Who Pays Medical Bills in a Car Accident?
Many car crash victims suffer serious injuries that lead to extensive medical treatment and mounting medical costs. If you sustained injuries in a recent car accident, the at-fault driver's insurance company is usually responsible for paying your medical bills and other monetary damages. However, if the driver who hit you did not have auto insurance coverage, or if they did not have sufficient coverage to pay for all of your medical bills, then you can turn to your own insurance company by filing an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. To maximize the monetary compensation that you receive for your medical bills and other accident-related losses, you should retain experienced legal counsel to represent you as early on in the process as possible. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer
in your area can help you pursue the monetary compensation you deserve for your related healthcare costs, lost income, inconvenience, pain, and suffering from your accident. Your attorney can pursue the monetary compensation you deserve by filing a claim on your behalf with the appropriate insurance company and negotiating with insurance company adjusters. However, if the insurance company will not take your case seriously or offer you the medical damages and other compensation you deserve, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court and pursue favorable monetary recovery through litigation. Your attorney will be by your side each step of the way and can help you make informed and intelligent decisions during each stage of your personal injury case. They can relieve your stress regarding medical bills and seek the compensation you need to cover your expenses.
How Car Crashes Typically Happen
In most circumstances, car accidents arise when other people fail to drive competently and safely under the circumstances. One common cause of traffic accidents is distracted driving or insufficient attention to the road. In some situations, drivers become distracted when using electronic devices, especially smartphones or smartwatches. Other potential distractions include entertainment and hands-free systems in cars, as well as non-electronic distractions like eating and drinking. When a driver fails to focus all of their attention on the road in front of them or look in their mirrors while driving (and while pulling out of parking spaces), they significantly increase their chances of causing a car crash that leads to debilitating injuries, ongoing medical treatment, and high medical bills. In addition to distracted driving
, some car accidents happen when drivers exhibit various characteristics of rage. Many drivers become upset and exhibit road rage out of frustration with other drivers, such as those who do not drive fast enough. Road rage maneuvers often include:
- Tailgating other vehicles.
- Failing to use turn signals.
- Cutting other cars off in traffic.
- Aggressively weaving in and out of traffic, especially during busy highway conditions – such as rush hour.
In addition to road rage, some car accidents happen when drivers violate traffic laws and regulations
. For example, they may run a stop sign or red light at a traffic intersection or fail to properly yield the right-of-way to another vehicle. At other times, drivers might exceed the posted speed limit or drive too fast during busy traffic conditions or inclement weather. Finally, some motor vehicle accidents happen when people drive while intoxicated
. Alcohol impairment and intoxication can severely limit a driver's ability to drive carefully and safely. For example, an intoxicated driver may lose their ability to focus on the road and may become distracted quickly. In addition, a drunken driver may experience delayed reaction time and impaired reflexes, both of which may prevent them from stopping their vehicle in time to avoid hitting another car or pedestrian. Intoxicated driving can also lead to physical symptoms, like dizziness and blurred vision, which prevent drivers from seeing clearly on the road. When drivers engage in one or more of these types of negligence, they may cause several different types of traffic accidents, including:
- Head-on collisions, where the fronts of two vehicles collide with one another while traveling in opposing lanes
- Rear-end accidents, where the front of one vehicle hits the back of another car while the cars are traveling in the same direction
- T-bone or broadside accidents, where the front of a vehicle hits the side of another car, usually at a traffic intersection where a driver fails to yield the right-of-way at the proper time
- Sideswipe accidents, where the sides of two vehicles traveling in the same direction hit one another
- Overturn accidents, where a driver loses control of their vehicle, causing it to overturn, leading to multiple crashes or vehicle pile-ups
If you suffered injuries in one of these accidents when another driver deviated from their legal duty and violated one or more traffic laws, you may have legal options available to you. A skilled car accident lawyer in your area can help you file the necessary personal injury claim or lawsuit to recover the medical expenses and other monetary damages you deserve for your injuries.
Common Injuries that Car Crash Victims Suffer
Car accidents come in all shapes and sizes. Consequently, the physical injuries that accident victims suffer usually vary from case to case, depending upon the type of crash that occurs, the speeds of the respective vehicles, the amount of force involved in the crash, and the accident victim’s bodily movements in their vehicle when the collision occurs. Some of the most common injuries that car accident victims sustain include:
- Large bruises that result from airbag deployment
- Open cuts and lacerations
- Soft tissue neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Rib fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Full or partial paralysis
Following a car accident, an accident victim may need to undergo various types of medical treatment, including hospitalization, doctor follow-up visits, and medical procedures, including surgeries. Following a medical procedure, the accident victim may also need to undergo a thorough physical therapy regimen or attend pain management sessions. All of this medical treatment can be extremely costly, and it is very easy for medical bills to mount up within a concise amount of time. While you finish completing your medical treatment, a car accident attorney in your area can begin gathering the necessary documents to obtain the medical compensation and other monetary damages you deserve.
Filing an Insurance Claim after a Car Crash After a car accident, an accident victim can file several types of legal claims. The first type of claim is a third-party claim the accident victim (or their attorney) files with the at-fault party's insurance motor vehicle company. If you can successfully prove the legal elements of your claim or lawsuit, then the insurance company may pay for your medical damages and other accident-related losses. In some cases, however, the at-fault driver may not have motor vehicle insurance coverage in place at the time of their accident, or the at-fault driver might have fled the scene of the accident before the accident victim can obtain a license tag number or other identifying information (such as in a so-called phantom vehicle accident). In those situations, the accident victim can file a first-party uninsured motorist claim with their own insurance company. After filing this claim, their insurance company may pay for their medical expenses and other related damages. Similarly, if the at-fault driver had motor vehicle insurance coverage in place at the time of the accident, but it was insufficient to fully compensate the accident victim for all of their medical expenses and other losses, the accident victim can file an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim with their own insurance company, after first exhausting the at-fault driver's full limits of policy coverage. A car accident attorney in your area can determine which of these types of claims you're eligible to file in your case and can help you pursue the maximum monetary damages available to you.
Proving Your Eligibility for Monetary Recovery Following a Car Crash
You will need to establish several legal elements to prove that you are eligible to recover medical expenses and other monetary damages after your car accident. First, you must demonstrate that another driver violated their legal duty of care under the circumstances. For example, the other driver might have failed to yield the right-of-way to your vehicle, engaged in road rage, or committed some other traffic violation
. Next, you must demonstrate that as a direct result of this careless or reckless act, your motor vehicle accident occurred. Finally, you must establish, through medical testimony, that your injury or injuries occurred directly due to the subject accident. A medical expert can make this causal connection by preparing an expert report and/or by testifying on the witness stand at your civil jury trial. In addition to proving the existence of a causal connection in your case, a medical expert can demonstrate that you suffered one or more permanent impairments in your car accident. A skilled car accident attorney can help you retain experts and successfully prove the legal elements necessary to recover the full monetary damages you deserve.
Recoverable Monetary Damages in a Car Accident Claim or Lawsuit
After a car accident, accident victims may suffer physical injuries that leave them incapacitated for a significant amount of time. Moreover, an accident victim may need to undergo medical treatment and endure many days of pain, suffering, and inconvenience. Fortunately, a car crash victim who can establish the legal elements of their claim or a lawsuit may be eligible to recover various monetary damages. First, accident victims can recover the cost of their related medical expenses. Moreover, if a medical provider determines that an accident victim may need to undergo future medical care, such as a future surgery or physical therapy regimen, the accident victim may be eligible to recover those anticipated costs as part of their car accident claim or lawsuit. Other monetary damages that accident victims may recover in their case include compensation for:
- Lost earnings
- Loss of earning capacity
- Mental distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life
A skilled car accident attorney in your area can help you estimate the total monetary recovery you may receive in your car accident claim and will do everything possible to maximize your total damage award.
Talk with a Car Accident Attorney in Your Area Right Away
If you suffered injuries and incurred medical expenses following a recent car accident, time may be of the essence. Car accident victims only have five years after their accident date to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, seeking the monetary compensation they deserve for their medical expenses and other economic losses. Since, most often, insurance companies pay the medical bills following a car accident, retain an experienced car accident lawyer. Insurance companies make profits by paying out as little as they can on as few claims as possible. An attorney can help victims get the compensation they deserve. Absent several minimal circumstances that rarely apply, if an accident victim does not file their personal injury lawsuit in civil court
in a timely manner, they can no longer recover any monetary damages for their accident-related injuries. Given the relatively short statute of limitations time frame in car accident cases, accident victims must involve an experienced car accident attorney in their case as quickly as possible. A skilled car accident lawyer can file a personal injury claim on your behalf, seeking the monetary compensation you deserve for your medical expenses and other losses. If litigation becomes necessary in your case and your attorney needs to file a lawsuit, they can assist you with every step of the litigation process, including representing you at a civil jury trial or binding arbitration hearing. Your personal injury attorney in St.Louis
will do everything they can to recover your medical expenses and other losses you sustained as a direct result of another driver's carelessness, recklessness, and negligence.
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