FAQ – Answers to Commonly Asked Auto Accident Questions

Should I get medical treatment?

If you are hurt or you think you may be hurt, then you should get treatment. If you believe you may be seriously injured or you do not know the seriousness of your injuries you should go to the emergency room. Evaluate your pain level.

Your accident may not have seemed serious, but you could have serious injuries. Head, neck, and upper back injuries can occur at speeds as low as 4 mph. These injuries can include concussions, whiplash, and even herniated discs.

Injuries can be unpredictable. If you have injuries to your head, neck, or back, it is best to go the ER.

You may decide to go to urgent care, or you may go to your family doctor or to a chiropractor. The decision is yours.

If you do not seek medical advice from a professional, it will be difficult to determine how serious your injuries are and you may not get the treatment that you need.

How will my medical bills get paid?

Usually it is best to have your medical bills paid in the usual way in the beginning. You should provide your health insurance information to your medical providers for payment. You may owe a copay, deductible, or coinsurance. Alternatively, you can use your med pay to pay for your medical bills. The auto insurance company must pay for your reasonable and necessary medical expenses. But, it may take time to settle your case and get all your bills paid. Make sure that you keep track of your medical bills, statements, and collection notices, and send copies to your attorney. You may need to make payment arrangements until your case settles. Many medical providers will accept a small monthly payment to avoid sending your bill to collections. Your attorney may be able to provide a letter of protection to some medical providers to defer payment until your case has settled.

Do I have to talk to the other insurance company?

If the insurance company wants to talk about your injuries or wants you to give a recorded statement, do not do so without speaking to an attorney first. You could seriously jeopardize your case. An attorney will be able to guide you through the claims process and help build your case against the insurance company.

How long does it take to settle?

It depends. There are many factors, including: 1) the severity of your injuries 2) the length of treatment 3) the facts of the accident, and many other factors. Each case is different. If someone tells you that your case can be settled within a certain amount of time, do not trust them.

How much do I get for my pain and suffering?

It depends. There is no magic formula. For example, the insurance company does not have to pay you “3 times your medical bills.” Some determining factors are: 1) severity of injuries, 2) the type, number, and frequency of reasonable and necessary medical treatments 3) medication, dosage and frequency, past and future 4) permanency of the injuries 5) future medical treatment or long term care plan.

Can I get a rental?

If another driver is at-fault, then the at-fault driver’s insurance company will provide you with a rental while your vehicle is being repaired. If your vehicle is totaled, the insurance company should allow you to keep the rental for at three days.

Will my car be worth less after it is repaired?

Yes. And you may be entitled to diminished value as compensation.

What does it mean if my car is totaled?

If your car is totaled, the insurance company must pay you the fair market value of your vehicle. The insurance company will take possession and title of the vehicle. If you choose to keep the vehicle, the insurance company will pay you the fair market value minus the salvage value of the vehicle. You will need to obtain a salvage title and your vehicle will not be drivable until it passes inspection.