Car accidents often involve serious injuries. Some of the injuries are so severe that they require extensive medical rehabilitation. The cost of treating the victim can run into thousands of dollars.
But who pays for the injuries sustained by the victim of the car accident? The answer is not simple. In this post, you will learn about the legal nuances regarding payment of medical bills for car accident injuries.
Auto Accident Injuries: An Overview
Car accident victims should and need to visit a primary physician after an accident. If the injuries are severe, the victim is airlifted to a nearby hospital.
You should never delay the treatment after an accident due to fear of medical bills. Even if you don’t experience any immediate pain after an auto accident, you must seek immediate medical attention.
The problem is that many symptoms don’t become evident soon after an accident. Injuries to the brain and spinal cord take time to heal. It is recommended that victims seek professional medical care irrespective of the extent of the auto accident injury.
Who Will Pay for Medical Expenses?
Every driver in each state requires drivers to carry auto accident insurance. The minimum auto accident insurance amount in Texas is for bodily injuries is $30,000 per person.
State laws vary regarding who will pay the medical bills for treatment of the victims injured in an auto accident.
In states with no-fault laws, the insurance company of the victim pays for the medical expenses. The victims cannot file a claim with the insurance company of the driver to pay for the medical bills. The insurance premium will increase after filing a claim even if the victims were not responsible for the accident.
In contrast, states such as Texas have at-fault laws whereby the insurance company of the guilty driver is responsible for paying for the medical expenses.
Victims are required to submit an application with the insurance company for medical benefits. You need to apply soon after the accident. The benefit will be denied by the insurance company if the claim is not filed within the specific period mentioned in the contract.
What Medical Expenses Can You Claim for Auto Accident Injuries?
You can claim all types of medical expenses incurred in treating the injuries sustained in an auto accident. Some of the expenses that you can claim from the opposing driver include:
- Hospital room fees
- Surgery bills
- Blood test fees
- Rehabilitation costs
- Prescription medication expenses
Apart from the medical expenses incurred to date, you can also claim ongoing medical expenses in case of a long-term disability. You must keep a record of all the medical bills and doctor’s instructions as it will help in proving the fault of the driver responsible for the accident.
How Long Will It Take to Get Paid If You Live in State with At-Fault Laws?
If you live in a state with at-fault laws, the insurance company of the guilty driver will pay all the expenses in treating the injuries.
But you don’t receive the benefits soon after the accident. Resolving claims with the guilty party will take some time. So, at the initial stages, you will have to get the insurance benefits from your own insurance company.
Your insurance company will be responsible for paying for the medical expenses while your claim is pending an investigation. The insurance company will try to recover the medical expenses from the insurance company of the at-fault driver. This often takes time and requires expert services of a personal injury attorney. In some cases, your medical care provider will seek to delay the collection of the due amount until the claim is resolved in court.
Proving Fault in States With At-Fault Laws
Victims in states with at-fault laws such as Texas will have to prove that the auto accident injuries occurred due to the actions of the other driver. Proving the fault of an auto accident often takes months.
The guilty driver may deny responsibility of the accident in which case you can file an auto accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You will have to hire an experienced attorney to prove that the accident occurred due to the actions of the guilty party.
It will likely take several months to recover compensation in a car accident settlement. Some negligent drivers and their insurance companies may aggressively deny responsibility for an accident, requiring you to file a lawsuit to press your case.
Victims have to get the initial medical expenses paid by the personal injury protection (PIP) policy. The policy will cover the medical expenses up to a certain limit until the claim against the guilty party is pending in court.
Insurance companies in states such as Texas are legally required to offer PIP auto insurance coverage. The insurance coverage of PIP is greater than the regular coverage. But not all auto accident drivers elect for PIP coverage. The bills in case of auto accident injuries generally exceed the normal insurance coverage in which case the victim has to pay out-of-pocket.
Get Help of an Car Accident Lawyer
Getting the help of an car accident lawyer will help in getting compensation from the guilty party. An attorney will help you file a claim for medical bills and other expenses related to the auto accident. The attorney will assist you through the complicated process of getting compensation from the driver responsible for the accident.
Most often the insurance company will make an effort to deny your insurance claim. You should let the experienced car accident attorney deal with the insurance company and legal team of the opposing driver.
An experience auto accident attorney will submit a demand letter claiming compensation for the losses including medical bills. The insurance company will try to minimize the payment amount. Without the help of a car accident attorney, you won’t be able to negotiate a fair claim.
In case the insurance company of the at-fault driver denies your claim, your auto accident attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf. You must discuss the possibilities of claiming damages including medical bills from the at-fault party.
Speak With a Dallas Car Accident Lawyer For Free
The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 877-405-4313.