by Dan Baldyga
The value of a personal injury insurance claim has a direct relationship to the amount of your medical bills. Why? Because a claim with medical bills of $500.00 is worth three to five times more than a claim with bills of $100.00, or less. That's a fact of life in the world of insurance claims.
The adjuster will reason if you were hurt badly enough to run up $500-$700 in medical expenses, your injuries must be substantial. However, if you see your chiropractor or physician only once or twice, with bills totaling $100, the adjuster will conclude you weren't seriously hurt so therefore your "pain and suffering" was minimal or perhaps non-existent.
Requesting a Medical Report
After your treatment is over you must obtain a written Medical Report from your chiropractor or physician because it's crucial to the successful settlement of your bodily injury claim. Explain to whomever is treating you what you would like to have covered in the Medical Report: Length of total disability, length of partial disability, inability to perform certain functions, and the existence (or probability) of permanent and/or disabling effects.
Guard Your Medical Records
Never sign any authorization for, or otherwise agree to, your attending physician releasing your medical record to the insurance adjuster. No matter what he says or contends you have every right to tell the adjuster you'll secure a copy and send it to him when you're ready to do so.
The Insurance Company's Doctor
The adjuster may tell you he wants you to be examined by a physician of the insurance company's choice. Beware of such a request. Nothing is said nor printed, but doctors selected by the insurance company are notorious for finding little, if anything, wrong with the claimant. They know they're paid to report, in writing, to the insurance company "there is a failure to find any symptoms" which they could physically see and/or specifically measure.
You don't have to agree to be examined by the insurance company doctor. You're entitled to see only the doctor of your choice. The insurance company has no right to make you submit to their doctor - - unless your claim actually becomes a formal court case involving a court trial. By that time it will be too late for you to be caught in the crossfire of a "medical hustle" the adjuster and the insurance company is attempting to pull on you.
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Before he retired Dan Baldyga was an insurance adjuster, supervisor, manager and trial assistant. His latest book, Auto Accident Personal Injury Insurance Claim (How To Evaluate And Settle Your Loss) can all be found at autoaccidentclaims.com or call 1stBooks Library, 800/839 8640.
Disclaimer: This insurance claim information is intended for background information. Its only purpose is to help people understand the motor vehicle accident claim process. Dan Baldyga nor The Dollar Stretcher makes no guarantee of any kind whatsoever, NOR do they purport to engage in rendering any professional or legal service, NOR TO substitute for a lawyer, an insurance adjuster, or claims consultant, or the like. Where such professional help is desired it is the individual's responsibility to obtain it.