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Avvo FAQs on Personal Injury and Accidents

Do I recover all medical expenses regardless of a persons coverage in a Personal Injury accident?

No. The first source of recovery for medical bills is your auto insurance, or the auto insurance of a resident relative. If this doesn’t apply, then the insurance on the car that you were in. The second source of recovery for medical bills is your health insurance.

The third source of recovery for your medical bills is to obtain payment for these and your pain and suffering from the insurance carrier for the car that caused the accident.

It is possible that even if you have all these insurance coverages available, that there may not be enough insurance coverage to pay for your medical bills. I suggest you contact a local auto accident/personal injury lawyer for a free consultation.

Can I take out money from my daughter’s settlement?

As a Philadelphia accident lawyer, I handle cases involving settlement funds for minors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding counties. I suggest you contact a local attorney for specific advice. I would start with the layer who represented your daughter in the accident case. As you probably already know, in Pennsylvania, you need court approval to settle a case. This is accomplished by a petition to compromise a minor’s action. A judge in the local Court Common Pleas reviews the petition, and if approved, the judge will issue an order. A typical order will require that the money be deposited into some type of bank account until the child reaches 18. If you want to try and change that order, you need to file a petition with that same court/judge asking the judge to modify/change the order. You would have to spell out your reasons why you want to take some of the child’s money.

To be honest, at least in the Philadelphia area, I don’t think the reasons you stated in your question would be good enough and I don’t think the judge would change the original order.

I would imagine an attorney would want to charge you for filing the petition. If someone came to me in this area, I would tell them not to waste their money. However, it may be different in your area. Whatever happens, I wish you luck.

No injury lawyers willing to take case?

It’s hard to give an opinion without knowing the facts. The lawyers you spoke to may think the case is too small to take OR they may think that you don’t even have a case (because you can’t prove that somebody else’s at fault for your fall). Assuming you do have a case, I would tell the claims adjuster that you want to gather your medical bills and reports and that you will submit them to him/her. You’ll actually have to get records of your treatment from the Dr. and/or hospital. When you submit them to the claims adjuster, let them know you want your medical bills to be paid PLUS something for pain and suffering and/or a possible score on your hand. You WILL have to reimburse Medicare/Medicaid. One other tip. Do not agree to give a written or recorded statement to the claims adjuster.

I was in an accident 2 weeks ago, and I’d like to know how long before I can get a settlement. Does it really take a year?

There is no way to give an accurate answer to the question without all the facts, both about the accident and your injuries. The short answer is it could easily take a year. For instance what if the other driver says YOU ran the stop sign or does not agree that he/she is at fault. In order to move your case forward you would have to file a formal lawsuit and that could delay the case. What if you think your case is worth $100,000 and the insurance company for the other driver thinks it is worth $1000. Again, a formal lawsuit would be necessary. It is possible for a a relatively uncomplicated case to settle in a short period of time, but since you don’t even know how bad you are hurt at this point its impossible to predict. I assume you have a lawyer and if so go over this with him/her in a little more detail.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

This is the insurance you need to protect you, your family members, and passengers in your car who are injured by an uninsured driver. You would be surprised to know the number of people who drive without insurance. You probably won’t be surprised to know that people who drive without insurance usually don’t have any assets to lose. So even if they seriously injure you or a family member, you are never going to be able to get anything from them. The saying” you can’t get blood from a stone” is a good fit for this situation.

The way to protect yourself is to have uninsured motorist coverage. This is a contract between you and your insurance company, whereby your insurance company will compensate you, your family members, and passengers in your car for injuries. I recommend that you purchase as much uninsured motorist coverage you can afford.

Ex: You, your wife, and 3 children are stopped at a red light when an uninsured driver plows into the back of your car and causes serious injuries to everyone. The uninsured driver has no insurance, was drunk, and this is going to be his 7th conviction for drunk driving. He is going to jail, and you’re probably never going to get anything from him. If you had uninsured motorist coverage in the amount of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per occurrence, you would be able to collect up to $300,000 for the injuries to everyone in your car. In 2011, this amount of uninsured motorist coverage could have been purchased for $16 a year.

I was involved in an auto accident and one of my charges is reckless endangerment.

If you were charged with “reckless endangerment”, this is more than a mere traffic violation. This is a criminal charge and if it happened in Delaware County, you are going to have to go to a preliminary hearing in front of a local district justice and then, if the charges are held over you are going to have to go to Media before a judge. I suggest you talk to a local criminal attorney, and by that I mean somebody that handles a lot of cases in Media.

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