Will My Car Accident Settlement Cover My Chiropractic Treatment?
Chiropractic treatment is extremely helpful in correcting back and neck injuries following a car accident. However, accident victims often hesitate to visit the chiropractor over fear about the treatment being covered by a settlement. Fortunately, a car accident settlement will cover chiropractic treatment in most cases.
Chiropractic Treatment Must Be “Reasonably Necessary”
A car accident settlement will typically cover chiropractic treatment as long as it is considered “medically necessary.” You and your attorney will have to prove it was medically necessary to use chiropractic treatment for your injuries. For instance, a soft tissue injury like whiplash can require a visit to the chiropractor, whereas bruises or a laceration would not.
Once you complete your chiropractic treatment, these bills can be submitted for reimbursement to the at-fault party’s auto insurance company. Keep in mind that you will be responsible for all of the upfront costs related to your treatment since an auto insurer will typically not pay your bills one by one as you are treated. Severe injuries may demand one or more visits per week for several months. Even if the at-fault party only has liability insurance, your chiropractic treatment should still be eligible for coverage.
Alternatively, if you were at fault for the collision, you will have to submit a claim under your personal injury protection coverage, or “PIP,” to help cover treatment. This can only be done as long as PIP coverage is included in your auto policy.
What If the Insurance Company Disputes Liability?
If the at-fault party’s auto insurer is disputing liability, there still may be a few options to help you pay for your chiropractic treatment.
Depending on your auto insurance policy, you may be able to get help for some of the chiropractor bills if you have Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay). MedPay is usually not automatically included when purchasing auto insurance. You will have had to specifically ask for this type of coverage, so double-check your policy. The amount of medical bills that MedPay will cover depends upon the amount of coverage you purchased. For example, if you pay for $15,000 in MedPay coverage, your auto insurer will cover up to $15,000 of your medical or chiropractor bills.
If you and your attorney choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, your chiropractor may provide treatment on a medical lien. A medical lien means they do not require payment upfront and will wait to be paid until you receive a settlement or a favorable verdict. Once your case is resolved, you will have to use your awarded compensation to repay your chiropractor’s medical lien.
Your Health Insurance
After you have reached your MedPay coverage limit or if you don’t have MedPay coverage, your personal health insurance can be used on its own or to cover the remaining expenses. However, you will still be responsible for paying deductibles or copays out of pocket. In some cases, billing your chiropractic treatment through your health insurance provider from the beginning can help you save money in the long run. Similar to a medical lien, your insurance provider can recover the money they have spent on your medical bills from your awarded compensation, but your attorney may be able to negotiate a lower payment.
Get Help With Your Car Accident Claim
If you need chiropractic treatment after being injured in a car accident, contact Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. Our Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to cover your medical care. Call (916) 970-9100 to schedule your free consultation today.