Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to most common questions. Can’t find an answer! Call us.

A lack of health insurance can prevent you from receiving medical care at a hospital or doctor’s office. Fortunately, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) ensures public access to emergency medical care regardless of ability to pay. This guarantees that any medical treatment needed directly following the accident, such as EMS and ER care, is rendered but does not absolve you from having to pay for it. You are responsible for your medical expenses, whether or not you have health insurance. You cannot force a doctor or other medical provider (other than emergency room) to provide you with medical treatment.

However, by hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your case, many medical providers then feel more comfortable that if they provide you with treatment, they will eventually get paid. In that instance, the medical provider will file a medical lien against your case to insure that they are paid out of your recovery in the case.

Sometimes you may have to search for a doctor or other medical provider to treat you on a lien basis. In some cases, your medical providers send your unpaid bills to a collection agency. Most collection agencies realize that when a personal injury lawyer is involved that in most cases they will end up getting at least a portion of their claim paid out of your recovery in the case. In cases of an auto accident, also check your own auto policy for medical payments coverage (“med pay”), which is also available to pay medical expenses as they come due. The most common med pay coverage is $5,000, so in cases of serious injury, this doesn’t provide much benefit.

Hello, my name is Matthew Hess with the Law Offices of R.F Wittmeyer, Ltd.

When you call the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer at 847-577-1123, you can expect to talk to a live member of our experienced support staff. What that member of our support staff is going to do is they are going to take down some preliminary information about your potential case. That will include facts about the case, the nature of your legal issue, any witness information, and any parties that you feel may be responsible for your injuries. Once that information is gathered, that information will be passed on to an attorney at our office, which will be reviewed and if it is something that we can potentially help you out with, we will schedule a convenient appointment for you to come into our office and meet with us. That appointment can be nights, weekends, or even if necessary, we can come to you.

When you arrive at our office at 2101 S Arlington Heights Rd Suite 103, Arlington Heights, IL 60005 in Arlington Heights, Illinois, for your one-on-one appointment, you’re going to want to bring some documents with you. You’re going to want to bring any police report, incident report.

You’re going to want to bring any insurance coverage that you may have, which includes

  • health insurance,
  • car insurance, or
  • any secondary insurance.

You are also going to want to bring any

  • witness information,
  • photographs,
  • videos,
  • medical records, and
  • medical bills.

All of this information will help us to properly evaluate your case. During the appointment, the first thing that we are going to do is to get to know you as a person. because in the end you are going to make all of the final decisions. We will also explain how the litigation process works, what you can expect from us in the office, and also what to expect your duties will be because after all, this is a team effort and we cannot be successful without the cooperation of our clients. At the end of the meeting, typically, you will sign a retainer agreement, which includes a 1/3 contingency fee along with a HIPAA authorization, which will allow us to obtain your medical records and bills when that time is necessary. After that, you will be our client. We will fully represent you and please feel free to call us with any needs or concerns. Because in the end, we are there to work for you.

Call us today for your free consultation!

Hello, my name is Ron Wittmeyer. We practice personal injury law. We represent only people who have been injured. We do not represent any insurance companies or corporations of any kind. Today, I want to explain how our fees work. We work, in all of our cases, on a contingency fee basis. Basically, it is a commission. In most cases, we work in a 1/3 contingency fee basis. What that means is we take 1/3 off the top of anything we recover for our client. The only expense that does not include is our out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses are charges, for example, for filing fees for a case for filing a lawsuit, which costs about $400. We advance those costs and get those back from the client out of their 2/3 share of any recovery. This is the standard way personal injury lawyers works on cases. Most clients cannot afford to pay a lawyer $350 an hour or whatever the charges might be. So, the client pays nothing up front for us to work on their case and if we make no recovery in the case, there is no fee earned. In other words – no recovery, no fee.

You could technically sue the uninsured driver but generally it is not worth it because if he or she has no insurance, they probably don’t have any assets or income from which to pay your claim. Even though it is a legal requirement in Illinois to carry auto insurance, there is no system that checks for auto insurance until after you are involved in an auto accident. So, if you are injured in a motor vehicle collision caused by an uninsured driver, you should make a claim under your own auto insurance policy for uninsured motorist’s benefits (UM). This is coverage that you carry on your own auto policy, and hopefully you have sufficient UM coverage to cover the full amount of your claim.

What is adequate UM coverage? In our opinion, a minimum of $250,000/$500,000. This means $250,000 per person, $500,000 per accident, regardless of the number of people injured. CHECK YOUR OWN AUTO INSURANCE POLICY NOW TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ADEQUATE  UM AND UNDER-INSURED (UMI) LIMITS!

Uninsured motorist coverage is typically inexpensive so it is a wise idea to make sure you have adequate coverage before an accident occurs.

I was injured in a car accident but the at-fault driver does not have insurance. Can I still bring a claim?

You could technically sue the uninsured driver but generally it is not worth it because if he or she has no insurance, they probably don’t have any assets or income from which to pay your claim. Even though it is a legal requirement in Illinois to carry auto insurance, there is no system that checks for auto insurance until after you are involved in an auto accident. So, if you are injured in a motor vehicle collision caused by an uninsured driver, you should make a claim under your own auto insurance policy for uninsured motorist’s benefits (UM). This is coverage that you carry on your own auto policy, and hopefully you have sufficient UM coverage to cover the full amount of your claim.

What is adequate UM coverage? In our opinion, a minimum of $250,000/$500,000. This means $250,000 per person, $500,000 per accident, regardless of the number of people injured. CHECK YOUR OWN AUTO INSURANCE POLICY NOW TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ADEQUATE  UM AND UNDER-INSURED (UMI) LIMITS! 

Uninsured motorist coverage is typically inexpensive so it is a wise idea to make sure you have adequate coverage before an accident occurs.

I was injured in an accident and I submitted my claims to my health insurance company. I received a letter from them asking if another party was at fault that said they may not pay my claims. How will my medical expenses be paid?

First of all, if you have health insurance, you should submit all of your medical expenses from your accident to your health insurance company for payment. Your health insurance provider will be responsible for paying your medical expenses just like they would in any other instance. Then, in most cases, your health insurance company has a right of reimbursement out of any recovery you make against an at-fault third party.

If your health insurance company is threatening to withhold payment, share that with your attorney so he can contact the insurer and get them the information and documentation they may require to go ahead and process your claim. This sometimes takes a little convincing, because at times, insurance companies just don’t want to pay legitimate claims. Your personal injury lawyer will also negotiate and litigate with your health insurance company, and any other medical lien holders in order to reduce those claims against your recovery, and thereby maximise your net recovery.

According to an April 2011 report from the Insurance Research Council (IRC), nearly one in seven drivers across the United States is uninsured. “This trend in the percentage of uninsured motorists is an unfortunate consequence of the economic downturn,” said Elizabeth A. Sprinkel, senior vice president of the IRC. This results in drivers with insurance bearing the burden of paying for injuries caused by drivers’ not carrying insurance. In addition to uninsured drivers, many drivers also carry the state statutory minimum coverage limit ($20,000), which doesn’t cover much with today’s cost of healthcare. That situation is called underinsured – where the adverse driver is “underinsured” for the full amount of the injured party’s damages. In this case, the injured party also must rely on coverage from their own auto policy, for coverage over and above the limits of the adverse driver’s policy.

If you are hit by an uninsured motorist (or an underinsured motorist) who is at fault in the crash, there is an opportunity for you to be compensated. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) requires that you submit an Illinois Crash Report to the IDOT Accident Report Office:

3215 Executive Park Drive Springfield, Illinois 62766 (217) 782-4516

In the instance where you have been injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident caused by either an uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) driver, you must look to your own automobile insurance policy for coverage. Unlike the coverage carried by an adverse driver, you have complete control over the quality (not all insurance companies treat you the same) and the amount of UM and UIM coverage you carry. Don’t wait until you are involved in a motor vehicle accident – review your coverage NOW! Most people carry UM and UIM coverage of $100,000 – this is way too low! A few days in the hospital and a minor surgery will exhaust that limit. So, look at your declarations page (the page that lists your coverages), and increase your UM and UIM (this will be the same coverage limit for both coverages) to at least $250,000. Then if you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you know you have $250,000 to protect yourself.

GOT REAR ENDED BY SOMEONE WITHOUT INSURANCE AND HAD TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL. CAR TOTALLED!! I was dead stopped for at least five minutes when the car in back of me came up at rear ended my car. The driver didn’t even try to stop and hit us going about 40mph. My husband and I both went to the hospital and have bruising and sore neck and back. The driver has no insurance and my car is totaled. Can we sue? Anyone willing to take on this case please let me know.

 

As far as your personal injuries are concerned, you should make a claim for uninsured motorist’s benefits under your own auto policy on the car you were driving. Regarding the loss of your car, hopefully you have collision coverage under your same auto policy, and if so again you will be making a claim under your own auto policy. In the meantime, I would submit all of your medical bills to your health insurance company.

Questions and answers taken from my Avvo profile.

Q: Car wreck 50000/100000/50000 of coverage. Does payment for at fault insured medical bills effect my settlement amount? Insured was passenger in her own car. Driver and insured passenger both received tickets. I was not at fault. I am trying to settle my injury claim and her Insurance company is telling me that the amount they can settle with me depends on the amount of her medical bills. Is this true? If so do I have the right to know how much her medical bills are? I am only asking for my medical bills and lost wages. I have not mentioned pain and suffering to them yet. They have been dragging this out and I now only have 18 days to settle before 2 years is up.

A: First of all, it would be a good idea for you to hire a personal injury attorney in your local area. No attorney wants to have a client walk in at the last minute and have to run to the courthouse to file suit the day or two before the statute of limitations expires. If the coverage is $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and there were only two people injured in the accident, then the amount of the other claimant’s medical bills don’t affect the amount of the claim you can make against the adverse driver’s insurance. And, if the value of your claim does exceed the adverse policy limits of $50,000, then you should consider making a claim for under-insured motorists benefits—that’s why you pay the insurance premiums, so the insurance coverage will be there when you need it. Good luck to you, and I would call an attorney right away.

Questions and answers taken from my Avvo profile.

I was injured in an accident and do not have health insurance. How can I afford to go to a doctor?

A lack of health insurance can prevent you from receiving medical care at a hospital or doctor’s office. Fortunately, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) ensures public access to emergency medical care regardless of ability to pay. This guarantees that any medical treatment needed directly following the accident, such as EMS and ER care, is rendered but does not absolve you from having to pay for it. You are responsible for your medical expenses, whether or not you have health insurance. You cannot force a doctor or other medical provider (other than emergency room) to provide you with medical treatment.

However, by hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your case, many medical providers then feel more comfortable that if they provide you with treatment, they will eventually get paid. In that instance, the medical provider will file a medical lien against your case to insure that they are paid out of your recovery in the case.

Sometimes you may have to search for a doctor or other medical provider to treat you on a lien basis. In some cases, your medical providers send your unpaid bills to a collection agency. Most collection agencies realise that when a personal injury lawyer is involved that in most cases they will end up getting at least a portion of their claim paid out of your recovery in the case. In cases of an auto accident, also check your own auto policy for medical payments coverage (“med pay”), which is also available to pay medical expenses as they come due. The most common med pay coverage is $5,000, so in cases of serious injury, this doesn’t provide much benefit.

Q: Is it true there is little to no case value on settlement for post concussion as Ins Co and a jury cannot see the injury? Car accident happened 2.5 years ago. Geico now wants to settle (10k less med fees not paid by my med ins less atty fees = 4500.) citing there is no value since it’s post concussion and no one can see the injury. My child (15 at time) hit their head on front and side windows from impact. Other driver was ticketed and ticket was not dismissed went on his record. It was about a month later I figured out my kids headaches were not related to school, sports etc and we went to our family Dr whom referred us to pediatric neurologist that confirmed it was post concussion. Had to stop sports and school activities due to headaches. We’ve been continuous in our appts and medication will probably be on med for next year, have appt slated for 12/2014. Yes have ‘PI lawyer’ says settle @10k.

A: It is true that Post Concussion Syndrome is not like a fracture, which is easy to see, diagnose, and prove. But, it is real, and can be long lasting. Both the lawyer and doctors must be experienced in dealing with this type of an injury. If your child was fully evaluated by the pediatric neurologist, as you indicate, and there is such a diagnosis, and your child has continuing problems as a result of this injury, then you may want to carefully consider settling this case for minimal compensation. However, only an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows all of the details of your case can make that evaluation. You should also keep in mind that this is not your case, you as the parent, are acting as a fiduciary for your child in deciding how to handle and whether to settle your child’s case, so I suggest you exercise caution.

Questions and answers taken from my Avvo profile.

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