Covington Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Lawyer FAQs
Why won’t the insurance company pay me what I'm owed? If the other driver was at fault, why do I have to pay my own medical bills? Who pays for my rental car after my car was totaled? We answer questions like these and many more in our personal injury FAQs. If your question is not covered here, give us a call at 985-590-6182.
- Page 1
What Is Included With Our FREE Car Accident Review?
At Flattmann Law, we offer 100% Free, no-pressure car accident case reviews. Most of the time, all it takes is a 10-minute phone call scheduled at your convenience. Seriously, no pressure! We know that for some fender benders, all you may need are a few tips, or validation that you are handling your insurance claim correctly.
No Need To Make An Appointment:
Our Free case review is not a long and drawn-out process. Simply give us a call at (985) 590-6182 and we will ask you for information about your wreck and your injuries. If you already have a copy of the police report, we will ask you to email it to us so that we can review it. If you don’t have a copy yet, no problem! Most of the time, with a little information, we will be able to obtain it ourselves and save you the trouble.
Once we have the basic facts about your accident and a copy of the police report, we will set up a 10-minute call at your convenience to discuss the case and answer any questions you may have.
We Will Review The Police Report With You:
Most of the time, the accident report will provide us with all of the information we need to discuss things like liability (whose fault it was), insurance coverage, vehicle damage, and other topics. If you see things that are inaccurate in the report, we will discuss your options and how to address them.
We Will Provide Information About The Insurance Claims Process:
We will talk about insurance coverage for the accident. Whether or not you already made an insurance claim, we will discuss what to expect from the claims process. We will talk about things like whether you have to give a recorded statement, documenting your claim the right way, the duties of the insurance company, and the process for getting your car fixed.
We Will Discuss Your Injuries And Medical Bills:
During our call, we can talk about your injuries and your options regarding medical treatment. We will also discuss how your health insurance works after a car wreck and how to handle medical bills.
Why Do You Offer Free, No-Pressure Reviews?
At Flattmann Law, the bottom line is treating people right! Not everyone who gets in an accident needs to hire a personal injury attorney. But even for those claims, we still want to make sure you are being treated fairly. So, if a few tips help you along, even without hiring us, great!
Most people, especially in St. Tammany Parish want to do the right thing after a car accident and just want to be treated fairly by the insurance company. That’s fine, but what they don’t understand is that there are traps along the way, especially in the beginning of the claims process, which can greatly affect how their case turns out. If a 10-minute consultation can save them from some of these traps, we feel like we are helping, regardless of whether that person ultimately hires us to take over the process.
Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident And Interested In A FREE, Confidental, No-Pressure Call To Know Your Rights?
If you have been injured in a car accident and interested in a FREE, confidental, no-pressure call to know your rights after a car accident, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
How Do I Get The Police Report For My Accident In St. Tammany Parish?
After an accident, it is very important to obtain a copy of the police report. The report should contain information about the other driver, their insurance coverage, and other details about the accident which will be important for your accident claim. If an accident happens in St. Tammany Parish, how you get the report depends on the law enforcement agency that responded.
But, before you go through all the trouble of tracking down the report, give us a call! At Flattmann Law, we offer a FREE report review, regardless of whether you decide to hire us.
Tips At The Accident Scene:
As discussed in some of our other articles, we highly recommend that you obtain all of the information you can at the accident scene, including photos of the accident scene and the other driver’s license, insurance card, and registration. While the police officer will tell you that all of that information will be in the report, the report may take weeks to become available. In turn, if you have to wait on the report, you may not be able to make any progress with your insurance claim in the meantime.
Make sure to note the law enforcement agency that responded to the accident (ie. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff, State Police, Covington PD, etc.). Also make sure to ask for the “Item” or report number. This will help identify the report when it is available.
How Do I Get The Report?:
How to obtain the report depends on which agency responded. Most reports can be obtained online, but keep in mind that police reports can take a week or more to become available. Our advice is that you start checking online, starting the day after the wreck and even call the agency to make sure you have the correct police item/report number. Below are links to several of the most common agencies that may respond to St. Tammany Parish car accidents:
- Louisiana State Police: https://crashreports.dps.la.gov/
- St. Tammany Parish Sheriff: STPSO - Public Records Center (govqa.us)
Reports from the following agencies can be obtained through Lexis Nexis at: https://policereports.lexisnexis.com/ui/home
- Covington City Police
- Mandeville City Police
- Slidell City Police
- Hammond City Police
We Can Get The Report And Review It With You FOR FREE!
Before you go through the trouble of tracking down the accident report, call us! We will review your report with you FOR FREE, regardless of whether you decide to hire us for your car accident case.
Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident In St. Tammany Parish?
If you have been injured in a car accident in St. Tammany Parish, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Why Is The Stretch Of Road By Claiborne Hill In Covington So Dangerous?
We have represented numerous people involved in accidents near Claiborne Hill in Covington. That’s the stretch of road where U.S. Highway 190 and U.S. 190 Business meet, and the danger area extends from E. Boston Street in downtown Covington to the intersection of Hwy 21 (Military Rd.) and Hwy 36. (Side note: did you know that Claiborne Hill was named after the historic Town of Claiborne, which no longer exists, but was located on the east side of the Bogue Falaya river, across from Covington?).
Crashes near Claiborne Hill are so common that after a recent wreck, a fireman from the fire station up the street from Claiborne Hill told me that they don’t have to wait for a call before responding to wrecks on Claiborne Hill. Instead, they just listen for the crashes.
What Makes Claiborne Hill Dangerous?
A substantial amount of traffic uses the Claiborne Hill area to get in and out of Covington every day. In the mornings, traffic can build up on Highway 21 (Military Rd) past the Green Springs Hotel.
There are 2 dangerous parts to note along the route. The first dangerous area is when you are driving East from Boston Street toward Claiborne Hill, just before the Highway 190 overpass. There, drivers coming from the opposite direction have the option of taking a left turn in front of you to get onto Hwy 190. While they are supposed to yield to oncoming traffic, they often don’t, leading to T-bones or even head-on collisions.
The second dangerous area is a bit further up the road at the intersection where Boston Street/U.S. Highway 190 and Business 190 meet (near Advanced Auto Parts). The most common accident at that intersection happens when Westbound vehicles try to make a left turn onto Business 190 (toward McDonalds/Rouses) but fail to yield to oncoming traffic (coming from town). Most often, drivers ignore the “left turn yield on green” directions and misjudge how fast oncoming traffic is coming, leading to serious accidents.
Tips For Avoiding Claiborne Hill Collisions:
So, what can you do to help avoid being in an accident at Claiborne Hill?
- Be super cautious at the two intersections discussed above, paying attention to oncoming vehicles and especially turning vehicles.
- Practice defensive driving by anticipating that other drivers will turn in front of you or misjudge your speed.
- Slow down and make sure you are not distracted.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident By Claiborne Hill In Covington?
If you have been injured in an accident by Claiborne Hill in Covington, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Why Is I-12 Near Covington So Dangerous?
As residents of St. Tammany know all too well, the 3.5 mile stretch of Interstate 12 between U.S. Highway 190 and Louisiana Highway 21 can be a nightmare. It sometimes seems like your chances of making it to that soccer game at Coquille on time is 50/50 depending on whether there is a wreck on I-12. Personally, I try to avoid that corridor as much as possible.
Why Is I-12 Near Covington So Bad?
St. Tammany is listed by the Louisiana OMV as having the third-most registered vehicles of any parish in the State. According to the Louisiana DOTD, more than 120,000 drivers use this section of I-12 daily! Combine those statistics with the fact that I-12 is for many, the main route of travel from home to work, school, recreation, shopping, etc., and the result is traffic… and lots of it!
How To Avoid Accidents On I-12:
The best ways to avoid accidents on I-12 near Covington is to have patience, avoid distractions, and practice defensive driving.
- Have patience: I know that it can be hard to have patience when your kid’s karate class on Pinnacle Parkway starts in 10 minutes and Waze tells you that you are still 25 minutes away. But remember the saying “better late then never?” Try to keep your cool, focus on driving, and trust me, the karate instructor will understand.
- Avoid distractions: We lead very busy lives, and it is tempting to use those 10 minutes on the Interstate to catch up on emails and reply to those texts. Resist the temptation! Just think about this: This may be the most dangerous 10 minutes of your day! Refocus on the road and remember that those emails and texts can wait just a little while longer.
- Practice defensive driving: Always practice defensive driving, especially on the Interstate. Lots of activity is happening every second. On the I-12 corridor near Covington, with each intersection comes numerous vehicles entering, merging, and switching lanes. Anticipate that, like you, many of those drivers are in a hurry and will cut you off. Be prepared for the inevitable start and stop of the interstate, where you can be traveling at 65 mph, then come to a screeching halt.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident On I-12 Near Covington?
If you have been injured in an accident on I-12 near Covington, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
What Does It Mean If The Insurance Company Is Offering To Pay Up To A Certain Amount Of My Medical Bills?
We often get calls from car accident victims reporting that the at-fault insurance company is offering to settle with them for “up to” a certain amount of their medical bills. Depending on the extent of injuries, this may sound reasonable, but in reality, the insurance company’s offer is meaningless. Worse yet, it is a trick by the insurance company to see if they can get you to settle quickly.
You Still Must Prove That Your Medical Bills Are Related To The Accident:
The insurance company’s offer will only extend to medical bills which they decide to be caused by the car wreck. You may not agree with their determination. For instance, if you went to the chiropractor for 6 months after a wreck and incurred $6,000 in medical bills, you will still have to prove that all 6 months of chiropractic treatment were related to your wreck and necessary. Under its agreement to pay medical bills, the insurance company may determine that only 4 months were necessary, leaving 2 months unpaid. Another example may be massage therapy bills, which helped with your recovery but may not be recognized by the insurance company. In short, if you accept the insurance company’s offer, they (not you) get to decide which medical bills to consider.
Will The Insurance Company Pay The Entire Bill, Or Just Your Deductible/Copay? What If You Used Health Insurance?
Does the insurance company’s agreement to pay your medical bills mean that they will pay the “sticker price” of the bills (the amounts actually charged)? Or does it mean that they will pay only the amount you are responsible for, like the deductible or copay amount? These are questions you should ask before accepting any settlement.
Also, remember that if your health insurer paid for any wreck-related medical bills, they may have a claim for reimbursement from “any settlement.” Therefore, before agreeing to any settlement, you should make sure you understand your health insurer’s reimbursement rights and interests and how the at-fault insurance company is addressing those.
What About Pain And Suffering, Lost Wages, And Other Damages?
It is important to remember that your car accident insurance claim includes not only your medical expense, but also damages for your pain and suffering, inconvenience, anxiety, lost wages, and other things. Typically, when an at-fault insurance company offers to pay up to a certain amount for medical bills, they also throw in a small offer (like $1,000) for “everything else.”
Generally, if you have thousands of dollars in medical bills and the insurance company is offering you a small amount for “everything else,” something is not right!
Beware! This Is A Final Settlement!
The insurance company knows that you have medical bills piling up and that’s why the offer to pay up to a certain amount is tempting. But beware! This will be a final settlement. If your medical bills (past or future) end up exceeding the amount the insurance company agrees to pay, you will be stuck holding the bag and will be unable to bring any additional claims. Agreeing to their offer will also restrict you from pursuing any other claims for general damages, like pain and suffering.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident And Received An Offer From The Insurance Company?
If you have been injured in an accident and received an offer from the insurance company and have quesions about how it works, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Who Is Responsible For A Wreck Involving A Ride-Share Vehicle Like Uber And Lyft?
With ride-share services like Uber and Lyft becoming more popular, wrecks involving ride-share vehicles are also more common. While the insurance claims process is similar to a regular car wreck, there are a few differences in the way you should handle claims with Uber and Lyft. In this article, we explain how ride-share claims are different and provide a few tips for protecting yourself.
Who Is Liable For A Wreck Involving A Ride-Share Vehicle?
Like any accident, responsibility for damage and injuries resulting from a wreck belongs to the driver who caused the wreck. Normally, the at-fault driver’s personal auto insurance would be liable for the insurance claim. However, for wrecks involving ride-share vehicles, the driver’s personal insurance will probably not apply. That’s because personal auto insurance typically excludes drivers who are in the course and scope of a business mission or specifically, participating in a ride-share or “for-hire” service at the time of the wreck.
Thus, for wrecks involving a ride-share vehicle, insurance claims will usually be filed through the service itself, such as Uber or Lyft.
The Amount Of Coverage May Depend On The Driver’s Status At The Time Of The Wreck:
Ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft usually provide insurance coverage for wrecks involving their drivers. However, the amount of available insurance may depend on the “status” of the Uber driver at the time of the wreck.
For instance, at the time of this writing, if the Uber driver was “available or waiting for a ride request” at the time of the accident, Uber provided liability coverage of $50,000 per person, up to $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage (50/100/25). If the Uber driver was “en route to pick up riders” or in the middle of a trip, Uber provides up to $1 Million in liability coverage.
This means, it is important for you to take note of things at the scene of the accident, such as whether the driver had passengers in his vehicle, or if the driver said he was on his way to a pick up.
How The Insurance Claim Process Works:
With ride-share accidents, the insurance claims process is very similar to a regular car accident, with the exception that the initial claim is usually filed directly with the ride-share service. Some of the bigger services, like Lyft and Uber have online claims processing options. Once a claim is filed, the ride-share company sends it to their insurance company for further handling.
Other Tips (Take Photos and Video!):
For a wreck involving a ride-share vehicle, it is very important to collect information at the accident scene about the at-fault driver and their vehicle. If possible, take photos of important evidence including:
- The other driver’s license.
- The other vehicle’s registration.
- The other vehicle’s license plate.
- Stickers/decals identifying the other driver’s vehicle as a ride-share (ie. Uber sticker).
- Photos and/or videos of the accident scene.
Getting this evidence will help get your claim processed more quickly and will support your insurance claim moving forward.
Have You Been Injuried In An Accident With A Ride-Share Vehicle?
If you have been injured in an accident with a ride-share vehicle and have questions as to how the process works, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
What Should You Do If You Get A Letter From Your Health Insurance Company After A Wreck?
Did you get a letter from your health insurance company after being in a car wreck? Is it asking you to “tell us about your medical treatment for your injury” or “did you have medical treatment for an injury or illness that someone else may be responsible for payment?”
It is important to respond properly to this letter. Ignoring it may result in your health insurance company denying payment for medical treatment.
Why Is My Health Insurance Company Sending Me A Letter?:
If you receive medical treatment after a car accident, the medical providers, like an ER, usually input special codes while billing your health insurance. These codes are picked up when your health insurance processes the bill, alerting them of a potential accident. When your health insurance company sees that you may have been in an accident, they automatically send you a letter requesting more information.
Your health insurance company wants to know more information about your wreck for a few reasons. First, if you settle your car wreck claim, they may have a right to be reimbursed from the at-fault insurance company for any wreck-related medical payments made on your behalf.
Second, your health insurance company wants to know if you have any other insurance available to pay your wreck-related medical bills, before they pay. For instance, “medical payment” (“med-pay”) coverage under your own auto policy is meant to pay wreck-related medical bills.
Does This Mean My Health Insurance Company Will Stop Paying?
No. Just because you were in a wreck doesn’t mean that your health insurance company will stop paying your medical bills. They are still contractually obligated to do so. However, if you other sources available to pay medical bills (like the “med-pay” coverage discussed above), you will need to prove to your health insurance that those sources have been exhausted before they continue paying.
If you ignore your health insurance company’s inquiry letter, they MAY STOP paying your medical bills. This is because your contract with them requires you to cooperate in their investigation of any claim, including those stemming from car wrecks.
How Should I Respond To The Letter?
You should be truthful in your response to your health insurance company in letting them know about the wreck. If you do not have “med-pay” coverage or if your “med-pay” has been exhausted, it is important to let them know that, so they do not stop paying your medical bills.
Be careful describing your injuries, as the at-fault auto insurance company may see your response later and hold them against you, especially if your reported injuries do not match your current complaints.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident And Recevied A Letter From Your Health Insurance Company?
If you have been injured in an accident and recevied a letter from your health insurance compnay about a wreck and have questions, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Shouldn’t The At- Fault Insurance Company Pay My Medical Bills?
One of the most common misconceptions of car accident victims is that the at-fault car insurance company should be paying medical bills as they are incurred. Unfortunately, while the at-fault insurance company is ultimately responsible for your damages, including medical bills, they do not have to “pay as you go.”
The At-Fault Insurance Company Doesn’t Have To Pay As You Go:
For car accident cases in Louisiana, there are usually two different claims involved: (1) the property damage claim, which includes damage to your vehicle; and (2) the injury claim, which involves damage to you, including your medical bills.
For the property damage claim, the at-fault insurance company is legally required to adjust your claim and pay for property damages within a certain amount of time after they are presented with adequate proof of loss.
For your injury claim, while the at-fault insurance company may ultimately be responsible for your medical bills, they are not legally required to pay them as they come in. Instead, they are usually interested in settling all of your injury claims, including medical expenses and general damages, all at once.
Don’t List The At-Fault Insurance Company As The Responsible Party At The ER:
It is not uncommon for our clients to report that they listed the other person’s auto insurance as the responsible party for payment at the Hospital Emergency Room. This is a mistake. First, the hospital (or any medical provider) has no right (or way) to bill the other person’s auto insurer directly for your bill. While the accident may not be your fault, you are responsible for any medical bills stemming from it.
Use Your Health Insurance:
It is a good idea to use your health insurance following a car accident, as doing so will reduce the amount of your medical obligations. If you don’t use your health insurance, medical providers may try to bill the entire medical bill directly to you and it will remain your responsibility, even if you are the victim of a wreck.
By using your health insurance, you enjoy the benefit of contracted discounts and should only be responsible for your deductibles or copays. However, it is important to know that the health insurer has the right to reimbursement in the event you settle your auto wreck case with the at-fault insurance company. Therefore, it is important to keep your health insurance company updated on the status of your auto claim. It is also important to understand the ins and outs of your health insurance company’s right to reimbursement.
The At-Fault Insurance Company Is Ultimately Responsible:
Once our client has recovered from their injuries, we gather all of their medical records and medical bills. Their medical bills become part of their personal injury claim and are factored in when negotiating a settlement with the at-fault insurance company.
Once a settlement is finalized, a portion of the settlement funds are used to pay any remaining medical bills and, if applicable, to reimburse our client’s health insurer. At Flattmann Law, we always provide our clients with a detailed breakdown of how settlement proceeds will be distributed, PRIOR to a settlement being finalized. That way, there are no surprises.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident And Have Questions About Big Medical Bills?
If you have been injured and have questions about big medical bills following an accident, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
What Rights Do Passengers Have After A Car Wreck?
Passengers in car accidents are often overlooked when it comes to accident claims. To their detriment, they typically rely on the driver to file an insurance claim for them. However, many factors, such as allocation of fault for the accident, make it a good idea for injured passengers to file and pursue their own claims…and to have UM coverage!
File Your Own Insurance Claim:
Even if the driver of the vehicle you were riding in initiated a car insurance claim with the at-fault insurance company, you are responsible for filing your own insurance claim and providing them with adequate proof of your loss (ie. your injuries and damages). Don’t rely on your driver to file and pursue a claim on your behalf.
At the accident scene, make sure to take your own pictures and videos, and make sure to collect the at-fault driver’s information, including their driver’s license, auto insurance card, and vehicle registration. If the accident was in part caused by the driver of the vehicle you were in, make sure to collect the driver’s information as well. (see below…this may be awkward, but you may have a claim against their insurance as well).
Who Is Responsible For The Wreck?:
Did the driver of the car you were riding in do anything to cause the wreck? Could they have done anything to avoid the accident? These may be uncomfortable questions, especially if the driver is your relative or friend, but they are important in determining legal responsibility. These are the questions the car insurance companies will be asking in order to determine liability.
Sometimes, liability is split among the drivers involved. Louisiana is a “comparative fault” state. That means that fault (or liability) may be allocated among the parties responsible for causing an accident. In some clear-cut situations, such as rear-end collisions, a car insurance company may accept 100% responsibility. However, some wrecks may not be as straightforward and in those situations, liability may be split among two or more parties.
Remember, filing an insurance claim does not mean that you are suing the other person. It just means that you are pursuing a claim with their insurance company to cover your bills and losses.
Do You Have UM Coverage?:
If I was a passenger, why does it matter if I had UM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist) coverage? It matters because if the at-fault driver(s) does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your harms and losses, then your own UM coverage may provide you with extra insurance, even if you were only a passenger.
UM may be especially important in wrecks where many people are injured. In those cases, even if the at-fault driver had liability coverage, they may not have enough coverage to cover all of the injured victims. It is always best to protect yourself by having UM coverage.
Were You Injured While Riding As A Passenger In A Car Accident?
If you have been injured while riding as a passenger in a car accident, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Why Is The Insurance Company Requesting The Past 5 Years Of My Medical Records?
Insurance companies sometimes ask you to sign a blanket medical authorization after a car wreck so that they can obtain your medical records. Should you sign those forms? Why are they looking to get medicals that far back, and even prior to the accident?
What Do My Past Medical Records Have To Do With My Accident?:
In big accident cases, the at-fault car insurance company (or your UM insurer) may ask you for medical records from before your accident. There is no legal limit on what they can request, but most companies may request five years of past records.
The goal of the insurance company in obtaining past records is so that they can compare those records to your current (post-accident) injuries and complaints. For instance, if you are claiming low back injuries from a car wreck, the insurance company wants to see if you had any prior low back injuries or complaints documented in past medical records. If you do, they will compare those past complaints to your current condition. Their goal is to downplay your current injuries or blame them altogether on an unrelated incident, prior to the accident in question.
Does The Insurance Company Have The Right To Get My Medical Records?:
In Louisiana, if a lawsuit has not yet been filed for an accident, the at-fault insurance company does not have the right to get your medical records without your permission, usually in the form of a medical records release. This is a double-edged sword, as failing to comply with the insurance company’s request may lead to their outright denial of your claim. The best thing to do is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can weight the pros and cons of your individual situation.
It is important to note that you may have a different set of responsibilities when dealing with your own insurance company under a UM (Uninsured/underinsured motorist) claim. That’s because the relationship you have with your own insurance company is contractual and you must adhere to the rules set out in your insurance policy, including working with them to explore claims.
Do The Rules Change If I File Suit?:
Once a lawsuit is filed on a car accident case, the rules on obtaining past medical records change. After a suit is filed, the at-fault insurance company has the right to conduct discovery, which includes exploring your medical history as it relates to your claims.
In a lawsuit, an insurance company will typically request your medical authorization so that they can obtain pertinent medical records. Sometimes, they will ask for medical records prior to the accident date, again trying to prove that your injuries were pre-existing and unrelated to the accident at issue.
The rule during discovery is generally that the insurance company has the right to collect information which may lead to admissible evidence at trial. This is very broad. However, it is not without its limitations. At Flattmann Law, we protect our clients from overly broad requests into their past medical treatment, especially when past treatment is completely unrelated to their current complaints. For instance, we might object to a request for 10 years of our client’s past psychological treatment notes if their current claims have nothing to do with psychological injuries.
Again, whether or not the insurance company has the right to request past medical records and the extent of their requests can be complicated and are individual to every case. It can be extremely beneficial to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss these issues before making any decisions regarding the release of medical information.
Do You Have Questions About An Insurance Company's Request For Medical Records After An Accident?
If you have been injured in a car wreck and have questions about an insurance company's request for medical records after an accident, contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.