Law Offices of Stephen A. Smith

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Getting Medical Care: Your Highest Priority

Getting Medical Care: Your Highest Priority Lawyer, Jacksonville CitySharing Information With Medical Professionals

Navigating medical treatment in personal injury claims can be complex. This chapter aims to simplify things. Firstly, at the end of the day, it is imperative you keep one thing in mind: your health should be what you are ultimately most concerned with. Do not let the potential legal ramifications of things you say deter you from being honest about your overall health condition, the severity of pain you experience, and any symptoms you have. Accurate information is essential for your treatment and care.

Nevertheless, when discussing the specifics of the accident, stick to the facts and steer clear of any speculation. What you say will be recorded and can be used against you later in your case. The insurance company will likely access any and all of your doctor’s notes and medical records when processing your personal injury claim. It will be able to access them at a later stage in your case as well. If there are any discrepancies between what you have said before or after your medical treatment and what you said during your care, the insurance company will likely use it against you. This is especially true for discrepancies regarding the severity of your injuries or the injured body parts. Be cooperative and honest with your doctor, but speak to your attorney before discussing the accident with anyone, including medical professionals involved in your care, if possible.

Choosing Your Own Providers

Generally, you can choose your own medical providers after a crash in Florida. However, several caveats and limitations weigh on this. Selecting medical care is limited to providers willing to accept certain types of insurance, including auto-related crashes that are paid via PIP (Personal Injury Protection).

If the provider accepts PIP, you can receive treatment there. It should be noted that PIP has a limitation: you must initiate treatment within 14 days. If you do not, you forfeit coverage. Be mindful that if your PIP is expired or you don’t have PIP coverage, you will be forced to utilize your health insurance, which has different rules surrounding in-network and out-of-network providers. Find out whether your health insurance will cover a provider or, if it does, whether it will result in higher out-of-pocket expenses before you get treatment.

Your own insurance company may require you to undergo independent medical examinations. If so, this is to set a cap on the amount of treatment you can receive. This may force you to seek treatment from another type of provider, assuming the exam is conducted within the same type of treatment you have been receiving.

Following Prescribed Treatments

Following your doctor’s orders is absolutely critical for your success, not only in terms of your recovery but also in the legal realm. Do not miss treatments and complete any prescribed treatments for injuries. Having any gaps in treatment can be used to devalue your claim significantly.

If you fail to keep your appointments, the insurance company will interpret that to mean you are not as injured as you claim to be. This will negatively impact your ability to resolve your claim for the highest amount possible. Further, if an insurance provider believes you are not compliant with the doctor’s treatment plan, they minimize your injuries or the severity of your pain levels. All of this will have harmful implications for your case.

Contact With The At-Fault Party’s Insurance

Having contact or communicating directly with the at-fault party’s insurance company is not likely to do your case any good, so it should never really happen!

Insurance companies typically seek recorded statements that can be used against your interest and deny or reduce your claim. Talking directly to the at-fault insurance company may also result in a quick settlement offer. Often, people do not fully understand the extent of their injuries or damages and accept a low settlement amount for pennies on the dollar of what their claim is truly worth. They may also request that you release information or sign a medical release form, granting them access to your entire medical history. They do this to find preexisting conditions that can align with your current injuries to minimize the extent of your injuries from the accident and undermine your case. They may also manipulate you to admit fault or downplay your injuries. If you have a personal injury attorney, redirect all communications with the other party’s insurance company to them.

Keeping A Pain And Healing Diary

Keeping a pain and healing diary is a good idea generally, but even more so for cases anticipated to proceed to litigation. If you decide to keep a journal, record the date and time of each entry. Doing this will help create a detailed timeline of your recovery process. Also, note the severity of your pain levels on a scale of zero to ten. Include the type of pain (i.e., sharp, dull, throbbing), the duration of the pain, and how it affects your daily activities. Describe in detail any changes you’ve had to make to avoid the pain. Record the medications and treatments you’re receiving, including dosage and frequency. Include any doctor’s visits, symptoms, limitations, emotional impact, mental well-being, progress, setbacks, and the effect on your daily life. Also note any witnesses, before and after information, and keep documentation such as medical reports, tests, invoices, and correspondence with insurance companies or other parties involved.

For more information on Medical Treatment In Personal Injury Claims, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (904) 351 0945 today.

Stephen A. Smith, Esq.

Call For a Free Consultation
(904) 357 0090 | Available 24/7

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