Where you seek medical treatment following an accident can have a significant impact on your recovery and your personal injury case. Sometimes, accident victims delay getting medical treatment following an accident because they don’t have insurance and they are concerned about the costs. Alternatively, accident victims sometimes may go to a clinic that holds itself out as specializing in auto accident cases. Sometimes accident victims are attracted to such places because they offer treatment without insurance and any upfront costs. Usually, such clinics are run by chiropractors rather than medical doctors, but the word “chiropractor” is oddly not included in the name of the practice. If you don’t have insurance this might seem like a good deal but like all things that seem too good to be true, this is too. Generally, it is best to see your family doctor following an accident. Of course, if the pain is significant enough, you should go right to the hospital, in an ambulance if necessary, and then follow up with your primary care doctor. If you don’ have health insurance, you may have medical payments coverage that will pay the cost of a doctor’s visit. This is standard coverage with many polices but the amount of coverage varies from as little as one thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Sometimes, you can quality for health insurance through Medicaid and they will cover your bills even if you apply after the accident. The trouble with many of these injuries clinics is that they have run up significant bills that ordinarily would not be covered by health insurance. Some of these clinics will provide treatment 4 to 5 days a week and employ numerous modalities that health insurance companies would deem unnecessary. The liability carrier will have the bills examined by their professionals and will not pay unreasonable bills. I’ve had clients who have had bills of over $30,000 for chiropractic treatment and the clients never received one bill until after the treatment. Until the bill came, the client had no idea that every ice pack, heating pack and electrical stimulation was costing hundreds of dollars each. All of this treatment is provided without knowing how much insurance coverage the defendant has and whether the insurance company is going to accept responsibility for the accident. If the negligent party carries only the minimal coverage, the clinic may try to take the entire settlement. Some of these clinics actually have their patients sign agreements that essentially gives the clinic control over the case. There are some medical doctors who will work on what is known as a lien basis, but they can be hard to come by. This is one of the reasons why you need to consult with a lawyer soon after the accident to make sure you are not lead astray by unscrupulous practitioners who attempt to take advantage of you. A lawyer can require the insurance company to disclose its policy limits and also examine your auto policy to see whether you are entitled to have your bills paid by your own insurance company. A lawyer can also help you navigate a myriad of insurance issues that can arrise after an accident. If you have been injured, please call us discuss your legal rights.
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