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Auto Accident Blog

Can My Auto Insurance Company Force me to Have a Medical Evaluation

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

If you were injured in an automobile accident and were fortunate enough to have Personal Injury Coverage, your insurance carrier may schedule you to be examined by a doctor of its choosing depending on the terms of your policy.

If you haven’t read my previous blogs, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a coverage you can elect to have on your policy that you can use if you’re injured in an auto accident, regardless of fault. PIP can pay for your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages.

If you use the PIP coverage, depending on the terms of your auto policy, you could be required to appear before a physician for a medical evaluation that your insurance carrier chooses. This is to protect the insurance carrier from paying on PIP claims that may not be related to the accident in question or to prevent the insurance company from paying on claims that are excessive, unrelated, etc.

If your insurance company is demanding that you be evaluated by a medical professional after you’ve been involved in an accident, it is important to have a knowledgeable attorney review your entire auto policy to ensure that the insurance company is allowed to demand this.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
301-740-3313
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

Subsequent Injuries

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

When you’re injured in an accident you have the burden to prove your injuries, damages, etc. One of the burdens I will speak of in this blog is the burden to prove that your injuries are causally related to the incident in question.

This burden becomes harder to overcome if the client suffers a second injury to the same body part. For example, Mr. Smith injured his back in a motor vehicle collision in January. Mr. Smith is evaluated by a physician who prescribes physical therapy; Mr. Smith attends therapy 3 times per week. In February, still under a doctor’s care, Mr. Smith slips and falls on ice. He reports increased back pain to his doctor as a result of the fall.

Similar situations happen more often than what you may think. Subsequent injuries of the same body part (and even different body parts) can limit your recovery for the first incident up to the date of the intervening event that caused the worsening.

Every case is different and suffering injuries from two or more separate losses can be extremely difficult to understand.

Have you been injured in an automobile collision? Call personal injury attorney Jaclyne Kartley today for a free consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
301-740-3313
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

Third Party Claims – When Work Accidents are Caused by the Negligence of Others

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

If you have suffered an injury while working, you may also have a third party claim against the negligent person or entity that caused your injury, depending on the circumstances.

For example, an ambulance driver is responding to an emergency in an ambulance, and is struck by another vehicle. The ambulance driver has a workers’ compensation claim, and also has a third party claim against the at-fault driver.

What can be tricky with third party claims is the recovery aspect. When the workers' compensation carrier pays for the claimant’s medical treatment, lost time from work, and permanency award, the carrier keeps track of every dollar it expends. Then, if the claimant recovers in a negligence action against the at-fault party, the claimant must pay back the workers’ compensation carrier for all of the money it paid.

This can be quite a balancing act for Plaintiff's attorneys, especially if the claimant missed a substantial amount of time from work, suffered severe injuries, etc. Furthermore, depending on the amount of liability coverage available, the potential recovery can begin to shrink rather quickly if the claimant has substantial medical bills and lost wages.

Contact personal injury attorney Jaclyne Kartley today for a free consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

Crosswalk Conundrums

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

I have represented many clients who have been injured in motor vehicle collisions involving crosswalks. The most common motor vehicle collision involving a crosswalk is when Driver #1 stops at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross the road, then Driver #2 (driving behind Driver #1) fails to stop in time, and strikes the rear of Driver #1's vehicle, causing bodily injuries and property damage.

In the above scenario, Driver #1 is oftentimes injured, and sometimes the pedestrian can also be injured if the force of the collision pushes either vehicle into the pedestrian.

It is important to remain vigilant while driving, especially while approaching and waiting at crosswalks. If a pedestrian has not completed his or her cross and the crosswalk signal has changed from "walk" to "don’t walk," the pedestrian must proceed "without delay" to the nearest sidewalk or safety island. This means that drivers must be aware of pedestrians in a crosswalk, prior to proceeding through it. If you fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk, you could potentially be liable for their injuries.

Have you been injured as a result of someone else's negligence? Contact personal injury attorney Jaclyne Kartley today for a free consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

Uber Accident = Uber Complicated

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

In today's day and age, it is not uncommon for individuals to hail rides from complete strangers using apps such as Uber, Lyft, etc. What's even stranger are the insurance issues that arise when an Uber vehicle, for example, is involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Under Maryland law, an insurance company may refuse to provide “any and all coverage” for a loss or injury if the incident occurred while the driver was “providing transportation network services.”

For example, Mr. Rideshare uses his personal vehicle for Uber services and his automobile is insured by Big Bucks Insurance Company. Mr. Rideshare does not update his Big Bucks Insurance policy to reflect that he is using his vehicle for ridesharing purposes. If Mr. Rideshare is involved in a motor vehicle collision, whether he is at fault or not, Big Bucks Insurance Company can refuse to cover any aspect of the loss.

If you have been injured in an automobile collision involving a ridesharing app vehicle, you need an experienced attorney who can protect your right to recovery. Call personal injury attorney Jaclyne Kartley today for a free consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

Local Government Tort Claims: What You Need to Know to Preserve Your Right to Recovery

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of negligence in which the local government may be liable for your injuries, there are several requirements for placing the at fault entity on notice to properly preserve your claim.

First, if you were injured while on local government property, e.g. at a local city park or playground, you must notify the appropriate official within one year after the date of your injury. If you fail to place the appropriate entity and/or individual on notice of your claim, you may lose your right to pursue your claim. Second, the notice to the government official must include the time, place, and cause of your injury.

Local Government Tort Claims are complex and require a skilled attorney to preserve your right of recovery. If you have been injured, call Jaclyne Kartley today for a free consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

But it wasn't my fault! Why you should be using your health insurance

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A common misconception (and rightfully so) that most clients have is that they should not use their health insurance for medical treatment after they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. The reason they feel this way is because the accident was not their fault, so why should they use their health insurance? Shouldn’t the Defendant be paying?

This first order of business is to determine if you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on your automobile insurance policy. If you need a refresher on PIP coverage, please read my previous blog, “First Party.” Briefly, using your PIP coverage cannot impact your rate, and it can pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your case.

If you have PIP and it exhausts OR you do not have PIP insurance, the next link in the chain is YOUR health insurance. It’s important that all of your medical treatment is processed through your health insurance to ensure that your providers are paid for their services and also so you do not have large balances at the conclusion of your case.

Keep in mind that your health insurance will keep track of what it pays related to your case, and your insurer is required by law to be paid back from any settlement or judgment you receive.

Have you been injured in an automobile accident? Call Jaclyne Kartley today for a FREE consultation at 301-740-3313.

Attorney Jaclyne Kartley

Call or email me with your questions:
Jaclyne Kartley
jkartley@bsgfdlaw.com

Sudden Incapacity - Part 2

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

In my case, the claim was that the driver had been ill and passed out due to dehydration. I filed a lawsuit for my client and began the discovery process. I retained a medical expert to review the driver's medical records, which were inconsistent with someone who passed out due to dehydration. When I took the deposition of the driver, she admitted that she was not feeling well when she decided to drive, and that she rolled her window down to help her to stay alert. She was tired, and knew she was at risk for falling asleep.

After her deposition, we were able to rebut the defendant's claim that she passed out due to dehydration; her claim was more consistent with her falling asleep, and her medical records did not support a claim of dehydration. More importantly, after her deposition, it was clear that her incapacity was foreseeable; she knew she was at risk of losing consciousness, but instead of pulling over, she rolled the windows down to help her stay alert.

In the end, the defendant's defense of sudden incapacity failed, and we were able to get a very positive result for our client.

Sudden Incapacity - Part 1

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

I recently handled a case where my client was traveling down the road, minding his own business, when suddenly, and without warning, a car traveling in the opposite direction crossed the center line and hit him head-on. The impact was big, and my client suffered significant and permanent injuries. When the police arrived, it was clear what happened, the vehicles were in my client’s lane; you would think this would be an easy case on the issue of liability. It was not.

I opened a claim for my client with the other driver’s insurance company, and to my surprise, I received a written denial. According to the insurance adjustor, their driver had suffered from dehydration, which caused her to pass out at the wheel. They were raising the defense of sudden incapacity, sometimes referred to as sudden medical emergency.

Sudden incapacity is a complete defense, meaning, if a defendant can prove that they suddenly became incapacitated and that the incapacity was not foreseeable, they are not responsible for whatever injury they cause. For example, if a person has a heart attack or stroke while driving, they cannot be found negligent nor held responsible if they cause a motor vehicle collision. The exception is that if they knew or should have known it was unsafe for them to drive, then they cannot raise the defense. That means if someone with a seizure disorder knows they might have a seizure, but decides to drive anyway, and then has a seizure causing a collision, the driver can be held liable.

How Much is My Auto Accident Case Worth?

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

One of the most often asked questions from my clients is, “how much is my case worth?” The answer is, “it depends.” There are many different factors to consider to determine the value of a personal injury case.

First, it depends on your treatment. If you, for example, attend a few physical therapy sessions and feel better, your case will obviously be worth less than a case where someone underwent surgery.

Second, it depends on your injuries. If you suffered a fracture, your case is probably worth more than a case where the claimant suffered soft tissue injuries. The total cost of your medical treatment will also play a role in the value of your case. Without knowing the cost of your medicals, it is difficult to ascertain what your case is worth. Permanent injuries are also an important factor when examining the value of a case.

Third, did you lose time from work? If yes, your lost time from work should be included in your damages. Further, if you are no longer able to perform your job, or even work at all, a claim for future loss of earnings should be made.

These are only a few aspects of a personal injury claim that determine what a case is worth.

If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact Jaclyne Kartley for a free consultation today at 301-740-3313.

 

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