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Keith Robert Shepherd

Keith Shepherd’s Answers

2 total

  • Motorcycle Accident, Lady turned in front of me, minor injuries but recently detected herniated disc in neck and need fusion...

    I was in an motorcycle accident in Feb. A lady turned (on a flashing yellow arrow) in front of me as I rode through an intersection and I hit the passenger rear quarterpanel of her suv. At the scene I felt minor injuries, bruised/scrapped left h...

    Keith’s Answer

    First and foremost, you need to be aware of the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a time bar within which a claim for personal injury needs to be brought. For example, I practice law in Oregon and the statute of limitations for personal injury in Oregon is 2 years. Therefore, a personal injury claim in Oregon must be settled or a law suit must be filed within 2 years of the date the injury occured. Otherwise, the claim will forever be barred. You should check with an attorney in your state immediately to determine the statute of limitations.

    Before settling your injury claim, it is very important that you first complete your medical treatment and become "medically stationary". "Medially stationary" means that your injuries are completely resolved or have otherwise reached a point where further medical treatment will not substantially benefit your condition. You will want to be medically stationary before settling for multiple reasons. First, as part of any settlement you will be required to release the other party and their insurance company from any further liability. Obviously, you do not want to prematurely release the at-fault party and then incur additional medical bills that you will be stuck with. Second, you are not only entitled to have your medical bills paid, but you may also be entitled to pain and suffering damages. Of course, you don't know what your total pain and suffering is until you have fully experienced the full course of your injuries.

    As far as paying for your medical care now, it sounds as though the at-fault's driver's insurance company is taking care of medical bills for you. You may also want to check with your own auto insurance carrier as you may have "personal injury protection" or medical coverage that will cover your injuries in the event of an accident. Generally, with this type of coverage, your own insurance company will pay for your medical bills and then seek reimbursement from the at-fault party or their insurance company. Finally, you may also use any personal or private insurance that you have, either through your work or that you contracted for privately with an insurance company.

    If your doctor is unwilling to accept the insurance coverage you have available to you then it may be time to find a new doctor.

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  • How to deal with my insurance company when they're unwilling to pay.

    I was in an auto accident two years ago, where I was rear-ended by an uninsured motorist and sandwiched into the car in front of me. I went to the hospital and had a few physical therapy visits in the first few months, but then waited another 1...

    Keith’s Answer

    First and foremost, you need to be certain that your claim is not barred by the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the time within which you must bring your claim or else forever be barred. Each state sets the statute of limitations for claims arising within the state. You should consult with an attorney immediately to determine the statute of limitations within your state as the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in many states is as little as 1 or 2 years.

    If your insurance company refuses to pay for treatment that you believe is related to your motor vehicle accident then you likely have the right to have their denial of coverage reviewed and decided by an independent third party. You may have the right to file a law suit against the insurance company in your local court system. However, most insurance policies are binding contracts and often require arbitration to decide disputes regarding coverage. Arbitration is a cost effecitive method for resolving your claim. An independent arbitrator will listen to both sides of the case and make a determination as to whether your claims are covered. Be aware though that arbitration is not always binding and may be appealled to trial within the court system. To begin the process you simply need to make a demand upon your insurance company to arbitrate the matter.

    Aside from your medical bills, you may also be entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering related to your injuries. Even though you were hit by an uninsured driver, uninsured motorist coverage under your policy likely includes coverage for both your economic damages (i.e. medical bills) and your non-economic damages (i.e. pain and suffering). An attorney can help you assess this better.

    You may also be entitled to recover attorney fees should your state have a statute that entitles prevailing claimants to attorney fees when insurance coverage is wrongfully denied.

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