One of the most common causes of injuries in the United States is that of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. While some of the injuries that result from a crash may be minor — even potentially healing on their own without medical intervention — others are often more serious. A car accident can result in injury types such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, bone fracture injuries, and more – all of which require immediate medical care.
When a car accident occurs, medical bills often pile up. This can leave an accident victim with questions and worries about who will pay their medical expenses, and what will happen if they can’t pay. If you’ve been involved in a crash in Mobile, meet with our Alabama car accident lawyers today for a consultation about your crash and your options. In the meantime, consider the following about how medical bills are often paid after a crash:
The first thing that you should know about being involved in an accident and requiring medical care is that when it comes to medical expenses, you are responsible for these bills. Typically, however, you will be compensated by a source of insurance. For most people, personal health insurance coverage is the first type of coverage to kick in.
If you have health insurance coverage or Medicare, you can submit your doctors’ bills to your insurer. You will still be liable for any deductible that is required by your policy, and may also be liable for bills that your health insurance carrier denies (if the services received are not covered under your policy). Note that if a health insurance provider covers your medical expenses and then you later receive compensation for medical expenses from the at-fault party, your health insurer may seek reimbursement.
Medical Payments Coverage
In Alabama, drivers are required under law to carry bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage, but they also have the option of purchasing additional coverage, including medical payments coverage. If you are harmed in a car accident, your medical payments coverage will pay for your injuries, up to your policy amount, regardless of who is at fault for the crash.
The Other Driver’s Insurance
When a car accident occurs, the law holds that the at-fault driver is responsible for paying for damages that result. And because liability insurance is required in Alabama, if you believe that your accident would not have occurred but for the actions of the other driver involved in your crash, you can file a claim directly against that driver’s liability insurance coverage (or you can file a lawsuit directly against the driver). You are entitled to compensation for the full value of your medical expenses.
In the event that the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for your losses, you also have the option of filing a claim with your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if you have this type of coverage.
Why It’s Important to Work with a Car Accident Lawyer
Understanding who pays your medical bills after a crash can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if payment is being demanded before you’ve settled your case. Working with a lawyer can prove extremely helpful, as your lawyer can represent you and your best interests.
Your lawyer will notify your health insurance company and any healthcare debt collectors about your case; prepare a settlement package and negotiate your settlement; and may even be able to negotiate some of your healthcare debts, resulting in an insurer reducing their reimbursement request or a doctor reducing their fees.
Your lawyer can also help by ensuring that you receive medical care even if you cannot initially pay – many doctors will treat patients upfront based on the understanding that, once a patient’s claim is settled, the doctor will receive reimbursement for services.
It is important to note that Alabama is one of the few states that applies the “contributory negligence” legal standard in personal injury cases. Under contributory negligence, if an injured party is found to be even 1% at fault for an accident, they may be barred from recovering damages from the other driver or their insurer. This is another reason it is very important to work with an attorney who understands state laws and has the proven ability to successfully recover compensation for their clients.
Call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey, P.C. Today
At the law offices of Burns, Cunningham & Mackey, P.C., our Alabama car accident lawyers want to make sure that you recover the compensation award to which you’re entitled. When you choose our law firm, we’ll not only work aggressively to ensure that all of your medical bills are paid, but also that you are able to secure as large a settlement as possible.
We have the experience you’re looking for when it comes to investigating claims, proving fault and liability, and negotiating settlements. For your free consultation with our injury lawyers, please visit our office in person, send us a message, or call us at 800-574-4332 today.