With the help of expert witnesses, personal injury lawyers often put their clients who have suffered a wide range of injuries at an advantage. Unfortunately, many injured people usually have to cover medical expenses long after the case has been resolved. But the same bills and medical records can help plaintiffs strengthen their cases and receive substantial settlements from the defendants via insurance claims or lawsuits. So let’s see today the role medical bills play in a personal injury case.
- The Medical Bills and Records Help Doctors Testify in the Case
A personal injury lawyer will often want to put the physician who has treated the client as an expert witness in the case. However, in most circumstances, law firms work with independent expert witnesses who corroborate the initial findings, add their knowledge and skills to the case, and testify for the plaintiff. Such testimonies and hard facts can raise a settlement offer from zero to several thousand dollars from an insurance company. Moreover, if the plaintiff’s condition requires lifelong care, other experts (physical therapists, psychologists, personal nurses, etc.) can testify to such long-term patient care costs.
- Medical Bills Are a Clear Indication of the Damages from the Injuries Caused by Negligence
When personal injury lawyers want to win the case, they must prove the negligence of another party caused the client’s injuries. As a result, the attorney must be able to explain how serious these injuries are. The medical bills and records will help them do this. For example, if there is a traumatic brain injury from an accident caused by reckless driving, the cost of hospital stays and MRIs can determine just how much money the client should receive.
- Medical Bills Help Establish Case Defenses
Medical bills can help different injured plaintiffs sue for compensation for various reasons. First, when an injury occurs, the injured person may be unable to work for a while or at all. Without compensation for lost wages and medical expenses, the bills may accumulate and become unaffordable. In addition to this, an injured person also has a hard time finding a new job once they are back at work again. A personal injury lawyer can work together with a doctor to use the medical bills to prove that the client’s injuries affect other aspects of their lives.
- Medical Bills Help Lay the Groundwork for Comparison Cases
If your health insurance company is unwilling to pay some of your medical expenses, this is often explained by stating that the policy is “comparative” in nature. But, of course, it depends on the state you are in, as some use the comparative negligence doctrine, while others use the contributory negligence one. The insurance company will only cover a relatively small percentage of medical expenses even though they might be more than enough to meet the injured person’s needs if they had full coverage. If you can show that your medical bills are pretty high, a court may be more inclined to award you the coverage you deserve.
- Medical Bills Are Often Used in Trials to Determine Pain and Suffering
When a personal injury lawsuit is brought against someone for causing injury or death to another person, this individual’s health insurance company will often pay for all of the medical expenses under investigation. However, when calculating “pain and suffering” compensation, available in personal injury lawsuits, things become trickier. Insurance companies use the multiplier method to do such calculations: they add all the expenses incurred by the plaintiff due to the injury and multiply it with a number from 1.5 to 5. As you can easily figure out, your “pain and suffering” compensation amount might increase significantly depending on your medical bills.
- Medical Bills Are Useful in Establishing Permanent Life Changes
In many wrongful death cases or medical malpractice cases, the medical bills show how severe the injury was and how it changed the injured person’s daily life. This injury could be anything from a slipped disc in the spine to an amputation of a limb due to a botched surgery. If these medical bills are high, they may be evidence that an injury was severe, even though it didn’t seem that way. Moreover, if a person loses the ability to walk forever, the compensation will consider all the lifestyle changes and expenses this situation will generate in the future.
Although these bills can be used to make a defendant pay for medical expenses, they are often helpful in various ways. Keep this in mind when you or someone you love endures an injury due to the actions of another person. It may not seem important, but each bill handed to you or anybody else who has suffered injuries due to negligence will provide one more piece of evidence that you need to push for justice.