Chiropractor Pitfalls

Five Ways Chiropractors Ruin Their Patients’ Personal Injury Cases

Chiropractic bills and records have always been under assault by the insurance company, but the process is getting much worse. With more reliance on computer models and programs that scan medical bills and records, insurance companies are using chiropractors to attack their patients’ personal injury claims without them even realizing it. Mistakes or problems in the chiropractic records have become a primary attack on plaintiffs during settlement negotiations and at trial.  The following is a list of the most common attacks we see as it pertains to chiropractic medical and billing records:

1. Typographical Errors

I am routinely shocked at the number of mistakes in medical records from hospitals, large orthopedic offices, and even chiropractic offices.  These often small mistakes have a huge effect on the patient’s personal injury claim because the insurance company and their lawyers are going to present those mistakes as absolute fact to a jury.  The patient might testify that he or she has never had another car accident, but if the records notate that the patient had an accident in April of 2019, instead of the correct May of 2019, then the insurance company is going to present the patient’s failure to disclose her “April accident” as fact to the jury.  The chiropractor can save a patient’s case by taking an extra minute to ensure that the patient’s history, past treatment, and dates are correct.

2. Copy and Paste Records

Insurance companies love attacking chiropractors and medical providers who copy and paste the same History, Examination, Assessment, and Plan sections into the records for each date of service.  Insurance company lawyers have started pointing out to jurors how these sections are often repeated without any notated change in the patient’s condition.  Insurance lawyers often insinuate that the chiropractor is “lazy” or is “money-hungry” and cares more about their bill than patient care through their “form records.”  Assuming that the patient is receiving some benefit from the treatment plan, the medical records should reflect the improvements in the client’s condition throughout the course of that treatment.

3. Pain Scale Number Discrepancies

I believe that chiropractors often fail to properly explain the pain scale to their patients.  For example, a patient who is able to walk, talk, and carry on a conversation should never have their pain listed as a “10 out of 10” on the pain scale.  For example, a chiropractor can help the patient provide a correct response by explaining to a patient that a “10 out of 10” on the pain scale is equal to childbirth.  Childbirth, for example, is a good benchmark that most people can understand when rating their pain.  Similarly, a patient’s pain should not be a “2” then increase on the next visit to a level “8,” as such an increase signals to the insurance company that the patient likely suffered a new injury.

4. The Word “Chronic”

Using the word “chronic” in any context is damaging for a patient’s personal injury claim.  Insurance companies employ computer programs that scan thousands of pages of medical records in search of buzz word. One such word is “chronic.”  “Chronic,” when used in medical records, is argued by insurance lawyers to mean “pre-existing” even if it is meant to mean “chronic pain since the accident.”  “Chronic” and “pre-existing” have become synonyms in the legal industry.  Unless you are intending to describe your patient’s condition as pre-existing the accident, the word “chronic” should be avoided if at all possible.

5. Billing Errors

Lastly, I understand that how certain procedures or treatments are coded can greatly affect the compensation rates for chiropractors, but sometimes, the way that the treatments are coded can have a large effect on a patient’s injury claim.  For example, assume you had a patient who has been treating with your office for back pain before a collision, but no neck pain.  Then, that patient gets in a car accident and has new neck pain complaints.  The insurance company is likely going to request all prior records for the patient.  If the prior billing codes show “manipulation – all regions of spine,” then that client now faces the argument her neck pain predated the collision.  Similarly, after a collision, coding your bills as “manipulation of all regions of the spine” when the patient has only neck pain complaints can jeopardize the compensation for your full bill.  Coding procedures properly can protect your patients ‘ injury claims and your bill.

 

We see most often those five pitfalls where chiropractors can have a large effect on patients’ personal injury claims.  By making these minor adjustments and putting safeguards in place to ensure that the records and bills are both accurate and correct, you can help your patient receive all the compensation that they are justified to received.

If you have any questions about your bills and records, or how we could help one of your patients, please do not hesitate to call at 678-935-6000.  We are happy to provide any guidance or suggestions.

charter bus accident lawyer

Charter Bus Accident Lawyer in Georgia

Charter bus accidents have been too occurring frequently in Georgia. Victims need a serious charter bus accident lawyer to assist with their injuries. In 2018, a charter bus accident caused serious injuries when a bus containing a group from Gwinnett County overturned on its way to the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Also in 2018, members of a West Georgia Tech women’s basketball team sustained injuries when their charter bus overturned in Virginia as they drove to a national tournament. Both incidents allegedly involved drivers subjecting the passengers to unnecessary risk and danger.

Charter bus accidents are serious. Passengers place their faith and trust in drivers and bus companies to get them to their location safely. When a company and its drivers are driving erratically, not taking appropriate driver sleep breaks, or driving under the influence, the resulting accidents are devastating. Charter bus companies often do not put seat belts in their buses. This means that nothing keeps the passengers safely in their seats in a rollover accident.

Charter bus accidents require a charter bus accident lawyer who understands the important differences between charter bus accidents and regular car accidents. The courts consider some charter bus companies “common carriers” under the law. “Common carriers” are a special grouping that must obey stricter safety requirements. A charter bus accident lawyer can use the bus company’s failure to follow these requirements to help the injured victims in court. An experienced charter bus accident lawyer can tell you if your bus company qualifies as a common carrier. A charter bus accident lawyer can determine if your bus company followed these stricter requirements.

The attorneys and staff at the Law Offices of R. Michael Coker handle complex and complicated charter bus accident cases. R. Michael Coker understands this complicated area of the law as a charter bus accident lawyer. He has handled some of Georgia’s most high-profile bus accident cases. If you or someone you know has been injured in a charter bus accident, call our law firm for a free consultation today.  You must act quickly to preserve critical evidence in the case. You can protect your case by speaking with a charter bus accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Best of Gwinnett

Attorney R. Michael Coker Named Best of Gwinnett

The votes are in, and Michael Coker was named Best of Gwinnett by Gwinnett Magazine. Best of Gwinnett is an exclusive honor reserved only for those businesses that are dedicated to providing top quality service to the people of Gwinnett County.

“We are pleased and honored that our clients have voted us Best of Gwinnett,” said Attorney Michael Coker. “We appreciate our clients’ recognition of our hard work and dedication to helping them maximize their accident or injury case.”

Since 2012, the Law Offices of R. Michael Coker has recovered over $4.7 million dollars for Gwinnett County clients injured in serious car accidents and slip and falls.

Gwinnett Magazine, who publishes the Best of Gwinnett list, had the following to say about Attorney Michael Coker: “Gwinnett’s own, R. Michael Coker is one of Georgia’s most effective personal injury lawyers having received both state and national recognition. He is ready to help you and your family get the compensation you deserve after a car accident, truck accident, dog bite, slip and fall, or other serious injury.”

The Best of Gwinnett seal is verification that a Gwinnett business is dedicated to serving the county’s citizens with excellent customer service and powerful results. R. Michael Coker and his dedicated staff look forward to a long and successful relationship with the people of Gwinnett County.

“I feel like it is my duty to continue to provide the people of Gwinnett with top quality legal services as our way of saying thank you for voting us Best of Gwinnett,” Coker said. “I look forward to continuing to earn my clients’ respect as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Gwinnett County.”

Print copies of the Best of Gwinnett edition of Gwinnett Magazine are available at newsstands now.

Loganville Accident Lawyer

Loganville Accident Lawyer

Between the feeling of a good, southern hometown and the beauty of the Vines Botanical Gardens, Loganville, Georgia, is a city filled with many visitors and residents. With the big majority of traffic traveling on Highway 78, accidents happen and problems arise day in and day out. Highway 78 is considered one of the most dangerous roads in the State of Georgia, and Loganville accidents can be serious. In 2010, an accident occurred at the intersection of Brand and Oak Grove roads. Two teen brothers were injured when their vehicle collided with a pick-up truck. Both boys were transported to Gwinnett Medical Center, one being in critical condition.

Our Loganville accident lawyer has handled many Loganville personal injury car accidents both in Gwinnett and Walton Counties, and we are ready to answer questions you may have about your rights and responsibilities after an accident. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Loganville, please call our Loganville accident lawyer for a free case evaluation from an experienced Loganville accident lawyer. Our accident lawyer can help with medical bills, accident expenses and insurance policies. Our Loganville accident lawyer will help you navigate the next steps when moving forward after a life changing even, such as an accident.

Loganville, Georgia is a city where residents and visitors leave the crazy and hectic schedule of the city to relax in the comfortable feel of a great town. Sometimes, though, there are accidents caused by citizens who are distracted and serious injury and damage can result. If you are looking for a Loganville accident lawyer to help you with a Loganville accident, our firm is always available to give you a free, no-obligation case evaluation. A member of our team can even meet you in Loganville. We are prepared to answer any questions you may have resulting from the accident. Call today to learn more about our experience helping Loganville residents in car accident and injury claims.

Suwanee Accident Lawyer

Suwanee Accident Lawyer

The city of Suwanee, Georgia is traveled through by thousands a day. Between Buford Highway and Interstate 85, heavy traffic is expected when going to work early in the morning or going out to dinner on a Friday night. With such a great volume of travelers, accidents ranging from minor to major occur frequently. In 2013, a tractor trailer and a car collided at Satellite Boulevard and Shawnee Industrial Way near McGinnis Ferry Road, leaving two dead and one critically injured.

Our Suwanee accident lawyer has handled many Suwanee personal injury car accident cases. We are prepared to answer any questions you many have regarding your rights and responsibilities after an accident. Since the City of Suwanee is governed by both the Suwanee Police Department and the Gwinnett County Police Department, it is important to know which police jurisdiction applies when handling your Suwanee automobile accident case. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Suwanee, please call our firm for a free case evaluation from an experienced Suwanee accident lawyer. Our accident attorney can help with medical bills, insurance policies and anything else related to the accident expenses. Our Suwanee accident lawyer will help you decided the next steps after a tragic incident.

Suwanee, Georgia is a great city, filled with residents and travelers at all times of the day. Most often, the City of Suwanee is filled with hardworking citizens who obey traffic laws and drive safe. Sometimes, however, drivers are distracted and a serious injury can result. If you are looking for a Suwanee accident lawyer to help you with a Suwanee accident, our firm is always available to give you a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Call today to learn more about our experience helping Suwanee residents in car accidents and injury claims.

Norcross Accident Lawyer

Norcross Accident Lawyer

The city of Norcross, Georgia experiences heavy traffic flow due to the high volume of commuters and residents passing through. Thousands of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles drive on the roads in Norcross every day. This high volume of vehicles results in dozens of traffic accidents every single day. These accidents range from minor incidents to more serious car accidents causing road closures. In 2011, a three-car collision in Norcross on Jimmy Carter Boulevard left one person dead and two others in critical condition when a car swerved over the median in Jimmy Carter and struck a car head-on.

Our Norcross accident lawyer has handled many personal injury cases for Norcross car accidents, and we are prepared to answer any questions you may have regarding your rights and responsibilities after an accident. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident in Norcross, please call our firm for a free case evaluation from an experienced Norcross accident lawyer. We have handled all types of Gwinnett County accident cases, including Norcross car accidents. Our Norcross accident lawyer can help you understand medical bills, insurance policies, and other accident related expenses. Our Norcross accident lawyer will help you decide what to do next after you have been involved in an accident.

Norcross, Georgia is a bustling city where commuters and residents alike travel through regularly. If you need a Norcross accident lawyer to help you after a Norcross car accident, our firm is always available to give you a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Call us today to learn more about our experience helping Norcross residents with their car accident injury claims. Whether you are at-fault or the victim of a Norcross car accident, our lawyers can help you figure out the next steps you need to take.

R Michael Coker Seminar

R Michael Coker Speaks on Trial Tactics at State Seminar

On March 12, 2015, Attorney R Michael Coker spoke on trial techniques for personal injury lawyers from across the state at the State Bar of Georgia. R Michael Coker shared his personal experience litigating and trying injury cases against insurance companies to a crowd of over eighty trial lawyers in Atlanta. Attorney Coker was the only attorney from Gwinnett County asked to speak at the seminar and was one of the only presenters with an office outside of Atlanta.

At the seminar, R Michael Coker shared trial strategies with the lawyers in attendance to help maximize their client’s recovery. By explaining ways to overcome common defense tactics at trial and how to address juror biases when dealing with a personal injury tort case, R Michael Coker created an open forum for fellow trial lawyers. The goal was for lawyers to share and gain trial skills in an injury case. The seminar was sponsored by the Georgia Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and participants received course credit for attending.

The seminar topic included strategies for admitting medical records and bills, vehicle damage photographs, the client’s testimony, and opening and closing arguments. R Michael Coker explained how attorneys could establish themselves as trial lawyers with insurance companies. Insurance companies know which lawyers are capable of taking a case to trial, and even their pre-suit settlement offers reflect the actual threat they feel from a particular lawyer at trial.

If you, or someone you know, would like more information about the topics covered by R Michael Coker at the seminar, please feel free to contact us directly. We love helping fellow trial attorneys maximize the recovery for their clients, and we would be happy to help in any way that we can. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Restaurant Accidents

Restaurant Accidents Lawyer

Eating at a restaurant is something that most Americans do every single week. When you go out to eat, you are entering an establishment where you expect the restaurant to have a safe environment and give you well prepared food. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Many people have suffered from restaurant accidents. Recently a woman suffered from a restaurant accident when she drank her sweet tea mixed with cleaning chemicals. The chemicals were toxic to her system and left her in critical condition. Restaurants are busy places and accidents do happen. It is important to be prepared if you find yourself part of a restaurant accident.

You need to follow some simple steps if you suffer from an injury at a restaurant. First, make contact with the manager on duty to file an accident report with the restaurant. It is important to document the situation with specific events that occurred. Be mindful of your injury and take action with proper medical attention. Medical attention is your choice. Do not feel pressured from a restaurant manager if they were to lead you away from medical attention. Restaurant accidents can happen to anyone and it is important to seek representation if you are part of a restaurant accident.

Our firm has handled many Georgia restaurant accidents where victims have injured themselves due to an unsafe environment or ill prepared food. We believe that dining out should be an enjoyable, safe experience. If you become injured because the restaurant was neglecting important precautions, then you need to handle the situation appropriately. How you handle the situation could prevent future restaurant accidents. Restaurant Accidents are confusing cases and it is helpful to have a knowledgeable attorney. Contact Attorney R. Michael Coker today to discuss your restaurant accident case. The Law Offices of R. Michael Coker is a firm that you know you can trust to help you receive the best settlement you deserve.

Rental Car Accident

Rental Car Accident

The rental car industry is a billion dollar industry. Here in Georgia, the new Rental Car Center at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has increased the number of rental cars driven in the City of Atlanta. The Rental Car Center provides rental cars to travelers who come to Atlanta through one of the busiest airports in the world. Many of those travelers that rent a car are using Georgia interstates, meaning those who travel on interstates have a higher chance of being involved in a rental car accident. In either situation, it is important to be knowledgeable of how to handle a rental car accident since theses cases are very different from regular car accidents.

When you are involved in a rental car accident there are some steps that you need to follow. First, call the police so the accident is properly documented. Second, be sure to take pictures of the damage to all vehicles. It is important that there is evidence of the damage for both the insurance companies and the rental car company. Third, gather the other driver’s personal insurance information as well as the rental car company’s insurance information so that you can properly file a claim with both companies. With this information, an attorney can help you find out whether the rental car driver also had extra coverage available to you through their rental car company. Last, contact your insurance carrier to report the accident and setup a claim if necessary.

If you are the driver of a rental car, you should always be familiar with rental car accident coverage on your personal auto insurance policy. Your insurance agent can give this information to you. Rental companies such as Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, and Avis offer more coverage at a higher cost to further protect you if you are part of a rental car accident. Be sure to always ask the rental company what coverage applies when you rent the car. Finally, many credit card companies now also offer complimentary rental car insurance through certain cards. Check with your credit card company to see if your card could offer extra coverage if you are involved in a rental car accident.

If you have suffered injuries from a rental car accident where you were not at fault, please call our law firm for a free case evaluation. Rental car cases are more complicated because they include multiple insurance policies. It is important to have a knowledgeable attorney that knows how to best handle these type of cases and will get you every penny you deserve. Failure to properly file with all applicable insurance companies could cause you to miss out on critical insurance money to pay for expensive medical bills. We have successfully handled rental car accident cases and discovered extra insurance coverage for clients. Call our firm today.

Drugged Driving Accidents

Drugged Driving Accidents

We are all too familiar with accidents being caused by drunk driving. Drugged driving accidents, however, are another growing problem. Drugged driving is driving while under the influence of illegal drugs or unhealthy amounts of prescription/over-the-counter drugs. 10.3 million people on the roadways have admitted to driving under the influence of some drug. Back in 2012, a driver in Gwinnett County was driving under the influence of a sedative and caused an accident. Other drivers in the accident suffered serious injuries, and the drugged driver was forced to serve jail time.

Drugs have similar effects as alcohol on driving abilities. Drivers lose their general attention to the roadway and the ability to react quickly. Gwinnett County has many busy roadways. It is important for a driver to be attentive and focused on their commute. Gwinnett County has one of the largest populations in Northeast Georgia, and drivers may have a higher risk of potentially being involved in drugged driving accidents.

Our firm has handled many cases of people seriously injured in drugged driving accidents. If you have been involved in a drugged driving accident, please contact our firm so we can discuss your case and best help you. Too often people do not pursue a claim and no action is taken against the driver. The driver is allowed to continue their reckless behavior without any real consequence. This could potentially endanger other drivers by causing another drugged driving accident.

As a leading personal injury law firm in Gwinnett County, we know the importance of keeping our roadways safe. We want to make sure drivers that cause drugged driving accidents are punished properly – with higher insurance premiums. Since many drugged drivers can escape criminal prosecution by paying a small fine, significant insurance settlements are often the best remedy for stopping the dangerous behavior. Call our firm so we can discuss your claim. We appreciate you doing your part in making roadways in Gwinnett County safer after drugged driving accidents.