The number one priority is to get you well! That being said, the insurance company is betting that you will not continue with treatment, seek the right treatment, or provide the right documentation for your claim. We offer this simple practical advice that makes a good claim the “best” claim:
- Never miss a doctor’s appointment! If you must, make sure they document the reason why you had to cancel or reschedule.
- Keep track of every place you get treatment. Make sure you have the correct name of the facility, address and phone number. Do not sign any releases or authorizations with doctors or hospitals that allows others to get information about you.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations. If a doctor suggests you try a medication, you should do so. If the doctor recommends you attend therapy, you should do so. The insurance companies will de-value your claim for failing to following doctor’s orders.
- If the doctor tells you he is about to release you, make sure the doctor knows exactly how you feel. If you are still having pain, but you tell the doctor you are “fine”, that is what the doctor puts in the notes and the insurance company will hold you to it.
- Just because you do not hurt immediately after the accident doesn’t mean you were not injured. You can often experience a delay in experiencing the pain. Most people hold off seeking medical help because they believe the pain will go away but this can have disastrous consquences for your personal injury claim down the road. Read here to discover more information about delays in your treatment.
The insurance company will read every medical note. Whatever you tell the doctor, the doctor will put into your medical notes. Be clear and be honest. This is not the time to “suck it up and act like nothing is wrong.” Don’t exaggerate. Tell the truth. DO NOT DISCUSS ANY LEGAL CLAIMS YOU HAVE FROM THIS WRECK WITH MEDICAL DOCTORS OR HOSPITALS. The doctors don’t like it. The juries don’t like it. …but the insurance companies love it!
Documentation of Medical Bills
Hospitals: You will get more than one bill when you get treatment at an emergency room of a hospital. There is usually a main hospital bill and then a bill from the ER physician group and a bill for x-rays or diagnostic testing.
Doctors’ Offices: Balance due bills are of no use, particularly if payments have been made by other sources (ie, health insurance). Always request an itemize bill showing all charges.
Prescription Bills: At the end of your treatment, you will want a print-out of all medications you had to purchase. Using the same drug store makes this easier.
Over the Counter Medication (OTC) or other expenses for recovery: If you will save the receipt and the receipt shows obvious OTC drugs for use in recovery, you can get reimbursed for these expenses. Save your receipts for any out-of-pocket costs such as OTC medications.