Many people are surprised to learn that the insurance company for the party at fault does not pay their medical bills as they become due. In other words, they won’t pay your medical bills until you are finished with your treatment in most cases. This can prove to be an unpleasant surprise for many people. Also, the treating doctors aren’t terribly happy about it because they want to get paid.
Keep in mind the insurance company for the party at fault doesn’t really have any obligation to you. First, they have to “investigate” and “determine” whether or not the accident was your fault or not. After that, don’t expect them to pay your medical bills whenever you present them. First, they will have to “determine” whether or not your treatment was reasonable in THEIR opinion.
In some cases, they use databases or other computer software to make that determination. Then, they will look at every single charge you incurred to see whether or not they agree with the charge by the doctor. If they don’t agree, they will slash the doctor’s bills – in many cases dramatically, leaving you with a big hole to fill. So all the assurances of the world from the other party’s insurance company should mean nothing to you at the end of the day because there is no guarantee they’re going to pay your medical bills. In most cases, the adjuster alone determines your charges are unreasonable. Yes, this is the same adjuster without a medical degree.
How Much Is Your Case Worth?
Hi. I’m Robert Mansour. Sometimes after an automobile accident people call me and they say, “Rob how much is my case worth? Is there some kind of magic formula?” People used to believe that they take their medical bills and multiple them by three and somehow that will tell them what their case is worth. It’s not that simple. There are so many factors that go into it. Your age, the nature and extent of your injury, whether or not you have any residual injuries, lost earnings, where you live in the country, how the juries react in your part of town. There are so many things that go into it. If you want to discuss this or any other personal injury matter, please feel free to contact my office. Thank you.
Neck Fractures From Car Accidents
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it is entirely possible that you can get a neck fracture if the forces are sufficient. In some cases, if you have a pre-existing problem with your neck, you might be more susceptible to injury. Also, your age may be a factor. Finally, the mechanism of injury is important (i.e., what kind of forces were exerted on the cervical spine). Sometimes, the fracture can be minor (sometimes called a hairline fracture that will usually heal over time).
Studies have shown that people can get neck injuries even in low speed impacts. That being said, juries (and insurance adjusters) have a hard time believing that low speed impacts can cause neck fractures. Truth be told, you generally need to have significant property damage to convince most people the impact caused a fracture. If an x-ray or MRI film shows a definite fracture, that can go a long way to convincing an adjuster or jury. However, it also helps if you have previous x-ray or MRI showing no evidence of fracture.
Absent previous films, if your medical records are devoid of any previous neck complaints, that also might help convince an adjuster or jury of your fracture. Finally, if you go through your regular medical doctors (rather than attorney referred doctors), that might also help your case.
Top Personal Injury Mistakes People Make
Hi, this is Robert Mansour. There are five common mistakes I see in personal injury cases that I want to share with you.
The first one: Giving far too much information to the adjuster during that very first phone call. Not a very good idea.
No. 2: Failing to take pictures of all the vehicle damage, injuries, etc. You’ve got to document those things.
No. 3: Waiting too long to go to the doctor if you’ve been injured. The longer you wait, the more the insurance company is going to say that you had no injury whatsoever.
Also, not mentioning your injuries to the doctor. You go to the doctor but you forget to mention something or you figure you’re going to tough it out and not say anything to the doctor. A very common mistake.
Finally, you have to have reasonable expectations when it comes to your personal injury case. This is not the lottery. No one is going to get rich. It’s all about fair compensation.
If you have any questions about this or anything else, please contact my office. Thank you.
Acute Herniated Disc From a Car Accident
While you can certainly have a disc injury (cervical disc, lumbar disc) from a car accident, the insurance company will question if there was a “mechanism” for injury. For example, lumbar disc injury is rare from a low speed rear-end impact because there isn’t much movement to the lower back from such an accident. Contrast that to a neck injury – the neck is more likely to move backward then forward in a rear end accident. Side impacts or impacts that cause a twisting motion can cause back injuries as well.
Proving a herniation to a disc is difficult because you might have a pre-existing disc problem. Most people start to have trouble in their discs as they get older. The insurance company will argue that your troubles are related to degenerative changes that pre-date the injury. To learn more about herniated discs and car accidents, see the library entry on car accidents and disc injuries.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch, Castaic and surrounding communities.