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Personal Injury Patient Management

Managing Fear

In large part, the management of patients involved in motor vehicle accidents is synonymous with managing fear. Patients are fearful their insurance rates will increase if they receive treatment. Patients are fearful of what may happen to their ability to work as a result of the injury. Patients are fearful of how they are going to pay to get their car fixed. Patients are fearful of attorneys; the costs of attorneys, having to testify in trial and what others may think if they pursue litigation. Patients are fearful of the adverse exam; of being touched by a health care provider they don’t trust, and of having their treatment benefits cut off. These are just a few of the fears a person injured in a motor vehicle accident experiences. If the health care provider is not adept at addressing these fears the patient will most likely discontinue receiving the proper treatment.

Worry of Insurance Going Up

If insurers raise the rates of premiums it is called a surcharge. The most common two reasons a surcharge occurs is:

  1. The insured gets too many traffic violations within a specific period of time, or
  2. When motor vehicle accidents occur which result in a large amount of money being paid out by their own insurance company.

Damage to Vehicle

If the patient had obtained the option of collision insurance when purchasing the automobile insurance policy they would be entitled to receive payment for the vehicle damage minus any applicable deductible. The amount paid for vehicular damage is determined by the blue book value for a vehicle that is totaled. If the vehicle can be repaired the patient will be reimbursed for the actual or estimated costs of repair minus the deductible. If the patient had collision coverage but another driver caused the accident, often the other driver’s insurance company will voluntarily pay the claim in its entirety or pick up the payment for the deductible which was unpaid under the patient’s own collision policy.

If the other driver was at fault in the accident and the patient did not have collision coverage, the other driver’s insurance company may occasionally refuse to make payment for the damaged vehicle. As a practical matter they usually do not refuse payment. However, in the event payment is refused your patient continues to have a right to assert a claim in court by filing suit. Conciliation court (small claims) is a quick and inexpensive avenue to pursue payment. Before doing so, however, your patient should be strongly advised to consult an attorney. Suing in conciliation court for property damage to a vehicle can prevent your patient from making a claim later for permanent injuries and pain and suffering.

Contact Crabtree Health Law P.A. today for a free consultation by calling (651) 351-1400, (800) between 8am-5pm CST, M-F.