The world is continuously changing. This statement has been true throughout human history. However, things really started to snowball about 135 years ago with the invention of the automobile. Since then, change has seemed to come to our planet more and more rapidly, to the point where nowadays we seem to expect something new every day.
Technology has altered the way we live our lives forever and will continue to do so. One of the small changes among the many is how people are paying the costs of their accidents. More and more people are growing frustrated with insurance companies. These people are now turning to sites like GoFundMe for the money needed to pay their bills after an accident.
How Does GoFundMe Work?
GoFundMe is a website that allows people to raise money for all sorts of different causes. People can make a fundraising campaign for anything on the site and raise money through donations from anyone. Some people use it to raise funds for the movie they want to make. Others use it to throw a party. However, the most popular use for the website has become raising money to cover medical costs.
The site is simple to use. You go on and find a cause to support and send money. Operational costs for the website add up to less than 10%. That means the recipient receives over 90% of the funds donated to their cause.
Why Is It so Hard to Get Fair Compensation?
The fact that so many people are turning to GoFundMe to pay their medical bills is a bit disturbing. The need for this service in order to get by helps to show how deeply broken both our healthcare and our insurance systems have become. A combination of costs that almost nobody on earth could afford to pay out of pocket, and an insurance system that looks for any excuse to deny a claim, has left far too many people without options.
Hospital billings are often outrageous. The legality of many hospital billing practices is borderline at best. They take advantage of people in desperate situations. You can end up facing charges for services you did not approve and weren’t even aware you received. This can make it very difficult for patients to calculate an accurate figure for what would equate to fair compensation from an insurance settlement to cover all medical costs.
Possibly even worse than the hospitals are the insurance companies. Insurance companies love to paint themselves as the friendly people who are on your side to help get your life back on track when it starts to come off the rails. The reality is a stark difference.
Insurance companies do not operate with their clients in mind. Their primary aim is not your well-being. They love to have a good sprinkling of instances where their customers are happy with the coverage they received… As long as it doesn’t cost them too much. The real function of an insurance company is to make money.
That is the bottom line.
Making money is what these companies are focused on and offering protection is a nuisance that they have to do sometimes to keep the money train rolling.
Whenever a policyholder files a claim with an insurance company, the first thing the company will do is to try to find a way to avoid paying. They will search for any reason they can find, to legally deny the claim. If they fail to find a reason, then they will move on to the next option of trying to underpay. The goal of reducing the value of your claim is achieved through a couple of different strategies.
Insurance companies will look for reasons such as pre-existing conditions that could have contributed to your medical issue. Anything they find they will attempt to use to avoid paying you the full value of your claim. They will also employ tactics to try to get you to undervalue your claim yourself. Some of these tactics include:
- Pressuring you to accept an early settlement offer
- Getting you to give a recorded statement that they can use against you
- Convincing you not to hire a lawyer
While hospitals and insurance agencies create the problem, a reluctance to hire legal protection often exasperates it. Getting the necessary legal protection to adequately defend yourself is the most important thing you can do after a car accident.
A car accident lawyer in Los Angeles is going to be able to help protect you against unfair billing practices. They will also be well aware of all of the tricks that an insurance company will attempt to use against you and protect you from those aggressions. They will take over all communication with the insurance company and negotiate for a fair settlement that will actually cover all of your expenses.
People are wary of hiring lawyers because they feel that they are too expensive. However, any reputable car accident attorney will work on a contingency basis. That means that they don’t get paid unless you get paid. Still, people worry that the percentage of their settlement they have to pay to their lawyer will be too high.
However, the truth is, the average amount that people take home after paying their attorney in these types of cases is far higher than the settlement they would have received without an attorney.
Is Using GoFundMe a Good Option?
GoFundMe campaigns have helped a lot of people raise the money they need to afford their medical bills. While it is a great option to help pay for a procedure, it should not be your primary option. You can create a campaign to help, but there is no guarantee that it will reach your fundraising goal and fully cover your costs.
Hiring a lawyer to help you take on the insurance companies should always be your first option to help you get the money you deserve.
Even more important than that, however, is overhauling the broken systems that we have in place. The only way to achieve that goal is through political action.