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I was rear-ended by a coca-cola car and don't know how to get treatment for my neck?

procrastinator89procrastinator89 Posts: 43Registered User New Member
edited January 2010 in Parent Cafe
Hi, I was hoping since there are many parents on this website (and my own parents don't know what the heck to do, either...) there might be some advice you guys could give.

I was injured and Liberty mutal (that insured the car that hit me) won't tell me how to get money for treatment and I think that's REALLY sketchy..


I was rear-ended by a coca-cola novelty Volkswagen. It hurt my neck and it hurts to move it side to side and get up in the morning. My doctor wants me to get physical therapy and get those expensive hot-cold pack as well as anti-inflammatory medication.

However, I can't afford the treatment!!! I called Liberty mutual that insured the Coca cola company car and asked if they could give my money so i can get treatment. However, they wouldn't answer my question!!! They kept hinting that I should first pay for the treatment out of pocket, then show them my bill. I can't afford it, I need the money FIRST in order to get treatment. I am on a not so great student health insurance plan and physical therapy isn't even covered. What am I going to do?

My friend who was rear-ended by a car using Farmer's insurance manged to get the money beforehand and then get treatment. She also had a medium-mild neck injurty like me. Why can't I do that with liberty mutual!!! Or is liberty mutual just not telling me b/c they don't want to setttle!!

I called the coca cola regional headquarters that own the car and they said I needed to pay out of pocket for expensive treatment and then get a settlement from liberty mutual (coca cola's car company insurance).
isn't that sketchy???

can't i settle first to get first????
All I have are doctor's prescriptions and notes.

what should I do???
I am so worried.... : (

Thanks so much!!

Sarah
Post edited by procrastinator89 on
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Replies to: I was rear-ended by a coca-cola car and don't know how to get treatment for my neck?

  • limabeanslimabeans Posts: 4,746Registered User Senior Member
    Sarah, I'm sorry to hear about the accident. I believe it's standard practice that you pay upfront and settle later. The PT place should be able to wait for the payments though, in most cases. If you end up getting a lawyer, you'd get back at least all the $$, plus possibly any "added costs" like lost work. The insurance, right now, doesn't know how much this will end up costing them, so they'll pay at the end. Ring up those bills. They'll pay for it, but sadly drag their heels in cutting the check. They'll pay dr. bills, medications (save receipts!!!), and anything else related to the accident.
  • limabeanslimabeans Posts: 4,746Registered User Senior Member
    BTW: I am not a lawyer, but I've been in a crash. Once, my brother who is a lawyer got involved when I was in a really bad accident where I had my car totaled. That's when there's a hefty problem. If it's just a rear-end, most of the expenses are probably just a doctor fee, some meds and physical therapy. But, you should get your neck worked on soon; delaying it isn't helpful. Also suggest you research whiplash on the web.
  • teriwttteriwtt Posts: 9,999Super Moderator Senior Member
    PT clinics are used to dealing with accident victims who won't be reimbursed until after treatment is done. Call around and find out which ones will work with you, given the lack of money upfront. Some of them will bill the insurance company directly. Once your treatment is over with, then you can 'settle' with Liberty Mutual for any out-of-pocket expenses you many have had (OTC meds, etc.). And yes, keep all receipts that might have anything to do with expenses you incurred due to the accident.
  • oldfortoldfort Posts: 17,300Registered User Senior Member
    I would call Liberty Mutual up to let them know that you are a student without cash, but you need to have the treatment right away and you would like them to pay for it upfront. Let them know if your injury should worsen due to their payment policy you would ask for appropriate liability later. You are a student with a promising future in front of you. Would they want to be responsible for any physical injury which may prevent you from pursuing a dream job someday? If they could cut a check to get a car repaired, why couldn't they do the same for a human being? You may want to ask someone from your school to speak with the insurance.
  • nysmilenysmile Posts: 5,850Registered User Senior Member
    Perhaps you should call your own car insurance company and ask them how to go about following up with a bodily injury claim regarding the accident.
  • alwaysamomalwaysamom Posts: 9,461Registered User Senior Member
    Sarah, I would recommend that you call the insurance company that insures the car you were driving and inquire about what kind of medical benefits are available to you. Any claim against the party who is liable for the accident will be made at a later date. It is not unusual that Liberty Mutual would be unwilling to give you any advance payments on a claim. In the meantime, be sure to keep records of who you speak to, and when, the claim numbers, what medical attention you are seeking, and a detailed list of all costs you are incurring. It would also be beneficial to keep a journal as to how you feel each day, what you are unable to do, if anything, and any classes you may be forced to miss. Your own insurer should be able to explain to you how personal injury claims work in the state in which the accident occurred.
  • nysmilenysmile Posts: 5,850Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, call your own auto insurance company (the company that insures the car that you were driving). They will explain what you need to do regarding a personal injury claim on the accident.
  • MommaJMommaJ Posts: 4,740Registered User Senior Member
    Of course the insurer won't just hand you a check--how will they know how much your treatment costs or even that you will use the money for medical expenses? Contact your own insurer. You are their customer and they will take you through the process--just as they will do with respect to any damage to your car. But how is it that you have no health insurance of your own?
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Posts: 17,378Registered User Senior Member
    If you feel that you need more help even after trying everything suggested on this forum, check if there is a law school in your town that has a legal aid clinic where law students (under the guidance of their law professors, of course) offer legal help to low income people like you.

    MommaJ - some health insurance policies will not pay for medical costs related to an accident. For example, our PPO Aetna refused to pay for my H's minor surgery to fix his finger which he smashed with a retaining wall block citing that it was a result of an accident, and some other insurance should have covered it. OP also said that her insurance will not cover PT.
  • teriwttteriwtt Posts: 9,999Super Moderator Senior Member
    some health insurance policies will not pay for medical costs related to an accident

    I learned this the hard way a couple of years ago. Was rear-ended and ended up with a good case of whiplash. Because I didn't want to wait until all treatment was done to get reimbursed, I decided to use my State Farm Insurance (even though the truck driver admitted fault) and let them subrogate with the other insurance company; this is when I found out that we had a $2500 limit on medical costs. Everything over $2500, I had to pay out-of-pocket, then get reimbursed from the insurance company of the truck that hit us. That's why, many times, when people go to PT, or a chiropractor, they often get a letter from their health insurance company, asking if the treatment is due to an accident, because if it is, they won't cover it.

    When I learned all this, I upped our medical coverage on our car insurance policy greatly. God forbid we ever have a catastrophic accident, running up bills in the tens of thousands or higher and not have expenses covered above $2500.
  • younghossyounghoss Posts: 2,614Registered User Senior Member
    Sarah needs to know it ISN'T "Really sketchy" of the insurer not to want to hand over money before a treatment. It isn't even slightly sketchy. It would be foolish for his insurer to do that. You might not have the injuries you claim, or maybe not as severe, or maybe if they paid you upfront you wouldn't go to treatments. They don't know- yet. It would be foolish the his insurer to do that.

    Get help from your own insurer, then when the treatments are over and the dust settles, your insurer can go after his insurer to be reimbursed.

    You ask: " I called the coca cola regional headquarters that own the car and they said I needed to pay out of pocket for expensive treatment and then get a settlement from liberty mutual (coca cola's car company insurance).
    isn't that sketchy??? "
    The answer is NO. It is good, sound, normal, typical business practice. An insurer can't pay you for damages(to auto or physical) until they assess 1) who is at fault and 2) what are the damages.

    In fact, your wanting to be paid in advance may give the insurer the impression that YOU are sketchy! Have your agent help you. It is a part of what they are paid for.
  • oldfortoldfort Posts: 17,300Registered User Senior Member
    I just called Liberty Mutual - my insurance company. The customer service person told me that you should open a claim with both insurance companies. Coca Cola's insurance (Liberty Mutual) should pay first, but if for whatever reason they don't then your car insurance (or the car you were in) would then pay. Both insurance companies should give you a claim #. When you go see a doctor, when filling out the form you would give the insurance company's name(s) and claim number, they would bill insurance company(s) directly. The representative specifically told me that you wouldn't have to pay out of pocket. Just think about it, how many people have thousands of $ in the bank to pay out of pocket first for medical care. Is it really reasonable to expect anyone to do that? Now, go back and file a claim(s).
  • ellebudellebud Posts: 2,328Registered User Senior Member
    If your own insurance company won't assist you it is called bad faith. (Yes, it is a legal specialty). Do not sign away your rights. I have never sued anyone for a car accident but if you were hit by a vehicle owned by a company with insurance you shouldn't be having legal problems on top of physical ones.

    If you need a lawyer, go to one who specializes in the field that you need: be it personal injury or bad faith or both.
  • WuTangForevaWuTangForeva Posts: 525- Member
    Your school may also help you with legal aid...
  • anothermom2anothermom2 Posts: 1,642Registered User Senior Member
    Some advice above is not on the mark, imo.
    First of all, "no fault" auto insurance applies to personal injury claims in many states (don't know where you are), and if you have auto insurance, you should call your carrier or insurance agent to get a claim started there or at least information on how to proceed in your claim against the coke car's policy. If you were driving, you should have been covered by some type of insurance. Your company likely will chase down Liberty Mutual if need be.
    Secondly, as YoungHoss stated, I have never heard of payment for injury without presentation of a claim, which means in english, a bill for services rendered. Next, delay of treatment and exacerbation of damage due to that is likely NOT to be the insurance company's problem, since you have a duty to MITIGATE (mininmize) damages by seeking treatment in most instances.
    Next, many doctors will not accept auto accident insurance as a form of payment, but many chiropractors and PT make their living in this way, so shop around.
    Lastly, it is NOT bad faith on the part of an insurance company not to pay until a claim is first presented and not paid in a reasonable amount of time. The OP here has seemingly made vague allegations of whiplash, and has said she has "doctors prescriptions and notes". I do not see where a "claim" has been made. If this is a visit to the emergency room, the claim starts with this bill. If to a private physician, then it starts with that bill. Most hospitals will bill an auto liability carrier for personal injury due to auto accidents if they are supplied with appropriate information. However, phone calls are not enough to file claims; they can get the ball rolling (such as receiving a claim #) but PAPERWORK, and proof of bills will have to be filed.

    Good luck.
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