Recovering from an accident is no easy task for anyone. On top of the physical
pain and emotional turmoil that comes with healing, the stress of figuring
out your medical bills can almost be too much to handle. If you need immediate
care after being hurt in an accident, how do you pay for it? Waiting around
for a settlement or damages from an injury lawsuit won’t help, as
the process simply takes too long.
So how do you pay for it? The circumstances of the accident, where you
live and the type of insurance involved are all deciding factors on who
pays your medical bills after you’ve been hurt in an accident. Let’s
Instances Where the Defendant Pays for Treatment
Generally speaking, the defendant is not required to pay for your medical
bills as you acquire them. You will likely be held responsible for paying
your own bills as they come. In general, you can turn to your insurance
company for coverage of your bills, but only as they apply up to the limit
of your policy.
If you secure a settlement from filing a lawsuit, you can use that settlement
to pay your bills, but you’ll still be responsible for actually
making the payments. It’s all but unheard of for the defendant to
be required to pay the bills themselves.
In “fault” or “tort” states such as California,
however, sometimes the other driver will have “med pay” insurance,
which may be helpful in covering some of your medical bills. The law unfortunately
does not hold someone immediately responsible for medical bills after
causing injury in an accident, and instead holds them liable to pay damages
after the trial, if they are found to be at fault.
Accidents on Others’ Property
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, they are also not
required to pay your medical bills on an ongoing basis. You will be held
responsible for the medical bills you incur, unless, like in a fault state
for car accidents, the property owner has “med pay” coverage.
One exception is generally boats, as most boat owners don’t tend
to have med pay coverage as part of their boating insurance.
One instance where your medical bills are covered is if you’ve been
hurt in an accident while at work. If this were to happen, workers’
compensation insurance will cover all of your medical bills, including
deductibles. Some states even have workers’ compensation laws that
require employers to cover transportation costs to and from medical appointments as well.
No Insurance Available
Sometimes people are injured in accidents and there’s no insurance
available to cover their bills. In such instances, your options may unfortunately
be limited. You may have to consider turning to friends and family for
help, or file a lawsuit to get compensated for your injuries, which can
help you pay those bills.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident near Monterey or San Jose, an
experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help.
Give us a call at Dunnion Law Firm today.