Getting Medical Treatment
GETTING MEDICAL CARE
- We do not recommend particular doctors or any particular course of medical treatment. We do recommend, however, that you go to the doctor of your choice, that you have your injury fully evaluated, and that you complete your medical treatment before you settle your claim. Upon your request, we will try to assist you in getting examined by the doctor of your choice and receiving the medical treatment you need. If you do not know a doctor, we can give you the names of doctors who have treated our clients in the past.
- If you need transportation for medical treatment, we will arrange upon your request for a taxi service for you. The cost of this personal taxi service, however, will be deducted from your portion of the settlement along with your other unpaid medical bills.
PAYING FOR YOUR MEDICAL CARE
- Use your own medical insurance policy or plan up front to pay as much of the hospital and doctor bills as possible. There is a possibility that your insurance company will require reimbursement out of your portion of the settlement for those medical bills that they have paid. We will determine whether there is such a reimbursement (or “subrogation”) claim and pay it out of your portion of the settlement with your authorization. Otherwise, we will assume that this is a matter which you are handling yourself.
- If you do not have insurance and you are unable to pay your doctors’ bills, contact their offices, let them know that you are concerned, and work out minimum payment schedules with them no matter how small the payment may have to be. We cannot expect them to cooperate with us if you do not cooperate with them.
- If you do not have medical insurance or the funds available to pay for your medical treatment, we can usually arrange for it to be done on credit. Unless you request otherwise, we assume that we have your permission to assure the hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers that they will be paid in full out of your portion of the settlement for their medical treatment if you cannot pay them at this time.
- Let us know immediately if you cannot afford to go to the doctor.
- Regardless of the outcome of your case, you will always be responsible for paying for your health care.
- Keep track of your medical expenses.
- Obtain all medical, hospital, and drug bills and give a copy of them to us.
- Keep an up-to-date list of all of your medical bills. This list should reflect how much has been charged by each health care provider, how much of the bill has been paid, who paid it, and how much, if anything, is still owed to each health care provider. You should check this list at the time of your settlement to confirm that all of your medical bills are paid out of your settlement.
COOPERATE FULLY WITH YOUR DOCTOR
- Your doctor’s reports and testimony will probably determine the outcome of your case. Keep all of your appointments with the doctor, follow all of the doctor’s instructions, and see the doctor as often as is medically necessary.
- Tell the doctor about all of your complaints. Do not minimize your ailments, but do not exaggerate. Remember that the doctor is probably writing down everything that you say, and his notes may be used in court.
- Tell the doctor about any relevant pre-existing conditions or prior injuries.
- Stopping medical treatment before the doctor releases you can be a costly mistake. If you do stop treatment, you may not be compensated for your continuing pain and impairment. The insurance company will assume that you have recovered from your injuries.
- If the doctor has told you not to engage in an activity, do not do it. You may re-injure yourself or prolong your treatment if you attempt to do activities you should not be doing.
- If the doctor releases you from therapy and you are still in pain, return to the doctor for further treatment until the pain goes away.
- The type and amount of medical treatment you receive is an indication of the seriousness of your injuries. The client who receives medical treatment of $500.00 will not, as a general rule, receive the same settlement as a client with $5,000.00 in medical treatment. You should not, however, run up unnecessary medical charges.
- Insurance companies have a very simple rule. The rule is: “If your injury is not serious enough for you to see a doctor, it is not serious enough for you to be compensated.”
KEEP US INFORMED
- Advise us of all the doctors you see, and notify us in advance if you change doctors or if you plan to see a new doctor.
- Keep a list of every place you go for medical treatment after your accident. The list should include the date you went there, and what type of medical treatment you received, regardless of whether it is related to your accident. We will need this list to go to court.
- Notify us if there is a change in your medical condition or if you are released by the doctor.