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.

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.

Gwinnett County Dangerous Intersections

Gwinnett County’s 20 Most Dangerous Intersections

Did you know that Gwinnett County has some of the State of Georgia’s most dangerous roadway intersections? We have compiled traffic data from Gwinnett County, local and city police departments, and our own personal injury cases, to provide you with the 20 most dangerous intersections in Gwinnett County. Is an intersection in your home city on the list?

20. Buford Drive and Buford Mill Drive – Buford, Georgia
The Mall of Georgia brings thousands of visitors to Buford from across the state, and many are unfamiliar with the area. Drivers often run the red light on Buford Drive because they are distracted by the nearby merge on to Interstate 985. When mixed with other drivers in a hurry to leave the nearby Wal-Mart store, this intersection is notorious for accidents.

19. Scenic Highway and SR78 – Snellville, Georgia
The crossing of two major state highways in Snellville, Highway 124 and Highway 78, has gotten safer since the Georgia DOT removed the reversible lanes. Drivers were often confused by the vague street markings and the overhead “X” signs resulting in serious head-on collisions. Although the reversible lanes were removed, the heavy traffic and high speeds of travelers on Highway 78 still makes it one of Gwinnett’s most dangerous intersections.

18. Buford Drive and Old Peachtree Road – Buford, Georgia
This is the second time that an intersection near the Mall of Georgia appears on Gwinnett’s 20 most dangerous intersections. Drivers on this stretch of Highway 20 often drive well in excess of the posted speed limit, and drivers turning left onto Old Peachtree Road face a serious risk from oncoming traffic.

17. SR316 and Winder Highway – Dacula, Georgia
Georgia Highway 316 has always been one of Gwinnett County’s most dangerous roads. In 2015, tragedy struck the City of Dacula when two brothers in high school were killed in Dacula while crossing Highway 316. Drivers on SR316 treat the state road as an expressway, driving at excessive speeds and without the proper care for the intersections.

16. Duluth Highway and Riverside Parkway – Lawrenceville, Georgia
The chance of an accident at the intersection of Duluth Highway and Riverside Parkway peaks between 4 pm and 7 pm during the height of the afternoon rush hour. Highway 120 has quickly become a popular alternate for drivers attempting to avoid traffic on Highway 316 and Interstate 85. During peak travel hours, distracted drivers in a hurry to get home, often take unsafe risks when turning or crossing Duluth Highway.

15. Lawrenceville Highway and Lawrenceville Suwanee Road – Lawrenceville, Georgia
Intersections 14 and 15, if combined, would put them at the top of the list. Located only 1,000 feet apart, Lawrenceville Highway’s intersections with Lawrenceville Suwanee Road and Sugarloaf Parkway, when considered together, have the most accidents in Gwinnett County. With the combination of high driver speeds, heavy traffic, and a busy Wal-Mart shopping center, these two intersections create a dangerous combination for drivers in Lawrenceville.

14. Lawrenceville Highway and Sugarloaf Parkway – Lawrenceville, Georgia
Sugarloaf Parkway has become a popular alternate for travelers attempting to cross the heart of Gwinnett County. With this increase in the number of travelers on Sugarloaf Parkway, crossing Highway 29 is extremely dangerous, particularly when drivers are in a hurry and not paying close attention.

13. Goshen Springs Road and Jimmy Carter Boulevard – Norcross, Georgia
Drivers from around Metro Atlanta now use Jimmy Carter Boulevard as an alternate for Interstate 285. As the congestion on Interstate 285 continues to get worse, so does the traffic on Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross. The “diverging diamond” intersection at the Interstate 85 overpass was supposed to help with the congestion, but heavy traffic still remains in the area. As a result, the Goshen Springs Road intersection nearby remains a danger for travelers.

12. Hewatt Road and Stone Mountain Highway – Snellville, Georgia
The traffic on Georgia Highway 78 reaches its most dangerous point in Gwinnett County at its intersection with Hewatt Road in Snellville. Drivers in a hurry on Highway 78 often run the Hewatt Road red light. Hewatt Road provides access to many of Snellville and Lilburn’s residential areas along the Yellow River, so travelers coming to and from their homes must always be alert when crossing this intersection.

11. Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and McGinnis Ferry Road – Suwanee, Georgia
Did you know that Peachtree Industrial Boulevard has more speeding drivers than most roads in Gwinnett County? Many drivers treat Peachtree Industrial like an interstate rather than a residential road. Peachtree Industrial’s speeders are the greatest threat to other drivers at McGinnis Ferry Road in Suwanee, another major thoroughfare.

10. Braselton Highway and Hamilton Mill Road – Dacula, Georgia
Once considered the far reaches of Gwinnett County, the population of the Hamilton Mill area has exploded with growth. Unfortunately, the intersection of Highway 124 and Hamilton Mill has been unable to keep up. Despite added turn lanes, the intersection struggles to handle the retail and residential traffic in the area regardless of the time of day.

9. Duluth Highway and Satellite Boulevard – Duluth, Georgia
Located just outside our office, we have seen terrible accidents at the Duluth Highway and Satellite Boulevard intersection. After 5 pm, traffic backs up on the streets surrounding the intersection, and distracted driving can result in a serious rear-end collision. Traffic using Satellite Boulevard as an alternate during that time period should use extra caution.

8. Pleasant Hill Road and Satellite Boulevard – Duluth, Georgia
Although Gwinnett Place Mall continues to undergo retail changes, the traffic on Pleasant Hill remains heavy. Both Pleasant Hill Road and Satellite Boulevard reach their widest points at this intersection, which means that Pleasant Hill and Satellite easily places as one of Gwinnett’s top ten most dangerous intersections.

7. Brook Hollow and Jimmy Carter Boulevard – Norcross, Georgia
Located approximately 700 feet from the Goshen Springs intersection, the Brook Hollow intersection with Jimmy Carter Boulevard also makes the top ten most dangerous. In fact, Jimmy Carter Boulevard has more dangerous intersections than any other road in Gwinnett County. Brook Hollow provides an alternate route to Indian Trail Road instead of Interstate 85, and thus the greater amount of traffic from Jimmy Carter adds to the danger.

6. Cruise Road and Sugarloaf Parkway – Lawrenceville, Georgia
Near the Sugarloaf 316 overpass, the Sugarloaf turn lanes are confusing for traffic turning both on to Cruise Road and Highway 316. Many drivers unfamiliar with the area have difficulty merging into the heavy traffic. With the amount of restaurants and shopping centers nearby, the amount of traffic can cause serious accidents.

5. Beaver Ruin Road and Indian Trial Road – Norcross, Georgia
Indian Trail and Beaver Ruin Road meet at the top of a hill which provides an awkward visibility angle for drivers turning from Indian Trail. This limited sight angle combined with the speed of drivers on Beaver Ruin Road creates a dangerous situation. Norcross drivers also face a second risk at Beaver Ruin’s nearby intersection with Buford Highway – an intersection which narrowly missed making this list.

4. Nelson Brogdon Boulevard and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard – Sugar Hill, Georgia
The only Sugar Hill intersection appearing on our list is also the fourth most dangerous in Gwinnett. The intersection of Nelson Brogdon Boulevard (Highway 20) and Peachtree Industrial is dangerous in part because Highway 20 shifts from a four lane highway to a two lane highway shortly after this intersection. This unexpected lane merge causes drivers to slam on their brakes quickly and rear-end collisions are common.

3. Steve Reynolds Boulevard and Venture Drive – Duluth, Georgia
The Steve Reynold Boulevard and Venture Drive intersection’s danger comes from the number of drivers crossing that intersection to access the retail stores on Venture Drive. Costco, one of Duluth’s largest stores, is located near the intersection and congestion is heavy, and Steve Reynolds’ lack of an I-85 south exit ramp only adds to the amount of traffic in this intersection.

2. SR 316 and Fence Road – Dacula, Georgia
The intersection of Highway 316 and Fence Road is one of Gwinnett’s most chaotic intersections. Traffic coming from and turning onto Fence Road often must jockey for position just to see the approaching traffic. Even if drivers have a good view of approaching traffic, the lack of any traffic light at the intersection makes this Dacula intersection one to avoid if at all possible.

1. Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard – Norcross, Georgia
Jimmy Carter Boulevard’s intersection with Peachtree Industrial tops our list with the most accidents. The Jimmy Carter/Peachtree Industrial Intersection is both confusing and dangerous. High speed traffic on Jimmy Carter meets fast traveling traffic exiting Peachtree Industrial, and the traffic signals and street markings only add to the confusion. Always slow down when crossing under the Peachtree Industrial Bridge to ensure that no confused driver enters into your path.

That concludes the top 20 most dangerous intersections in Gwinnett County. Do you believe that we left off a dangerous intersection near you? Like us on Facebook and leave us a comment to let us know which ones you believe are Gwinnett’s most dangerous intersections.

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.

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.

drunk driver accident attorney

Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Gwinnett

Drunk driving is a common phrase that we often hear in the news that causes accidents daily, and as Gwinnett’s drunk driving accident attorney, we see the tragic effects of drunk driving regularly. When a driver is behind the wheel intoxicated they lose their ability to react quickly in a given moment. In 2013, there was a fatal accident in Snellville on HWY 78 caused by a drunk driver. The driver was unable to react quickly and rear-ended the car in front of him causing a domino effect.

Being on the road with a drunk driver is a harsh reality. Every two minutes someone is injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Our firm has seen serious, tragic accidents caused by the influence of alcohol, and we have helped families seeking a drunk driving accident attorney. When an accident is caused by a driver under the influence, it is helpful to hire an attorney who will not only get you the compensation you deserve, but will fight for the driver to be punished for their choices. As Gwinnett’s drunk driving accident attorney, we believe in doing everything possible to keep the roadways safe for our families.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol, please contact Gwinnett’s drunk driving accident attorney today so that we can help you in your claim. By hiring a drunk driving accident attorney and taking action against the driver and their insurance company, you may just be the action that gets the drunk driver off the road and saves someone’s life.

Remember, our firm always offers a free consultation. We can discuss your case and help guide you in the best direction to meet your needs. If you are looking for a drunk driving accident attorney, we have settled many cases involving drunk drivers and have the knowledge and ability to best handle this type of case.

Gwinnett Transit Accident

Gwinnett Transit Accident Lawyer

The county founded Gwinnett Transit in 2000 to offer transportation to people across Gwinnett County. Gwinnett Transit operates bus service locally, around Gwinnett County, and even has commuter routes into Atlanta. Recently, our firm has discovered that accidents involving Gwinnett Transit buses are becoming more and more common. With the continued increase in riders and more Gwinnett Transit buses on the roads, more people are getting injured in Gwinnett Transit accidents.

Our firm understands that many people do not know what to do or who to call after a Gwinnett Transit bus accident. You might not know how to set up a claim or who in the Gwinnett County office to call.

First, if you are a passenger on a Gwinnett Transit bus involved in an accident, it is very important that you tell the bus driver of your injury at the scene, even if you believe your injury is minor. You will want an adequate record if your doctor later discovers that your injury is more serious than you originally thought. Your bus driver should fill out paperwork, noting your contact information and your injury, and an insurance representative will likely follow-up shortly afterwards. If you failed to tell the driver, then you might still have a case, but filing a claim will be much more difficult.

Alternatively, if your vehicle is hit by a Gwinnett Transit bus, you might not know where to turn to get your car fixed or how you are going to get your medical bills paid. The Gwinnett Department of Transportation, a part of Gwinnett County, operates Gwinnett Transit. Since you are dealing with a government entity, special requirements apply to Gwinnett Transit cases that do not apply in regular car accident cases. Failure to give the county proper written notice of the claim in a limited amount of time will forever bar your ability to receive compensation. In other words, you could be stuck with the bill to fix your vehicle or to pay your doctors. You need to speak with an attorney to protect your legal rights. With our firm, the call is free, and we know the proper people to call when setting up a claim.

It is very important that you contact an attorney before the insurance adjuster contacts you about your injury claim. Many times, Gwinnett County insurance adjusters record conversations with victims of Gwinnett Transit accidents, and sometimes, you as the passenger might say something that could be potentially damaging to your case without even realizing what you are saying. One of the benefits of hiring an attorney is that your attorney will do all the talking with the Gwinnett Transit insurance agent on your behalf.

Our firm has handled many cases against the Gwinnett Department of Transportation for Gwinnett Transit accidents. Gwinnett Transit accidents are very different from typical car accident cases whether you were a bus passenger or the driver of a vehicle hit by a Gwinnett Transit bus. If you need help, please call our firm for a free case evaluation. We would be happy to explain to you the proper steps and channels for filing a claim. We offer a free consultation, and all of our injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis – which means that you pay nothing out of your pocket and attorneys’ fees are merely a percentage of the settlement. Contact us now about your Gwinnett Transit accident today.