Get Your Questions Answered Today By Burlington, IA Injury Attorney Nicholas Pothitakis

After an injury or accident, you probably have a number of general questions about who was at fault, whether you are owed compensation, and whether you need an attorney to assist you with your claim. Below, we've answered some of the most common questions that we hear at our law firm.
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  • Who will pay my medical bills that are related to the injuries I have sustained in the automobile accident?

    There are different sources that clients can and should use to have their medical bills paid after being involved in an automobile accident. The at-fault driver's insurance will not provide payment for your medical expenses, in most instances, until the case is resolved. Insurance company's typically write one check at the end of the claim for all of the damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. This can result in difficulties for clients who are incurring medical expenses as a result of another driver's mistakes. Other sources for the payment of these medical expenses include a client's health insurance, a client's own automobile insurance, and some state programs.

    It's important to coordinate these various payment sources. A competent automobile accident attorney in Iowa will be able to help you with the same.

  • Should I give the other driver's insurance adjuster a patient's waiver so they can obtain our medical records?

    No. Providing an open medical release to the insurance company merely results in significant breaches of privacy as well as problems with your claim in the future. It's always important to remember that one of the goals of the insurance company for the other driver is to minimize the value of your claim. They are not trying to help you; they are not trying to help increase the value of your claim; they are not trying to obtain support for the high value of your claim. The Pothitakis Law Firm rarely provides medical releases to insurance companies in pending automobile accident claims. We obtain the medical records ourselves and review them prior to providing them to the insurance company.

  • If my health insurance company pays my medical expenses as a result of the other driver's negligence in causing the accident, do I have to pay my health insurance back?

    Most health insurance carriers have what is called a right of subrogation. They are entitled to be reimbursed for medical expenses they paid that are the fault of another individual. A significant portion of the representation we provide individuals at Pothitakis Law Firm involves negotiating with health insurance carriers about their subrogation claim. Our goal is to reduce the amount that the health insurance carrier is entitled to receive as every dollar that we are able to save with respect to paying back health insurance carriers goes in to the client's pocket. These issues can be very complex and health insurance policies have different contractual obligations as to how much they are entitled to receive back and whether it can be reduced. An experienced automobile accident attorney can help reduce the claim of health insurance carriers which ultimately puts more money into your pocket.

  • If I am in a car accident with someone who does not have insurance, who pays for the damages that I sustain?

    In Iowa, if you are injured as a result of the negligence of another driver who does not have insurance and who was operating a vehicle that was not insured by someone else, you still may be able to recover damages under your own automobile insurance.

    In Iowa, you can purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage will provide payment for damages that were sustained as a result of the wrongful acts of an uninsured driver. Underinsured motorist coverage provides payment for damages sustained as a result of the wrongful acts of a driver who does not have enough insurance to cover your damages.

    Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is available from your automobile insurance agent. I have found it to be a very important coverage to have. I have seen that over the years, it has become more frequent that individuals have sustained injuries as a result of the negligent acts of drivers who either don't have any insurance whatsoever or who have very low limits. In these situations, it is very important to have this additional coverage so that medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages can be recovered fully by pursuing an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.

    It is important to review these matters with your automobile insurance agent as well as an attorney to make sure that you have sufficient coverage in case your are involved in an automobile accident.

  • Can I still seek Iowa Workers' Compensation if I had previous back issues and my Iowa work injury worsened my back problems?

    In accordance with Iowa Workers’ Compensation laws, a deterioration of a pre-existing physical problem will be considered a new Iowa work injury.  You will still qualify for Iowa Workers’ Compensation benefits if your Iowa work injury worsens your prior problem in regards to pain, severity, or frequency.  The Iowa Workers’ Compensation insurance company and your employer might try to dispute that your present injury is linked to your previous condition.  However, the medical testimony can usually validate changes/worsening of your condition due to an Iowa work comp injury.  This is true regardless if the pre-existing condition was due to work or not.

     The medical proof that needs to be founded is that your Iowa work injury worsened your previous problem in creating disability.

     Therefore, if you experience any kind of Iowa Workers’ Compensation aggravation injury, or if your condition worsens due to a work activity, it is extremely important that you report it to your employer so that it can be reviewed.  In these scenarios, it may be advisable to consult with a professional Iowa Workers’ Compensation lawyer.

     

  • Am I entitled to Iowa Workers' Comp benefits if my injury came on gradually at work due to my work activities, instead of one particular work incident?

    Iowa Workers’ Compensation injuries can be categorized as traumatic occurrences or what we refer to as “cumulative injuries.”  Cumulative injuries are Iowa work injuries that progress gradually due to an activity at the workplace.  Traumatic injuries and cumulative injuries are both eligible for compensation in accordance with Iowa Workers’ Compensation laws. 

    In several situations, your employer and the Iowa Work Comp Insurance company attempt to disprove the cumulative injury claims.  When you have a physical condition that you deem as being work related, it is necessary that you bring this to your doctor’s attention at the time of your appointment.  Also, it is necessary to tell your employer that this condition could be work related.

    You need to fill out an accident form or an incident report from your place of work.  This provides notice to your employer of your possible Iowa Workers’ Comp injury claim.  Your right to Iowa Workers’ Compensation benefits would be influenced by whether the physicians determine that your work injury was caused or aggravated by your Iowa work activities.  For important questions like these, you should consult with an attorney who has considerable experience with Iowa Workers’ Compensation law.