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Making a Personal Injury Claim
Steps 6 to 10
Step 6 for making a personal injury claim is to give your insurance company a medical authorization form.
Usually, adjusters will try to put this form on the mail as soon as they can. They know it is easier to get a medical authorization sooner rather than later. Be wary of this form’s release.
Read it carefully. Many insurance companies send out blanket authorization forms that give them the authority to look at all your medical history even from the time you were born!
It is obvious that it is not necessary for an injury adjuster to go back and read about every doctors visit you had since you were a baby. However, they will look at other information about your “heart conditions, mental health, etc.”
If you are comfortable with your insurance company knowing everything about your health, then give them the authorization. If not, you must send them a letter that narrows their scope.
For an example, see below.
Clean Hands insurance company is authorized to receive my medical records and bills related to the right shoulder injury that I incurred on the April 14, 2009 car accident located at the intersection of Broadway and Indiana.
This will tell the medical provider to be aware of what they are sending.
Some insurance adjusters will get smart with you and tell you that your letter is not valid. This is simply incorrect.
However, if you do not want to argue over this point, tell them that you will give them a release of medical records, but they need to narrow the scope. If they ask you why, quote personal reasons or identity theft.
They need this medical authorization report to pay your bills. By law, insurance companies are entitled to see the reports if they are paying for the medical visits.
However, it does not mean they have to have unlimited access to everything. They can only see what they paid for, unless you give them more authority.
Step 7 for making a personal injury claim is quite simple but important. Stick to the schedule prescribed.
If your doctor tells you that you need to come in three times per week for six weeks, then you need to do that!
You should deal with your health and continue with your treatment. Remember that after the claim is settled, there is no going back and asking for more medical care. Make sure you are doing everything you can to get better.
Going to the doctor is one of the most important things you can do. Many people seem to think that if they do not go to the doctor, the settlement amount will be bigger. After all, they are saving the insurance company some money by not going in.
This is a big mistake. Insurance adjusters will tell you that if you were injured and were in pain, you would have gone to see the doctor.
Going in is your way to show evidence later on of your pain. This is unfortunate, but it is true. Insurance adjusters and their lawyers will not give you much credit if you had to stay home with a lot of pain unless a doctor sees you.
Making a personal injury claim is more about documentation than actual pain!
Step 8 when making a personal injury claim is to not allow for big gaps in treatment.
If you have to go every other week, then do that. Every other two weeks or so, do not stop going to treatment for more than that.
Adjusters will argue that those weeks are evidence that you are getting better and that you are back to “pre-accident condition” (wherein no more payments or value will be allowed for your claim).
In many occasions, the adjuster will not add more value for pain and suffering after six weeks of ongoing treatment. Attorneys have a hard time disputing long gaps in treatment, and it could lower the value of a settlement considerably.
Step 9 for making a personal injury claim successful is to keep a daily diary of your progress.
Are you depressed? Did the accident cause a huge stress in your life? Can you lift your children? Are you able to put up the Christmas lights? How has this accident affect your life altogether?
This evidence could be accepted in a court of law and can defeat the insurance company’s assumptions of no doctors visit, no pain. Keep a log of your doctors visits, your medication, and your progress. Only release this information if it is completely necessary.
Step 10 for making a personal injury claim is to wait for the insurance company’s first offer.
Never settle your claim on the first offer (and never settle on the day of the accident).
Think about their offer long and hard and discuss it with an attorney if you have questions.
Make sure that their offer is fair. If you do not believe it is, then you need to counteroffer at very high amount, or you need to find legal representation.
If you’ve been injured and do not know what to do next, a local personal injury attorney can answer your questions and help you decide what to do.
Insurance claims can be complicated, and insurance companies do not always advocate for you. Fill out the form below to be able to reach and talk with a personal injury lawyer near you.
Insurance companies are not on your side. You can either get this personal injury eBook or talk to a personal injury attorney before you make any decisions!
Follow the links below for more information about accident injuries, bodily injury claims, and what to ask when making this type of claim.
4. Permanent Injury Claim
5. Medical bills, medicine, expenses
6. Loss of Wages
7. Loss of Earning Capacity
8. Loss of Business Income
9. Loss of Consortium
10. Loss of Quality of Life
11. Loss of Essential Services
12. Future Treatment and Expenses
13. Pain and Suffering
14. Prior Injuries
15. Psychological Injuries
16. Personal Injury Claim Settlement (evaluation of a claim)
17. Car Accident Injury Claim and Burden of Proof
18. What affects compensation for back and other injury claims
19. A word about Head Injuries
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