If you've been in a serious car accident in Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia, you will be dealing with medical offices for treatment, and for your car insurance claim. If you have medical coverage (personal injury protection or PIP) in your car insurance policy, your insurance will want your medical treatment records and bills to pay out your claim. On the defendant's side, the insurance company will require medical records and bills to settle the claim.
Here's the best way to keep your case moving forward:
1. Get to know the staff at your doctor's office.
Getting medical records can be one of the more frustrating aspects of a case. It really pays off get to know who in the office is responsible for your medical records requests. If you develop a relationship with the person in charge of your medical records, you can ask for them by name when you need to follow up on something. And get in the habit of requesting all of your medical records and bills after each appointment.
2. Learn to tell the difference between certain types of medical records, such as surgical reports and bills.
Your insurance companies will need records in every aspect of your treatment. You should know the difference between progress notes, work notes, surgical reports, orders, etc. and be able to provide them with what they need. Insurance adjusters are experts at delay, so don't give them any extra reasons to do so by sending them messy records or not keeping track of what you send to them. You should be able to document what you sent to them, and when, in your records at home.
3. Understand timeframes and have reasonable expectations.
Some medical facilities have longer turnaround times than others - you should know how long it will take to receive different reports and records. An in-house medical records person might be able to turn things around faster than a group like Cioxx. Larger records groups like Cioxx will generally take about a month to send out records.
4. Know when to redact certain things from the records you send to the insurance company.
When you send out bills to your insurance company, you will want to redact certain parts of the bills. If you have questions about this, give us a call at 202-393-3320 and we are happy to help answer your questions.
5. Call an experienced attorney when things get too complicated.
If you have multiple providers and facilities and start to accumulate liens and subrogation issues, you will want to contact an experienced attorney who will keep track of all your records and bills and negotiate liens and settlements on your behalf. We will let you know if we think you can settle this on your own.
When it comes time to settle your case, you need to make sure you understand generally how much your case is worth. The general formula is to calculate the cost of your medical treatment, plus the amount of your lost wages if you've been out of work, plus any future loss you expect due to the injury.
But don't try to settle a case with a complicated injury. Give us a call today at 202-393-3320 and we'll get you started on the right track.