Episode 8: In this episode, KPA’s Kurt Reibling is joined by Louisville car wreck attorney Jim Desmond. Car wrecks are complicated. Dealing with insurance issues only makes the situation worse. An experienced attorney can help you and work with KPA to ensure you get the medical treatment you need.
Jim Desmond is licensed in Kentucky and Indiana. He focuses on car wrecks and motorcycle accidents. His firm, the Desmond Law Office is located in Louisville, KY. He’s worked with KPA for many years. He has over 20 years of experience dealing with automobile accident insurance issues. While cars protect the driver and passenger better than motorcycles, even an impact at low speeds can result in injuries to the back, neck and head.
What Does No-Fault Mean in Kentucky?
The easiest way to think about this is that Kentucky’s no-fault system is health insurance, through your automobile insurance, providing up to $10,000 of immediate coverage. It primarily covers lost wages and medical bills.
Typically, if the car is insured, it means at least some of the medical bills will get paid. The Kentucky law requires that this no-fault coverage must be used.
Jim feels this is actually a good situation. Because it’s “no-fault” coverage, you won’t have to wait to get medical treatment while the determination of who was actually at fault is being proven.
This insurance is commonly referred to as Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”), basic reparation benefits and several other names. It all means no-fault coverage.
Working with KPA
Jim has discussed past situations in which he’s been contacted by someone who was in an accident. He’s been able to work with KPA to get the person medically examined and to enable them to begin receiving treatment for the accident-related injuries.
Jim considers it part of his role, as an attorney, to handle the insurance issues. The first objective is to help the injured client to get the medical care he/she needs.
Kentucky and Indiana Have Different Systems
Indiana is a Med-Pay state. The coverage is not automatic. Very simplistically, it’s similar to Kentucky’s system in that it’s health insurance through your auto insurance, but again, it’s not automatic coverage.
Kentucky Pain Associates Can Work with PIP
Kurt explains how KPA often works with injured people and PIP coverage. The majority of the patients they treat were either injured in automobile accidents or due to a workplace injury.
The injured individual can contact KPA directly. There are a few forms, but they can usually be seen very quickly. Even if the patient doesn’t have all of the necessary information regarding the automobile accident, KPA extends a 2-week grace period to enable the person to begin treatment for the pain related to the collision.
Jim comments about two issues he likes about KPA. First, the bill for the medical treatment goes directly from KPA to the insurance company. The injured individual doesn’t have to deal with this paperwork. Second, some medical providers don’t want to handle no-fault benefits. They’d prefer not to get involved with the attorneys and insurance companies. KPA, however, handles these situations on a daily basis. They handle the communication with the injury attorney very efficiently, including preparation of the medical records.
Dealing with Serious Injuries from a Car Wreck
Serious injuries can very quickly generate medical bills, well beyond the PIP coverage. Jim Desmond explains how an ambulance, medical tests in the ER and other expenses can easily surpass $20,000. These cases are full of automobile accident insurance issues.
If this is the case, as an attorney, Jim recommends taking a step to reserve the no-fault benefits (PIP). The client can begin receiving medical treatment at KPA. The ER bill would then be submitted to health insurance, which already has a reduced rate by contract. The PIP benefits could then be used to satisfy some or all of the remaining medical bills. Later, once the accident case gets settled, additional funds may be available.
KPA Values Experienced Attorneys
Because Kentucky Pain Associates treats automobile accident injuries, they understand the value of working with experienced attorneys. Both KPA and the attorneys are focused on taking care of the injured person. The attorney handles the negotiations with the insurance companies and their lawyers if the case goes to trial. But regardless of how long that takes, the injured person is at least able to get medical treatment.
KPA can help to supervise the medical treatment, including coordination with other medical specialists including chiropractors, physical therapists and surgeons. This coordination improves the communication and care plan. As we previously mentioned, it also helps the attorney to build an effective case.
KPA and Ongoing Medical Treatment
In Episode 1, we briefly discussed the difference between treating acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain lasts 90 days or less. This is where KPA focuses its efforts. If the patient requires treatment beyond the 90 days, it’s classified as chronic pain. KPA has a relationship with Commonwealth Pain and Spine. Both companies are owned by the same physicians. However, this relationship makes it easy for an injured person to continue receiving care and enables the attorney to maintain that valuable communication and coordination.
To contact Louisville Car Wreck Attorney Jim Desmond:
Cell Phone: (502) 609-7657
Motorcycle Accidents are Different
In Kentucky, you’re not entitled to no-fault insurance (PIP). However, Jim explains that the injured motorcyclist could still get treated at KPA. Motorcycle insurance carriers often have the option of providing no-fault coverage, but motorcyclist generally decline it due to the additional expense. This additional type of coverage isn’t cheap.
What if the other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
If you were injured in a collision with an uninsured driver, you still have a claim. Unfortunately, this is a common automobile accident insurance issue. Generally, you would still have access to PIP benefits. You may also have uninsured motorist coverage (“UM”). This policy is there to protect you if you’re hit by an uninsured driver. Jim comments that you can still get treated by KPA for your injuries.
How Much Insurance Coverage Should I Have?
As an attorney with over 20 years of experience, Jim Desmond recommends you carry $100,000 per person for UM/UIM coverage. If you look at your current insurance policy’s Declarations Page, you’ll see your specific coverages. As an example, if you see $25,000/$50,000, this means your policy covers up to $25,000 for any single person and the second number is the maximum that will be paid regardless of how many people are injured.
You can also buy additional PIP coverage. This provides additional resources to protect you, if you’ve been in an automobile accident.
We’d like to thank attorney Jim Desmond for sharing his knowledge and experience with us.
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LOUISVILLE: 222 South 1st Street, Suite 300, Louisville, KY 40202
ELIZABETHTOWN: 1107 Crowne Point Dr., Suite 100, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
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Feel Free to Contact Us via the website or by calling (502) 855-3919. We also provide a telemedicine option (video call) for people outside of those areas.
Remember, work injury or MVA? Think KPA!