Who Pays for My Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

who pays for medical bills after a car accident

Being injured in a car accident can leave you drowning in medical bills on top of the trauma. One of the biggest questions is – who’s going to pay for all this? The answer depends on factors like who caused the crash and what insurance policies are involved.

If the other driver was at fault, their liability insurance should cover your treatment costs, from hospital stays to medications and therapy. But the process of getting fully compensated is rarely straightforward. Your own auto and health insurance may also help initially, but insurance companies look to minimize payouts. Having an experienced lawyer on your side makes a huge difference in ensuring you get the full compensation you deserve.

Who Pays Your Medical Bills After a Car Accident in California?

The at-fault driver and their liability insurance bear primary responsibility for paying medical bills. This is true even if you have health insurance that covers some bills initially.

Your own car insurer may also cover bills through Med Pay benefits, which we’ll explain shortly.

The at-fault driver caused the collision and your injuries – they must pay for associated expenses like:

  • Ambulance transportation
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgeries
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical therapy

If injuries prohibit you from working for a period, lost wages are also compensable. ‌

Your Health Insurer Can Seek Reimbursement Too

Many injury victims utilize their health insurance initially, thinking they’ll repay the medical charges later.

But under California law, your health insurer has a right to be reimbursed by the at-fault driver’s liability coverage. The personal injury attorneys at DP Injury Attorneys can assist with this subrogation process.

So, while you may need to pay co-pays or deductibles temporarily, accident-related medical expenses should be covered entirely through automobile insurance policies.

What Car Accident Injuries Are Covered?

Don’t assume that only clearly “accident-related” medical costs will be paid. Treatment your doctor recommends for any conditions arising from the incident should be included.

For example, many collision victims develop chronic pain or emotional distress months later due to accident trauma. Counseling services, massage therapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic visits could still be justified.

The at-fault driver’s Bodily Injury (BI) liability insurance should cover sufficient and reasonably cover necessary accident-related expenses such as:

  • Emergency hospitalization – All bills from ambulance transportation, emergency room diagnosis, surgery, intensive care, etc.
  • Rehabilitative services – Such as physical, occupational, or speech therapy.
  • Chiropractic treatment & massage therapy – To treat musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Medications & medical equipment – Including wheelchairs, prescription pain meds, braces, etc.
  • Diagnostic testing – Such as CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays ordered to evaluate accident injuries.
  • Lost income – If crash injuries prohibit you from working for a period.

The at-fault insurance company may try to deny certain treatment that is “necessary.” An experienced personal injury law firm like DP Injury Attorneys can help you fight these allegations.

What If My Medical Bills Exceed the At-Fault Driver’s Policy Limit?

Sadly, many drivers only carry California’s minimum liability coverage. If your damages exceed this, your options can include:

  • Claims through your Med Pay coverage – Part of most standard auto policies, Med Pay covers medical costs regardless of fault. Limits are typically $5,000 – $10,000.
  • Demand payment from the at-fault driver personally – This assumes they have assets to pay excess bills.
  • File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver – This legal action allows you to collect directly from the at-fault driver if damages are awarded by a jury.

Successfully getting full compensation requires understanding policy limits, legal options, strong negotiation tactics, and preparing a convincing argument regarding damages.

An experienced personal injury law firm can handle these complexities seamlessly while you focus on getting well.

How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Get Your Medical Bills Paid?

In the chaos following a car accident, worrying about financial hardships only adds more stress. And you can’t count on the insurance company to notify you of all the potential compensation sources or help maximize your settlement. But our personal injury attorneys can.

At DP Injury Attorneys, we handle all aspects of the legal and claims process:

  • Perform a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident and confirm fault.
  • Collect crash documentation like police reports, accident scene photos, video footage, etc.
  • Consult respected physicians to prove injuries resulted specifically from this incident.
  • Submit well-documented claims demanding payment from ALL relevant insurance policies.
  • Negotiate fiercely with insurers when offers seem unreasonable.
  • Locate additional compensation sources when damages exceed coverage limits.
  • Take legal action against negligent parties when warranted.

We also educate clients on laws that govern injury compensation and reasonable expectations when seeking damages. Our end goal – financial resolutions that enable complete medical recovery.

Let Us Handle the Details So You Can Focus on Healing

Recovering physically and emotionally after a serious car crash is extremely difficult. Worrying about unpaid medical bills makes progress harder.

With knowledge of California personal injury laws and proven negotiation skills, DP Injury Attorneys can relieve this financial stress quickly and fairly.

To discuss your case in a consultation, contact our office today. Our experienced car accident attorneys will work to protect your rights and fight vigorously for maximum recovery.

Author Bio

Arthur Paul D’Egidio is the Managing Partner of DP Injury Attorneys, a San Diego personal injury law firm. With more than 12 years of experience in California injury law, he has dedicated his practice to representing clients in a wide range of personal injury matters, including car accidents, workers’ compensation, slip and falls, catastrophic injury, and wrongful death cases.

Arthur received his Juris Doctor from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and is a member of the State Bar of California as well as the San Diego County Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named a Super Lawyer for seven straight years by Thomson Reuters and a “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Trial Lawyers.

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