Each year motor vehicle collisions cause billions of dollars in economic losses. In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported the actual economic costs of crashes were $871 billion over the course of the year. Medical and rehabilitation costs were primary drivers of those expenditures.
Car accident victims need medical treatment to get better. An injured accident victim can sue for reimbursement of healthcare expenses in an automobile accident lawsuit. In the meantime, paying the exorbitant medical bills can be a problem.
When Are Healthcare Expenses Covered in an Automobile Accident Lawsuit?
California is a fault state for car insurance. That means you can usually only be reimbursed for healthcare expenses related to an automobile accident if another driver, or other third party, was to blame for your injuries. If the responsible party or insurer doesn’t accept fault and offer you a fair settlement, you may need to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit to recover the costs of your medical expenses.
If you have to sue, you must prove what your medical costs were, as well as the extent of other losses you incurred related to the car accident. The more evidence you have in the form of bills and invoices, the easier it will be for you to get money from the insurer, or an award from a jury, to pay for your healthcare expenses.
How Can You Pay Healthcare Bills Now?
You need to get treatment immediately, but insurance companies regularly drag out lawsuits or settlement negotiations hoping you’ll become desperate for medical expense money and settle for less than you deserve. You shouldn’t fall into that trap. Do not delay getting necessary medical treatment because you do not have health insurance. There are other ways to get your medical costs covered while you are waiting to get the right settlement you deserve.
If you have health insurance, your insurance carrier will pay your medical bills in accordance with your health plan. The insurance company will, however, place a lien against any money you receive from the auto accident case so it can recoup its own money from the at-fault driver.
If you do not have health insurance you have several options. You can find a healthcare provider who will work on a lien basis. That means they will treat you now and wait to get paid, hopefully from the money you receive from your lawsuit or insurance settlement. You may qualify for Medi-Cal or Medi-Care to cover your healthcare bills. Again, they will place a lien on your future lawsuit recovery for the amount of your medical bills they pay. If you have Med Pay coverage on your auto insurance policy, that will provide you with coverage up to the amount of the benefit you purchased. Your Med Pay coverage will also generally place a lien against your recovery from the third party.
Liens placed on your future recovery get paid out of any settlement from your car accident lawsuit. You need to take this into account when considering the amount of any settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
What Healthcare Bills Should You be Compensated For?
You should be fully reimbursed for all treatment costs arising from your car accident injuries. This includes all medical expenses incurred up to the time of the settlement or verdict, as well as projected future expenses your doctor can reasonably predict will be incurred down the road. You can recover compensation for:
- Physical therapy
- Medical equipment and adaptive medical devices
- Personal and home care
- Nursing home care and nursing aids
- Hospital bills
If you incur a medical bill because of your car accident, you should eventually get that bill paid for by the insurer of the driver who harmed you.
Contact an Experienced Long Beach Automobile Accident Attorney to Assist with Your Claim
“Your Injuries are Personal to Me”
My law practice exclusively represents personal injury victims and does so with a deep understanding of their suffering and an absolute commitment to their recovery. I take your injuries personally, and that is why I directly handle all aspects of every case to ensure that you receive maximum compensation.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries. I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.
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