Going to the Doctor will NOT take all of your Settlement Money!

Going to the Doctor will NOT take all of your Settlement Money!

If you have not already, please read how to HOW CAN I MAXIMIZE THE VALUE OF MY CASE? and WHAT SHOULD I DO FOLLOWING AN ACCIDENT? please read those for more background on this topic. A misconception that many Insurance Companies want to keep on the tip of any potential injured parties’ tongue is that the doctors will take all the money if they go to the Doctor.

If you don’t treat, in the eyes of the insurance company, judge or jury, you aren’t injured. In order to settle your case or prove it up at a trial, you must show that you suffered injuries and you attempted to get better from those injuries. Even further, if you are injured, no one will typically believe you unless it’s indicated in the medical records. “If it’s not in the medical chart, it’s not true.” What insurance companies want, is for you to have gaps in treatment or just lack of treatment so they can lowball you. If you missed treatment long enough or didn’t treat enough, they know your potential value is limited and they are in the driver’s seat.

As I broke down more thoroughly in the above two readings above, unless you are settling for the full policy limits, it doesn’t matter if the doctors will get any money, you are essentially giving the money to the insurance company in fear of giving it to a doctor’s office, who are attempting to get you better and likely would be willing to work with you on reducing the bills.
An example that clearly illustrate the above is a sample settlement scenario.

Let’s take for example Client A has a personal injury case wherein she suffered serious injuries. Let’s assume the at fault driver had a policy of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. In this scenario, Client A has a potential $100,000 recovery that’s available to her. If she has underinsured motorist coverage, there could be more than $100,000. In this scenario, let’s assume she has $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident in underinsured motorist coverage. In this scenario, Client A has the potential to recover $150,000 from the insurance carriers.

Client A comes to our office and say, “My doctors want me to treat 3 times per week and want me to undergo a MRI, I heard those are expensive.” We explain to Client A, that Client A doctor knows what’s best to get her back to health and Client A should follow Doctor orders. Client A then says, “My friend told me MRIs are expensive and I don’t want to give all my money to the Doctor so I just want to treat once per week for 3 months like my friend did and then settle.”

The problem with Client A position is that she doesn’t know what her friend facts were. Client A friend case possibly only had $15,000 available to her by way of insurance limits. Further, Client A friend didn’t explain to Client A how much of the available policy limits she left on the table.

Client A listens to friend anyway and after 3 months, decide to settle her case. Unless an injury has been necessarily diagnosed by either a specialist or a radiographic study, one injury is likely to be classified as a soft tissue injury. In New Orleans, assuming you have consistent treatment, the typical range for soft tissue injuries are between $1,250 to $3,000 per month.

For the purposes of our example, let’s assume we can get Client A the higher end of $3,000 per month for her 3 months of treatment. Let’s also assume her bill was only $1,500. In total, Client A settlement would be $10,500. Let’s also assume after attorney fees and medical bills, Client A walks away with $5,500. Client A is happy, she walks away with $5,500 after just 3 months of treatment and she only had to pay her doctor $1,500.

THE PROBLEM: The issue with this scenario is that $139,500 was still available for Client A to compensate her for pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss wages, etc. Client A in an attempt to avoid her Doctor from getting “all the money”, the person who was attempting to treat her back to health, she instead gave “all the money” to the insurance company, the people who was trying to pay as little as possible.

If Client A is happy, we are happy. Another potential issue is that Client A may have had some injury that could have been to date undiagnosed. Upon settling her claim, she would be required to sign a release preventing her from ever making another claim against this insurance company for injuries that arose from this accident.

The insurance company must pay the medical expenses whether they were $1,500, $15,000 or $100,000. In addition to the medical expenses, they would have still had to pay for pain and suffering, loss wages, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. Had Client A fully dedicated herself to getting better, there was a ton of money available to Client A to do so. Client A friend may have told her a nightmare story about her case but the each accident is different.

At The Burrell Firm LLC, we pride ourselves on staying updated on the full picture of the case. If there’s not enough insurance money available and the medical bills are approaching a level that’s going to ultimately cut into your money, we will inform our client. Our ultimate goal is to make sure the Client receive the treatment they deserve. In some cases, there’s not enough money to do so. If that scenario arise in your case, we will inform you of that and advise to settle your case so you are at least compensated for your pain and suffering and if treatment is to continue, you are available to do so either through your health insurance or through the proceeds received through settlement. We don’t want to make the decision for you. If there’s a chance that your money will be impacted, we put you on notice so you are in control.

In closing, treatment is needed to prove your injuries to the ultimate decider of your case. If it’s not included in the medical records, the insurance company will not give you credit for it. You could have been injured due to an accident which caused you to become paralyzed, if a medical doctor hasn’t indicated that in his medical chart, the insurance company won’t acknowledge it. They don’t know you from the next guy, so they won’t trust that you are hurt simply because you say it. Even further, if all it took was someone to say they are injured and not have to prove the injuries, there would be a ton of bankrupt insurance companies because accidents happen everyday and if it was as simple as saying it, everyone would say it.

CONTACT A NEW ORLEANS PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY FOR MORE INFORMATION

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you should have a New Orleans lawyer represent you. After an accident, knowing how much your case could be worth isn’t readily available. An experienced lawyer from The Burrell Firm LLC can advise you and help you determine how much your case is worth.
Call us today at (504) 533-0006 to schedule a free initial consultation.

CONTACT A RUSTON PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY FOR MORE INFORMATION

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you should have a Ruston lawyer represent you. After an accident, knowing how much your case could be worth isn’t readily available. An experienced lawyer from The Burrell Firm LLC can advise you and help you determine how much your case is worth.
Call us today at (504) 533-0006 to schedule a free initial consultation.

CONTACT A MONROE/WEST MONROE PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY FOR MORE INFORMATION

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you should have a Monroe/West Monroe lawyer represent you. After an accident, knowing how much your case could be worth isn’t readily available. An experienced lawyer from The Burrell Firm LLC can advise you and help you determine how much your case is worth.
Call us today at (504) 533-0006 to schedule a free initial consultation.

2019-03-06T13:56:05+00:00 March 4th, 2019|