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Recent Blog Posts in June 2010

June 30, 2010

I was in a car accident and have been unable to sleep due to nightmares. What is wrong with me?

Posted By Park Chenaur

A car accident can be a significant trauma that results in anxiety and emotional upset for many people, in addition to the physical pain and discomfort.  Often times, victims of a collision are afraid to drive, afraid to get into a car, or cannot sleep due to nightmares.  If a child or loved one was also in the car, this can add to the anxiety, anger, fear and frustration.  Lack of sleep and physical pain only aggravates the situation and further impairs the accident victim’s ability to cope.  Anxiety disorders can result following exposure to any event that causes psychological trauma – a car accident would certainly qualify as such an event.  If the symptoms only last several days, but begin to dissipate on their own it is referred to as an acute stress response.  Should the symptoms continue and perhaps worsen over time, it is possible the victim is exhibiting symptoms of a much more serious condition known as post traumatic stress disorder.  If this sounds like you or someone you care about, we at Park Chenaur can help you find a counselor or psychologist to help work through the effects of the trauma and assist with insurance coverage issues.  Healing from the emotional aspects of a car accident can be a critical component of comprehensive treatment and is just as important as treating the physical injuries. 

Continue reading "I was in a car accident and have been unable to sleep due to nightmares. What is wrong with me?" »

June 30, 2010

What if I am injured in a car accident, that is not my fault, but I have no insurance coverage. Can I still get treatment?

Posted By Park Chenaur

Absolutely. Many doctors will agree to treat you and delay payment until your claim is settled.  The treatment provider(s) will have what we call a lien on your file, assuring them of reimbursement out of the final settlement proceeds.  Typically, the treatment provider(s) will require that you be represented by an attorney, that liability is not an issue (i.e., that the other party acknowledges fault), and that the at-fault party has insurance to cover the medical reimbursement.  At Park Chenaur, our injury and accident attorneys can assist you in obtaining treatment in this situation so that your doctor can feel confident about getting pain and you can receive the treatment and care that you need to heal.

Continue reading " What if I am injured in a car accident, that is not my fault, but I have no insurance coverage. Can I still get treatment?" »

June 28, 2010

Can I recover lost wages if i was injured in a Car Accident?

Posted By Park Chenaur

Yes.  Not only can you recover your lost wages at the time of settlement, if you have Personal Injury Protection, you are entitled to recover wage loss much sooner, subject to some restrictions.  In order to recover your lost wages, proper documentation is absolutely necessary.  Below is a list of items you should have:

1.Dates missed from employment
2.Number of hours missed.
3.Rate of pay.
4.Employer/supervisor signature affirming wage loss.
5.Doctor's disability note or wage loss certification.
Continue reading "Can I recover lost wages if i was injured in a Car Accident?" »

June 22, 2010

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Washington

Posted By Park Chenaur

If you have ever been in a car accident in Washington State, you probably have heard of PIP insurance coverage. Having PIP coverage means your own insurance company will pay for your medical expenses and loss of income, regardless of fault.  Most policies are $10,000.00 which is the minimum in Washington State. Pursuant to RCW 48.22.085, PIP is required on all policies unless you sign a waiver to exclude that coverage. If you or a loved one has recently been in a car accident, remember to use your PIP coverage to pay for your medical bills and loss of income.

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June 01, 2010

Is settlement money taxable income?

Posted By Park Chenaur

When you receive your settlement funds from the insurance company in compensation for your injuries from, for example a car accident, is that money taxable income?  The IRS begins everything with the premise that all income is taxable, from whatever source derived, unless exempted by another section of the code.  IRC Section 61.  Logically it seems that money received to compensate for injury and pain and suffering in an effort to make the victim whole should not be taxable because the victim has not realized any form of a gain, but is simply obtaining recovery for a loss.  IRC Section 104(a)(2) supports this rationale: All amounts received on account of physical injuries are excluded from gross income.  This includes damages awarded for emotional distress attributable to physical injury.  The determining factor is whether the award is directly linked to physical injury and/or physical sickness.  Punitive damages that aim to punish and deter the defendant, for example, are not excluded by this section.  Even if you are pretty certain that a settlement award would qualify for exclusion, it is always a good idea to discuss at length the specific issues and the allocation of any particular award with a tax expert/consultant.

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