If you were injured in a crash or other type of accident and received medical treatment for your injuries, you may be confused about who is responsible for paying your medical bills related to the collision.
Logically, you would think that the at-fault driver (and his or her insurance company) is responsible for paying for your medical bills. Some people are surprised to hear that this isn't always the case.
When it comes to your ongoing medical bills, the at-fault driver's insurance carrier typically will not want to pay for ongoing medical treatment unless it can settle the claim in full. The carrier knows that if it agrees to ongoing payments to your healthcare providers, then the claim will likely drag on while the total value of the claim continues to rise (generally the more treatment received, the higher the value the claim).
Unfortunately, the other driver’s insurance company doesn't have to pay you anything, now or later, unless you force them to pay by bringing a civil lawsuit against their insured client. However, if a valid claim exists a lawsuit is usually not necessary if you accept the carrier’s determination of what the claim is worth.
Insurance Companies Want to Save Money
If you agree with the other person's insurance company on how much your case is worth then you’ll be able to settle the claim fairly quickly and with ease. But the at-fault carrier will often intentionally undervalue the claim in an effort to save the company money.
The at-fault carrier usually wants to pay just one lump sum to settle the claim so it can move on. By making a one-time lump sum payment, the claim is closed and the carrier’s exposure to paying out more later is terminated. That's the goal of the at-fault carrier is to settle the claim quickly and efficiently so it can pay less money out and increase its profit.
Paying for a Car Accident
Note: Hiring an attorney does not mean that your medical bills are automatically paid for. Your attorney can set up liens on your medical bills that will be paid back by your final settlement, but the attorney cannot pay the bills personally.
Instead, victims of an accident should first use their own health insurance to pay the bills. Almost all health insurance plans are required to pay for medical care regardless of who was at fault for the injuries.
Obviously your health insurance will want to be reimbursed for those bills. They will take what they are owed from your settlement or jury verdict. This is called subrogation, and an attorney can take care of this.
Also, if you have an automobile insurance policy that includes PIP coverage, your insurance company should cover the medical bills you incur up to the limits outlined in your policy.
Different Accidents = Different Ways to Pay
No two accidents are the same, and the same can be said for the way that you get your medical bills covered. Davis Law Group has handled almost every type of case imaginable, and each victim goes about the journey in a different way.
Our law firm handles a variety of case types, but the following are some of the most common in Washington state. Click the link to see how victims of those accidents get their medical bills paid for.
- Pedestrian accident
- Semi truck accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Hit-and-run accident
- Bicycle accident
- Dog bite attack
Secure Your Legal Rights Today
You or a loved one has been through a terrible trauma. There are many details that can help or hurt your potential legal claim. You should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Let Davis Law Group help you navigate the complicated steps that you need to take so that you don’t have to worry about making a potentially costly mistake. Contact us online or call us (206) 727-4000 to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation and to learn more tips for protecting your injury case.