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Articles Posted in Injuries and treatment

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How can a personal injury attorney obtain medical records and costs?

After a car crash or other tortious act, the lawyer must obtain the victim’s medical records and calculate their bills to prevail in their lawsuit or insurance claim.

Unfortunately the process to obtain medical records can be expensive and slow and the ability to learn medical costs has been nonexistent. But these should not be road blocks that delay litigation and hobble insurance claims in our high-speed digital world.

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Accident victims got some unexpected good news yesterday. A sweeping new law that will prevent most surprise medical bills was approved by Congress as part of pandemic-related legislation. The bill now moves to the President for approval. Bravo!

This has been a serious problem for many years. One of the biggest problems injured victims face comes weeks or even months later when they open their mail and find enormous surprise medical bills. This often happens because they have been treated by a hospital or doctor outside of their health insurance network so their company paid little, if any, money.

Of course, rarely. if ever. do people in emergency situations like car wrecks know in advance which providers will be paid.

This has resulted in an abusive practice called balance billing.

Further, victims have no idea that the hospital can charge any amount of money it wants to. We often see hospital bills exceeding ten thousand dollars due to treatment by multiple physicians and extensive diagnostic testing, not to mention huge costs for surgeries.

On the other hand, if the bills are in-network, there is no balance due, other that the co-pay and deductible.

Further adding to the financial stress, someone often has a health insurance plan but it claims that it is secondary and refuses to pay. In other casers, it eventually pays after a long delay, but then demands to be repaid in a process called subrogation.

To make matters worse, the at-fault driver’s liability company has no legal duty to pay the plaintiff’s medical bills up front, so it doesn’t pay until it knows all of the damages the injured victim has suffered and how much money they are demanding for compensation.

Surprise medical bills are a huge problem, especially in Texas where they are generated at two times the national average.

The new law will help hundreds of thousands of Americans every year.

Unfortunately, it does not take effect until January 1, 2022.

So after the surprise car crash and surprise medical treatment, the surprise medical bills will surprisingly be allowed to continue for a long time.

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What is an eggshell plaintiff?

Personal injury law has always required a negligent person to pay for all damages suffered by the person they injure. This is due to the eggshell plaintiff rule that holds that the weakness or sensitivity of a victim cannot be used against them in court. But calculating those damages can be difficult, especially if they increased due to a past condition or injury. Personal injury lawyers and insurance lawyers battle over this issue on a daily basis.

Defense attorneys claim that the wrong-doer is not liable for the portion of the injury that pre-existed the accident. But the tortfeasor must take the person they harmed as they found them. The victim cannot be blamed for being vulnerable. An accident will cause them to suffer a greater injury and larger damages than the average person.

Getting your head smashed by a huge truck feels a lot like what a football player experiences when he is tackled and is thrown to the ground. A personal injury lawyer represents people with brain injuries from car wrecks and related neck and back injuries, not athletes. But a speeding truck or a blitzing linebacker both cause concussions. The brain is shaken and hits the skull. Bruising, tearing, or a fracture with bleeding and swelling can happen. Brain injuries from car wrecks and football games are all too common. For example, our client was driving this truck when another truck ran a red light, causing him to have surgery.

Walton

Brain injuries from car wrecks

If you have been in a car or truck wreck, how do you know if you have suffered a brain injury? It can often be difficult to know. 

Terrifying crash has a happy ending

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We are pleased that we were able to get the maximum amount of $80,000.00 paid to the young woman driving this car in Fort Worth only five weeks ago. We will also get her another $2,500.00 from her Personal Injury Protection policy.

Unfortunately, a young man in a pick-up truck failed to stop at a stop sign and t-boned her car. The impact pushed the car off the road where it plunged head-first into this drainage canal. Needless to say, she was seriously injured. 

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Medical bills payment can be a huge problem after a vehicle collision

After you have been in a car or truck crash, you may have been rushed by ambulance to an emergency room. Expensive medical treatment and tests were performed. Worrying about how these medical bills were going to be paid was probably the last thing on your mind. So you will be shocked to find out later that you owe a huge sum of money for your medical bills. This happens often.

Berenson Injury Law has been representing injured Texans for the past 40 years and this can be one of the biggest hassles of the car/truck crash process.

We see one or more of these happening:

  • Objections and delays are made by health insurance companies and medical professionals to avoid paying medical bills;
  • The hospital or medical providers may be out-of-network; or
  • The deductible, copayment, or coinsurance rate is not paid; or
  • The patient is required to repay the medical bills later from his settlement or jury verdict.

If this sounds familiar, that is because you were not told any of this at the hospital or by your doctors. You may not find out until months later when you open your mail and see “surprise bills” which can be $10,000 or more. You naturally assumed that the other driver’s insurance company or your health insurance plan would have paid these by now.

The medical bills morass is unfortunately a common problem after a car wreck, especially here in Texas. A recent study showed that we had almost the highest number of these out-of-network charges in the U.S.

If you have health insurance, you probably do not know which hospitals and doctors (other than your PCP) are in-network. You will have no idea what medical procedures cost. Before this happens to you, you should study your plan’s directory and research costs so you will be prepared.

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You can be seriously hurt after being in a car accident in Fort Worth or Dallas and not know it. A good example is blunt-force chest trauma. You may experience pain and have trouble breathing, but hope this goes away on its own. That can be a serious mistake. This post will answer your questions about how serious a chest injury after a car accident can be, what can you do to treat it, and whether you can be compensated.

This post is part of a series about injuries commonly sustained after a car or truck crash including to the

  1. Head
  2. Neck and back
  3. Spinal cord
  4. Shoulder
  5. Broken bones

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MRIMost people who are in car and truck accidents suffer from neck and back pain. Sometimes after undergoing diagnostic tests, they find out that the cushion-like disks that separate the bones (vertebrae) in their backbones have been damaged. This especially happens in rear-end collisions. Your doctor may have told you that you have one or more herniated and bulging disks. This post discusses what this means and what you can do about these often serious medical problems.

What is a herniated disk?

A herniated disk happens if the outside of the annulus fibrosis, the disk’s outer cover, ruptures or tears. Some of the soft nucleus puplosus, the jelly-like material inside the disk that gives it the shock-absorbing quality to protect your vertebrae, leaks out.

Sometimes it escapes into the spinal canal, often contacting a spinal nerve root. Enormous pain and other symptoms can result.

Herniated disks progress in stages going from smaller to the most extreme: prolapsing, protruding, extruding, to sequestering. In that last state, the material inside the disk has severed from the disc.

They are also referred to as ruptured or slipped disks and the pain can be called a pinched nerve.

Adding to the complexity of a correct diagnosis, herniated disks do not always cause extreme discomfort. At other times, the symptoms are more like those from bulging disks that are described below.

Further, while they can be caused by the sudden trauma of being crashed into by another vehicle, they can also be caused by aging, falls, other injuries, or other factors.

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You may have seen that crazy show called “1,000 Ways to Die.” You can guess that its sequel, “1,000 Ways to Crash on Texas Roads,” is being filmed now. News stories often report the countless ways that over 250,000 of us — yes that’s one-fourth of a million people –  get injured each year in car accidents. They have one thing in common: someone didn’t use the basic level of caution required of anyone behind the wheel, especially in Texas lane-change crashes.

Most recently, a Garland teen was a passenger in a sports car north of Austin when she met a tragic ending due to an unsafe lane change. The 17-year-old driver of his car was going too fast and when she caught up to a slower moving vehicle, swerved to get around it. The car flew off the road and flipped multiple times and the young man sadly lost his life.

Too many Texas lane-change crashes result from “the 3 I’s”

If you have been involved in a car or truck accident, you need answers to these important questions:

  1. Can you get a good recovery of money to pay your damages?
  2. Should you hire a personal injury lawyer?
  3. Will you have to testify at a trial?

If you are like most people who have been in a vehicle crash, you have probably suffered a neck and back injury. We know how you must be feeling. You hurt 24/7. You have restricted movement and can’t sleep. You probably can’t go to work or take care of the kids.

Average Compensation for a Whiplash Settlement

Your stress is compounded because you are incurring medical bills which are sometimes enormous. You won’t have a car because it is being repaired or you might be underwater on the car note if it has to be totaled. And you are losing money if you can’t work.

The insurance company takes advantage of people’s predicaments so it can make a low offer of settlement and close the case cheaply.

You need to have an idea of what your case is worth and how to proceed so you can be repaid for your medical bills and other damages.

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