Feb 27, 2015

Personal injury recoveries often plummet in value based on the manner in which a patient handles the treatment aspect of the claim. The following are just some of the ways you can ruin your own personal injury case.

Getting treatment is the single most objective way for a client to show an insurance company their level of injury. If treatment is brief, the insurance company will assume that the injury is minor. Smaller injuries means smaller settlement offers. More treatment generally means more meaningful settlement offers. Certainly, we are not advising anyone to treat when you no longer need to or if you are not injured. We are merely saying that unless your injuries are minor and less complex, quitting care early is ill-advised.

Simply treating isn't enough to assure that the insurance company will look at your claim in a favorable light. Insurance adjusters look carefully at what your doctors report you are telling them. If a patient tells a doctor that he has never had much in the way of prior back pain and glosses over the spine surgery he had ten years earlier, the patient look like a liar. Insurance companies will use this sort of obvious deception to dominate all aspects of their claim evaluation of your case. Patients who minimize prior injuries or flat out falsely report prior injury history hardly ever receive successful resolutions of their claims. Insurance companies always secure prior medical records, and the lesson on this point is that honesty is the only policy.

Car accident injuries hurt. However, patients who are still writhing in pain months into care are going to be seen by even the most compassionate healthcare providers as deceptive malingerers. Cut it out! Play it straight. If you were that good as an actor, Hollywood would have already found you. Being stiff and sore from a car crash from six months ago doesn't look the same as falling off a building 20 minutes ago. Your providers know when you're hamming it up and they usually write about it in your records. These types of notes in your medical records get picked up by insurance adjusters and work to your disadvantage in resolving your injury claim.

For insurance companies, not all care is created equally. Treatment with a medical doctor, a physical therapist, or a surgeon has a higher value than care with a chiropractor, massage therapist, or rolfers. Sometimes, the truth hurts. While the chiropractor could encourage you to treat multiple times a week for many months, that sort of care is nearly always going to look like unnecessary "over-chiro" care to the insurance company. Consequently, insurance companies tend to devalue your claim based on that sort of treatment. Other than creating a large chiropractic bill, rarely is this practice anything other than a regrettable mistake. See this article talking more about using chiropractors.

If you are injured in a car accident, please seek medical treatment. However, in recovering from your injuries, you must avoid prematurely ending your treatment, providing deceptive medical history, over-exaggerating your pain/injuries, and "over-chiro" care. Nevertheless, the main lesson I want you to take from this article is to always play it straight because honesty is the best policy and the insurance adjuster is watching. If you have been injured in an auto accident and you have questions about making a personal injury claim, please call (303) 782-9999 and speak with one of our attorneys or click here to start your free personal injury case evaluation.


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