Medical bills for the healthy, uninjured American have skyrocketed over the course of the last decade. The average American with low-cost, minimal insurance coverage through what was formerly known as the ACA pays their premium just to cover the cost of a yearly physical or a flu during flu season.
Put the average American’s healthcare costs up against the victim of an accident: health insurance that can cover the cost of injuries sustained as a result of an accident can put the victim in financial ruin, even if they were at one time financially stable and able to afford their “healthy person” premium. The bottom line is that accidents are expensive, and it should not fall on the shoulders of the person injured by the negligence of another to foot the bill.
While the average American may find the steady increase in insurance premiums a nuisance, an injured accident victim will find the cost as unbearable as their pain and suffering. Being unable to afford the cost of medical treatment for injuries such as CRPS or herniated disks can be devastating. The devastation of remaining in pain due to the inability to afford treatment can lead to severe mental anguish (a topic we recently covered here on the Law Resource in Mental Anguish After Accident is Serious and Lifelong for Victims).
What should accident victims do after becoming injured?
It’s important for accident victims who have sustained serious bodily injury to seek experienced legal advice as quickly as possible. After being medically stabilized, it’s time to look at the legal side of the pain and suffering the victim endured. Usually, by the time a lawyer accepts a client’s case, they’ve waited an extended time to seek legal advice out of fear (insurance companies are known to attempt to scare off accident victims or intimidate them). Some victims feel they can attempt to fight the insurance company alone. This is not a good idea, and it could run the clock down on the Statute of Limitations. This can be something that kills a case.
We informed our readers of the importance of understanding the Statute of Limitations in Exploring Statute of Limitations in the State of Florida for this reason.
When an accident lawyer accepts a case in which a victim has been injured, but waited an extended time to seek legal representation, past medical bills have piled up to the point he or she is financially devastated, and future medical bills from long-lasting pain keep coming, because the pain and suffering sustained made be considered chronic (lifelong).
Should the victim exceed the Statute of Limitations within the state they reside, there will be nothing even the most experienced lawyer can do to obtain the compensation that was rightfully owed to the client. For this reason, it’s important to remember that after seeking the proper medical care for any injuries sustained after an accident, the next important thing that must be done in a timely manner is to retain Board Certified legal representation that has tried high dollar cases to successful verdicts more than just “a few” times before.
Why are accident victims financially devastated?
When it comes to medical bills for chronic pain such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (formerly RSD), the co-pays, prescription costs, and premiums never end. Victims suffer years, even decades, of CRPS, chronic joint, back, head, spine, and neck pain after an accident and treatment for it can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars not covered by insurance. Past medical bills made set a precedent for what the victim may be looking at in the future. When a lawyer takes a case in which the victim is suffering from CRPS post-medical malpractice, he or she may already be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt due to repeated attempts to fight the insurance company unsuccessfully. This is why it’s important not to wait or attempt to fight the insurance company alone.
The insurance company is not a victim’s friend!
So what does this mean for a victim’s financial future? Aside from massive debt and mental anguish caused by honest attempts to pay off the never-ending medical bills when the insurance company repeatedly denies a legitimate claim, it also means that the injured victim is entitled to the maximum amount of compensation allowed by law during litigation (mediation or trial). To ensure this is a reality for accident victims, an experienced Personal Injury lawyer must be retained within the Statute of Limitations for the case.
What are common treatments for chronic pain?
With the help of a Board Certified lawyer and the compensation owed to a victim granted to them, there are treatment options that become available to those who have suffered and continue to suffer lifelong physical pain and emotional distress. With a diagnosis such as CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) the unfortunate truth is that those who suffer from it will need lifetime medical treatment. These treatments can include but are not limited to:
- Nerve block injections
- Opioid prescription pain medications
- Surgical procedures
- Diagnostic imaging
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Mental health counseling
- Psychological treatment
- Pain management
Why is a Board Certified lawyer the only choice?
Past medical bills–within the Statute of Limitations–must be paid by the insurance company whether the case settles in mediation or is taken all the way to trial. A Board Certified lawyer will know the best route to take when presented with a client who has suffered not only physical pain and mental anguish, but the insult and distress of financial catastrophe due to an accident in which injuries were sustained by no fault of their own.
When it comes down to the reality of chronic pain cases, everyone representing the victim should make their physical and mental wellbeing a priority, and a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer has the ethical background to uphold this duty. There is no dollar amount that should be placed on a victim’s right to a restored quality of life (and the best lawyers want to see their clients fully recover on both the physical side and the legal side). Most victims who sustain catastrophic and life threatening injuries in accidents due to medical malpractice or negligence have suffered both physical and emotional pain, and these victims must be compensated accordingly.