Personal Injury FAQs

Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

If I have been injured what should I do?

You should have a medical exam by a qualified physician, no matter how slight you think your injuries may be. The examination will help you get the medical assistance you need as soon as possible.

If I have been hurt who will pay for my treatment?

The person who caused the accident, or his or her insurance company, is responsible for paying for your treatment. Your insurance company can also be involved in paying your medical claims in some cases. That is why it is crucial to determine any medical problems caused by the accident as soon as possible.

Does the insurance company pick the doctor I have to see?

No. You may use your own doctor. No one can tell you what doctor or clinic you have to use.

What else should I do if I have been injured?

It is important to keep a daily log of your medical condition. List any symptoms you have each day. Include descriptions of the pain you feel and any restrictions on your normal activities. You also need to keep a record of your trips to the doctor or anyone your doctor refers you to. Keep track of the mileage and time it takes and any money you have to spend because of the trips.

What do I do if I have to take time off work?

Keep a record of the time you miss from work, including any sick time or vacation you use due to the accident or your injuries. Keep track of the amount of money you lose by not being able to work. Any time you lose from work has to be paid for by the person who caused the accident.

What do I do with all the bills that come in after the accident?

Talk with your attorney about the bills. He or she can negotiate to have them paid by the insurance company directly or, in other cases, postponed until your case has been resolved. Don't let the bills worry you.

Do I need a lawyer?

No matter what kind of accident you have been involved in, you should get competent legal advice on your rights and responsibilities in relation to the accident.

Legal rights are affected by any accident, and it is in your best interests to have a knowledgeable attorney review the facts of your case before deciding what course of action to take. An experienced legal firm can evaluate your case and tell you what to expect. The attorney can recommend appropriate medical referrals, negotiate a replacement automobile, negotiate to have your automobile repaired, and negotiate a fair and full settlement with the insurance company that takes into account all of your damages, including your pain and suffering.

And you can find out all this in an initial, no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Can I get a rental car while my car is being repaired?

Yes. In most cases the attorney can negotiate with the insurance company to provide a rental car while your car is being repaired. Also there are companies specializing in providing cars to people whose cars are being repaired. Look for them in the yellow pages or ask your attorney.

Where do I have to take my car to get it repaired?

Do not be bullied by the insurance company into thinking you have to have your car repaired by the shop giving the lowest bid. It is your decision who you want to repair your car. You are entitled to have your car repaired to the same condition it was in before the accident.

How many estimates do I need to get?

You are not obligated to obtain more than one estimate. You might want to get more than one estimate if you are not sure where you want to have your car repaired and you want to compare different shops.

What can I expect to get from the insurance company?

You are entitled to "be made whole."  That means you have the right to be put back in the same position after the settlement as you were immediately before the accident. Some of the process of making you whole is easily calculated, and other aspects are more difficult.

Contact Merkle Law Firm right away for answers to questions you may have or for help on your personal injury or wrongful death claims.

Workers' Compensation FAQs

Select your own physician, one whom you trust.

If the employer or workers' compensation insurance company will not agree to your selection of your own doctor, see Merkle Law Firm right away. Also, the workers' compensation insurance company should pay your medical bills for any work-related injury.

Do not quit your job.

You will need a doctor's order to change jobs and advice from an attorney before you can quit. Otherwise, you may jeopardize your workers' compensation rights.

Do not work more than your doctor allows.

Stay within your work restrictions provided by your doctor. If your employer tries to make you work outside those restrictions, contact Merkle Law Firm or a workers' compensation attorney right away.

Can I get paid if I have to miss work?

Due to a work injury, the workers' compensation insurance company should pay you 2/3 of your weekly pay as Temporary Total Disability (TTD) pay.

What is an impairment rating?

An impairment rating is a percentage of loss that a doctor assigns to a body part after an injury. Impairment is often confused with disability. A medical impairment is a rating that the doctor assigns from the American Medical Association Guide to Impairments. A disability rating takes into consideration the type of work experience, education, and training a person has in light of their injuries and the current job market.

What is Maximum Medical Improvement?

Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is a term doctors and workers' compensation insurance companies refer to when a person has reached a maximum recovery and the physical condition is not expected to improve. When a person has reached MMI, the doctor will assign an impairment rating in order to compute the permanent partial disability (PPD) workers' compensation benefit. Not all doctors perform impairment ratings, which may require a referral to a specialist.

Do I get paid for a permanent impairment?

When you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement and your doctor releases you from care, your doctor will give you an impairment rating, which is the medical percentage of permanent impairment you suffered from your work injury. The workers' compensation insurance company has to pay you permanent disability benefits based on that percentage of impairment.

What if I need to change jobs?

If your doctor tells you to change jobs and you cannot find a job that pays you at least 85% of the weekly pay you earned when you were injured, then you may be entitled to have the workers' compensation insurance company pay 2/3 of your weekly pay while you go to school and learn a trade or profession.

What if I can no longer earn what I was earning before?

If you cannot find work that pays you as much as your work comp rate because of your injuries, age, education and work experience, then the workers' compensation insurance company may have to pay you disability pay for the rest of your life.

Statements or comments on this website should not be taken as legal advice.  Each state has distinct laws that may not apply in other states.  Seek the advice of an attorney to know your legal rights.

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