Medical Bill Payment in Workers’ Compensation Claims
The average job injury-related hospital bill in Florida is over $40,000. These bills start piling up before the victim gets to the hospital. They keep piling up long after the victim leaves the hospital. The resulting financial strain intensifies the physical strain, making it almost impossible for victims to make a timely recovery and get back to work. In the end, that’s what everyone wants.
If a job-related incident substantially caused the injury, insurance adjusters normally cannot successfully challenge liability for damages. But they can, and do, contest the amount of damages. Typically, insurance companies use generic actuarial tables to determine the amount of medical bill payments in a given case. A Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer personalizes the case. Attorneys work to obtain compensation for the actual medical bills in a case, as opposed to the theoretically necessary medical bills.
Uber rides to hospitals are relatively cheap. Surface ambulance rides are comparatively expensive. Helicopter medevac rides are very expensive. Often, insurance adjusters act as if job injury victims have a choice in the matter and they can choose less-expensive transportation.
After an extreme trauma injury, many victims are unconscious or semi-conscious and in no condition to challenge an emergency responder’s transportation recommendation. Even if the victim is alert, no victim should ever second-guess a medical professional like a paramedic. Falls and other trauma injuries often cause head injuries that cloud the victim’s judgment.
Nevertheless, insurance adjusters often only approve the next-lowest transportation mode. For example, if emergency responders ordered helicopter medevac, the adjuster offers to pay for a surface ambulance. A Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer speaks up for victims in these situations.
Medical treatment expenses are much higher if job injury victims have pre-existing conditions. These conditions often affect injury severity or the victim’s ability to tolerate radical medical procedures.
Generally, insurance companies cannot use a victim’s pre-existing medical conditions as an excuse to reduce or deny medical bill payments. Victims need the treatment the doctor recommends, and the insurance company is legally obligated to pay for that treatment.
This phase is often the most expensive medical treatment phase. It combines transportation and emergency care expenses.
Seriously injured victims with mobility issues typically cannot climb into their cars and drive to doctors appointments. They must make special transportation arrangements, usually on a weekly basis.
Once they arrive at the doctor’s office, the treatment includes not only physical exams, but also MRIs and other diagnostic tests.
On top of everything else, follow-up care usually means expensive prescription drugs and medical devices. Many people don’t realize how much these things cost, since in most cases, a group health insurance plan pays most or all of the cost.
Florida law recently changed significantly in this area. Previously, workers’ compensation medical payment benefits only lasted a few months. As a result, many victims couldn’t complete physical therapy, leaving them with permanent disabilities.
Now, medical payment benefits usually last several years. Therefore, victims can take physical therapy slowly and more gradually. That’s usually a much more effective approach.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Hillsborough County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to important financial benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced job injury lawyer in Tampa, contact Kobal Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.