Factors Which Affect the Valuation of Minor Injury Cases
Minor injury cases, often related to muscle and ligament issues, are assessed by insurance adjusters based on many factors. Four of the main ones are the types of medical expenses, the nature of the medical treatment itself, the duration of the treatment, and where the treatment was conducted. Your Seattle personal injury lawyer will advise you on what the specifics of your case will look like to an adjuster.
As determined by insurance adjusters, there are two types of medical expenses in a case involving a minor injury: diagnostic and treating. During the evaluation process, adjusters separate the two types and grant more weight to the treating medical expenses. This can be problematic for muscle or ligament injuries, since the diagnostic procedures for determining what exactly is wrong in such cases is often extensive and costly.
Even in the case of treating medical expenses, adjusters may not view the treatments often recommended for muscle and ligament injuries as legitimate. Often, a muscle or ligament issue will require little in the way of active treatment; all that can be done for many such injuries is for the injured party to rest and seek pain relief through heat and analgesics. The lack of concentrated medical treatment can be used as “proof” by the adjusters that there was no real injury. Furthermore, physical therapy can be dismissed as “build-ups,” or unneeded medical treatments undergone by a claimant to incur unwarranted medical costs to drive up the value of the settlement.
How long a claimant undergoes treatment can affect the valuation as well. Usually, a major injury will require more in the way of medical treatment than a less significant one, meaning that the longer the period of treatment, the greater the worth of the claim. This reasoning can be problematic for several reasons, as some injuries, while great, cannot be treated for long.
Your Seattle personal injury lawyer will note that where the treatment takes place is also an essential factor which the adjuster will take into consideration. Hospitalization, even just for observation or an immediate emergency room visit, is often considered to automatically bestow legitimacy on an injury, since it is assumed that a hospital visit indicates a significant and extant injury. In muscle and ligament injuries, claimants sometimes go to a doctor instead of the hospital, which can cause the adjuster to value the case less.
To see if you should pursue your case, contact Seattle personal injury lawyer Travis Eller for a free consultation.