Auto accidents can cause very serious injuries–the most common, but not exclusive, are those of the neck and back. Unfortunately, treatment for these injuries wrack up costly medical bills. As if this weren’t enough, insurance companies try to take every opportunity to deny coverage of your medical bills. They do this by claiming the injuries for which you received treatment were not caused from the accident. During a personal injury case, your insurance company will view your medical records. They will pour through the records and bills and look for any holes in your story; anything to use as a reason to deny coverage.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help ensure that your medical records paint a clear picture of your condition following the accident. This in turn will make it harder for your insurance company to deny the coverage you deserve.
First and foremost, if you are injured in an auto accident, quickly seek medical attention. Your overall health and safety are your primary concerns. If you are in severe pain, call 911.
If you are not in severe pain, but do experience injuries, go to your primary care physician. Whether you are at the hospital or seeing your primary care physician, make sure to report each and every injury and symptom you are currently experiencing. Do not focus solely on the chief complaint. If your neck is sore and causing you the most pain, definitely inform your doctor of this. But if another area is hurting, a pain that that did not exist prior to the accident, tell your doctor immediately, not matter how slight the pain is.
Not all injuries develop immediately and often what appears to be a minor pain now may develop into something much more serious down the road.
Informing your doctor will allow him or her to make a note of the condition in your medical records. Insurance companies will use the failure to mention a symptom to claim that that the injury is not from the accident and that they should not be responsible for part or all of your medical bills. Informing your doctor of every single symptom will decrease the risk of leaving any holes in your medical records that your insurance company could use against you in your personal injury case.
For the same reasons, it is important to attend any scheduled follow-up appointments. In between your initial appointment and the scheduled follow-up, remain keenly aware of any changes in your body. These changes can include a worsening of conditions or the development of new conditions. Report any condition, whether it is the same, worsened or new to your physician. Having a full and complete medical record is one of the best defenses against your insurance company.
Finally, inform your examining physician of any pre-existing medical conditions. Have you ever had surgery? Even if it was ten years ago, do not fail to inform your doctor. Have you ever experienced neck or back pain before? Have you ever been to a chiropractor? Sometimes accidents can aggravate pre-existing conditions.
Having a full and complete medical record provides better insight as to what treatment was rendered and why. This pivotal information will make it harder for your insurance company to deny coverage.