J. Chad Parker, PLLC

J. Chad Parker, PLLC

 

Legal Perspective of A Healthy Community

Personal injury law involves medical and legal issues. Medical treatment is often necessitated by a car accident. Presumably, the at-fault party has insurance and hopefully, you have underinsured/uninsured motorists and PIP (personal injury protection) coverage to protect yourself. In many cases, the EMS and the emergency room are involved in the initial “stabilization” of a person who was injured. Thereafter, a chiropractor or physical therapist may be needed to speed recovery, so the patient can resume normal daily activities. Other times, those “conservative” methods of treatment are not effective and other specialists must be consulted. 

Personal Injury Protection From The Health Care System

The health care system’s involvement is necessitated by the fact that a person was injured, through no fault of their own. At which they have a right to be thoroughly evaluated, treated, and returned to normal, if at all possible. These healthcare providers are extremely important in diagnosing and treating these injuries. Sometimes it takes time and different methods to fully identify, pinpoint, and treat injuries. That is the essence of “the practice of medicine”. This treatment results in medical bills being incurred by people with and without medical insurance or other sources of payment.

Health insurance companies often do not cover, deny, or delay necessary treatments. That leaves the injured person with no other option but to seek treatment under agreements with doctors willing to help. In either circumstance, the healthcare professional is vital in helping injured people recover a quality of life enjoyed before an incident caused by another’s negligence. Insurance companies only consider necessary medical treatment at a reasonable cost. They often dispute both. Why? In many instances to simply save money or, in other circumstances, over a legitimate disagreement about whether treatment is necessary and at a reasonable cost.

Can The Healthcare System Be Abused? 

Based on my experience, the healthcare system can most certainly be abused, and it frequently is. Healthcare providers serve a very important function in resolving personal injury cases. If the insurance company disputes the treatment and/or the cost of it, then “proof” must be presented from the healthcare provider for an injured person to succeed in the courtroom. These efforts result in administrative expenses and require time to give testimony. Their role takes place in the context of a stressful and busy practice.

I was a defense lawyer for 20 years. For the last 5 years, I have worked on behalf of injured persons. From that experience, I have learned that this is a community with many providers who are extremely helpful to some of the weakest members of our society. They see, treat, and perform surgeries on credit. Meaning that they are willing to assist patients with the understanding that, if there is a recovery, they will be paid at a later date. Many people who would otherwise be deprived of care due to a lack of resources owe a debt of gratitude to these providers. 

Healthcare Providers In East Texas

Many providers are criticized for even participating in the legal system. Perhaps many of you may have experienced this criticism firsthand. But consider, without them, many injured people could not legally prove their case. Nor could they have a chance to return to the life they enjoyed before the accident. We are certainly fortunate to live in a place where many of the doctors also care about treating people who are also trying to receive fair compensation. To those providers who have not yet decided to participate in the system, I ask you to reconsider. East Texas is a great place, and cooperation between the medical and legal communities makes it a healthy community.