Hello. My question is i was in a car accident on 1-31-12. The person hit me from the back. I"m suffering from sprang Neck Injury i am going threw therapy. How i dont know what to ask for or what to do. Can you please give me some pointers on what to ask for as well to do.&nbsp; <p>Thanks's</p>

Asked over 8 years ago in Woodbridge, Virginia
Categories: Personal Injury

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Mel Williams

Answer by Mel Williams

VerifiedVirginia lawyer

First, get better: seek and obtain medical treatment for any and all complaints you have from the accident.  Do not wait to seek treatment.  If you delay treatment thinking "it will just heal over time," then you create a situation where the liable insurance company will begin to question whether your complaints are related to the accident.
Second, if you claim medical expenses from the accident on your personal health insurance, then find out whether your insurance company can seek reimbursement for whatever it pays on your behalf. If so, then out of any settlement or judgment you will be required to reimburse your health insurance company.
Third, if you have not been contated already, you will likely be contacted by the responsible person's auto insurance company (the liable insurance company).  A claims adjuster will call you and ask for you to tell him/her what happened and about your injuries.  You are not required to talk to the claims adjuster, but if you do not, then it will hinder the settlement prcoess.  The claims adjuster will likely want to obtain copies of your medical records and bills, and will ask you for an authorization to allow the company to get your records and bills.  You are not required to give them an authorization, but it is the easiest way for them to obtain your medical records andbills.  In the alternative, you can obtain the records and bills and send them to the company. 
Fourth, do not settle the claim with the liable insurance company until you are certain that you are fully reocvered from all of your medical complaints. You have up to 2 years to file a lawsuit for this matter, so you must either settle the case or file a lawsuit within 2 years, but do not let the liable insurance comany push you to settle too soon.  If you settle before you are fully recovered then you could end up incurring medical expenses that you cannot seek payment for from the liable insurance company.
If the liable insurance company offers you a settlement that you believe is fair, then take it.  Any settlement should be, at the least, an amount equal to all of your medical bills plus an amount to compensate you for pain and suffering.  By medicla bills, I mean all medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident, not just those bills that you had to pay personally.  For example, if you went to the emergency room because of the accident you will likely have a bill from the emergency room, an emergency room doctor, and maybe for X-rays or other diagnostic treatment.  If you had health insurance then that health insurance will likely pay the majority of those costs, and you will only have to pay things like co-pays.  For settlement purposes you should consider your medical bills to be the amount you paid AND the amounts paid by your health insurance.
At the end of the day, you are likely to get a better settlement if you retain an attorney to represent you but, of course, that attorney will take a portion of any recovery you obtain.
Hope this helps!
Mel Williams

Posted over 8 years ago

Melvin E. Williams GRIMES & WILLIAMS, P.C. Franklin Commons 320 Elm Avenue, S.W. Roanoke, Virginia 24016 540-982-3711 540-345-6572 facsimile

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact Mel Williams, or search the Lawyer Directory.

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