Negotiating healthcare claims can be a complicated process. Before dealing with your health insurance company, the best thing you could do is review what they cover and how much you will have to pay yourself. You should also seek legal counsel if necessary because some settlements require all parties to sign agreements to settle litigation issues.
Many people are unaware that a third-party payer can cover their healthcare needs, such as an insurance company or government program. As you prepare for these negotiations, it is crucial to know the dos and don’ts of settlement discussions.
When you are injured and need medical care, the last thing on your mind is likely to be negotiating a settlement agreement with the responsible party. However, suppose you do not take the time to prepare for these dealings. In that case, you may be unable to receive fair compensation. Hence, here are a few tips to help you get ready for your health-related settlement negotiations:
Calculate your medical bills
One of the most important things to know before negotiating a settlement is the total cost of your medical care. It would be best to estimate your medical bills accurately before discussing matters with the other party. The party responsible for your ill-health should pay your medical bills. But, if they refuse to do so, you will still need the total cost of your medical care to negotiate over some percentage.
Calculate your lost earnings
If you have been unable to work because of your injury, you should also estimate your lost earnings. You should also calculate your future lost wages if your injury has caused you to lose earning capacity. The responsible party should pay for your lost income and future lost earnings. This money will help you improve your quality of life post a severe and life-altering injury.
If you suffer from mesothelioma, you may be entitled to legal compensation. You should consult with a personal injury or asbestos-related injury attorney with experience with mesothelioma settlements and claims. Lawyering up will ensure you get a fair deal. You can also claim compensation if a close family member’s death occurred due to mesothelioma.
Have a clear picture of your injury
It is also essential to have a sound understanding of your injury before negotiating a settlement. You should know the medical diagnosis of your injury, as well as any long-term effects the injury may have. It would be best to collect all the proof to strengthen your claim and get a better bargain.
Know your recovery time frame
Suppose you are currently recovering from your injury. In that case, you must know how long you will be unable to work because of your condition. You will want to see the extent of your injuries and explain it to the other parry’s negotiator. You should also know how much time you will need to recover before returning to work.
Have a realistic settlement estimate
It is essential to have a realistic estimate of what you hope to receive in compensation. Do not ask for more than what you realistically expect to receive. However, remember that you may also negotiate a lower settlement if the responsible party is not willing to pay what you are asking for.
Have a settlement agreement in writing
A written settlement agreement may be presented to you for your review before any formal talks begin. This agreement should spell out the terms to know what you agree to. You should have an attorney review the contract before signing it.
Have an attorney represent you
Suppose you are unable to negotiate a settlement on your own. In that case, you may want to consider hiring an attorney to represent you. A lawyer specializing in health-related claims can negotiate on your behalf and ensure you receive the money you are entitled to. Your attorney can also give you advice on how to prepare for negotiations.
Get your medical records in order
It is essential to have your medical records ready before negotiations begin. You will need copies of any necessary medical reports. You should also have a list of medications you are currently taking because of your injury. This information will help you show the extent of your injuries during negotiations.
Be wary of high-low agreements
If you and the responsible party cannot reach a settlement agreement, take your claim to court. Before your case goes to court, the responsible party may offer you a high-low agreement. A high-low agreement means the responsible party will pay you a higher amount than what you would typically receive in a settlement for a specific period. But, if the case goes to trial and the jury concedes in favor of the responsible party, you will receive a lower amount. This type of agreement can benefit the other party more than you. So think before taking matters to trial.
Seek medical treatment
It is essential to seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. Suppose you do not seek medical treatment, and your injuries become worse. In that case, you may lose the opportunity to receive a settlement. Seeking medical treatment also helps to document the extent of your injuries. It is helpful to keep a diary of your injuries. This includes writing down when your injuries began, the activities in which you were engaged when your injuries occurred, and any necessary medications or treatments you have received.
You should gather any evidence related to your injury to support your claim. This includes photos of the damage, medical bills and records, employment records, and other documentation supporting your claim.
Before obtaining a settlement for your injuries, you must establish liability or prove the responsible party is at fault. Establishing liability can be difficult if the responsible party is not cooperative, is no longer in possession of the evidence, or denies any responsibility for the injury. If you are unable to establish liability, you may not be able to receive any amount as fair compensation.
This article mentions a few things you should keep in mind when preparing to sit across the table from someone who has compromised your health. It would be best to consult a personal injury lawyer before beginning negotiations. Lawyering up will ensure better table-talk and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.