What should I do if I was injured when I was rear-ended in a car accident?

I went to the urgent care that day and then the next went to the ER. I had X-rays and a CT scan and was told that everything was fine. My neck hurts and my back; I also have a moderate headache. I have missed a week of work but am going to try to go back soon. My car damage was small about $500 but I am hurt more. I have additional PIP insurance. What is double dipping?. Should send my medical bills, plus lost wages to her insurance company with my demand letter?

Thank you

Casey

Asked on September 6, 2016 under Personal Injury, South Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment  where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  It would be premature to do this now because you have additional medical complaints which need further treatment.  You want to wait to send your items to the insurance company until you are either released by the doctor upon completion of medical treatment or are declared to be permanent and stationary in order to have your total medical bills, all relevant medical reports and total wage loss.  If you settle the case prematurely, you can't go back to the insurance company later and ask for more money because you need additional medical treatment.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.
There is no double dipping here (collecting more than once for the same claim).  What I have written above is standard operating procedure for handling a personal injury case.


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