An injury claim in California seeks to hold the at-fault party financially responsible for accident-related damages such as medical care and lost wages. A successful claim could end in a compensatory award that covers all past and future economic and noneconomic damages. Whether it will cover chiropractic treatment, however, depends on the circumstances. Most insurance companies will only cover this type of treatment if it is reasonably necessary.
Chiropractic Care vs. Medical Care
Chiropractic care is a type of wellness care that aims to treat injuries and conditions naturally. Chiropractors are licensed professionals that treat joint issues, spine disorders and soft tissue ailments. Chiropractors may also provide nutritional and lifestyle advice. Seeing a chiropractor generally costs the same as a doctor in a medical setting. Due to the different natures of chiropractic vs. medical care, however, not all insurance companies offer compensation for seeing a chiropractor.
Insurance Coverage for Chiropractic Treatment
Many accident victims prefer to see chiropractors over doctors. Chiropractors focus on natural healing rather than relying on medicines and surgeries. Victims are often surprised, however, to find that insurance companies treat their claims differently for opting to use a chiropractor over a traditional doctor. This decision could impact a personal injury claim if the insurance company does not believe the chiropractic care was reasonably necessary. The company may try to argue that the individual could have seen a different type of doctor or healed without treatment by a chiropractor in a contested claim.
If an insurance company denies a claim to damages or refuses to offer compensation for chiropractic care, the case may need to proceed to court, where it will ultimately be up to a jury to decide if seeing a chiropractor was reasonably necessary. It may be necessary for a victim to prove the need to go to a chiropractor to receive insurance coverage for these health care bills. A victim could hire an expert witness, such as a doctor or chiropractor, to help prove the need for this type of treatment during a court case.
In some cases, the jury will agree with the plaintiff on the necessity of chiropractic care. The jury may then grant a compensatory award that includes amounts to cover past and future chiropractic care. In others, it may side with the defendant and decide not to give an award for chiropractic care. In still other cases, the plaintiff may persuade a jury that some of the treatment was necessary, but not all. The defendant would only have to pay a part of the total chiropractic care bill in this situation.
When to Hire an Attorney
It is common for insurance companies to make it difficult for claimants to receive compensation for chiropractic care. Since it is not a traditional form of medical treatment, an insurance company could use this as an excuse to deny payment or reduce a recovery award. If this happens to you after an accident, seek counsel from a lawyer about how to change the insurance company’s decision. A lawyer may be able to contact the insurance company with proof as to the reasonable need for you to see a chiropractor. If the insurance company still refuses to reconsider its offer, your lawyer can take your claim to court.
You may be eligible for financial recovery for chiropractic treatment through a personal injury lawsuit if your particular injury reasonably required this type of care. An attorney can help you gather evidence and hire experts to help support your argument, even in the face of an insurance company or jury that is biased against chiropractors. A lawyer can also give you advice on how to improve your odds of compensation, such as seeing a traditional doctor first before deciding to go to a chiropractor. An attorney can do whatever is possible to help you achieve positive results for your injury claim.