Who Is Responsible for Medical Bills After a Car Accident?
Serious car accident injuries can leave you with immense medical bills. The medical providers who take care of your treatment, from initial emergency treatment to long-term rehabilitation, require payment for their services and any medical equipment you used during the course of your recovery. Unfortunately, someone has to take responsibility for those bills.
Who, exactly, is responsible for medical bills after an accident?
The Injured Party’s Responsibility
Ultimately, the injured party–or the injured party’s parents, in the case of a minor child–receives that medical care and assistance and so, therefore, ultimately bears responsibility for paying those critical medical bills. In fact, you may start seeing bills arrive before you can even reach a settlement with the liable driver’s insurance policy. If you suffer serious injuries in a car accident, you may need to plan for how you will handle those costly medical expenses, especially if you know your injuries will require ongoing care.
Auto Insurance Coverage and Serious Accident Injuries
Many people assume, after a serious auto accident, that the liable driver’s insurance will simply pay for everything. Unfortunately, that does not always hold true. There are several things you must keep in mind when calculating the compensation you may receive through the liable driver’s insurance policy.
Medical bills will come directly to you.
After your accident, most of the time, your care providers will not bill the liable party’s auto insurance company. Instead, they will send the bills directly to you. You must then decide how you will manage payment for those bills.
Most auto insurance policies will have significant limits.
In Nevada, a driver who carries minimum auto insurance may carry a policy that offers just $25,000 for bodily injury or death for any one party involved in an accident, and just $50,000 in coverage if two or more parties suffer serious injuries in an accident. If you get into an accident with a Nevada driver who carries only minimum auto insurance, and you sustain injuries that exceed the protection offered by that coverage, you may find yourself struggling to manage your medical bills without much help from the insurance company at all. Uber and Lyft drivers, commercial truck drivers, and private drivers who carry higher-value policies may offer additional coverage, but you may not know immediately how much assistance that insurance policy will offer.
An experienced Nevada car accident lawyer can review the terms of the liable driver’s insurance policy and give you a better idea of how much coverage you can expect for the medical expenses associated with your accident.
The liable party’s insurance company may try to deny that you needed certain types of medical care.
In some cases, the liable party’s insurance company may look at long-term medical services you received and try to deem them unnecessary. Suppose, for example, that you chose to go to a long-term care facility after leaving the hospital, because you felt you would not have adequate care and support at home; or that you had a more expensive procedure to help treat your injuries, rather than opting for the less-expensive form of treatment. The insurance company may try to claim that you did not need those expensive medical aids and could deny coverage for those specific elements of your care on the basis of that claim.
A lawyer can prove essential when arguing that you really did certain types of medical care and that you deserve compensation for any treatments you received. Your lawyer may bring in expert witnesses, take statements from your doctors, and help build your case.
How Your Insurance Can Help
Your insurance can provide vital financial protection and assistance following a serious auto accident. Understanding your coverage can help you make critical decisions about your care, including what type of coverage you can afford.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance
Nevada does not mandate personal injury protection insurance for all drivers, but you can choose to add PIP coverage to your auto insurance policy. PIP insurance provides coverage for injuries sustained in auto accidents, minus the amount of your deductible and up to the maximum amount of coverage you have chosen. It does not matter who caused your accident; regardless of which driver is at fault, you can still use your PIP coverage. Take a look at your auto insurance policy, determine whether you have PIP coverage, and evaluate what aid that coverage will offer as you move forward with medical treatment.
If you carry health insurance, you may have much more protection against many of the medical bills that will come your way following a serious car accident. Your health insurance will help with the amount of your medical bills that exceeds the coverage offered by a personal injury claim against the liable driver’s insurance company and your personal injury protection insurance. Understanding your health insurance coverage, however, can leave you confused, especially as you deal with complex in-network versus out-of-network questions, copays, deductibles, and maximum out-of-pocket payments. If you have questions about your health insurance coverage, consult your insurance company.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Any time you sustain serious injuries in an auto accident, having an experienced auto accident attorney on your side can prove critical. An auto accident attorney can:
- Review your case and help establish who might bear liability for your accident and your injuries
- Build a compelling claim that will help show how much compensation you really deserve
- Bring in expert witnesses who can establish the extent of your injuries and the compensation you should expect for them
- Fight to help you get the full compensation you deserve, including fighting to help get your medical costs covered by the insurance company or to prove that you did need essential medical treatments
Dealing with the aftermath of a major car accident can prove extremely difficult, especially if you try to handle it on your own. At Gina Corena & Associates, we help car accident victims understand and fight for their right to compensation. Contact us today at 702-680-1111 to schedule your free consultation.