When an injured person brings a personal injury claim against the negligent party, all expenses, including medical, will be included in the settlement.
Many people who suffer sudden impact soft tissue injuries, injuries that are common in car accidents, look to their chiropractor to treat their injuries.
If you're considering chiropractic care, either as a supplemental treatment or as your only form of treatment, it's important to understand how that decision can impact your personal injury claim.
Perhaps you don't know who the person responsible for your pain and suffering is? Read our press release: "How to Protect Yourself After a Hit and Run Accident?"
In the article below, we will discuss how much of your chiropractic treatments can be recovered in your personal injury claim.
Table of Contents
- You Have Options
- Getting Your Care Covered In Court
- Getting Your Care Covered By Insurance
- See Your Chiropractor Today
You Have Options
If you ask ten people what type of treatment you should receive after a car accident, there's a good chance you get ten different answers.
The truth is, there is no right answer when it comes to health care treatments, and what is right for one person might not be good for the next.
There might be treatments that have proven to be better than other treatments, but still, to each their own.
When it comes to chiropractic care, people usually feel strongly one way or the other, and there really isn't any indifference.
Some people swear by the treatment (and for good reason) while others still aren't convinced chiropractors are real doctors.
Luckily, for the people who swear by it, there is evidence that supports their claims, and chiropractors definitely are "real" doctors.
If you've never seen a chiropractor before, you likely won't think of them after your accident.
But if you do use a chiropractor, you will immediately think of them, and you will want to be sure your treatments will be covered.
Whether you are covered by an auto insurance policy, a general health insurance policy, or you're looking to be compensated by a negligent party, there are likely to be limitations on your care.
Getting Your Care Covered In Court
A losing defendant must typically pay all of the plaintiff's reasonably necessary medical expenses related to the accident.
While trying to prove damages during the case, the plaintiff will submit all of the medical and therapeutic bills he or she incurred as a result of the injury.
That doesn't always mean the jury will be convinced that the treatment was necessary.
When trying to prove the necessity of chiropractic care, the plaintiff should be prepared to present records from their chiropractor showing symptoms, treatments provided, and the cost for each treatment.
Vague and inconclusive records could lead to the denial of chiropractic treatment being necessary, so make sure you have a record of everything.
If your case does make it to trial and is highly contested, an expert witness might need to testify that the treatment you received was necessary.
That also means the defendant can hire their own expert witness to testify that your injuries did not require chiropractic care.
Ultimately, it will be up to the jury to determine how much of your chiropractic expenses were necessary.
Even if a jury is skeptical about the necessity of your chiropractic care, chiropractic expenses can't e prohibited on the argument that they are not considered medical expenses.
Chiropractic treatments can be lengthy and the bills can get high, so a jury might be convinced that only part of the treatment was necessary, leaving the plaintiff on the hook for part of the bill.
Getting Your Care Covered By Insurance
Most personal injury cases are settled before trial.
In many cases involving chiropractic treatment, especially after auto accidents, the defendant's insurance company will negotiate and pay the settlement.
Because it's often difficult for a plaintiff to have their entire chiropractic bill paid at trial, insurance companies are reluctant to pay bills in their entirety in a pre-trial settlement.
If the plaintiff is expected to make a complete recovery, but hasn't yet done so, the case might not be ready for settlement until the chiropractor feels like the plaintiff has recovered as much as possible.
In cases like that, the plaintiff might get stuck with mountains of chiropractic bills and uncertainty about whether the bills will ever be paid back.
The plaintiff and their experienced attorney will have to make a judgment call on whether accepting a settlement that doesn't cover all the chiropractic treatment is their best option.
If they end up not liking the offer, they could end up taking the case to trial.
See Your Chiropractor Today
Your chiropractor will provide valuable treatment to you after you've been involved in a car accident.
Even if you don't have any apparent injuries, it's still a good idea to see a chiropractor just to be safe.
Many injuries sustained during a car accident, such as whiplash, can take hours or days until you see the symptoms.
It's in your best interest to get checked out right away so you can begin treatment as soon as possible if it's needed.
If you're worried whether or not your care will be covered by your personal injury claim, the article above should have provided some much-needed information.
You should also contact an experienced personal injury attorney that can guide you through the process.
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