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Should I go to the doctor if I’m only “a little sore?”

30 Oct 2016

Some car accidents result in severe enough injuries that require medical attention. But just because you aren’t badly hurt doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see a doctor. The good news is that the laws will protect you regardless of the severity of your injuries, resulting in a settlement against the party at fault. But even though an at-fault driver is responsible for your medical bills, actually getting paid in the form of a settlement can really try your patience. The car insurance company knows that they can cause your doctor plenty of headaches. Insurance companies often take their time paying claims or even end up denying claims altogether. When this happens, the relationship you have with your doctor can be damaged when your insurer is denying your doctor bills.

What if You’re Only Sore After the Accident

The people who are injured in the crash should seek medical treatment for anything wrong with them after the accident. Even if you’re only sore, you won’t know if it’s anything more severe unless you consult a medical professional. It is important to get all possible injuries documented as soon as possible after the accident happens. After a doctor has been consulted, it is important to get documentation from the medical professional. You can expedite the settlement process by having documentation available for your various injuries. If you later find out you have lasting damage from the accident, the only way you can be compensated is if you have that injury confirmed by a doctor soon after the car accident.

Keep in mind that the at-fault driver’s insurance company doesn’t have to pay your medical expenses right after the car accident happens. Instead of chasing after their insurance for medical expenses, wait until your claim is finally resolved before expecting reimbursements to happen. Up until that time, you need to find a way to pay your medical providers until your claim check clears.

How to Pay Your Medical Bills After an Accident

What if your medical bills are due and the car insurance of the other driver hasn’t paid out yet? Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your doctor bills paid.

For those who have medical insurance, ask your doctor’s office to bill your group health insurance provider. Make sure to also provide them with your own car insurance company’s information for billing under your “Medical Payments Coverage.” This is a small policy on your car insurance that’s designed to allow you to seek prompt medical attention knowing that you’ll receive payment. Bear in mind that this protection has limitations that usually vary from $1,000 – $10,000. Take a look at your insurance card / insurance declaration documentation to find out these limitations. In the case where you later receive a settlement from the at-blame driver, your insurance providers may be eligible for some of that money in what’s commonly known in car insurance as a right of subrogation. This clause gives the insurance company the right to be repaid any money it paid your doctors, physical therapists and other medical providers when you finally settle with the at-fault driver’s car insurance.

The Importance of Injury Documentation

When you’re going through the settlement process, you’ll need to collect all documents pertinent to your case. This can include:
• Pictures of your car after the accident.
• Documentation of injuries.
• Your doctor’s written documentation.
• Contact information for witnesses that are willing to give a statement about the car accident.
• A supervisor’s statement on diminished work capacity because of the accident / lost wages.

Taking these precautions will help keep your doctor and other medical providers paid and content. This helps keep them on your side, which will help with their willingness to work with your ongoing physical therapy as well as your pending insurance claim. In most instances, your doctors and other medical providers will bill for you provided you give them the required billing information. You may need to contact the other person involved in the accident for their insurance information. And don’t forget to go to the doctor, even if you’re only a little sore. Your future reimbursements may depend on having a documented physical checkup by your doctor, so don’t skip it because you’re only a little banged up.

Need legal help? Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers and Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are available to help whenever, and wherever, you need it.

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