If You Are Involved In An Automobile Accident, Your Insurance Company May Try To Tell You That You May Have To Get Your Car Fixed At One Of Their Approved Shops, Or The Latest Trend Seems To Be That You Should Go To The Health Provider That The Insurance
In one of my recent Philadelphia car accident cases, my client was severely injured and notified his insurance company of the accident. Immediately, he received a notification in the mail with a carbon copy to my law firm that stated in effect the following, “This notification is to advise you that in the event you are injured as a result of an accident, you have available to you the services of _________ medical provider. You can call _______ phone number of visit them online at _________ to find out which medical providers are included in this health network. You may also have available to you the services of a different medical provider as a secondary medical provider network in the event a provider is not available in the first health network.” The letter goes on to explain that this program is designed to provide better customer service and that you are under no obligation to use the network and are free to use a medical service provider of your choice. This notice is for informational purposes only and using a provider within the network should not be considered confirmation of coverage.
As an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer who has handled thousands of catastrophic car accident injury cases over the last 30 years, one thing I am certain of is that insurance companies will continue to delay, deny, and defend any claim and do whatever it takes to improve their bottom line despite the fact that we all pay a lot of money to insure our homes and automobiles expecting that all damage claims and medical bills will be paid promptly.
I have found that when clients go to automobile repair shops recommended by their insurance company or repair shops on the insurance company’s approved list, the prices are controlled by the insurance companies who steer the clients toward their “preferred businesses” that bid for the work. Many times this leads to repair shops that do superior work losing business to shops that use substandard parts and do inferior work. The insurance industry tells us that every year they try to figure out who can do the best work for the lowest cost and yet I have been engaged in continuous battles with insurance companies over the price and quality of auto repairs necessary to satisfy the client. Many shops that sign on to do business with insurance companies claim they are fearful that they will be left in the cold if they do not participate , and as one owner of a body shop claimed, he views the insurance company as his customer and not the customer who owns the car.
Imagine what the situation will be when it comes to health coverage. It is important to note that as an educated consumer, you have the right to choose the physician or health provider you want. Under most car insurance policies your bills must be paid no matter where or from whom you receive medical treatment and get your car repaired. Understand that you may choose any doctor, hospital, or health provider for your care and the bill must still be paid by your insurance company.
When selecting a healthcare provider or physician, I advise my clients to always select the best possible health provider and not the cheapest.
If your insurance company tries to force you to utilize a particular health provider or auto repair shop, it is time to speak up and exercise your rights. Do not let them pressure you.
The Philadelphia car accident and catastrophic injury law firm of Reiff and Bily has been representing injured consumers for over 30 years and always offers a free, no obligation consultation to victims and their families injured in serious car accidents. For more information, contact us toll free at 1-800-421-9595 or online at www.reiffandbily.com.