Personal Injury Law Firms Are Realizing the Benefits of Outsourcing the Medical Records Process

Personal injury law firms and specifically mass tort departments increasingly find themselves working with virtual companies and/or adding a virtual component to their practice. This allows staff to focus on other aspects of their case load and other operational functions. Medical records are essential for personal injury cases, and a timely and smooth process is important to ensure proper discovery. Thus, outsourcing medical records management adds a professional process to personal injury law firms.

Outsourced Medical Records Management-How can a virtual team help?

Client Questionnaires – In most cases, the Discovery process starts with clients completing a client questionnaire. The tasks of contacting clients and completing the questionnaire via the telephone can be outsourced to a virtual team. This will include calling the client to uncover key medical elements such as doctor’s information including dates of visits, surgery dates, and/or relevant drug use. This will allow the legal assistants within the law firm time to focus on other tasks and will save the firm time and money in the early stages of the case.

Medical Records Retrieval – After the medical and provider information has been collected and a HIPAA Authorization Form has been obtained by the client, the medical records retrieval process can commence. This process includes the requestor submitting requests with the HIPAA form to Healthcare Organizations including Release of Information, Health Information Management, and Medical Records Departments. The method of retrieval will depend on the department or organizations’ processes and policies. In some cases, the request can be faxed and in other cases the requests must be sent with an original signature. Outsourcing the retrieval process can be a win for most law firms because the process can be time consuming and is an important part of winning cases.

Follow up calls to alleviate backlog – A big part of medical records retrieval and management is the outbound call process. Several follow up calls must be made. This is another key area in which outsourcing will help alleviate backlogs among the law firm’s legal and administrative staff. This process is twofold:

1. Making follow up calls to requestees to first ensure receipt of the request and to stay on top of the workflow and estimated time of arrival of the records. In some cases, this may mean 2-10 calls per month.

2. Secondly, the follow call ensures or uncovers any missing information or the need to resubmit records. In many cases, the health organizations and records departments subcontract the records process to a copying service and/or online health portal companies and calls must be made to these companies as well. This arduous task can easily be outsourced to assist the firm.

Eliminating Overwhelm – Working with a virtual support person or team can change morale for the better in law firms. If your legal assistant staff is overwhelmed, outsourcing some of their tasks can help alleviate their workload and cut down on staff overwhelm. This includes the medical records retrieval process in both whole or in part. In the end, this will assist with turnover and create a sustainable firm.

Adding a virtual component to your law firm’s strategy is a great way to position your firm for growth and an added competitive advantage. The conversation should start with your team. Talk to your case managers and legal assistants. Discuss the benefits of outsourcing the medical records process with them.

What Are the Circumstances of Uninsured Car Accidents and Liability Claims?

Motor vehicle accidents happen every day, and we all take the chance of being injured in one every time we get inside a car. Car accident injuries are generally covered by a person’s own insurance policy, but if they are injured by another driver, it is that driver’s insurance policy that covers a person’s damages. Most responsible drivers have insurance coverage that pays for any damages they might have caused in a motor vehicle accident.

But what happens if an at-fault driver does not have car insurance, liability insurance, or any other type of medical payments coverage? This can be troublesome since some car accident injuries can be life-changing and traumatic. Continue reading to learn more about uninsured motorist accidents and liability claims.

Uninsured Drivers

Unfortunately, there are irresponsible drivers out on the road that neglect their legal obligation to obtain and carry sufficient liability insurance for their vehicle. When these drivers are the ones that cause serious accidents, they have no other choice but to pay out-of-pocket for the other drivers’ medical expenses, hospital bills, vehicle repairs, and more. Not only would an at-fault driver be obligated to pay for the other drivers’ losses, they would be issues state fines and face possible misdemeanor charges for negligently causing an accident and not being insured.

It is possible for an uninsured driver to flee the scene of an accident because they are not operating a vehicle legally. When this happens, it is important to make a police report immediately so that law enforcement can track them down and hold them accountable for the damages they caused. They would also be charged with a crime since it is illegal to flee the scene of an accident. If they cannot be tracked down, the only way an injured driver can recover for their losses is if they have their own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This kind of coverage pays for vehicle damages, medical expenses, hospital bills, and various other significant losses resulting from the accident.

If a person is injured in a car accident by a driver that does not have any insurance, and they themselves do not carry their own uninsured/underinsured motorist policy, they would have to take the at-fault party to court for recompense. If that person is nowhere to be found, or does not have any significant assets or wages to garnish, then the injured driver is left in the dust and must collect what they can from their own car insurance policy. This is why it is vital to hire a seasoned car accident lawyer if you are ever injured by an uninsured driver. They retain the proper resources and knowledge to organize your legal claim and negotiate your settlement with opposing insurance parties.

The Difference Between Economic and Non-Economic Damages

The primary purpose of filing a personal injury claim is to pursue and recover financial compensation from an at-fault party for a victim’s damages. This is intended to put the victim back into the position they were in before the accident, or to make them whole once again. But we all know this isn’t always possible. Sometimes, damages are more than just financial and a victim can never be the same after a serious accident. This is why several types of damages exist in accident law, and are awarded in successful personal injury cases.

But many people are confused about what the term “damages” represents in personal injury law. Continue reading to learn what damages are in relation to accident lawsuits, and the difference between economic and non-economic damages.

What are Damages?

Damages that result from a personal injury caused by a negligent party are generally losses. These losses can be financial, emotional, physical, and mental. Depending on the types of losses experienced following a personal injury, one’s damages will be either economic, non-economic, or both. Here is a brief overview of the differences between the two categories of damages, and examples of each:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are for tangible financial losses. Losses that can be defined by an actual dollar amount and redeemed through financial compensation are considered economic damages. Economic damages include hospital bills (i.e. hospitalization, ambulance transport, anesthesia, emergency room services, surgeries, doctor care, x-rays, MRI’s, etc.), medical expenses (i.e. physical therapy, medical equipment, medication, etc.) lost wages from time off work, property damages, lost benefits from spouses death (i.e. insurance, veterans benefits, etc.), in-home nurse, and anything else that was a direct financial loss to the victim or their family.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are more difficult to assign a dollar amount to because they are not direct and tangible monetary losses, like medical bills and lost wages. Instead, they are damages awarded for emotional or mental losses and tribulations. Examples of non-economic losses include pain and suffering, mental anguish or illness (i.e. depression, anxiety, etc.), loss of companionship (i.e., wrongful death, brain damage to loved one, paralysis of loved one that changes or prohibits the relationship, etc.), long-term medical care or medication dependencies, diminished quality of life, permanent disabilities, loss of ability to work, and more.

For very malicious or egregious acts, a judge or jury might also award punitive damages depending on the circumstances of a case. These are different from economic and non-economic damages because they are not intended to put a victim back into the same position they were in before an injury or accident. Although punitive damages are still paid to the plaintiff, they are meant to be more of a punishment for the at-fault party. They are intended to set a public example and double as a deterrent for the particular negligence involved in the case.

Trust a Seasoned Accident Attorney

Call a reputable personal injury law firm for information and advice about a recent serious accident or injury you or a loved one may have experienced. You may be entitled to compensation for your economic and non-economic losses.