Car accidents can affect your life in a myriad of ways from physical injuries and emotional suffering, to expensive medical bills. If you’ve been injured in a collision due to another’s negligence, you may be curious what to do with mounting medical expenses and the cost of prolonged medical treatment.
Depending on which state you live in, you may be able to recover financial compensation from the person who was responsible for the collision or from your own insurance. To learn more about who may be responsible for paying your medical bills, keep reading.
If You Live in an At-Fault State
If you reside in a fault state, the person or party liable for the collision will absorb financial responsibility for your damages, including your medical costs. Initially, your insurance may pay for your medical bills if the crash requires immediate care. If you do not have insurance, you must pay out of pocket and may find yourself in debt.
After you’ve been able to identify who was responsible for your collision and subsequent injuries, file a claim with the at-fault party’s car insurance provider. Depending on your state’s requirements for insurance, the at-fault party’s insurance carrier should cover the costs of medical care up to the policy maximum. Medical costs consist of past and future accident-related medical expenses, including:
- Travel expenses to doctor’s visits
- Nursing care
- Medical devices
If you are having difficulty with the insurance company, your claim was denied, or you sustained serious or life-long injuries, hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you fight for fair compensation. “Medical bills are often the most expensive part of an auto accident. A serious injury could force you to pay hospital fees and treatment costs for the rest of your life,” note car accident lawyers at Manchin Injury Law Group, “Even a minor personal injury could run you into the thousands in medical costs.”
If You Live in a No-Fault State
The procedure for recovering damages in a no-fault state is often described as more streamlined. After a collision, regardless of who was responsible, you will submit an injury claim to your own insurance company. Your insurance carrier will then pay damages to you for the injuries you suffered, up to your policy limit, eliminating any type of dispute about who caused the accident.
While it may seem straightforward since there is no need to prove fault, no-fault insurance states do have some downsides. You are not always guaranteed a settlement and are limited in the types of compensation you are able to recover in a no-fault state. No-fault insurance claims typically do not allow for “pain and suffering” damages or other “general” damages. Depending on your state, you may only be able to sue for non-economic damages only if they meet a particular monetary figure.
The days, weeks, and years following a car collision can be overwhelming. Between healing, rebuilding your life, and finding a “new normal”, medical bills can put a significant damper on moving forward. After suffering in a car collision that was not your fault, you are entitled to recovering compensation, whether the collision occurred in a fault or no-fault state.