When a personal injury victim brings forth a claim against a negligent party, the compensation for medical treatment and other expenses is included. It is common to seek chiropractic treatment as part of the medical care for certain personal injuries, especially car accident cases and sudden impact injuries. This blog post covers the extent of chiropractic expenses that can be recovered in a personal injury claim.
Proving Medical Expenses
When the defendant loses in a case, he usually must pay all of the plaintiff’s necessary medical expenses that are related to the accident. When a plaintiff proves his damages in a case, he will submit all of his medical and therapeutic expenses that are due because of the injury.
It is important to note that just because the plaintiff received medical treatment doesn’t mean the jury will assume it was necessary. It’s possible the jury may not compensate him for it. When receiving treatment from a chiropractor, is it very important to obtain the records, the specific symptoms, the treatment provided, and the cost incurred for each treatment. It must be laid out clearly. When records are seen as vague, it’s very possible the claim will be denied, and the plaintiff will have to pay for everything out of pocket.
Cases that are highly contested may require the plaintiff to hire an expert to testify on his behalf about the medical treatment that was provided. The defendant can also do the same to testify the contrary. Even if an expert is called upon to testify, it is still up to the jury to decide how much of the plaintiff’s chiropractic medical care was reasonably necessary. A judge can, however, modify the jury’s “award” if it doesn’t make sense.
Most personal injury cases settle before they go to trial, and in many cases that involve chiropractic treatment, the defendant’s insurance company will negotiate and pay the settlement or trial award. Plaintiffs will often have difficulty getting their chiropractic bills paid at trial, so insurance companies are usually reluctant to pay those same bills in a pre-trial settlement. If it is expected that the plaintiff will make a full recovery but has not done so yet, the case may not be ready for settlement until the treating chiropractor determines the plaintiff has made the maximum potential recovery.
In this type of situation, the plaintiff can accrue large chiropractic bills and face the uncertainty of whether or not they will ever be paid back. The attorney and the plaintiff will need to make the judgment call as to whether or not accepting a settlement that doesn’t cover all chiropractic costs is worth it.