Many insurance companies use a complicated computer program to determine the settlement value of injury claims, which may result in low settlement offers. There are several things that you can do to help your attorney obtain the highest possible offer.
Be sure to let your attorney know if you have a permanent scar from the accident so that they can properly photograph and document it.
MISSED APPOINTMENTS AND GAPS TREATMENT:
The value of your claim may be significantly less if you miss scheduled medical visits or have long gaps in treatment. The computer program is very sensitive to regularity of treatment.
DUTIES UNDER DURESS:
The computer increases the value of your claim if your doctor writes in his report that you “had to work in pain” or “mowed the lawn while hurting” or “had to shovel snow after recent storm with a bad back”. This evidence must be in the doctor’s records, so be sure to tell your doctor what activities you had to do under duress and be sure he writes them in his report. However, make sure you do not cause the impression that the activity caused a new injury.
LOSS OF ENJOYMENT OF LIFE:
Again, the computer will only assign a value if your doctor reports loss of enjoyment in his report. Examples of such losses are: “I couldn’t play softball at the annual picnic because of my knee” or “my back was so bad I had to miss dance class for three weeks” or “I Couldn’t attend a family reunion because of the pain”.
PERMANENT IMPAIRMENT RATINGS:
Doctors evaluate injuries and rate them based on the percent of lost use. Insurance computers do not recognize impairment ratings given by chiropractors. If you are treating with a chiropractor and feel you are permanently injured, you must get a referral to an orthopedic doctor, a neurologist or other medical doctor to get a permanency report.
INJURIES TO SEPARATE BODY PARTS:
The computer gives value for injuries to multiple body parts only if the injuries are specifically mentioned in your medical reports. If you injure both your back and wrist, and your doctor only mentions our back in his report, you will not get proper credit. Tell your doctor about every injury at every visit.
Please keep the above concepts in mind as you progress through your treatment. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call an experienced personal injury attorney.
Thanks to our friends from the Law Offices of Raymond J. Antonacci, LLC, for their insight into personal injury law.