.
In these circumstances, what happens next will typically depend on your doctor. Although it’s recommended to record everything that occurs after an accident, to bolster your claim in court, you don’t need to worry about that as much when you see the doctor. While everything that occurs in the hospital will certainly be relevant to your claim, it’s unnecessary for you to record everything, as the hospital will instead keep track of it for you. It’s also worth mentioning at this point that you shouldn’t try to avoid the hospital out of a fear of medical costs. Once you have a knowledgeable lawyer by your side, they’ll make sure those costs are covered by your insurance and anyone else that is held liable for the accident. Making sure that you’re in good health is far more important than trying to avoid a few medical bills.
Once you’ve visited the doctor, they’ll likely ask you a few questions regarding your accident. These questions aren’t to determine liability from the accident or anything, they’re simply one of the doctor’s many tools for making an effective diagnosis before treatment can occur. After testing your pain receptiveness in various areas of your body, they may need more information before reaching a conclusion. In these cases, they’ll most likely request to do an X-ray scan. This is primarily to rule out other possibilities that could also potentially be causing the pain, such as arthritis.
There are also other tests that a doctor may issue, such as a CT scan or an MRI, but those usually indicate a much more serious injury to the spinal cord or soft tissues around it.
Possibilities for Treatment
As mentioned previously there are quite a few home remedies associated with relieving neck pain stress. In the event of a more serious injury though, there are a few alternatives that doctors recommend. If a normal painkiller like Tylenol proves to be ineffective, then a doctor can write a prescription for a stronger one instead.
Other than traditional medication, there is also the possibility of physical therapy to consider. By applying something either hot or cold to your neck, you can then practice a few key exercises to restore strength and flexibility to the area. Aside from keeping your neck stable, it’s important to keep your mind stable as well. Relaxation techniques can help to keep your mind off the neck pain and put you in a better mood to speed up your recovery.
Although there’s a stereotype of someone walking around in a foam collar after an accident, the truth is that these types of collars should not be worn very often. Doctors typically recommend that these kinds of foam collars should only be worn for a few hours at a time immediately following an injury.
While these are the most common ways for people to deal with the neck pain from an accident, this is by no means an exhaustive list. In addition to the methods listed above, people have also used acupuncture, electronic nerve stimulation, and even chiropractors. If you’re someone that is currently suffering neck pain and haven’t seen progress from traditional routes, then one of these alternatives might help instead.
Complications To Be Aware Of
Despite the range of problems that can arise from neck pain, it typically does not last a long time. On average, a person will only experience neck pain for a few days at the most before it gradually goes away. Still, there are cases of people suffering from neck pain for several weeks, even up to a few months. Unlike the neck pain itself, one of the biggest issues is the chronic pain that can develop. Although doctors can typically trace back the origins of chronic pain to specific damage after an accident, it doesn’t actually always have an obvious medical explanation. This lack of a clear origin point can make treating chronic pain difficult, which makes the alternate medications we referenced earlier far more relevant.
What To Do
If you’re someone that has suffered from any form of neck pain after an accident, then the first thing you should do is contact a personal injury lawyer. After having done so, the next thing you’ll want to do is start recording everything that happened after the accident. The better job you do with record keeping, the more evidence you’ll have to help defend your claim in court. Of course, the most important step is to take care of yourself and seek out medical attention as quickly as possible.