Expert Article Library

Medical Bills, Examinations And Reports

By Dan Baldyga Email: dbpaw@comcast.net

The value of a personal injury 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 $100.00, or less. And 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 $500.00 in medical expenses than it’s correct to assume your injuries must be substantial. But, if you see your physician or chiropractor only once or twice, and your final bills are in the vicinity of $100.00, that adjuster will assume you weren’t hurt too seriously.

DEMAND THAT ALL YOUR MEDICAL BILLS BE PAID: Adjuster I. M. Smart may try to disallow a substantial part of your total medical expenses which he contends do not qualify as “Medical” in character.

He’ll often attempt to divide your medical costs into two arbitrary parts - - “Diagnostic” and “Treatment”. In the “Diagnostic” category Smart will include items such as ambulance and emergency room costs, the costs of X-rays, and other diagnostic procedures, plus visits to specialists. And the rest (principally costs of the hospital and regular office visits to doctors, physical therapy and/or medication) will be termed "Treatment”. The items that are categorized as “Diagnostic” expenses are the bills Smart would like to disallow as not being “Medical” types of activities.

He'll often try to do this because with a differentiation (between what is “Diagnostic” and what is supposedly true medical “Treatment”) the basic worth of your claim will have been reduced (as the amount of your “Special Damages”) and thus drastically reduce the true value of your claim. Adjuster Smart will try his typical pitch that the “Treatment” portion of your medical bills is what's directly related to the severity of your injury, therefore it’s what truly reflects (and/or measures) your “Pain and Suffering”.

Don’t let him get away with that! If he should attempt to pull this on you respond with, “It’s absurd and illogical to separate medical expenses into two arbitrary categories and designate one as Diagnostic and the other as Treatment. Each area works hand-in-hand with the other in medical practice. There's no way I can get properly treated without being diagnosed"!

QUESTION: "How can Dan Baldyga be so sure about what he's stated above?"

ANSWER: "Dan spent over 35 years successfully spinning such verbal garbage at claimants" !

When Smart hears your response (regarding how you cannot get properly treated without being diagnosed) he’ll gulp, because he knows what you say is true and that will put the end to such nonsense on his part.

“PERMANENT” AND/OR “TEMPORARY” DISABILITY: In discussing “Disability”. it’s important to develop a working knowledge of these two legitimate concepts. Commonly, personal injuries are classified as either “Permanent” or “Temporary”. These two terms are used basically to describe the anticipated duration of an injury, not its degree of severity!

Thus, if an injury is conceived as one which would continue throughout the remainder of an individuals lifetime, it’s said to be “Permanent” in nature. Conversely, if it’s a reasonable probably that the claimant will attain a full or complete recovery (within some future time-period) the injury is classified as “Temporary - - regardless of how severe or extensive the injury might otherwise appear.

"TOTAL" AND/OR "PARTIAL" DISABILITY:
Another common classification of “Disabilities” will relate to whether they are considered to be “Total” or “Partial”. These terms refer to the actual extent of the claimant’s injuries, regardless of whether they’re permanent or temporary in duration.

THE FOLLOWING FOUR "SPECIAL DISABILITY" CATEGORIES ARE VERY OFTEN REFERRED TO IN PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION

(1) TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY: This is symbolized by a seriously injured person who is temporarily hospitalized or otherwise completely impaired - - although they're expected to eventually regain full function.

(2) TEMPORARY PARTIAL DISABILITY: This is that period when, following the initial period of complete impairment of the seriously injured party (that period of “Temporary Total Disability”) the individual recovers and is able to resume some (but not all) formal activities.

(3) PERMANENT TOTAL DISABILITY: This describes a condition (usually applicable in the most sever cases) in which the injury produces a nearly total impairment to the body as a whole. Again, placing the emphasis on both the extent of the functional impairment and also its duration.

(4) PERMANENT PARTIAL DISABILITY: This describes a condition where the injured party (even after sustaining a permanent injury) still retains some substantial body function or earning capacity, with the emphasis centered on the extent of the functional impairment itself.

MEDICAL BILL COVERAGES: You must read your Motor Vehicle Policy to discover if you have “Medical Payments Coverage”.

ALSO: Be sure to check all your non-automobile insurance policies. You may have coverage which will pay your medical bills regardless of who was at fault.

If you have a Health Insurance Policy and/or Health Plan of some sort, read the fine print. Your policy may not require you to pay back the medical bill payments made in your behalf - - even if you collect from the person who struck you!