So last week, I told you about my recent accident. My neck was stiff, but it was going to get better on it’s own right? Not right!
Finally the Pros Take Over
So, I called up The Injury Clinic of Dallas, the chiropractor in Richardson who I settled on after the extended game of referrals. I sat in the waiting room for a while and then went back to an examination room. On that particular day I was seen by Dr. Karimi. He asked me a lot of questions and then poked and prodded around on my neck, shoulders, hands and arms.
Then we had the talk – the one where he explained why I needed an attorney. I knew that wasn’t going to go over well at my house. You can say an attorney won’t cost me anything all you want to, but if at the end of the day he takes a third of my insurance settlement, then that’s a third of my insurance settlement I won’t see.
Still, I went home and explained it all to Bill and gave him the cards of the attorneys which Injury Clinic of Dallas referred. Bill did some research, called a few attorneys and then put it on the back burner.
Meanwhile, I needed an x-ray and had a week of treatments scheduled. There were a few phone calls between the doctor’s office and Bill about the attorney situation, but for the time being we were able to get what I needed without engaging the services of a lawyer.
Then We Got the X-Rays
When I showed up for my second week of treatments I found out what the x-ray showed. The bones in your neck are supposed to be in a nice “S” curve. Mine looked as if the bones had been replaced by a ruler. Not good. There was also the matter of the nerve damage which hadn’t even been addressed, yet.
I got the attorney lecture again, but this time by Dr. Bahadori herself. She owns the clinic and on that day she was the one to administer my treatment. Before she was through with me I was convinced I needed an attorney, but that was not the same as Bill being convinced.
I came home with a new set of cards and gave it another try. This time Bill had me set up a couple of appointments. We had the first appointment the next morning. Of course, the rain was coming down in buckets and the last thing we wanted to do was drive over to an attorney’s office, but we did it.
Then We Talked to the Attorney
Here’s the important part and it all comes down to money. The insurance people don’t like pay as you go. They want you to hand them a neat little package that says you are 100% cured and won’t be bothering them again. In fact, that’s their policy – send us the bill when you’re through and then we’ll talk. They hope you’ll want to handle it all yourself for any or all of these reasons:
- Maybe you’ll think it’s all to much of a hassle and put up with that stiff neck.
- Maybe you’ll try to handle it yourself and you’ll believe them when they say a certain test or treatment is not necessary.
- Maybe you’re not so good at all that paperwork and in the end you’ll end up filing for less than it really cost you – or not file at all.
- Maybe you won’t find out about all the types of things you can be reimbursed for – especially future consequences that can be documented.
- Maybe you’re not that good of a negotiator and when in the end they offer you $XXXX to settle, you’ll just take it.
Meanwhile, all the people who are providing x-rays, physical therapy and other care need to get paid for their services. They understand the insurance company is supposed to cover all the expenses, but they also know the insurance company isn’t going to fork over a penny until they know how much the total bill will be.
See, getting your car fixed or replaced is the easy part. Having your car in the shop for a few weeks with a rental car in the meantime or a nice fat check for a totaled car might be expensive for the insurance company, but it’s all over in a matter of weeks and there is a finite amount of money involved. Getting your body fixed isn’t that simple.
The medical people have no way to know exactly how much of an impact your injury will have on you or how long it will take to fix it or even if they’ll ever be able to fix it completely. For this relatively minor injury that I have suffered, I could be in treatment for a year and could be left with arthritis or some other complaint that will be with me forever. Exactly how much money will arthritis treatments cost for the rest of my life? Good question!
So what did I do? Come back next week and I’ll tell you.