Attorney Ben Schwartz shot a quick video on Five ways to avoid ruining your credit after being injured in a Delaware car accident.
Five Ways To Avoid Ruining Your Credit
Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,
Today we are going to shoot a quick video called, Five ways to avoid ruining your credit after being injured in a Delaware car accident. This really is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart because the majority of the cases that I, and the lawyers in my Law Firm, handle are personal injury cases. The majority of personal injury cases are from car accidents. A lot of times people don’t immediately go running to a lawyer after an accident. They come to us 3 months or 6 months or 9 months after the accident when things really start going wrong; when the bills start piling up, or they are finding that they’re being referred to collection agencies because their doctors haven’t been paid. They come to us to fix things when things go wrong.
I see people getting their credit scores ruined constantly left-and-right after car accident personal injury cases. We do our best to fix these issues, but it’s better to avoid them than to fix them. So I wanted to do a video and tell people out there, if you’ve been in an accident, or if you know someone who’s recently been in an accident, please show them this video because I think this could save them a lot of heartache and save them from having stuff on their credit report that does not need to be there.
Five Ways To Avoid Ruining Your Credit:
- The number one thing to know if you have been in a Delaware car accident is, you can’t send your medical bills to the at-fault driver’s car insurance company. To a lot of people, it makes a lot of sense if the at-fault driver caused these injuries, let’s send the medical bills to their insurance company and let them pay them. It doesn’t work that way. We have a legislative scheme in Delaware called personal injury protection or PIP benefits and under the Delaware PIP law, your own insurance company or the insurance company for the car that you’re in at the time of the accident, that’s who pays your medical bills. If you refuse to give that information to the hospital or you refuse to give that information to the doctors and instead you give them the at-fault driver’s insurance information, you may find that the bills don’t get paid. The doctor’s or the therapist or the hospital or whatever, they may send you to collections and it may end up on your credit report and it may negatively impact your credit score. You do not want to have your doctors or the hospital send their bills to the at-fault drivers’ insurance company. You want your hospital bills, your medical bills, your therapy bills, your chiropractic bills, to go to your own insurance company, or the insurance company on the car you were in. If you are not sure which insurance company you should be paying your medical bills, contact a personal injury lawyer who handles car accident cases and get that figured out so everything goes smoothly and it doesn’t ruin your credit.
- Open your mail and take phone calls. People get in auto accidents, they are injured and they don’t open their mail to see there is a bill from the hospital, or from the radiology department, or from the therapy provider. They don’t take phone calls and they don’t call people back when they leave a message. They miss the phone calls from the billing department at the doctor’s office trying to iron out the bill. When you avoid those phone calls and you avoid those letters that you might otherwise get in the mail. What you’re doing is, you’re setting yourself up for failure because when those doctors offices and hospitals and therapist don’t get a hold of you, they send you to collections. That ends up on your credit report, ruining your credit score. If you’ve been in an accident, you’re getting bills, take the bills, take the phone calls, get the information, find out why they’re contacting you and then get that information to your attorney. Your attorney can help you get those bills processed through the appropriate insurance.
- Folks get injured in an accident and they stay out of work, but they don’t get doctor’s orders. You need to have written doctor’s orders if you go out of work and you want to be reimbursed for that. It’s very difficult, it’s almost impossible, to get a client reimbursed through auto insurance if they’ve missed work and they don’t have documentation from the doctor saying, “I’m ordering you to stay out of work.” We’ll see people who were injured in an accident 4 months ago and they’ve never returned to work. They’ve never gotten a doctor’s no work slip and it’s like, what can we do? We tell them to go back to the doctor that has been treating you and ask them if they can give you a backdated no work slip or a no work letter or something on their letterhead, or on a script pad that says that you were not able to work from the date of the accident to present. We can try and submit that to the insurance company to get the lost wages covered, but this is really something that you do ahead of time, not after the fact. In many of those cases, people get behind the 8-ball. They cannot get their lost wages covered because they didn’t do it right from the jump. Once you are behind the 8-ball, you are not paying your rent or mortgage, utilities, phone bill, your medical expenses aren’t getting paid, now you really have a recipe for disaster. It is very difficult for us to jump in months after the fact and fix this and prevent it from wreaking havoc on your credit.
- Don’t buy minimum limits auto insurance. You can buy very minimal insurance policies on your car. If you do that and you are significantly injured in a car accident, you may not have enough coverage on your auto insurance policy to pay your medical bills and your lost wages. If you are carrying a Delaware minimum limits auto insurance policy, you get into an accident, they call life flight helicopter to transport you to the hospital, by the time the helicopter has taken-off to come get you, your benefits have run out and there is nothing for lost wages. Now, where is the money going to come from for you to live on while you are recovering from your injuries? It creates one heck of a bad situation. It puts people behind the 8-ball. It puts people in the position where they can’t pay their debts that are coming due. That is how you end up with things being reported to the credit reporting bureaus and your credit score comes down down down.
- This is something that really rankles me, but I see it over and over. That is, there’s a thing called a TENS unit and that stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Essentially what it is, is a pack that transmits electrical signals. Let’s say if you have a shoulder injury, you put the leads on the shoulder and it transfers the electricity to the shoulder muscle and it gives you a massage through your skin. TENS units are great, I’ve used a TENS unit. I had an injury where I went to a chiropractor and the chiropractor gave me electrical stimulation. I had another injury where I injured my lower back, went to a physical therapist and he did the same thing. The electro-stim is fantastic for increasing blood flow and getting you back to health, but if you get a home TENS unit, if you buy or rent a home TENS unit, the company that sends you that unit will typically put you on a subscription plan for the leads. Sometimes they’ll charge an exorbitant amount of money for your leads for your TENS unit. They will send them to you whether you need them or not. They will keep coming and coming and coming and they will keep billing and billing and billing. When your insurance runs out, the bills keep stacking up and that can go on your credit report if you don’t pay those somewhat exorbitant bills for TENS unit leads.
These are my five tips on how to avoid ruining your credit after being injured in a Delaware accident. Hopefully, somebody out there on the internet is watching this video and finds it helpful or useful and be able to prevent something bad from happening to their credit. Maybe this will help you or a friend or a family member from having some adverse credit reporting on your credit history. Maybe this will avoid having your credit score decline after years of hard work and after years of responsible living where you have paid your bills, you’re current, got a good credit score, something like a car accident can really reverse that trend and screw things up. Hopefully, somebody gets some good out of this. I hope you have enjoyed watching it and I hope you found it informative. If you have a topic or a question that you would like me to address in one of these videos send me an email below. Thanks for watching.
Five Ways To Avoid Ruining Your Credit
We have offices conveniently located to provide expert legal representation in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
In a hurry? Send us a quick Email.