Chiropractic Care and Personal Injury Claims

When an injured person files a personal injury claim, necessary medical costs and other expenses are typically included in the damage award. As one of most common types of treatments after an accident, chiropractic care is often part of the damage claim.
A majority of injuries are related to musculoskeletal conditions such as:
• Whiplash
• Cervical injuries
• Thoracic injuries
• Lumbar strains/sprains
Chiropractic treatments can specifically treat soft tissue injuries including the types listed above. It has been medically proven to be especially effective as such.
Yet, choosing to be treated by a chiropractor does not always result in automatically receiving compensation through a claim for those treatments. For one thing, not all insurance plans recognize that chiropractic care qualifies for reimbursement.
Proving Medical Expenses Were Reasonably Necessary
When an injured person files an accident claim, the negligent party is usually responsible for paying all reasonable and necessary medical expenses that were accident-related. Proof of damages requires submitting all medical and treatment receipts or invoices that were incurred from caring for the injury.
However, receiving treatment, including chiropractic care, does not mean the insurance company or jury (in a lawsuit) will agree that the treatment was necessary. is vague or inconclusive could be denied as not reasonably necessary.
In highly contested cases, it is often crucial to hire an expert witness who can testify to the efficacy of that type of medical treatment for the person’s injuries. In response, the defendant can also hire an expert witness who will contradict the other expert’s testimony.
Ultimately, the jury will decide how much of the chiropractic expenses were reasonably necessary. Even though the jury might be skeptical about the necessity of receiving treatment from a chiropractor, these expenses cannot be prohibited based on the argument that the treatments were not valid medical expenses.
Still, the jury might be persuaded that some of the treatment from a chiropractor was necessary. If so, the defendant would only pay a portion of the total bill, which can be substantially high after several months.
Settling Chiropractic Expenses with Insurers
A majority of personal injury cases are settled before being brought to a jury. Many times, the defendant’s insurance company is willing to negotiate a reasonable settlement. However, this is not always the case.
If full recovery is expected but the plaintiff is still receiving treatment, settling might not be the best thing. The chiropractor may require more treatments so the patient can reach the maximum potential for recovery.
In this type of situation, mounting chiropractic bills and the uncertainty of whether or not the bills will be paid becomes concerning for the accident victim. In this scenario, it may be in your best interest to meet with a personal injury lawyer Phoenix AZ relies on who can help you decide on the best course of action.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Lorona Mead LLP for their insight into personal injury and chiropractic care.