When involved in an auto accident, or any other type of serious injury accident, aside from the amount of damage sustained by your vehicle, probably the most important factor in determining the amount of compensation you receive from a defendant’s insurance carrier is the expenses you incur to receive medical treatment related to your injuries. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you seek appropriate medical treatment. In California, the adjuster and, possibly a jury should your case proceed to trial, will look to determine if the medical treatment you received was reasonable and necessary. That means that the parties reviewing your claim will look to determine if the medical treatment you received was necessary considering the extent of your injuries and also whether the amount and cost of treatment was reasonable.
One of the factors used to determine whether the amount and cost of treatment was reasonable is whether or not other physicians similarly situated in your location would have provided similar treatment at a similar cost. Also, the length of time you treat will be evaluated. If it is found that you treated in a manner unwarranted by other physicians, your claim for compensation for past medical expenses will be more difficult to support and you will lose credibility with the insurance adjusters.
It is, therefore, important to contact an attorney immediately after the accident, even if you have health insurance. An experienced personal injury attorney, can also secure medical treatment on a lien basis.
A lien is a contract that your attorney will enable you to enter into with a medical provider whereby they agree to provide treatment to you without charging you until you receive a settlement in your case. At the time of settlement, the medical provider will then expect to be paid for their services from the proceeds of the settlement. In California, should you enter into a lien with more than one medical provider, you must pay off each lien in the chronological order in which you entered into the lien until all lien holders are paid off. This is called the “first in time, first in line” rule of satisfying liens. Once you have exhausted all settlement monies, if there is any outstanding balance on any of your liens, it is extinguished by operation of law, as the lien is affixed only to the proceeds of your settlement and not to any of your personal property or assets. Thereby, contacting an attorney immediately after the accident will help you obtain treatment without incurring out-of-pocket expenses and make sure that you receive treatment on a timely basis which will benefit your case in the long run and help you avoid disputes about the extent of your injuries due to any delay in treatment.
Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys do not care if you did not have health insurance or could not afford treatment. ALL THEY SEE IS THE DELAY IN TREATMENT AND ASSUME THAT IF YOU COULD DELAY SEEKING TREATMENT YOUR INJURIES MUST HAVE BEEN MINIMAL. Therefore, to reiterate, secure the services of an attorney immediately after your accident.
Finally, a further benefit of having an injury lawyer, is that your attorney will try to obtain reductions of your medical bills when your case settles.
In conclusion, seek the representation by an attorney immediately after your accident, it will facilitate your ability to obtain medical treatment without delay and, ultimately, serve to enable you to have your medical bills possibly reduced at the conclusion of your case.
An experienced personal injury lawyer in one of our Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, or Riverside offices, will be able to assist you in handling of any of your serious injury cases. Securing Medical treatment is one of many things we can assist you with. However, our goal is to maximize compensation for your given injuries. With decades of combined experience, our accident attorneys are well equipped to handle all aspects of your injury claims.