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Should you have Epidural Steroid Injections Before or After your Personal Injury Case Settles?


If you have suffered a serious neck or back injury due to an accident, your doctor may recommend epidural steroid injections.

Epidural steroid injections are injections of corticosteroid medication and local anesthesia (numbing medication) into the spine. The aim of the injection is to provide relief from neck or back pain by reducing nerve inflammation. Epidural steroid injections are given in a series of three.

Epidural steroid injections are considered surgery. The procedure is done at a surgery center. There is a fee for the surgeon, the surgery center, and the anesthesiologist. If done on a "lien" basis, epidural steroid injections can be quite expensive. A "lien" means the doctor agrees to wait to be paid until the case resolves. The current lien price in Los Angeles for epidural steroid injections (when you include the fee for the surgeon, surgery center, and anesthesiologist) is approximately $8,000 per injection x 3 injections = $24,000. The cash price is half or even a third of that.

You may be concerned that if you go forward with the injections on a lien, their cost will eat up the money you'll be left with after your case settles. This is a common crossroads that my clients face. Should they go ahead with the recommended epidural steroid injections while their case is pending, at the exorbitant lien price, or wait to have the injections after their case settles, thus saving significant money because they'll only be paying the cash price.

Here's the reality for your personal injury case: until you actually have the epidural steroid injections, the defendant's insurance company will not believe you're ever going to have them. The insurance carrier won't include their cost in a settlement offer until after you have the injections. They won't pay for the possibility of future injections.

Bottom Line: I never recommend to clients that they undergo a medical procedure for the purpose of increasing their case's value. That being said, if you are fairly certain you are going to get the injections, and it's just a matter of when, it makes more sense to get them before your case settles, in order to maximize the settlement offer your attorney can obtain for you. After your cases resolves, your attorney can negotiate down the cost of the injections. You won't get it down to the cash price, but an experienced attorney, skilled in negotiating with medical providers, can obtain a significant reduction.

The personal injury lawyers at McGee, Lerer & Associates can get you medical treatment on a lien, and are experts in negotiating down your medical bills after your case resolves. Call us at (800) 999-9948 for a free consultation. We have offices in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Pasadena and Santa Monica. An attorney at our firm is available 24/7/365 to take your call. Even on weekends and after hours, you won't get an answering service or voicemail; you will speak to an attorney. We know that after an accident, you want immediate advice.

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