Missed Appointments & Personal Injury Cases

Every personal injury attorney wants to get the best outcome in every case. After all, if a client has suffered an injury that was not their fault, they deserve to be fully compensated.

Unfortunately, there are ways clients can make this harder than it needs to be. A lack of experience may mean that innocent actions by injury victims can sometimes have devastating consequences.

The Treatment Gap Problem

Personal injury clients often have problems sticking to their care plan. One of the most common issues is simply failing to attend medical appointments, perhaps due to financial struggles or difficulties arranging a ride.

Every year, 3.6 million people miss medical care because of transportation barriers. In fact, transportation is the 3rd most commonly-cited barrier to accessing healthcare for older adults. And according to a Journal of the American Medical Association study, an average of 42% of appointments become no-shows.

Clearly, missed appointments can lead to serious health consequences for any individual. But for those involved in personal injury claims, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“These problems create gaps in treatment which can undermine the case,” says Dr. Survam Patel, Managing Partner of Compliant Clients. “That means clients can end up missing out on the compensation they justly deserve. So it’s important to understand the many ways treatment gaps harm claims—and what you can do to eliminate them.”

Here are just a few of the ways missed appointments can have a damaging effect on personal injury cases.

No Shows To Appointments Chart showing 3.6 million people miss medical care because of transportation barriers & according to a Journal of the American Medical Association study, an average of 42% of appointments become no-shows. 3 Reasons to Miss Medical Care: 1. Patients forget about it. 2. Patients don't want to come in. 3. Patients don't have TRANSPORTATION.

Evidence of damages

The more evidence you have to support a claim, the easier it is to negotiate a fair settlement. When clients attend medical appointments according to their care plan, they have clear proof they suffered a loss requiring treatment.

Medical records show precisely how much the injury cost the client and what they had to go through to recover. Appointment records are an essential part of the picture, demonstrating a need for regular, ongoing treatment.

Claim credibility

Attorneys must build a solid case to get the best outcome for the client. That includes showing that the plaintiff has a credible story to tell. If there are significant treatment gaps, the claim's believability is reduced.

Clients may have no idea that skipping even a single appointment creates a problematic gap in their treatment. So they can undo all of an attorney’s hard work in moments.

Settlement negotiations

Insurance companies are in no hurry to pay out more than they need to. So attorneys need to be in a strong position to negotiate a settlement. That means battling insurance adjusters and fighting for the best outcome possible.

But missed appointments can be your Achilles heel. Adjusters are taught to look for treatment gaps, allowing them to claim that a subsequent incident must have occurred. They can reasonably argue that the client must have recovered from the first injury, then experienced another incident that caused further distress. In this case, of course, the insurance company is not liable.

The best way to neuter this objection is to prevent it from occurring. It’s hard for even the toughest of insurance adjusters to argue with 100% care-plan compliance.

Defense lawyers

Attorneys acting for the insurance company will seize any opportunity to question the claim's validity. Missed appointments give them ammunition they can use to harm the plaintiff’s case.

Giving insurance lawyers an opportunity to attack is a mistake. You can be sure they will make the most of it. Case history shows that if a gap in treatment occurs, the plaintiff rarely gets a fair settlement. In many cases, they end up getting nothing at all.

A Simple Solution

All of these issues make missed appointments a significant concern. As we have seen, they can result in clients getting less than they deserve—or even getting nothing. That’s not justice, so you need to take action to eliminate missed appointments.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution. Compliant Clients offers transportation on lien to personal injury clients, eliminating gaps in treatment.

“We partner with personal injury law firms to help clients stay compliant,” says Dr. Patel. “We understand how significant missed appointments can be, so we’ve built a service that tackles the problem. As a result, individuals get the medical care they need, while legal staff get to focus on casework. And that means better outcomes for clients.”

We organize rides for clients and follow up to ensure they get to the right place at the right time. We take care of client transportation and do everything on lien. Plus, we help with pharmacy matters so clients get the right medications, too. Best of all, we’re just a phone call away. To find out more about how we can help, get in touch today.