When a person is injured in an accident one of the biggest concerns they will face is paying for medical bills. Recovering from an accident can be costly and time consuming and even if there is personal injury settlement pending, it does not help pay for immediate costs that may be due. The type of accident, the state in which a person resides, and the type of insurance involved are all factors that can affect who is responsible to pay for medical costs. In most states and situations however, you are generally responsible for paying your own medical bills as you incur them.
It is a common misconception that the defendant is responsible for paying the injured party’s medical bills following an accident. Although medical bills can be included as damages in a lawsuit ultimately holding the defendant responsible for bills, the money will not be paid out until the conclusion of the lawsuit. This leaves the plaintiff responsible for ongoing medical costs.
When a car accident occurs, the party responsible for paying medical bills depends largely on whether the accident occurred in a “fault” or “no fault” state. If the accident occurs in a “no fault” it doesn’t matter who caused the accident, your car insurance will pay for your medical bills up to a predetermined limit. When this limit is reached, you or your health insurance will be responsible for the remaining bills. If the car accident occurs in a state that is not a “no fault” state, you will usually be responsible for your own medical bills. Some “no fault” states offer additional insurance called “Med Pay” coverage which would pay for some medical bills in the event of an accident. It is always encouraged to consult with an experienced car accident attorney in your state to find out which laws may apply to you and the circumstances of your accident.
If the injury does not result from a car accident, different laws or insurance coverage may apply. In a slip and fall accident for example, if the owner of the property where the fall occurred has “med pay” coverage in their insurance, “med pay” will cover your medical bills. If the property owner does not carry this additional coverage, the injured person will be responsible for their own bills. When a person sustains an injury at work, worker’s compensation insurance will cover one hundred percent of all medical bills and often reimburse the injured party for travel to and from medical appointments.
The nature of the injury and the state in which is occurs are crucial factors in figuring out who is responsible for paying ongoing medical bills. Due to it generally being the responsibility of the injured party, it is wise to always carry some sort of medical insurance policy. It can take years to reach a settlement in an accident lawsuit so even a policy with a high deductible can save an injured person from excessive financial burden. Some states may require that insurance companies are paid back after a lawsuit is settled so it is important to always consult with an attorney to know your rights and responsibilities.
If you are injured in an accident, an car accident lawyer Delray Beach, FL trusts can help you obtain a fair settlement by identifying the various expenses, like medical bills, that need to be included in a lawsuit and help negotiate reimbursement for those bills.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into car accident claims and medical care.