Free Case Evaluation!

(317) 885-0041

TOP MYTHS ABOUT TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES (AND THE TRUTH THAT VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES SHOULD KNOW)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than 1.5 million of us sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year in the U.S. Any traumatic brain injury is a serious injury. More than 50,000 traumatic brain injury victims die each year as a result of their injuries.

Here in the state of Indiana, if you sustain a traumatic brain injury in any type of accident because another person was negligent, Greenwood injury lawyers are available and ready to represent you, handle your personal injury claim, and fight for compensation on your behalf.

An insurance company may try to avoid paying the full compensation that a traumatic brain injury victim is entitled to by making false claims that misrepresent the truth about traumatic brain injuries.

If you keep reading, you will find the most common and widespread of these myths about traumatic brain injuries listed – and debunked – below.

MYTH #1: MILD TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES ARE NOT SERIOUS INJURIES

A traumatic brain injury may affect the victim’s emotions, the ability to think, and the ability to use language. TBIs can trigger epilepsy and raise the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and related brain disorders. The effect of a traumatic brain injury on a loved one can be devastating to the entire family.

Medical researchers have proven again and again that even a mild traumatic brain injury may mean life-long difficulties for traumatic brain injury victims and their families.

MYTH #2: IF YOU WEREN’T UNCONSCIOUS, IT’S NOT A TBI

This is a dangerous but common myth. It is not true that the force needed to cause a concussion must also be enough force to cause unconsciousness.

In fact, brain damage combined with a brief loss of consciousness that lasts less than twenty minutes – or combined with no loss of consciousness at all – is part of the definition of a mild traumatic brain injury.

For decades, a number of doctors and medical researchers have confirmed that unconsciousness is not a necessary consequence of a traumatic brain injury. If you suffer a blow or jolt to the head, see a doctor at once, even if you remain fully conscious.

MYTH #3: IF THERE’S NO BLOW TO THE HEAD, IT’S NOT A TBI

When someone’s head is subjected to rapid acceleration and deceleration forces – that is, to whiplash – the force causes the brain to impact against the other side of the skull. Damage happens on opposite sides of the brain.

The result is a “Coup Contra Coup” brain injury or a “Diffuse Axonal Injury” that can stretch and tear the neurons that send electrical impulses through brain.

MYTH #4: ONLY A POSITIVE MRI OR CT SCAN PROVES YOU’VE SUSTAINED TBI

The truth is that the majority of mild traumatic brain injuries involve a negative CT scan or MRI. Many doctors who treat TBIs will confirm that their traumatic brain injury patients often produce normal CT scans and normal electroencephalograms.

MYTH #5: TBIs ARE IMMEDIATELY AND EASILY DETECTIBLE

TBIs, in fact, are not always immediately and easily detectable, which is why you must have a medical exam immediately after suffering any blow or jolt to the head or any suspected whiplash.

According to the authors of Greenfield’s Neuropathology, which Google calls the world’s leading neuropathology reference, “there is a process of delayed taxonomy in which the actual disruption of some axons does not occur until some time after the original injury.”

MYTH #6: TESTS FOR TBI ARE SUBJECTIVE

A variety of neurological tests measure brain function. Since a patient must give his or her best efforts on these tests, defense lawyers and witnesses in personal injury cases may claim that the tests are inconclusive because a patient can influence the result. This claim has been debunked.

In the widely used textbook Mental Status Examination in Neurology, the authors explain that neuropsychological tests provide an objective look at a wide range of cognitive and emotional behaviors that indicate the condition of the brain.

Moreover, the American Academy of Neurology has determined that neuropsychological testing is acceptable, appropriate, and in the vast majority of TBI cases, accurate.

MYTH #7: A MILD TBI CANNOT CAUSE A DISABILITY

This simply is not true. A mild traumatic brain injury can lead to severe disability. The root of this myth may be the fact that most persons who are disabled by a traumatic brain injury look entirely normal and healthy.

MYTH #8: A MILD TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY IS NEVER PERMANENT

This isn’t true, either. A number of medical research studies have determined that 15 to 25 percent of mild traumatic brain injury victims will suffer from life-long symptoms and problems as a result of the injury.

MYTH #9: A CHILD WHO SUFFERS A MILD TBI RECOVERS EASILY

While many of the children who sustain a mild traumatic brain injury do in fact recover quickly and easily, many others do not. In fact, some children develop problems related to a brain injury weeks and even months later.

When the part of a child’s brain that is damaged in an accident has not yet fully developed, the full damage may not become apparent until that part of the brain has developed more fully.

CAN YOU BE COMPENSATED AFTER A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY?

If you sustain a brain injury in a traffic accident – or in any accident caused by someone else’s negligence in Indiana – the law entitles you to full compensation for your accident-related medical care along with compensation for lost income and all other related damages.

A good personal injury lawyer will fight for your compensation and will also see to it that you meet with medical professionals who can provide effective treatment to traumatic brain injury victims.

Your attorney may also seek the help of a brain injury authority and/or the help of an accident reconstruction specialist to testify or to submit a statement on your behalf.

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT LAWYER?

However, an attorney who doesn’t fully understand the problems related to a TBI may suggest settling your injury claim for less than you need and deserve. While a lawyer decides whether to handle your case, you should also be deciding if that attorney is the right attorney for you.

Greenwood injury lawyers routinely represent the injured victims of negligence – and fight aggressively for justice on their behalf – in the Indianapolis area and across the state. Don’t take chances with a traumatic brain injury. Seek medical attention at once after any blow to the head.

After you’ve seen a doctor, schedule a meeting at once with a premises liability attorney who can review your claim. You have two years to take legal action if you’ve been injured by negligence in Indiana, but do not wait. If you are injured by negligence, obtain a good lawyer’s help at once.

WHY WOULD AN INDIANA PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY TURN DOWN MY CASE? (HERE’S THE ANSWER)

Despite what you are told by some politicians and by some corporations, the civil courts in our nation are not filled with frivolous lawsuits. An experienced Indiana personal injury attorney, for example, closely scrutinizes a case before accepting that case and fighting on a client’s behalf.

If you become injured because of someone else’s negligence in this state, you are probably wondering if you have grounds for a personal injury claim. If you try to hire a personal injury lawyer, but you can’t find a lawyer who will handle your case, you will want to know why.

If you’ll continue reading, you will learn several reasons why particular injury attorneys may not be interested in handling particular personal injury cases. You will also learn how an injury attorney decides to handle – or to not handle – a particular personal injury claim.

WHAT IS THE CONTINGENT FEE SYSTEM AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Generally speaking, the reasons why a personal injury lawyer will turn down a case fall into two broad categories: financial reasons and legal reasons. However, for a full understanding of how injury lawyers choose cases, the “contingent fee” system needs to be explained first.

Personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. When an injury attorney takes your case, you pay no attorney’s fee until and unless your lawyer wins compensation on your behalf with a jury verdict or an out-of-court settlement.

It’s a system that allows every injured victim of negligence to have a fair day in court without regard to that victim’s financial circumstances.

WHAT RISK DOES A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER TAKE?

But the contingent fee system additionally means that when an injury attorney takes a case, he or she is also taking a risk. No specific outcome can ever be absolutely guaranteed in a personal injury case – especially if the case cannot be settled privately and goes to a jury trial.

Therefore, attorneys handle only the personal injury cases that they believe they can win.

This is inherently good for most personal injury victims because it means that your attorney will be motivated to do the best possible work on your behalf. If your personal injury claim fails, the attorney does not get paid and suffers the loss of his or her time and effort.

WHAT IF THE PERSON WHO INJURED YOU HAS NO RESOURCES?

Frivolous claims are immediately rejected by any good injury attorney. But even if your injury claim holds up legally in a technical sense, it may be rejected because the value of the claim is just not enough or because the chances of actually collecting – even if you win – are slim.

Even if you are legally “in the right,” bringing a personal injury action against someone who is broke and who has no insurance coverage is almost never a good idea.

In such cases, unless another party with liability can be identified, or unless one of your own insurance policies provides some type of applicable coverage, you may just have to suffer the loss. In some cases, that’s the unfortunate reality.

WHAT KINDS OF INJURIES GENERATE PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUITS?

Another hard truth about personal injury law is that you must suffer a serious injury in order to be entitled to compensation. The law provides compensation only for serious personal injuries that genuinely require treatment by a healthcare professional.

If you have only suffered scrapes, scratches, and a couple of minor bruises in an automobile accident, for example, you have no case. Those are minor injuries that heal quickly, and whatever medical care is required is usually inexpensive – and available from a first-aid kit.

WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO YOUR CASE IF YOU DON’T ACT PROMPTLY?

If you wait too long to speak to a lawyer about a personal injury, you’ll find that Indiana’s statute of limitations for taking legal action based on a personal injury – two years – is an immovable object. If two years have passed and you have not acted, an Indiana court will not hear your case.

In fact, the key to prevailing with a personal injury claim is taking the right steps immediately. Seek medical treatment at once, and then speak promptly with an injury lawyer. The memories of the witnesses can fade and the evidence in a case can deteriorate quickly – or simply get lost.

While the Indiana statute of limitations gives you two years to act, you may have less time than that. Many auto insurance policies require you to file an injury claim within a year of an accident-related injury.

WHAT’S THE WISEST STEP TO TAKE IF YOU ARE INJURED BY NEGLIGENCE?

But whether you are injured in a traffic crash or in some other accident scenario, immediately putting an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney on your case is the wisest move that an injured victim of negligence can make.

As noted previously, scrapes, scratches, and other minor injuries are not enough for a personal injury claim. You must be seriously injured, but a serious injury alone still is not enough for an injury claim.

Your injury must be the result of another party’s negligence, and to prevail with your claim, you must be able to prove that the party you name as a defendant was in fact negligent and that the negligence was a direct cause of your serious injury.

IS IT POSSIBLE THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE A PERSONAL INJURY CASE?

If you were at fault for a traffic crash, or if the largest share of the fault was yours, you probably can’t recover damages. You can usually sue for a dog bite – but not if you were trespassing. If you slip on a wet floor in a supermarket, and you suffer only embarrassment, you have no case.

In other words, every case is unique, and a personal injury lawyer in this state will thoughtfully and thoroughly consider all of the facts and details before making the final determination to accept or reject a case.

WHAT ARE INJURY ATTORNEYS LOOKING FOR?

Do not let anything that you have read here give you the impression that injury lawyers are looking for reasons to reject cases. They are looking for reasons to accept cases. If personal injury lawyers do not have cases, they don’t have work.

In the state of Indiana, if you believe that you’ve been seriously injured because someone else was negligent, it costs nothing to discuss your legal rights and options with an experienced Indiana injury lawyer.

Your first consultation is free, and there is no obligation. If you’ve been injured by negligence, make the call now. A good attorney’s help is your right.

Liability Insurance

 

Today, we’ll talk about the liability insurance that you have on your vehicle.

Liability Insurance under Indiana Law

As you know, you’re required by Indiana law to carry liability coverage on your policy. Your liability coverage is the coverage that protects other drivers, other motorists. It even protects any pedestrians you might hit and cause injury or damage to while operating your motor vehicle or your motorcycle.

So you’re required by Indiana law to carry liability coverage in the amount of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury coverage. You also must carry coverage of $10,000 per accident for property damage.

These are the minimum amounts that you’re required to carry by Indiana law. They are also the minimum amounts that the other drivers on the road are required to carry.

When you have this amount of coverage, you are considered to be fully insured under Indiana law. However, that’s not what we typically think of when we’re purchasing full coverage insurance.

Talk To Your Insurance Agent

Being fully insured and fully covered are two very different things, and you should talk to your insurance agent about that. Be aware of what the minimum liability limits are, and make sure that you’re carrying enough liability coverage to fully cover you if you should cause an accident.

What You Must Know

After all, here’s what happens if you don’t carry enough insurance to cover all the damage that you could cause to another person or another vehicle. You could be held personally responsible for any amounts over and above the limits of your liability coverage.

That’s the insurance you carry specifically to protect the other motorists and the other people that you could come in contact with.

If you have any questions, you’re welcome to reach out to me. I’ll get on the phone with you, and we’ll talk things through so you fully understand your coverage.

Stay safe out there, enjoy the ride and we’ll talk later.

Insurance Attacking Your Medical Treatment?

I’ve represented motorcycle riders in Indiana for over 25 years. And today, i want to tell you about something that I’m pretty confident you don’t know. It’s something that the insurance companies will try to use against you if you’re injured in a motorcycle accident.

A Dirty Trick

Here’s what this is all about: when a biker is injured in a collision, they’ll seek medical treatment. A lot of times, the insurance company will challenge the medical treatment that the biker receives. It will say that the treatment was inappropriate or excessive for treating the injuries that the biker sustained. They’re doing this to try to shirk their responsibility for the treatment.

What Indiana Law Says

What they’re not telling you though is that Indiana law says that the insurance company is responsible for that treatment anyway. Even if the doctor malpractices, Indiana law says that the insurance company of the vehicle that caused the collision is responsible for that treatment. Don’t let the insurance adjustor fool you into thinking that they’re not responsible for your treatment just because they say that it wasn’t appropriate.

What You Should Do

Know your rights, know the law, and make sure that you are fully compensated and you hold those who cause collisions fully accountable for the injuries they have caused. You’re welcome to give me a call, I’ll hop on the phone with you. We’ll talk things through and make sure that you are fully protected under the law.

As always, stay safe out there, enjoy the ride and we’ll talk again later.

Will My Injury Case Go To Court?

 

We often hear from our clients that they want to be fully compensated for their claims, but they don’t want their case to go to court. That’s understandable. You probably know that Will Rogers is famous for having said that someone who goes to a trial by jury places their fate in the hands of six people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.

Most Cases Settle Without A Suit

Most of our cases settle without us ever having to file a suit. We’re able to resolve them with the insurance companies and have our clients fully compensated for their injuries.

Many Of The Other Cases Are Filed But Then Settled

In cases where the insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement, we do file a suit, but that still doesn’t mean that we’re going to court and trying the case in front of a jury. We’ll still have an opportunity to settle the case and recover for you all that you’re entitled to under the law, without ever having to go to court.

What You Should Do

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, give me a call and reach out to me. We’ll get on the phone, talk through your options, and make sure that you’re fully protected under the law.

As always, stay safe out there, enjoy the ride and we’ll talk again later.

WHO CAN BE SUED FOR TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN INDIANA? (HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW)

Commercial trucks haul essential products and goods to every town and city in the country. These trucks are critical to the economy, but they also present considerable risks to others who are on the road.

Across the U.S., more than 4,100 persons died in accidents with big commercial trucks in 2017. Thousands more suffered severe injuries. If you’re injured in Indiana in an accident that involves a large truck, what are your rights? How can you be compensated? Who can be sued?

If you’ll continue reading, those questions are about to be answered, and you’ll also learn where to turn for legal help if you are injured because of negligence in a truck accident – or in any traffic crash – in Greenwood, Indianapolis, or anywhere else in the state.

WHEN A TRUCK CRASHES, WHO HAS LIABILITY?

When a crash involves a commercial truck, even when the driver was obviously at fault, it can still be hard to identify who may be liable for damages. If you’re injured in a commercial truck crash, it’s imperative to consult at once with an experienced Greenwood truck accident attorney.

Among the first steps your attorney will take will be to identify the parties who are legally liable for the accident. How will liability be decided in the aftermath of a truck accident? Can you hold a trucking business – or any other party – liable for a truck driver’s negligence?

WHEN ARE EMPLOYERS LIABLE FOR AN EMPLOYEE’S NEGLIGENCE?

Yes, you can – sometimes. Because of a principle in law referred to as “respondeat superior,” an employer can sometimes be held liable for an employee’s negligence, provided such negligence was not intentional and took place within the “course and scope” of that employee’s job duties.

Respondeat superior is one type of “vicarious” liability. It imputes or transfers an employee’s liability to the employer. Whether respondeat superior will apply in a specific truck accident depends on the answers to these questions:

  1. Was the truck driver a trucking company employee or an independent contractor?
  2. Did the accident and negligence occur in the course and scope of the driver’s job duties?
  3. Was the negligence intended or unintended?

WHAT IF A TRUCK DRIVER IS AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR?

Typically, a trucking company may be held liable for the negligence of employees but not for the negligence of contractors. If the truck driver who injures someone is a contractor, respondeat superior likely doesn’t apply, so the trucking company will probably have no liability.

When a driver owns the truck, carries liability insurance, has no taxes withheld, and is paid no additional benefits, that truck driver will probably be an independent contractor.

WHAT DEFINES THE COURSE AND SCOPE OF A TRUCK DRIVER’S JOB DUTIES?

Defining the course and scope of a truck driver’s employment can be difficult and complicated. A variety of factors have to be taken into account, including but not necessarily limited to:

  1. a truck driver’s job description
  2. the nature, time, and place where the negligence occurred
  3. how much discretion and freedom a driver has regarding job duties
  4. a driver’s intent when the negligence occurred

These examples may help. Should a trucker making deliveries crash into your vehicle, an employer will probably be held accountable for injuries because the driver was acting within the course and scope of his or her job duties.

But if that safe trucker leaves work, takes the truck out to a restaurant, and collides with your vehicle in the parking lot, the employer will probably have no liability as the driver acted apart from the course and scope of his or her job duties.

WHO IS LIABLE IF A TRUCKER INTENTIONALLY INJURES SOMEONE?

A trucking business may be held liable for accidents but typically isn’t liable for a truck driver’s intentional wrongdoing or negligence. If a trucker intentionally crashes into a specific vehicle – in a hate crime or in an incident of road rage, for instance – the company has no liability.

The trucking industry is governed by a vast number of federal and state regulations. A trucker’s hours, how much weight may be carried on a truck, and the type and amount of training required for truck drivers are only several of the matters regulated by federal and state law.

If a truck driver negligently injures someone, any direct violation of a state or federal trucking regulation – by either the trucking company or the driver – is evidence in the victim’s favor and makes it more likely that an injury victim will prevail with a personal injury claim.

WHO ELSE MAY HAVE LIABILITY FOR A TRUCK ACCIDENT?

If you are catastrophically injured or permanently disabled after a truck accident, the higher insurance coverage limits required for commercial trucks mean it’s more likely that you will actually obtain the complete compensation that you are entitled to and deserve.

In personal injury claims arising from truck accidents, more than a single defendant will often be involved. Leasing companies, contractors, and subcontractors may also have a share of the liability for accidents and injuries.

If a truck’s cargo hasn’t been loaded properly, if a truck’s brakes or tires were defectively manufactured, or if a truck is improperly maintained or entirely neglected, more than a single defendant may have a share of the liability for causing a truck accident and the ensuing injuries.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO DETERMINE LIABILITY FOR A TRUCK ACCIDENT?

Determining liability after a truck accident requires careful scrutiny of evidence such as the police report, toxicology and medical reports, dashcam video, eyewitness statements, and photos from the scene. In some cases, a lawyer may ask for help from an accident reconstruction expert.

When personal injury claims name multiple defendants, the claims may be more difficult to settle outside of the courtroom, and an injury victim may have to take one or more defendants to trial while settling out-of-court with one or more other defendants.

It sounds complicated – and it is – but once again, if you have been catastrophically injured or permanently disabled in a crash with a commercial truck, a personal injury claim with multiple defendants is more likely to provide the full compensation you need for long-term medical care.

WHEN SHOULD YOU SPEAK TO A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY?

This has been only a brief general overview of truck collisions and liability. If you are injured in a truck collision in Indiana, you’ll need personalized, candid legal advice about your options and rights.

An experienced Greenwood personal injury attorney can offer the trustworthy legal advice and representation that a truck accident victim will need. If you’ve been injured by negligence, make the call at once after obtaining medical treatment. That’s your right, and it’s the right thing to do.

Construction Zone Speeding Ticket Defense

 

Today, I want to talk to you about construction zones.

Our first responsibility as motorcyclists is to operate our motorcycles within the posted speed limit in a safe and responsible manner. This is especially important in construction zones, where you’re likely to deal with uneven surfaces, changing traffic patterns, moving equipment, and, of course, construction workers.

What If You Get A Speeding Ticket In A Construction Zone?

However, you and I both have found ourselves in inactive construction zones. Then, the flow of traffic starts moving a little too quickly, and suddenly we find ourselves in a speed trap and a police officer catches us going above the modified posted speed limit.

What You Should Know About Indiana Law

Here’s a little fact about Indiana law regarding tickets issued in construction zones: the prosecutor, in prosecuting a speeding ticket, is required to prove the speed limit for the zone in which the ticket was issued.

Typically, he does that by pointing out a statute that dictates what the speed limit is for that type of road. But those statutes don’t work in construction zones that have reduced speed limits.

The Prosecutor Needs Proof

The prosecutor is required to prove what that reduced speed limit is. And the only way he can do that is by producing in court a certified copy of the executive order from the Department of Transportation modifying that speed limit.

If the prosecutor does not have the order from the Department of Transportation in a certified record showing that the speed limit has been lawfully reduced from the statutory speed limit, the prosecutor cannot prove his case.

The police officer cannot sit on the witness stand and say, “But the posted speed limit at the construction zone is 45 miles an hour.” That doesn’t prove what the lawful speed limit is in that construction zone.

What If The Prosecutor Doesn’t Have That Certified Document?

The prosecutor has to have that certified document. If he doesn’t have it, and you tell the judge that the case needs to be dismissed because of the absence of the certified record, the judge is supposed to dismiss the charge for the failure of proof.

A lot of times, the prosecutor doesn’t have that document because a lot of times, Indiana motorists aren’t aware of this requirement, so people never raise this argument. Most lawyers know better, some don’t, but now, you do. Know your rights, know the law, be an educated and informed motorcyclist. It will make you a better biker and make all of us better for it.

If you have any questions or you need anything, you can always reach out to me and I’ll get on the phone with you and do what we can.

Injuries Caused By Government Workers

 

I have represented motorcycle riders in Indiana for over 25 years. And today, I want to talk to you about an obscure law in Indiana that shields government agencies and government employees from liability for accidents.

What Happens If A Government Worker Is Responsible For An Accident?

If you’re involved in a collision that’s caused by a government worker, it’s very important you get with an attorney very quickly. That’s because the law has very short deadlines and very strict liability concerns that will limit your ability to hold the at-fault driver responsible for your damages and injuries unless you act quickly.

What You Should Do

So, if you’ve been in a collision and you think there’s a chance that the person who caused the accident works for the government, you need to contact an attorney at once. Don’t delay. The delay could be fatal for your case.

You’re welcome to give me a call or reach out to me. I’ll be happy to hop on the phone with you, talk things through and make sure that you’re fully protected under the law. As always, stay safe out there, enjoy the ride and we’ll talk again later.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Today, let’s talk about underinsured motorist coverage. This is actually a really confusing subject. A lot of people — in fact, even a lot of lawyers — don’t understand underinsured motorist coverage. So, let me break it down for you.

What Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Underinsured motorist coverage is coverage that you carry on your policy to protect you when you are hit by someone who’s driving around with not enough insurance on their own policy.

Indiana requires motorists to carry policies of insurance with liability coverage of no less than $25,000 per person, or $50,000 per accident. That means, if you’re hit by somebody who’s at fault for an accident, their liability coverage is supposed to step up and pay you for your damages and they have to have at least $25,000 worth of coverage on that policy to pay you.

How Underinsured Motorist Coverage Works

Here’s how underinsured motorist coverage works: let’s say that you’re involved in an accident, have suffered bodily injuries, and the total amount of your damage is $100,000.

The person who hit you has a $25,000 per person liability limit policy, which is the minimum amount required by law. You, in turn, have a fifty-thousand-dollar underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy. So we’re going to use these two policies to try to pay you as much as we can of that hundred-thousand-dollar damage you have incurred.

First, the at-fault party’s liability coverage is going to step up and pay you $25,000. That’s the limit of their policy for your bodily injuries that total a hundred grand. This leaves you with a $75,000 shortfall.

Now you turn to your own insurance company and you’ve got a fifty-thousand-dollar policy there. This is where it gets confusing. You would think that you can turn to your own insurance company and get $50,000 more, because, after all, you’ve suffered $100,000 in damages.

A Nasty Surprise

But Indiana law allows your own insurance company to deduct from your coverage the amount that you recovered from the liability carrier. So, when you’re carrying $50,000 in underinsured motorist coverage, what you are being insured for is that you will have no less than $50,000 available to you for your injuries from all sources of insurance.

This means that you get $25,000 from the liability carrier, and then you only get another $25,000 from your underinsured motorist coverage. That’s $50,000 in all, and it leaves you with a $50,000 shortfall because you have $100,000 in damages. It certainly seems unfair.

What Most People Don’t Understand

What people don’t understand is that when they buy their insurance policy, they have to purchase enough coverage to make sure that they recover all that they need to recover to make themselves whole.

When it comes to buying insurance, you’re often insuring your own self more than you are insuring someone else. So, when you purchase your insurance coverages, make sure you purchase underinsured motorist coverage as well as uninsured motorist coverage. Indiana requires your insurance company to include it in your vehicle policy unless you specify in writing that you don’t want any uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

What Can Happen If You Purchase Your Insurance Online

Lately, with everybody purchasing their policies online and by e-signature, we’ve seen that insurance companies have been playing it fast and loose with gaining the required waivers in writing that people don’t want these coverages. Whether you’re purchasing online or in person, make sure that you purchase the coverages that you want and need, and that you understand what you’re paying your premiums for.

What You Should Do

If you’re in an accident and you’re facing these issues of whether the other party has enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries, reach out to me. We’ll get on the phone, and I’ll help you out.

We’ll make sure we are accessing all the insurance that’s available to you. We’ll also make sure you’re taking full advantage of all the coverages that you have not only purchased but that you’re entitled to receive according to the law.

Stay safe out there, enjoy the ride and we’ll talk again later.

Medical Payments Insurance Coverage

 

Today, we’ll talk about medical payments coverage on your vehicle policy.

There are many kinds of coverage that we can purchase under our motorcycle or automobile insurance policies. Some of them are optional. This means we are not legally required to carry them.

As you know, Indiana only requires you to carry liability coverage in the amount of $25,00 per person, $50,000 per accident for bodily injuries, and $10,000 for property damage. Add uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage of the same limits and that makes you fully insured under Indiana law.

However, people often purchase full coverage policies that include medical payments coverage, inclusion coverage, and comprehensive coverage as well.

What Is Medical Payments Coverage?

Medical payments coverage is something that people don’t always appreciate and understand. What exactly is it and how do you use it? Medical payments coverage is coverage that’s available to you when an injury results from an automobile collision. It will provide payment for medical bills that cover the treatment of injuries resulting from that collision.

Sometimes, we find that medical payments coverage will pay the bills as soon as they’re accrued. In other cases, we find that medical payments coverage providers and non-standard policies will try to access any other health insurance you may have.

This means that if you have deductibles and co-pays, it wants your health insurance to pay the bulk of the bill. It will only step in and pick up the deductibles and co-pays that you would have to go out of pocket on. In any event, people need to understand what medical payments coverage is and how to properly use it.

What May Happen

If you’re injured in an accident and an ambulance arrives and takes you to the hospital, here’s we often find. The ambulance company and the hospital don’t want to bill your health insurance because your health insurance has deductions and reductions to what they will pay.

Therefore, if the hospital or the ambulance company can bill your automobile insurance company under the medical payments coverage, they’ll get paid more money. So they want to do that, and here’s the bad thing that will happen as a result:

A Potentially Bad Outcome

Consider that you’re injured in an accident. You take an ambulance ride to the emergency room. They take some x-rays, they treat you, and they release you with instructions to follow up with your family physician.

Then, the ambulance company and the emergency room quickly bill your medical payments coverage and they suck up all the coverage that would have been available to you.

Go down the road a little bit, and you may need physical therapy with some durable medical equipment, maybe a TENS unit, or maybe crutches. You would love to use that medical payments coverage for those items that are going to be truly out of your pocket because your health insurance isn’t going to pick up those items.

What You Should Do

So here’s what to do: contact your automobile insurance company as soon as possible following the accident or the collision and tell them that you will dictate which bills from which providers get paid by the medical payments coverage.

That way, you’ll save that medical payment coverage for your benefit and you can use it for your best interests and take care of the bills that you need to have paid. After all, it’s your insurance, you pay the premiums for it, so you should dictate how that coverage is to be used. It should not be dictated by the hospital or the ambulance company. You should be in control of that.

This is one of the things that we do for our clients. If you need help, or if you have any questions, simply reach out to me. I’ll be happy to get on the phone with you. We’ll talk things through and make sure that you’re properly squared away. Stay safe out there, enjoy the ride and we’ll talk later.