25 Jul. 2017

When Filing an Injury Claim, Do Not Forget About Your Medical Bills

Posted By Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, P.C.

After getting into an accident that requires hospitalization or other forms of medical attention, it might not be simple to shift gears immediately and start thinking about your personal injury claim to follow. However, if you want to maximize your chances of receiving a fair recovery from the liable party, you do need to start thinking about what evidence will best help your case. A great starting point that cannot be overlooked is your own medical bills.

Legal Insight to Organize Medical Bills

When you need to go through your own medical bills, it is possible and understandable to be quickly overrun with the sheer number and complexity of them. A standard treatment for an injury will likely involve individual physicians, a hospital group, and an insurance company, all of whom might send you their own records for payment. If your injury occurred while you were at work, there could be a whole separate pile of paperwork from a workers’ compensation office.

Not to mention that advanced treatment options, such as rehabilitation sessions, specific medications, future surgeries, and more, can generate multiple statements from the same group. You may end up with multiple sets of duplicate invoices as well as numerous folders filled with unique statements – all for one accident and treatment. In order to make sense of all the documentation, patients and law firms alike often rely on the hard work of paralegals.

While the average attorney does have the ability to correctly organize, separate, and sort medical bills, records, and documentation, the task generally falls upon paralegals who are not dividing their time with in-person meetings with clients, negotiations with opposing counsel, and so forth. A paralegal may make sense of the stacks of medical records and figure out how they can best be used for the client’s case. This process could include obtaining subpoenas, showing evidence of wrongdoing, requesting court orders, etc. Paralegals may also sometimes help clients directly by offering assistance whenever payments for medical treatments are submitted, giving the client an extra eye on the process to ensure nothing is done incorrectly.

Information That Can Be Found in Your Medical Records

Getting all of your medical records in proper order and keeping them that way is not only good for the organization of your case, but it will also strengthen your claim by providing insight and useful information. Within the most detailed of your billing statements, your legal team can probably find snippets of data or information that can be priceless when cementing your argument.

The medical records and billing statements sent to you may provide information about:

  • Your personal expenses: It is crucial that you are reimbursed for all of your own medical expenses after you are hurt in an accident that is not your fault. An example of your billing statements should be able to reveal your total medical costs, deductibles, and whatever out-of-pocket costs you have incurred. In many regards, this could be the base work of your claim.
  • Specific treatments: Injuries that require unique or intricate forms of treatment can create new sets of invoices. If you needed radiology, laboratory tests, and other treatments, it should be in your complete records where your legal team can review and organize them.
  • Secondary insurance: Many people have overlapping forms of insurance coverage, which is useful but can become complicated when put into practice. Sorting your medical bills can highlight issues where secondary insurance was not used properly, or at all.
  • Location tracker: The account activity shown in your medical bills can paint a clear picture as to where you were and when. This is important if the opposition in your claim tries to make the argument that you missed appointments or skipped treatments, which would increase your own liability if true.
  • True identity: If you inspect your medical records, you may be surprised to find that some of the names of your healthcare providers have been omitted, sometimes for reasons unknown. With a studious inspection of your billing statements, a paralegal can spot missing names and contact the hospital group or clinic to obtain the identity of that practitioner, which may be important for your case later on.

Late Payments, Correspondences & Everything In Between

Allowing a paralegal and legal team to manage your case, medical bills, and records can also give you a leg-up if you miss a scheduled treatment payment. Even if you are pursuing compensation from the liable party, medical groups will still expect to receive their share in the meantime. Missing a payment can spur the hospital, clinic, or insurer to sic a collection agent after you. The attorneys and paralegals on your side will be the first line of defense against unfair collection practices and can also speak on your behalf whenever necessary.

Speaking of talking to a third party, you can also assign your lawyer to act for you when you have inquiries about your billing statement. What you say to third or opposing parties while your claim is open is critical, as saying the wrong thing could increase your own liability. When you have a request, inquiry, or need another copy of a statement, you should allow your legal team to do it for you.

From the collection of evidence to the true valuation of a claim, the usefulness of thorough and organized medical records and billing statements just cannot be overlooked by paralegals. Doing so would be akin to leaving a trove of valuable information on the table. Christine M. Flynn, a litigation paralegal at Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, P.C., recently had an article regarding this topic posted by The Legal Intelligencer. If you are interested in reading it in full, you can click here (membership may be required to view).

Do you need a Reading PA personal injury lawyer for a claim of your own? Do not hesitate to call 267.419.6422 to reach out to our law firm. We are a highly-acclaimed injury law firm in Eastern Pennsylvania that is backed by decades of combined legal experience and multiple multimillion dollar case results won for our clients. Discover your own legal options and rights as an injured party today by scheduling a free case evaluation with our team.

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