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Legal Representation: Hiring An Attorney

Getting into a car accident is a mess. 

 

NOBODY wants to get into a car accident. Pure and simple.  Most people want to close their eyes and wish the whole thing would just go away.  And the idea of getting a lawyer involved...can be intimidating and frightening.  We can certainly sympathize with any hesitation or reservation you may have.  

However, Legal representation is sometimes necessary.   Many insurance companies take very aggressive stances in dealing with car accident victims and generally assume the majority of injuries are either exaggerated or completely false. This means they will try to pay as little as possible to cover the expense of your vehicle damage, your injuries, lost time from work, rental expenses, and whatever direct of indirect costs you may assume. 

 

An Attorney is a Professional you hire to represent your side of the story.  The fact is…you are not a professional at this.  The insurance companies ARE professionals.  And they know just how to roll over you.  Hiring an attorney means you have somebody who represents YOUR voice. And your attorney will take charge in communicating with the insurance companies (both yours and theirs).  

 

The vast majority of cases are settled out of court through negotiations between your attorney and the insurance company.  For their services, the attorney typically charges between 30-40% of the total offered settlement, as is standard and customary.

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Attorneys:  Medical Payments (MedPay)

MedPay is a rider on your own Auto insurance policy that covers injuries that occur while you are operating or riding in your vehicle.  With MedPay, your healthcare provider will bill your own car insurance policy and receive payments directly from them.  Yes, this is your own policy, even if the other driver was at fault.  MedPay is a "no-fault" system, meaning that your policy rates cannot increase when you use it.  Your insurance company has the opportunity to recoup costs from the at-fault insurance company and/or driver.  

 

DO NOT LET YOUR ATTORNEY COLLECT MEDPAY

Some unscrupulous attorneys will decide to collect MedPay payments rather than allowing the payments to come to our office.  This is never a good situation, as it virtually guarantees you will be left with unpaid medical bills that we will then have to collect from you. 

Usually this occurs when you unknowingly sign a form from the attorney instructing the Insurance company to send payments to them instead of the healthcare providers.  As attorneys work on a percentage of the collected settlement, they intercept MedPay as a means to increasing the total "pot" of the settlement.  

If you attorney decides to do this, we require that you instruct your attorney to immediately forward all payments to our office or obtain new legal representation.  If you decide to remain with the same attorney, we require immediate payment for the full balance of your account, as well as cash payments for any and all future treatments at the time of service.  

We will NOT work with an attorney who intercepts MedPay payments.  

 

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Medical Lien

Our office has the option of taking your case on a lien. This means that our office will forgo receiving some or all payments at the time of service and will take payment out of the settlement at the end of your case.  Our decision of whether or not to accept your case on lien is entirely up to our discretion. 

Factors we take into consideration include but are not limited to:

  • ​Your level and types of Injuries

  • Damage to the car

  • Attorney involved

  • Insurance companies involved

  • Your compliance to treatment care recommendations.

If we decide we will not accept a lien on your case, you still have options. If you have private health insurance and it is a plan we accept, we can directly bill your insurance.  Also, you have the option to make payments via cash or credit card at the time of treatment.  We have had several patients in the past make full payment via a credit card and then use the settlement at the end to pay off their credit card balance.  

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Office Policy on Medical Liens

  • Our decision of whether or not to accept your case on lien is entirely up to our discretion.

  • We may require you to make partial payment during each treatment session, representing 10-25% of the cost of each treatment. This is done for our protection, as it ensures that only patients who have legitimate injuries and are serious about improving will present for treatment.  At the time of settlement, the remaining balance will be collected.

  • You must sign all office documentation regarding the lien, without any alteration.

  • We only accept liens provided you have an attorney (or will immediately be retaining an attorney.

  • If we feel your attorney is not a reliable or trustworthy individuals, we may reduce to accept your case on lien if that attorney is involved.

  • If your attorney is not local within the Bay Area, it is likely we will refuse to accept the lien. 

  • Your attorney must be willing to promptly sign our lien, without any alteration.

  • Your attorney will agree to leave any and all MedPay collection untouched and will allow them to be sent directly to our office unhindered. 

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