Cycle accidents can cause injury, including the need for surgery, and if you do not have insurance, great frustration. Here are some steps to take to get treatment.
Many perspective clients are involved in cycling accidents with other cyclists, autos or trucks. If the accident is not your fault, you are entitled to compensation for your future medical expenses, but that does little to solve your immediate need for surgery.
If you do not have health insurance there are two generally accepted ways for you to get necessary medical treatment and surgery: negotiating a cash payment with the medical providers or hiring an attorney that has a good reputation and can assure the doctor that they will get paid out of the proceeds of the case.
Since most cyclists do not have an abundance of cash to pay for surgery, the consideration of hiring an attorney is usually the preferred way of arranging treatment on a lien basis, so that they get paid at the end of the case. Here are the factors that are important in establishing your ability to get a surgery on a lien.
1. Surgeons and medical facilities are a very small community and they know the good lawyers from the bad ones. The bad lawyers do not assess liability properly, make promises that they cannot fulfill, fail to complete the case or fail to make the appropriate payments when necessary under the lien. In most cases, doctors and facilities will deny them a lien and therefore not allow you to obtain your necessary surgery. Therefore, pick a competent and experienced cycle attorney.
2. Many inexperienced attorneys make the mistake of arranging for a surgery on a lien basis that consumes the entirety of the value of any settlement. While this may be acceptable to you as the client, you should be told of this limitation before hand so that you are making a value judgment. A competent attorney knows how to gather that information and advise you before surgery where possible.
3. Many doctors charge exorbitant fees for surgery on a lien because there are no artificial limitations dictated by health insurance contracts. A knowledgeable attorney knows the appropriate range of charges that should be incurred for procedures, and can speak to the doctors’ office if the quoted charges are in excess of those normally incurred by other patients in the community.
4. It does little good for you to see that the lawyer and the doctor get paid if you receive nothing in the settlement of your case. Therefore it is important that the attorney know and understand liability, damages, policy limits and other factors that would influence your net recovery.
5. If you need extensive medical treatment, it is also wise to get a second opinion before undergoing the procedure. This eliminates the frustration of obtaining expensive and unnecessary treatment. Your attorney should be able to help you with this matter.
If you have been involved in an accident and you need treatment on a lien basis we invite you to contact our office to discuss the matter. We guarantee you will get answers to your questions so that you can make an intelligent decision on your need for surgery and your ability to be paid your damages and injuries.
James Ballidis is the managing partner of Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie in Orange County, California. We have been providing services to clients in need of surgery for over 35 years.