There are a number of incidents and accidents that result in back, spine or neck injuries. If such accidents or incidents are a result of someone else’s negligence you may be able to receive compensation through a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims provide compensation for losses suffered as a result of the injury; including medical expenses. This article will discuss the requisite compensation for chiropractic expenses.
Damages [Damages | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] in a personal injury cases are what can be used to calculate the amount that is appropriate to compensate the injured individual. There are three types of damages; economic, non-economic and punitive. Economic damages of those financial losses are directly a result of the injury or accident. These losses include medical expenses and lost wages. Speak to an Anchorage attorney to help determine what your damages will amount to in your personal injury case.
When you bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, medical expenses and other losses are included as part of your damage award. When your injuries include back, spine or neck injuries it is not uncommon to visit a chiropractor to avail the required treatment. Thus, it is expected that the defendant must pay all the plaintiff’s “reasonably necessary” medical expenses that are linked to the accident. In order to prove these medical expenses the plaintiff submits all associated medical and therapeutic bills for the loss incurred due to the injury. However, it is important to note that just because the plaintiff received treatment does not necessarily mean that the jury assumes that the treatment was necessary.
When dealing with chiropractic treatment that is undergone by the plaintiff it is important that the chiropractor has appropriate records with regards to, the:
- Plaintiff’s symptoms
- Treatment provided
- Costs for each treatment
Where records are vague or inconclusive this could result in the denial of the chiropractic treatment as being unnecessary; leaving the plaintiff without compensation for that specific medical bill.
In cases that are highly contested, it may be necessary to hire an expert witness to testify that the medical treatment provided to the plaintiff was necessary in order to treat their injuries. However, the defendant may also choose to hire their own expert witness to provide testimony stating the contrary. Ultimately, the decision of how much of the chiropractic expenses were “reasonably necessary” falls squarely on the shoulders of the jury.
That being said, an argument cannot be made to say that chiropractic expenses are not considered as medical expenses, as they are. However, they can get very high especially if the injured is getting many treatments a week over a number of months. In fact, there are cases whereby the jury may find that some of the treatment was necessary but only require that part of the total bill be paid by the defendant.
It is a known fact that the majority of personal injury cases are settled before they go to trial. In these cases chiropractic expenses, especially in car accidents, the insurance company negotiates the amount and pays the settlement.
Speak to a personal injury attorney for legal advice and representation in your personal injury case today.