If you have been injured in an accident and are looking to file a personal injury claim, it is common that your doctor recommends a chiropractor for additional treatment. Back injuries are one of the most commonly injured body parts when an accident occurs. Chiropractic treatment is often recommended for weeks or even months at a time, especially if the injury is serious in nature.
If you find yourself in this situation and without insurance, or if you are unsure if your insurance will cover treatment, you are probably wondering if your personal injury claim will cover your expenses. We spoke to Denver personal injury attorney Kyle Bachus of Bachus & Schanker about if a personal injury claim will cover chiropractic treatment and what you should do after an accident.
Seek Medical Treatment As Soon As Possible
It is vitally important to seek any type of medical treatment, including chiropractic treatment immediately after a personal injury accident. This is important not only for your recovery and long-term health, but for your personal injury claim as well. Even what seems like a minor accident may cause unseen injuries that become severe at a later time.
If you have suffered an injury in a car accident, at work, or anywhere, it is important to seek treatment as quickly as possible. Even if you do not feel very much pain after the accident, it is still recommended to seek treatment within 3 days or sooner. Due to adrenaline and other factors, injuries can seem much less severe than they actually are. This is quite common with neck and back injuries, and these are two of the most common injuries treated by chiropractors.
Seeking treatment immediately after an accident is also important for documenting your injuries and recovery for the purpose of receiving compensation to recover such costs. If you wait to receive medical attention, the insurance company is more likely to claim that they are not liable for your injuries and treatment because you exacerbated treatment costs by inaction.The longer you wait after an accident to seek treatment, the stronger the insurance company’s case becomes to deny you the compensation that you deserve. If you’ve been involved in an accident, the sooner you seek treatment increases your chances of making a better recovery and recouping medical expenses, so don’t delay.
Proving Medical Expenses are “Reasonably Necessary”
A losing defendant is liable to pay all of a plaintiff’s medical costs that are deemed “reasonably necessary”. This means that not all medical costs incurred for a personal injury claim will have to be paid for by the defendant.
For a defendant to be liable for medical costs incurred by the plaintiff, the court must see them as necessary for recovery. The court will decide which medical expenses are reasonably necessary and which aren’t after the plaintiff has submitted a record of treatment and associated costs. It is for this reason that you should not incur medical expenses you are unsure the court will see as necessary, and to check with an expert first.
It is also important to keep detailed records of your treatment. Detailed information on symptoms, the types of treatment provided, and how much differing types of treatment cost must be submitted to the court. This is why it is very important to keep detailed records, you would not want to be denied medical expenses due to keeping insufficient records when you would have otherwise received compensation. It is recommended to keep daily reports of every chiropractic office visit, treatment, and expense, you really cannot go overboard with documentation.
Negotiating a Settlement Before Trial
Very few personal injury claims go to trial, the vast majority of cases end up being settled. If you have ongoing medical treatment and expenses, this can make your decisions about when to settle and for how much very difficult. If a plaintiff has not yet made a full recovery, the case may not be fit for settlement.
Once a settlement has been agreed to and finalized, there is no going back to seek additional damages, even if afterward the plaintiff has ongoing medical treatment and bills. A plaintiff’s attorney may attempt to negotiate for a higher settlement to help pay for future medical costs, but insurance companies are often reluctant to increase the settlement amount based on this factor. This is when a plaintiff and their attorney must make the difficult judgement call as to how much to accept in a settlement when there is or may be ongoing medical expenses after the settlement has been issued.
Get the Recovery and Compensation You Deserve
If you have been injured in an accident and are looking to file a personal injury claim, you owe it to yourself to make the best recovery possible and have the liable party reimburse you for your medical expenses. After you’ve been in an accident the most important thing is to seek medical treatment and examination right away. Upon an examination, there is a likelihood you will be referred to a qualified chiropractic office who will begin your road to recovery.
Once your recovery has started, don’t forget to make detailed records of all your medical visits and treatments to increase the likelihood of receiving the full compensation you deserve. The more detailed your records, the more likely the courts will deem them as reasonably necessary and rule the defendant liable for your expenses.