A large part of negotiating personal injury settlements involves calculating a person’s “medical special damages,” or the amount of money a person spent in medical bills when diagnosing and treating their injuries. These medical special damages are then inputted by adjusters into an injury damages formula in order to determine how much compensation an injured person is entitled to receive. This formula is influenced by several variables and multipliers based on the types of treatment a person receives and who provided their care.
Is Diagnosis Valued Differently Than Treatment?
In simple terms, yes. Injured people cannot be treated without first being diagnosed. While this process is usually short and only accounts for a small portion of a person’s total medical bills, other instances can involve a person having to undergo various tests and examinations before being treated.
Insurance adjusters oftentimes lump these expenses into one total, regardless of whether the expenses were incurred from diagnosis or treatment. If an adjuster sees that a majority of the expenses are from diagnosis, however, they may be inclined to use a lower multiplier when determining how much pain and suffering a person experienced.
What About Alternative Treatments?
Alternative treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, and physical therapy that are by non-physicians are often unfairly given low multipliers in comparison to traditional Western medicine, despite their arguably equally effective nature. Medical treatments received at a hospital or medical clinic by a licensed doctor will almost always be given a higher damage multiplier.
Physical therapy is perhaps hit by this prejudice the most. Injured parties who require extensive physical therapy oftentimes are given a lower multiplier, especially if a person seeks physical therapy without the express recommendation of a physician. Insurance companies tend to believe that physical therapists have a propensity to endlessly treat patients if left to their own devices, and will discount a person’s physical therapy costs when calculating damages.
While it is always best to seek treatment that you believe will be most beneficial to your recovery, it is important to be mindful of how these treatments will be compensated by insurance companies. However, if you are concerned with maximizing your potential settlement, it is recommended you stick to treatments from licensed physicians.
Injured? Call (561) 777-7700 Today
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another party, it is urgent you contact a skilled Boca Raton personal injury attorney from Shiner Law Group to protect your rights and pursue fair financial recovery for your suffering. We have more than 15 years of dedicated experience and can provide the top-notch legal advocacy you need during this difficult time.
Contact our firm online or request a no-cost consultation today to get started.