Beyond the Bottom Line

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Why is my car crash case worth less than my neighbors when we have the same amount of medical bills? Some cases may appear to be very similar at first glance but get awarded very differently.  Understandably many people can find this confusing. The courts look beyond just the dollar amount in making its’ decisions which will play as a major factor in a case.

The financial outcome of a case goes beyond just a number the court would decide to award.  Take for instance two people, Sarah from Sterling, VA and Johnny from Loudoun, VA.  Both were injured driving on Route 7 in a similar situation beyond their control and both incurred $30,000 worth of medical expenses.  Sarah’s expenses were incurred from massage, diagnostic testing (where the results are “within normal limits” or “negative”), homeopathic care and naturopathic medications.  Johnny’s bills, on the other hand, are from Emergency Room admission for 2 nights, positive findings on x-ray, MRI & other objective testing, surgery and scar revision.  Some 6 months later both are now fortunately in better condition but have now turned to the courts to aid them with their financial burden.

Sarah’s case is met with some difficultly as her treatment is viewed as “palliative care and diagnostic testing” which a jury can find as “usual & customary care, over treatment and utilization review.”  Johnny’s treatment is more traditional which initiated a more expansive discussion. Since there are not any other major factors and liability (fault) is not disputed then the difference in medical treatment is a large factor.
Typically, Sarah will receive a lower number than Johnny as her treatment was non-traditional.  Also, Sarah’s award will most likely be less than her medical bills.

It is important to receive the medical attention for a complete and speedy recovery, but the courts can vary how they view the treatment.  If you know of a similar situation and  are looking to pursue legal aid please contact The Herndon Law Shop in Virginia at 703-796-9555 or email us.

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