If I have been injured, who will pay for my medical treatment?

Your claim for medical bills and future medical care is part of the injury claim against the person who caused the collision, or his or her insurance company, among other damages that can be pursued. Your insurance carrier may participate in paying your medical bills but will expect to be reimbursed by the negligent person’s insurance company.

In a personal injury claim, such as an auto collision, can the insurance company tell me which doctor I have to see?

No. The insurance company cannot tell you what doctor you have to see nor limit the medical care you receive. But, it is imperative that you can show the medical treatment was necessary to treat injuries associated with the traffic accident.

If I lost time from my job after the collision, can I be reimbursed?

Yes. Even if you used sick leave or vacation, you are entitled to be reimbursed for this time off work.

The careless driver who injured me had no insurance, am I out of luck?

Not necessarily. In South Dakota, the law requires that every auto insurance policy has uninsured motorist coverage. So, even if the vehicle that hit you had no insurance, your own vehicle’s insurance policy should cover you.

If the insurance company pays for the repair of my automobile fairly and in full, can I expect the insurance company also to pay my personal injury claim fairly and in full?

No. The insurance company is aware that you understand the approximate amount you are entitled to receive on your property loss claim. However, the insurance company is also aware that you have minimal knowledge of the amount to which you are entitled on your personal injury claim. Injury claims typically pose a greater threat to the insurance company since they are of a higher dollar value than property claims. The insurance company’s ultimate intent is to limit its loss on the injury claim.

Is the job of the insurance adjuster to determine the amount to which I am entitled?

No. An insurance adjuster, also called a claims representative, is paid by the insurance company to represent the insurance company’s interests, not to make an impartial assessment of your claim. Your claim poses a potential loss for the insurance company, so the insurance adjuster’s job is simply to pay you the least sum possible.

Do I need help from an attorney?

Yes. Without the help of an attorney, you will have to face the insurance company claims adjusters alone. These adjusters know the business well, and they get paid, praised, and promoted for limiting the amount they pay you.

No. Most personal injury attorneys charge a percentage of the monies collected. They receive no legal fee if they are unsuccessful. An experienced attorney makes sure you are fully compensated for all the damages you received in the collision, something you are unlikely to be able to do on your own. Specifically, using a competent personal injury attorney can increase the amount of money you will be paid, so that even after the attorney’s fee is paid, you will have more money in your pocket than if you attempted to represent yourself. A competent personal injury attorney is actually not a cost, but rather a benefit.


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