After an auto accident, you or your loved one may need assistance even after you have been released from the hospital. Whether you need help with personal care or just someone to keep an eye out, these attendant care costs can usually be paid by your no-fault auto insurance, within the limits as determined by the current No-Fault legislation.
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Attendant care costs include all “reasonably necessary products, services, and accommodations” for your “care, recovery, or rehabilitation.” They can be anything from passive supervision to hands-on help with bathing and dressing. The key is that they need to be connected to the treatment of your auto-accident-related injury.
That’s why you should always discuss your support needs with your doctor. If you can get a recommendation, referral, or prescription for at-home services, your lawyer can use that to help prove the services were reasonably necessary for your care and recovery.
Use Licensed Care Providers When Necessary
While relatives and friends can provide a certain level of attendant care, sometimes you need a professional. If your injuries make it impossible for you to recover at home, make sure you use a licensed and reputable adult foster home, rehabilitation facility or assisted living arrangement.
The same is true for in-home health services. If someone is coming into your home (other than a friend or family member), ask what professional licenses they hold. It is easier for your attorney to collect attendant care costs based on the charges of a licensed care provider rather than a non-professional.
Keep Daily Logs
Whether you receive professional services or have a family member come in to help, you and your caregiver can make your lawyer’s job a lot easier by keeping a daily log of services provided. A log entry might look something like this:
“January 9, Sue was in home from 9am to 1pm. Assisted with bathing, medications, stretches, changed linens.”
By making a daily record of the caregiver present, the time spent, and the services provided, you can make it easier for your attorney to get the attendant care no-fault benefits you need to cover the cost of the services.
Your auto insurance provider is legally required to cover the reasonable cost of your attendant care needs. Even when performed by relatives or friends, these services need to be paid for. Do yourself and your lawyer a favor by doing your part to document your needs and the services provided. It could result in a bigger settlement at the end of the case.