Crash! A negligent driver just crashed into your car. In an instant everything changes. If you were injured in a car accident, the weeks and months after the accident can be a blur of doctor appointments and medical bills. Medical visits. Medical bills. Missed work. It can be overwhelming. I get it. I read and summarize medical records for my clients on a daily basis.
The last thing you expect is for the other driver’s insurance adjuster to simply disregard some of your medical bills. Yet, that’s what adjusters do every day. How do you prevent the adjuster from disregarding or discounting important medical costs? You need to seek skilled legal counsel who is willing to file your case and prepare the claim for court. First, you need to understand some of the big reasons why adjusters ignore or disregard some of your medical bills. That’s the topic for today. Why is the adjuster ignoring or discounting my medical bills? Here are two big reasons.
The Adjuster Claims Some Treatment Is NOT Related To The Car Accident
Let’s look at an example — You submit records and bills for treatment to your back, neck and shoulder after a wreck. But, the adjuster responds by saying he is not going to consider your shoulder treatment or bills. Why not? Why is the adjuster making a decision simply to ignore one of your injuries? After all, the adjuster is not a doctor.
Maybe there is a valid reason. Often, there is not. Sometimes, adjusters offer crazy excuses why they won’t consider a certain injury in offering you a settlement.
What can you do to prevent this problem? The first thing you can do is simple — When you seek medical care, make sure you tell the doctor about all injured body parts. Do not ignore any of your injuries. Doctors are trained to take a history from you. That history often includes questions about what happened. You need to tell them about the crash. That history includes questions about where and how you are hurting. You need to tell them all injured areas. If you don’t tell the doctor about the accident or injuries, then the doctor will probably not be able to relate them later. At our office, we regularly take doctor depositions to build our Alabama personal injury cases, we’ve seen firsthand the difficulty proving a case when a patient does not tell his doctors about the accident or injuries!
What can your lawyer do to prevent this problem? If you hired a settlement mill lawyer, then your lawyer will likely do nothing. Settlement mill lawyers are the guys running ads on television and billboards begging for your case. These guys are running volume operations. Some of these settlement mill lawyers have a referral deal with a local chiropractor. That chiropractor may even ignore aspects of your injury which are beyond his training. These billboard lawyers simply send your bills to the adjuster. Then, they take the best deal they can get with a couple phone calls. These billboard lawyers are not going to work on your case. They are not going to prepare the case for trial. If the adjuster refuses to consider some of your injuries or treatment, they are not going to fight for you. Over the years, we’ve seen many injured people suffer a second time when their injuries are ignored.
Seek an experienced lawyer who will fight for you. A skilled lawyer can offer advice and strategy before it is too late. When an adjuster wrongly ignores specific injuries or medical charges, a good lawyer will file your case and prepare it. A skilled lawyer can take depositions of the treating doctors and prove the accident caused the specific injury at issue. We spend a lot of our time taking doctor depositions to maximize the value of our client’s cases. It’s important work. You don’t have to settle for an adjuster who ignores your injuries. Prepare the case.
The Adjuster Claims Some Charges Are Not Reasonable
I mentioned settlement mill lawyers earlier. Why? Many of these lawyers have a secret deal with a medical provider. It’s usually a chiropractor. These settlement mill lawyers send injured clients to that provider who then runs up the medical charges while providing little or no real care.
In some cases, they even ignore serious injuries. I’ll give you an example. Last year, I had a client who suffered a serious car accident. Afterwards, her neck was sore and hurting. More serious — Her knee was swollen to twice its normal size. She could barely walk and was hurting badly. She hired a lawyer who promised a quick check for a wreck. That so-called lawyer sent her to his partner chiropractor. That chiropractor ignored her swollen and painful knee. When she asked about it, the chiropractor told her he would adjust her neck and run-up her bills so she could get enough money in a settlement to pay for her knee care. It was a lie. She smartly fired her billboard lawyer. The delay made her case more difficult. But, we were able to get her the orthopedic care needed for her seriously injured knee.
It’s a bad deal for you when a billboard lawyer runs-up the bills for no real care. It’s bad because you now have inflated medial bills that the adjuster will likely ignore or discount. Your settlement mill lawyer and his special provider are probably not willing to go to court. So, you are likely stuck. They will settle for less and then you will be paying back the chiropractor for his inflated charges.
Seek skilled legal counsel and real medical care rather than a provider who will simply run-up the bills. If the adjuster is arguing about bills for real, legitimate care then a skilled lawyer can gather the evidence to prove your claim.