If you’ve been injured in a car accident, your bills can be both immediate and ongoing. From emergency treatment to ongoing chiropractic services and physical therapy, understanding who is responsible and how medical bills are paid after a car accident can help protect your finances.
Who Is Responsible for Medical Bills After an Accident?
Regardless of who is at fault, the medical bills you incur are your responsibility. However, there may be other considerations that can help ease the financial burden if you weren’t at fault. For instance, if the other party has insurance coverage, their policy can reimburse your medical bills for injuries that were caused by the accident. Plus, people who have ongoing medical issues, such as limited range of movement, or back and spine problems, may also have their physical therapy covered.
Determining Fault for an Accident
Your personal injury attorney can help you collect the necessary paperwork to determine the person who caused the accident, any extenuating circumstances, and whether or not you have other damages or need ongoing medical care. They’ll also prepare your claim for damages to pay for your medical bills.
Each case is different, and you should follow your lawyer’s directions exactly. However, common documents that can be used to pursue your claim include:
- Police report or accident report
- Documents and medical reports from EMS or immediate medical treatment
- Letter from your employer stating time lost from work as a result of the accident
- Medical records and doctor’s statements from a chiropractor or other medical professional stating your ongoing treatment after the accident
- Fiscal impact statement of loss of mobility or ability to continue working at your job
Determining Liability and Seeking Compensation
Assigning liability for an accident is generally how medical bills are repaid after an accident. If you’re determined to be at fault, then your bills, and likely those of the other party or parties, will be the responsibility of you and your insurance company. Depending on the type of accident you’re involved in, there may be more than one insurance company. For example, if you’re hit by a delivery driver or commercial driver, the company that they work for may have insurance, and the driver may have their own policy. Or, if you’re injured in an accident while you’re working, then the workers’ compensation insurance of your company may cover the medical bills.
However, if you are not at fault, then your attorney can make a case with the other party’s insurance company about settling the case for enough money to cover your bills. In these cases, even if the police determined that you caused the accident, you still need an attorney to represent your interests, and make sure that any insurance policy you have is considered when the other party seeks compensation.
Settling Attorney’s Bills
In many personal injury cases, lawyers work on a contingency basis, where their fees are taken out of the settlement amount. However, if you’re the party at fault, or if you fail to receive a settlement, then you’ll be responsible for those fees, too. An attorney lien is a hold against your personal property, which stays on it until your bills are paid.
It’s important to note that even if your personal injury attorney succeeds in having damages awarded to you by the responsible party, they still aren’t responsible for paying for your medical bills as they come in. If you require ongoing medical treatment, then you may be responsible for those bills on your own. Or, if your ongoing medical treatment exceeds your insurance settlement, then you will be responsible fr these bills. Your own insurance policy, however, may cover them.
If your injuries are severe enough, you may be exempt from the “no-fault” clause in your state. It’s important to speak with an attorney to see if what you qualify for, and how to claim an exemption.
A Lawyer Can Help You Get Your Medical Bills Paid After a Car Accident
Insurance companies want to settle your claim for as little as possible, as fast as possible. However, you may be entitled to more compensation than the initial offer. If you’ve been involved in an accident, seek a consultation with a reputable personal injury attorney to discuss your options, obligations, and how you can ensure that you’re medical bills are paid.