Two Medical Treatment Issues That Can Sabotage Your Personal Injury Settlement


Claims for medical bills are fairly common in accident cases, so insurance companies don't usually quibble when you ask for payment for healthcare expenses. However, they do review the bills and use them in a damage formula to determine how much total compensation to pay you for your injuries and losses. Interestingly enough, the type of medical care you receive can mean the difference between a fair settlement and a lowball offer. Here are two medical treatment issues that can have a negative impact on your accident claim.

The Bills Are Mostly For Diagnostic Procedures

Bills for diagnostic procedures are expected. After all, the doctor has to figure out what's wrong before he or she can effectively treat your condition. Diagnostic testing, though, generally only make up a small portion of your medical bills with the actual treatment accounting for the bulk of your healthcare costs. If the opposite is true and the diagnostic bills turn out to be more than the cost of treatment, the insurance company may think the medical professional is trying to "run up the tab" and/or your injuries aren't as bad as you claim. This can result in being offered a lower settlement amount.

Sometimes it takes quite a bit of diagnostic work to determine the root cause of a medical issue. For instance, it can be difficult to diagnose concussions since there is no specific test for them and symptoms can take awhile to show up. The doctor may order a variety of brain scans and other assessments to help diagnose the person's condition.

To avoid having the insurance company hold a big diagnostic bill against you, it may be necessary to provide evidence the tests were required or standard practice. This may require submitting testimony from respected medical experts who can justify the testing.

You're Getting Treatment From Non-Traditional Sources

Although alternative forms of healthcare (e.g. naturopathy) have risen in popularity over the years, the insurance company may not consider treatment from these sources to be valid. In general, insurance companies tend to view traditional treatments from mainstream sources like doctors and hospitals to be legitimate and non-traditional treatments or sources of healthcare to be questionable.

For instance, health insurance companies typically don't cover things like applied kinesiology or homeopathy. If a treatment isn't considered valid by a health insurance company or medical professionals, the auto insurance adjuster evaluating your claim may not either. As a result, the company may offer a lower settlement amount or outright refuse to pay for those treatments.

The best thing you can do to avoid this issue is to opt for treatment from traditional sources. If you really feel that an alternative medical therapy is better for you, then getting a referral from a doctor for that treatment may make the insurance adjuster more comfortable paying for it.

For more information about this issue or help with maximizing your settlement offer, contact a personal injury attorney. If you'd like to continue reading, click for more information.

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