Monthly Archives: September 2014

Anticipating the Long-Term Effects of a Car Accident

What you should expect after a serious accident

If you’ve been involved in a serious car accident, you have firsthand knowledge of the tremendous physical and emotional toll that such incidents produce. Unfortunately, the initial shock of the accident is just the beginning: After some crashes, physical and mental pain and difficulty—not to mention legal and financial disputes—can persist for months or years.

It’s not uncommon for medical conditions to remain undiagnosed even long after an accident, which is why it’s important to hire an attorney that will not push for a quick settlement. Your attorney should take the time to meet with you, speak with your medical providers, and take the time to ensure you’re healed before even attempting a settlement. Settling too soon can result in financially devastating consequences. If you call Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, you can speak with an experienced car accident lawyer, not just a phone service or investigator.

Learn more about what to expect after an accident that involves you or a loved one.

Acute Trauma

The most obvious effects of a car accident include the acute injuries that you experience as a direct result of the crash. These might include:

• Broken bones, including limbs, ribs, and pelvic bones

• Dislocated joints

• Facial injuries that necessitate reconstructive surgery

• Head trauma that can cause bleeding or swelling in the brain and lead to acute neurological issues

Recovery from any of these acute injuries can take months or years. During this potentially lengthy recovery period, it’s important to work with a trusted personal injury attorney who can handle the legal issues surrounding your accident.

Delayed Psychological Effects

Even if you and your medical team have identified the acute physical problems that result from your accident, the psychological effects of the incident can take time to make themselves apparent. According to studies, passengers may be at an even greater risk for delayed psychological trauma, including:

• Persistent anxiety
• Symptoms of depression
• Sleep problems
• New phobias or obsessive behaviors
• Behavioral changes that may affect your relationships

Although the gradual nature of post-accident psychological issues may lull you into thinking that everything is okay, it’s important to monitor your emotional health and seek professional assistance if problems persist or more than two or three months.

Long-Term Injuries and Disabilities

Unfortunately, serious car accidents can result in long-term physical injuries and permanent disability as well. These might include:

• Spinal or vertebral damage that affects your mobility
• Persistent back problems
• Loss of dexterity or limb use
• Partial or total paralysis

It’s important to retain an experienced lawyer who can help you document all evidence of residual injury and ensure that you receive just compensation for your claim.

Find a Trustworthy Car Accident Lawyer in Neenah and Appleton, WI

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, including a potentially lengthy period of physical recovery, is an intensely personal experience. At HBO Law Firm, we’re passionate about supporting our clients as they turn the page on this traumatic period in their lives. When you hire us, you won’t have to worry about complex legal issues, crushing loads of paperwork, or disruptive, stressful phone calls. We’ll handle all that. Learn more about how we can help by visiting our website and completing our contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Car and Truck Accident Medical Bills

Don’t let your credit be ruined because someone decided to ignore the Rules of the Road and cause a vehicle crash.

Wisconsin law allows for medical expense coverage on auto policies. It is often called MedPay coverage. It is similar to no fault insurance, and it may be called different names in other states like “PIP” insurance. This article is about Wisconsin MedPay. This coverage is no longer mandatory, but it is still an option on most vehicle insurance policies. It is meant to cover an insured for medical bills if they result from a car, truck, motorcycle or other vehicle crash. It is often helpful in obtaining payment for personal injury medical bills, especially if the injured victim does not have health insurance.

Many injured people who have been in a car wreck think the person at fault or their insurance company will start paying for the injured’s medical expenses, but that is simply not true. The liable insurance company often pays nothing until there has been a complete settlement or even a jury trial verdict. Thus, the injured is left on their own to get their bills paid. It used to be much easier because you could just submit bills to your own company, up to the limit of coverage, and possibly sign an authorization so your company could get your medical records. Then they pay the bills.

Unfortunately it has become all to common for even the most reliable companies to make it very very difficult to get bills paid. Now, many companies are creating hurdles that delay payment of medical bills for months. They may require you to submit special forms that are not easily provided, or obtain and send in your own records, or submit to a doctor hired by an insurence company to determine of the bills should be paid. It is truly unbelieveable the lengths injured victims mudt go through just to get bills paid by their own company!

If you have been injured in an auto or other vehicle crash or wreck, call an experienced personal injury attorney right away. You can call Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC to discuss medical bills and other issues with no obligation. We spend time just about every day trying to make sure bills get paid. The obvious danger is that while your insurance delays payment, the medical providers get fed up and send your bills to collection which could then end up on your credit report. There are still some laws in effect that we can use to assist in the payment or take action against the insurance company. We at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC help injured victims from Outagamie County, Winnebago County, Waupaca County, Calumet County, Brown County, Shawano County, Door County, Marinette County, Fond du Lac County and from throughout Wisconsin on a daily basis. Call us or check out other helpful tips from video presentations or our website.

How to Handle the Headache of an Uninsured Motorist

Don’t try to shake them down on your own

Thankfully, most drivers in the United States carry auto insurance. By law, such policies must cover certain costs that arise as a result of a car, truck, motorcycle or similar motor vehicle accident, including property repairs and medical bills for all drivers involved. Despite strict laws that mandate minimum coverages, one in six U.S. drivers lacks suitable auto insurance policies. For law-abiding drivers who get into an accident with an uninsured motorist, this can cause some unwanted headaches.

Can Insurance Protect You Against Uninsured Motorists?

Most insurance policies come with uninsured motorist coverage that theoretically protects you in the event of an accident involving motorists without adequate coverage. There are two different types of this coverage:

• Uninsured motorist coverage: This protects you against costs incurred after an accident that’s deemed to be the fault of a driver who completely lacks auto insurance.

• Underinsured motorist coverage: This provides coverage in serious accidents deemed to be the fault of a driver who lacks sufficient insurance coverage to compensate you for all damages incurred in your car crash or accident.

It’s important to note that any damages awarded as a result of your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy must be less than or equal to its coverage limits. If your damages exceed those limits, your options for recovering full damages from your insurance company may be limited. It’s also important to note that your underinsured coverage may be reduced dollar for dollar by the amount you can recover from the individual responsible for the crash or accident. Injured victims are often shocked at the reduction of their underinsured motorist coverage, which is why it’s so crucial to speak with an attorney about coverage and limits.

You can call us, obtain more information from our website, or view our personal injury video tips for more information on how to protect yourself.

Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim

Since uninsured drivers tend not to have large reserves of assets, uninsured and underinsured motorist claims can bypass them completely. Instead of suing the at-fault driver, you’ll file a claim directly with your insurance company and work out a mutually agreeable settlement that covers your medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage costs, and other items. However, an insurance company may try to force you to sue the uninsured driver as a condition to suing the company, so it is important to have an attorney review your uninsured motorist policy.

Depending on your insurance company’s policy, you may need to present information about such a claim in as little as 30 days, but Wisconsin has laws that can affect the deadlines. For this reason, it’s critical to contact an experienced attorney to ensure that your case is as strong and timely as possible. It’s also important to note that you could be put in a situation where you would need to sue your own insurance company or be forced into arbitration to recover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. It’s important to hire experienced attorneys like Hammett, Bellin & Oswald to help you with the legal complexities that arise in such situations and to guide you through the various laws that affect the interpretation and application of insurance coverage in Wisconsin.

Work With an Experienced Uninsured Accident Law Firm in Neenah and Appleton, WI

If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you’ll need to deal with a range of legal issues that other accident victims might not encounter. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Whether you need assistance with a current claim or wish to weigh your options in the event of an accident down the road, we stand ready to make your experience as smooth as possible. For more information, visit our website or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Hammett, Bellin & Oswald can assist you with your claim and help you file forms with the State of Wisconsin that could help you recover funds from the other driver and/or your own insurance company. For links to helpful forms, review our Resources page, with helpful information for Outagamie County, Winnebago County, Brown County, Waupaca County, Calumet County, Shawano County, and more throughout the Fox Valley and Northeast Wisconsin.  Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC has offices in Appleton and Neenah, but practice throughout Wisconsin. You can also get valuable tips for handling personal injury claims by watching the videos on our website.

Picking Up the Pieces: The Importance of Consulting a Lawyer After an Accident

How to keep a bad situation from getting even worse

Have you ever been in a car accident? If not, consider yourself lucky. Every year, millions of Americans experience crashes that damage their cars and shake their psyches. Unfortunately, thousands of these accidents are serious enough to require hospitalization or lasting medical treatment. To ensure that you’re not left on the hook for these and other expenses, it’s critical to contact an experienced attorney who can help you secure the compensation you deserve while ensuring that you can focus on your recovery.

Handling Statements, Medical Bills, and Other Matters

Contacting an attorney immediately after an accident helps you compile a thorough record of the incident—including police reports and witness statements—that will serve as the basis of your legal claim. With everything in order, your trusted car accident lawyer can take care of the practical aspects of your claim without needlessly interfering with your recovery or your family’s privacy. The right attorney will tirelessly advocate on your behalf, whether that involves keeping track of your disparate medical bills or preparing a settlement demand letter for your insurance company. In addition to affording you the time and peace of mind essential to recovery, the likelihood of a favorable outcome for your claim increases considerably.

Dealing With the Insurance Company

If your accident causes a serious, long-term injury that results in hefty medical bills, you’ll almost certainly file a claim with an insurance company—either yours, the other driver’s, or both. Unfortunately, the claims process is stacked against people like you. Most insurance companies base their adjusters’ and claims professionals’ compensation on the assumption that they’ll keep payouts as low as reasonably possible. In practice, this means that they’ll do everything in their power to frustrate your attempts to recover just compensation for your injury. This might include:

• Offering an unreasonably low settlement amount that doesn’t adequately address the costs associated with your medical treatment and property damage

• Stalling your claim in an attempt to pressure you into accepting a lower settlement amount

• Failing to take key aspects of your claim into account

A seasoned auto accident attorney can negotiate directly with the insurance companies and any other parties to your case, giving you the breathing room you need to focus on your recovery.

Work With a Trustworthy Auto Accident Attorney in Neenah and Appleton, WI

These are just a few of the reasons for you to contact an experienced attorney after your car accident. Since every situation is different, it’s critical to work with a lawyer who knows exactly how to handle the complex interplay of legal and practical issues that follow such a jarring experience. For more information about what we can do for you in the wake of your accident, visit our website or fill out our online contact form.