Episode 5: KPA’s Kurt Reibling is joined by Louisville personal injury attorney David Bryce Barber. Many of the patients treated by Kentucky Pain Associates sustained injuries in motor vehicle accidents (MVAs). As an attorney, David has handled many of these cases. Today, we’ll provide some helpful information for you and your family, after a car wreck.
Things You Shouldn’t Do
Step #1: If you’ve been in an accident, stay off of Facebook and other social media.
The other side’s insurance adjusters and attorneys could use this information to argue against your claim for damages. They could use a photo to dispute the severity of the injury. They could use what you said in the post out of context. They can even use the fact that you deleted specific information as a reason to doubt your integrity. It’s just not a good idea in general.
Step #2: Don’t Accept a Quick Settlement Check.
The insurance company if focused on limiting financial exposure. If they can get you to accept a check, and sign the required release form, you won’t be able to go back for additional money if you have other medical problems. Remember, if they call you, it may be recorded. It’s better to simply not speak with them. Let your attorney talk to the other side’s insurance adjuster. This can be extremely confusing when both drivers have the same insurance company.
Kurt and David discuss how the pain can often be delayed or the anti-inflammatory medicine from the ER or Urgent Car can mask the pain you’ll feel later. This is sometimes days after a car wreck. If you took a quick settlement check, the true extent of your injuries may not have presented itself yet.
David explains why getting the medical records from the health care provider more quickly can be an advantage. KPA uses a software system that makes it very easy and efficient for an attorney to get the information he/she needs to proceed with the injury claim.
Step #3: Don’t Miss Work if You Can’t Afford to Miss Work.
David explains that Kentucky’s no-fault system (PIP) enables legal drivers and passenger to have $10,000 in automatic coverage for medical treatment and a limited amount of lost wages, regardless of which driver is at fault. If you can’t afford to miss work, speak with your doctor. He/she may be able to give you light-duty or some other type of orders. This can help you to keep your paycheck coming.
Kurt has previously mentioned the fact that an injury needs time to properly heal. If someone delays getting medical treatment or rushes to get back to work, the injury can either linger or be made worse.
Step #4: Don’t Miss Your Doctor’s Appointments or Rehab.
Remember, the other side’s adjusters and attorneys will try to minimize the extent of your injuries after a car wreck. If they can prove you’ve skipped appointments or didn’t go to physical rehab, they will try to claim that you must have been feeling better. It helps to illustrate the point they’re trying to make.
If physical therapy seems to cause you more pain and discomfort, speak with your doctor and see if a different form of therapy can be prescribed. David explains this is better than simply skipping the physical rehabilitation. The notes and orders in the medical record are important evidence for your injury claim.
Step #5: Don’t Just Go to the Doctor Your Attorney Suggests.
Your attorney wants you to seek medical care, if you’ve been injured. Your own doctor is a good place to start. David explains that he doesn’t typically make referrals. He’s familiar with a few good physicians or specialists, but it’s important you feel comfortable with the doctor. If you go to a provider such as Kentucky Pain Associates, the KPA medical staff can easily help with referrals to other specialists. They often act as a quarterback (supervising physician) for a patient’s overall medical treatment after a car wreck.
To Contact Louisville Injury Attorney David Bryce Barber:
Phone: (502) 819-3375
Things You Should Do
Step #6: Tell Your Doctor Where It Hurts or Has Hurt in the Past.
Don’t assume all of your pain and symptoms are in your medical record. Sometimes, the doctor who’s seeing doesn’t have all of the previous information. You need to be specific about your symptoms. It’s common for people to focus on what hurts the most and forget to mention the other areas of the body that also sustained an injury. If later in the process, you suddenly bring up another area not previously mentioned, people could assume the pain in the new area isn’t directly related to the car wreck. It is. You simply didn’t make it as well known.
When it comes to previous injuries, you need to let your doctor know. The body changes over time. Even if you have a problem from a previous injury, it’s quite possible that the motor vehicle accident worsened the situation. The law actually addresses this issue.
David uses the example of someone with degenerative disk disease. It’s naturally occurring. However, an auto accident can severely increase the pain and related medical issues. It’s possible that the collision is the culprit, not your pre-existing condition. In Episode 3, KPA Medical Director Doctor Jason Lewis discussed issues and treatment for back pain.
Step #7: Take Care of You at least as much as Your Car
David has had several interesting situations, over the years. When someone has a unique car that was involved in a motor vehicle accident (MVA), he/she will obviously be greatly concerned about it. At times, the individual can seem to care more about the car than himself or herself. It sounds funny, but it happens.
There are injuries such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). which we’ve discussed on previous episodes. Interestingly, someone could have a brain injury and not know it. However, if you speak with him/her, you might notice changes. These could include losing the train of thought, trouble finding words, etc. The point is they may need medical treatment and not realize it.
Kurt discusses KPA’s new traumatic brain injury diagnostic capabilities. An MRI cannot detect damage to the neuropathways inside the brain. This series of diagnostic tests does that and more.
Step #8 Be Active in Getting Better
David discusses the importance of your activity as it relates to healing after a car wreck. People may do better psychologically if they feel they’re doing something about the issues they face. While there may be some restrictions, there are other activities available to give you a sense of control over the situation. You may be able to heal more quickly if you can continue those activities at home. Physical therapists and chiropractors can often give you a few ideas.
The staff at KPA can provide you with the right type of therapy for your specific injuries.
Step #9 Document Things before They Go Away
Don’t assume someone else is handling various activities for you. Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and the other car. Take pictures of the accident scene. How the cars are situated can help to recreate the story of what happened.
Forensic evidence such as skid marks can disappear over time. The stripes on the road may be altered, or the road widened. If you’re trying to collect evidence long after the collision, it may be gone forever.
Many stores, business, gas stations and even ATM machines have video surveillance. Those tapes could provide strong evidence to support your explanation of what happened. Unfortunately, the video camera recorders periodically tape over the footage.
Step #10 Contact an Attorney to Help You
Having an attorney doesn’t change your injuries or the facts, but personal injury attorneys handle these cases every day. Insurance policies are complex, on purpose. An attorney will understand the policy and process.
Get a copy of your insurance policy. There policy is a contract. Your attorney can help you. David doesn’t charge to answer the questions that usually come up, when an automobile collision has occurred.
We’d like to thank attorney David Bryce Barber for sharing his knowledge and experience with us.
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Remember, work injury or MVA? Think KPA!