Medical documentation – nothing happens without it.
Let’s say you’re the insurance adjuster.
Six months ago, your insured truck driver hit someone in a rear-ender that caused about $1,500 worth of property damage to their car and $200 worth of damage to the truck.
The victim’s lawyer calls you, the adjuster, and tells you that his 58 year old client just had neck surgery because of the accident, that he sustained a permanent injury because of the accident and can’t work construction any more, that he’ll probably need another surgery, and that his demand is $2,000,000.00 or he’s filing suit. The lawyer hasn’t supplied the insurance company with anything but some medical bills at this time.
(Believe it or not, there are lawyers who work this way. I’m not one of them.)
The insurance company is going to pay that right away, right?
Or is the company going to tell the victim’s lawyer (nicely, so it isn’t accused of bad faith) that it can’t pay a claim that doesn’t have adequate documentation, and then tell its own lawyer to get ready for a lawsuit and conduct “scorched earth” discovery, asking for
• medical records of every time the victim has been to a doctor, chiropractor, or hospital in his life
• employment records from every job the victim has ever had
• Worker’s Compensation and accident records from every claim the victim has submitted in his life
• an “independent” medical examination of the victim by a doctor the lawyer has used a hundred times before.
• the “black box” to the victim’s car, so the insurance company can learn the “truth” about the accident.
Now, a case like this might go to lawsuit anyway. But if you are injured, my job as your lawyer is to get you a fair settlement as soon as possible. And getting a lawsuit to trial takes forever.
What is the first step in getting a fair settlement? Getting a copy of your medical records to the insurance company as soon as possible. Then, I cooperate with all of the insurance company’s reasonable requests for information. “Reasonable” is anything the court would make me give them.
But it all starts with the medical records. There is no case without the records, and it is the only way to satisfy the insurance company that there was no prior injury (or that any earlier problem had nothing to do with the injuries you are treating for now).
The adjuster can’t possibly come to any evaluation of the case without all of the medical records that pertain directly to the victim’s injury. And when he gets them early, he can evaluate the case faster.
And that means making an offer faster. Which is what you want.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. The first thing I do when I represent a client is have him sign an authorization to let me order copies of all his medical and employment records. Then I order all the records from a doctor as soon as the client has completed his treatment there. If you have a personal injury case in Cincinnati, Ohio or if you want to know what your lawsuit is worth, talk with an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.