Interviewer: What are some of the documents or some of the items that a client would have to provide? What information should the client provide to you?
Kevin Roach: We like to get as much information as possible regarding the accident and your injuries involved. For example, we get the names of any doctors, facilities, therapists where treatment for injuries sustained has occurred. We obtain the police report and any pictures the client may have documenting the accident and/or injuries, which can be very important.
After we obtain the general information from our clients, we take their claim over leaving them to worry about getting better and back into the swing of life again. Then we take care of requesting certified copies of all medical records and bills related to these injuries as well as any lost wage information. After we have obtained this information we formally provide this information to the insurance company with our demand for settlement.
What Is a Treatment Gap?
Interviewer: When an insurance company refers to a treatment gap, what does that mean?
Kevin Roach: The term treatment gap is used by insurance companies to try to reduce the damages. For instance, if someone was involved in an accident and they felt okay initially, so they didn’t go to the doctor for a week. Well, that’s pretty common, but that week is considered a treatment gap. If you have too many treatment gaps it can be detrimental to your case.
Any Delay in Seeking Medical care after an Accident Is Construed by the Other Party’s Insurance Company as a Sign You Were Not Seriously Injured
Most people don’t like running to the doctor unless they have to. They may not have health insurance, but that doesn’t mean that they're not hurt. You see that a lot of times from insurance companies. They try to use that gap and they say, “Well, they didn’t go to the doctor right away. They must not have been hurt.” See, that’s a common tactic that they use.
Typically, if the gap is less than 30 days, it’s usually not detrimental to your case. If it is longer than 30 days, we can still make an argument that it’s related, assuming you didn’t have any subsequent injuries.
Your Uninsured Motorist Policy Provides Recovery If the At-Fault Party Does Not Have Insurance
Interviewer: What about a situation where the at-fault party has no insurance? How does one get compensated?
Kevin Roach: If you’re hit by someone that does not have auto insurance, you can claim it on your own uninsured motorist policy, which is a requirement of coverage in Missouri. If the damages exceed the policy limits of your uninsured motorist policy, you could also make a claim on your underinsured motorist policy. Many times the uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage can also be stacked creating more coverage than most people realize.
If you don’t want to do that, you can sue the individual personally. Normally, that’s not a good idea because most people that don’t have insurance typically don’t have a lot of assets. If you get a judgment against them, it’s normally worthless. It’s usually not a good option, but that is an option.