WILL COVID DECREASE THE VALUE OF MY ACCIDENT CASE?
Feb. 1, 2021
Believe it or not, I have received many calls asking this question over the phone. Last week we discussed the question “During the Covid Era, will a Prior Injury Erase a PI Claim?
It know it sounds silly but people who have been in an accident will call right after the accident and ask that question. One interpretation is that the party is in it for the money only, and not interested in getting medical help or even needing it.
Common sense would dictate that a lawyer needs to know how bad the injuries were and how long a victim has treated with medical providers. Some medical providers have greater importance than others and some medical bills are more important than others. During the Age of Covid it is hard to find doctors in their offices for exams and the ER’s are filled with Covid patients.
For instance $10,000 in Ortho and/or Neuro treatment bills is worth more than imaging bills of $10,000. Likewise $10,000 in Physical Therapy is worth more than imaging bills.
Many years ago, the insurance company on a soft tissue case, would just multiply the medical bills by 3 or 4 …and offer that amount to settle. Then the insurance companies decided a bill of $5,000 for x-rays etc. is not worth as much as $5,000 of physical therapy. Today all insurance companies use a computer program called Colossus. The injuries and bills are plugged in and Colossus spits out an amount the adjuster can offer.
Because of this Colossus program, it is more important than ever before that you hire a lawyer who focuses on accident cases… to guide you and your medical providers. An accident victim needs a doctor who specializes in Treating AND Writing a medical report. Though it does not seem right, there is a difference between a doctor who says there is a 50% chance of a full recovery and saying a 50% chance the patient will not make a full recovery. For years I was on the faculty and lectured annually to the International College of Surgeons at their annual seminar. I taught them How to Write a Medical/Legal Report.
A patient needs a doctor who does not say “go home and soak in a hot bath and call in a month, and to take aspirins if there is any pain.” When you call the doctor back in a month it takes another 2-3 weeks to get a doctor’s appointment. Thus after a few months there is very little in medical bills. Thus the insurance company argues that if the patient was really injured they would have treated on a regular basis.
When a client come into the office, I explain that a lawyer can no more tell you what your case is worth when s/he meets you anymore than a doctor can diagnose you without treatment and tests etc. A lawyer will not even begin to evaluate your case until your treatment has concluded and we know not only what the total amount of the bills are but also are advised what your med condition had been in the past and what it will be like in the future. Even then it is not a precise formula or process as we have to look at whether our client was partially at fault.
You are an individual and your injuries are as unique and as individual as are you. We can only assure you that our office will obtain the maximum amount of settlement possible given the individual facts of your personal situation.