Sevierville Car Accident Lawyers
why Hire our sevierville car accident lawyers?
Because we used to work for auto insurance companies defending bodily injury claims, our legal team has an in-depth understanding of the defense strategies the insurance company will use to devalue your injury claim. We have proven strategies to combat those tactics. We have the ability to properly document and persuasively present each element of your injury claim to the insurance adjuster in order to maximize the amount of money you receive and limit the stress on you and your family.
When to Hire a Lawyer for Your Car Accident
A majority of our clients were reluctant to hire a lawyer after being injured in a car accident. Like so many of our wonderful clients, you may initially think about handling your car accident injury claim yourself. You’re an intelligent, reasonable person that just wants the insurance company to treat you fairly. We get it. We hear it all the time. The reality is the insurance adjuster handling your claim has one goal: to pay you as little as possible. The adjuster doesn’t want you to hire a lawyer because that would level the playing field and likely mean they will be paying out considerably more than they want to on your injury claim.
how much does it cost to hire a car accident lawyer?
We don’t want to add to your financial stress during this time of uncertainty in your life. That’s why our lawyers offer free case reviews and why we charge no fees unless you obtain compensation. We cover the up-front costs, such as expert witnesses and won’t ask you to reimburse us unless you receive a settlement or verdict. We charge a standard contingency fee of 1/3 of the gross settlement or judgment we recover for you.
Will I have to File a Lawsuit against the at-fault driver?
Although we resolve a majority of our car accident cases without filing a lawsuit, we consistently take more car accident cases to trial in Sevier County than any other law firm. Because of our reputation for trying and winning car accident cases in Sevier County, our clients receive higher settlement offers from insurance companies. Assuming you do not wait until your statute of limitations is about to run and you hire a local personal injury law firm with a reputation for winning at trial, (the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is one-year in Tennessee) it is likely your car accident injury claim will be resolved without filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Frequently asked questions
After you’ve been involved in a car accident, you probably have a lot of questions. Click below or call us to get the answers you’re looking for.
This question has only gotten more and more complicated over the past few years as health insurance companies now routinely deny (or at least initially deny) claims related to car accidents. Below I break down the pros, cons and the “never going to happen(s)” pertaining to possible avenues of payment for medical bills related to a car accident:
Liability Carrier –The at-fault driver’s insurance company WILL NOT pay your medical bills as you send them in—the at-fault’s driver’s insurance company will only pay if you sign a complete release absolving their insured of any future liability for your injuries. The adjuster for the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will often tell injured claimants to “send me your medical bills as you receive them,” and then they usually follow up with something to the effect of “we will make this right” or “don’t worry, we are accepting liability.” This kind of misleading rhetoric from adjusters leads claimants to believe that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay their medical bills related to the accident upon receipt. This is not true. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will not piecemeal settlement monies by paying your individual medical bills. The insurance company for the at-fault driver will not pay out any money on your injury claim unless you agree to release their insured from any and all liability. In other words, they don’t pay you a cent until your entire injury claim is resolved. Many injury victims have their credit scores ruined by unpaid medical bills because they mistakenly believe the at-fault insurance company is required to pay their medical bills once they are submitted.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Carrier– If the driver that hit you was uninsured or underinsured, you may be dealing directly with your auto insurance carrier regarding your injury claim. Similar to the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will not pay individual medical bills prior to the resolution of your injury claim
Medical Payment Coverage-– Medical Payment Coverage is an optional type of coverage available on your auto insurance policy. It may help pay your or your passengers’ medical expenses if you are injured in a car accident, regardless of who caused the accident…Medical payment coverage is sometimes referred to as medical expense coverage or just “med pay.” Medical Payment Coverage is the only type of auto insurance coverage that will pay your medical bills upon receipt prior to the resolution of your injury claim. Typically, medical payment coverage has a policy limit of $5,000 or $10,000 per person. Whether or not you should use your medical payment coverage to pay your medical bills after a car accident can be a somewhat complicated issue. Tip: Regardless of whether you decide to use your medical payment coverage or not, one of the first things you should do after a car accident is notify your auto insurance carrier in writing NOT to make direct payments to any medical providers under your medical payment coverage without your explicit approval. This prevents the emergency room or hospital that treated you after the accident from using part or all of your medical payment coverage.
Health Insurance- Submitting your bills to your health insurance carrier is the best way to get your medical bills paid after a car accident. Your group health insurance plan (eg. BlueCross, Aetna, Humana, etc.) provides you with a benefit you’ve likely never considered in paying your medical bills. It’s called a negotiated fee plan, under which your doctor or hospital agrees to provide service at a rate below billing charge. That is, your insurance company will say to your doctors and hospital “we will provide you with our insureds as patients, but at pre-approved rates.” Once the doctor agrees to accept this negotiated, lower insurance company payment, you may not be billed for the difference between the negotiated rate, and the doctor’s billing rate. By processing your bills related to your car accident through your health insurance, you get to keep more of your settlement in your pocket. (Not to mention the bills got paid timely so your credit is still in tact.) Again, getting your health insurance carrier to pay the claims related to your car accident can be complicated. Making sure all related medical bills are paid by the health insurance carrier per the policy is a service we offer to all our personal injury clients and is included in our representation agreements for no additional fee beyond the standard contingency fee.
Self-Pay- If you do not have health insurance or medical payment coverage available then we recommend that you set up a payment plan with your medical providers in order to avoid having your bills sent to collection and also to benefit from the self-pay discount offered by many medical providers. We also routinely send “letters of protection” stating a client’s medical bills will be paid out of any settlement or judgement received if necessary. Letters of Protection are one tool that we use to try and prevent damage to our clients’ credit scores due to unpaid medical bills related to their car accidents.
Short answer– yes. You should submit your medical bills from the car accident to your health insurance carrier.
We hear this from our car accident injury clients ALL THE TIME. There are multiple Sevier County physicians that simply refuse to treat a patient if he or she was injured in a car accident. When your trusted primary care physician refuses to treat you because you were hurt in a car accident it can be very disheartening not to mention frustrating and stressful. So why do certain physicians refuse to treat even their established patients if there is a car accident involved? Primarily because they don’t want the “hassle.” The physician may have treated a patient previously for injuries sustained in a car accident and been “burned” aka they never got paid. With multiple insurance carriers involved which complicates billing procedures and the new trend of health insurance companies denying claims related to car accidents, many physicians say they have a “rule” against treating someone hurt in a car accident. Is it fair—heck no. But outside of hospital emergency rooms and life threatening injuries doctors can refuse to treat individuals based on how they were injured. What should you do if your doctor refuses to treat you because you were in a car accident? Seek treatment somewhere else ASAP. Don’t let too much time pass before you find another doctor who is willing to treat you. You can go to a local Urgent Care Clinic or depending on the severity of your injuries you may want to go back to the Emergency Room. Being a local law firm with deep community roots, we help our clients who have been refused treatment by their physician find a qualified and caring doctor or specialist willing to help accident victims.