Solicitation Saga

Since no one expects to be in a motor vehicle accident, it’s understandable that when it does happen, initial reactions are filled with disbelief and confusion. The days immediately after a traffic accident often involve hazy memories, second guessing and complicated questions. While this is definitely not the best time to be fielding phone calls, you will undoubtedly get some – from insurance adjusters, from the adverse parties or their lawyers, from scammers, from legitimate medical providers, and perhaps from fraudulent medical providers who encourage victims to knowingly file phony and inflated medical claims. Here in Kentucky, lawmakers have attempted to tackle the problem by adopting the “New Solicitation Statute.” The legislation stems from the need to address unscrupulous medical service providers who abuse Kentucky’s no-fault law by contacting victims and referring them to certain services in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage. These providers manipulate the wording of the no-fault law by using accident victims’ personal injury protection (PIP) benefits for fees or unneeded services following an accident. Most Kentucky drivers carry the minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage. If a provider uses all of the PIP money eazrly in the claim on medical bills, then the victim doesn’t have any left for other damages such as lost income.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, this type of accident victim solicitation is rampant in the Bluegrass state, with Kentucky ranking eighth last year behind more populated states like Florida, New York and California for “questionable claims.”
Back in 2011, Kentucky passed a law prohibiting the direct solicitation of victims within 30 days of an accident. However, in 2014, the law was found to be overly broad and ruled unconstitutional. The more specific New Solicitation Statute (House Bill 153) was drafted in response, to allow insurance carriers to reject bills for medical treatment if those medical expenses were incurred as a result of solicitation within 30 days of a motor vehicle accident. Adopted in June, the statute declares that if solicitation is demonstrated, insurers can obtain reimbursement of medical payments made prior to the discovery of the solicitation. Currently, the same parties that objected to the previous law are challenging the revised law on the same grounds. If you receive a call from people representing themselves as insurance doctors, double-check their credentials and confirm with your insurance company before accepting any appointment. The best way to avoid getting scammed is to consult your personal doctor after being involved in an accident and asking him or her to provide you with an authenticated copy of the results. If you have any questions about this topic or were injured in a motor vehicle wreck, contact the personal injury attorneys at the Pikeville, KY-based Johnson Law Firm by calling 606-437-4488 or filling out our online form.

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