Make sure all treatments are correctly documented and detailed patient records are maintained
If your client is undergoing medical treatment for injuries sustained or pain suffered due to an accident, it’s essential to remain in regular contact with his or her health providers. Unless there is meticulous documentation of a diagnosis, prescriptions for any medications, or alternative therapies, and records of how each appointment is helping a patient recover from accident injuries, it may be difficult to get an opposing insurance company to cover these costs in any settlement or lawsuit that might occur.
Communication with health providers can help make sure that they take the steps to properly document your client’s treatment as well as keep your client informed about the potential reimbursements for any treatment they receive.
Make sure doctors and therapists focus on treating injuries specifically caused by the accident
The type of thorough medical examination that often follows an accident may reveal a variety of undiagnosed medical conditions and problems that have developed over a client’s lifetime –
including injuries from previous accidents, genetic conditions or predispositions, or conditions due to lifestyle factors.
While it’s important for everyone to understand their entire medical condition, unless any of these conditions are life threatening or have serious short-term symptoms, it’s often best for insurance purposes to focus on or very specifically document treating any problems that can be directly attributed to the accident. All referrals to specialist should be documented and sent by the treating physician, not the attorney’s office.
If an opposing insurance company sees that an individual is also receiving treatment for conditions unrelated to an accident, especially if it is during the same appointment, with the same doctor, they may attempt to argue that the client is trying to take advantage of the situation by receiving extraneous medical treatments and billing the insurance company for it.
Maintaining a steady line of communication between an attorney and a client’s medical providers at this stage can help an attorney determine which symptoms, injuries, and conditions may have been reasonably caused by the accident. This helps to determine the potential future costs of medical treatment and allows calculating an evidence-based figure for a settlement offer or counteroffer.
Make sure clients don’t accept an insurance settlement too soon
In many cases, the true damage caused by a serious accident may not be known for several weeks or even a few months after the accident has occurred. For example, a client may experience long-term side effects from the injuries sustained in an event. Additionally, it may take time to conduct a variety of tests that could be required to determine a client’s true medical condition, especially if an accident is serious or has affected them in an unexpected way.
All this means that if your client accepts an insurance settlement too quickly, they may be settling for only a fraction of their true medical expenses – just another reason why it’s essential to keep an accurate record of health care costs and stay in communication with healthcare providers.
At Pines Spine and Joint, we pride ourselves on our commitment to patient care. With doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and massage therapists, we offer a variety of treatments specifically designed to help patients in pain get the help they deserve. If your client has been in an accident, don’t hesitate to have them get in touch with us at 954-589-2319 (East Pines office), 954-430-8000 (West Pines office), or through our online form to make an appointment today.