I was recently involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, since it was my first accident, I was scatter-brained and anxious. What I did not realize at the time was that the actions you take immediately after the accident can affect a personal injury case and the outcome of that case. I wanted to find a way to share my experiences and mistakes with other. Since the Internet is so popular, I figured this would be a great way to do so. While you likely aren't planning on being in an accident soon, if you are, hopefully you remember some of the tips I share on this website.
Maintaining information for a disability claim with Veterans Affairs (VA) systems—or any compensation system—is time-sensitive and time consuming. Unfortunately, many conditions that create a need for compensation can slow you down to the point of being late for many deadlines and appointments. As you plan your necessary actions the next part of your claim, consider a few things that can be done to make the process easier on your condition.
Transportation Problems Can Be Solved With A Phone Call
If you need to visit a far away VA hospital for a disability-related medical examination, don't worry if you're unable to drive on your own. You may have to adjust your appointment date in the most extreme cases, but there are multiple offices and individuals willing to help you with your official travel needs. Some will even help ailing veterans with their personal needs, such as grocery shopping or getting to school.
Most VA hospitals or clinics have a shuttle van system available to transport veterans to and from their appointments. In many states, the veteran only needs to show up at their local VA clinic to be driven to a larger hospital via regularly scheduled vans.
If you live in a rural area or have no way to get to the local clinic, ask your town's city council for the local VA representative. Many veterans' organizations (unaffiliated with the VA) provide outreach programs to veterans in need, even if you're not in the immediate area.
Seek Civilian Medical Assistance
Although the VA system allows months to submit specific pieces of paperwork, this time can be consumed if you miss appointments with doctors or other professionals who are helping other veterans and only available during specific weeks. In many VA hospital systems, local doctors are contacted to hold VA hospital appointment hours.
The system isn't perfect, resulting in overbooking or time-sensitive meetings with major consequences for being late or rescheduling. Your assigned primary care provider or specialist may have many other veterans scheduled for weeks, meaning that you can't simply meet up the next day. Instead, ask for a referral to a civilian medical professional.
It will still take time to justify the need for outside medical care, but if you're working on a claim and the wait times are known to be problematic in your area, the VA can draft the proper paperwork to send you to a civilian hospital or clinic with newly designed referral policies.
In the past, such referrals were rare, emergency cases or expected to be paid out of the veterans pocket, with reimbursement given only if the disability claim is approved. With the new system, you can get relevant medical help and claim evidence from doctors who have more time available to help. If you prefer your VA-contracted doctor, you can even ask for a direct referral to that doctor at their civilian medical practice.
If you run into problems getting your paperwork in on time or would like a more structured disability claim, a team of personal injury lawyers can help. With their assistance, you can find medical professionals who know how to examine and document evidence that best fits the VA system. Lawyers may also have a bigger network of people who can help you make it to different appointments and handle your household needs during the claims process.
Contact a personal injury lawyer to structure a claim strategy that has a better chance of succeeding.