Seeking prompt medical treatment after a Clearwater car accident can be expensive. However, it is crucial to seek medical care as soon as possible because it gives you the best chance of making a full recovery. Prompt medical care after a car crash also strengthens your evidence in a car accident claim, giving you a better chance of recovering maximum compensation for an accident claim.
The injuries from a Clearwater car accident can range from minor to catastrophic and life-threatening. Regardless of the severity of your injuries or whether you feel “fine,” it is best to be checked by a physician. A medical provider assesses the extent of your injuries, which could be more severe than you realize.
In this article, Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers explores how you can handle your medical bills after a car accident.
What Types of Medical Bills Should I Expect After a Clearwater Car Accident?
The medical bills you receive depend on the type and severity of your injuries. However, many car accident victims incur medical expenses related to:
- Ambulance and emergency medical services
- Emergency room fees
- Costs of hospitalizations and/or surgeries
- Diagnostic tests, including blood tests, X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, etc.
- Physician’s bills, including bills for specialists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, radiologists, etc.
- Lab and radiology bills
- The cost of physical, occupational, and rehabilitative therapy
- Medical equipment and medications
- In-home personal and/or nursing care
Generally, the cost of medical treatment after an accident increases with the severity of the injuries. However, even a minor injury can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills. Who pays your medical bills after a car accident in Clearwater?
Paying Medical Bills After a Car Accident
You are responsible for the cost of medical treatment after a car accident. Other parties could be liable for these costs if they are responsible for causing the accident. However, Florida’s no-fault insurance laws restrict when you can pursue claims against the other driver for medical bills and other damages.
However, don’t worry. There are several ways you can handle medical bills after a car accident, including:
File a Claim With Your PIP Insurance Provider
All Florida drivers must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. PIP is no-fault car insurance. Therefore, it pays benefits regardless of who caused the accident.
You must receive medical care within 14 days of the car accident to receive PIP benefits. If so, your PIP insurance should cover up to 80% of your medical bills up to the policy limits (usually $10,000). However, if you did not sustain an emergency medical condition, your coverage for medical bills is limited to $2,500.
Health Insurance Coverage
After you exhaust your PIP coverage, you can use your health insurance to pay medical bills for a car accident. You might have co-pays and deductibles to pay, and your insurance might not cover all treatments or procedures.
Another point to remember is that your health insurance company may demand repayment of any costs it pays through a subrogation claim. Subrogation gives the health insurance provider a lien on any personal injury settlement or jury award you receive related to the car accident. Subrogation claims apply to private health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid policies.
Your car accident lawyer may try to negotiate a lower payment for a subrogation claim to keep more money for you. However, the companies and agencies are not required to negotiate a lower payment to satisfy a subrogation claim.
Hospitals, doctors, and other medical providers may agree to provide care without payment under a medical lien. When you sign a medical lien, you promise to pay any outstanding medical bills from your personal injury settlement or award before you receive any of the proceeds. Your attorney is legally required to pay medical liens from the settlement proceeds before giving you any money for damages.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Party
Even though Florida is a no-fault insurance state, the law makes an exception for serious injuries. Suppose you sustain a permanent impairment, significant scarring, or other injury that meets the serious injury threshold. In that case, you can pursue a legal claim against the party who caused your car accident.
If the party has liability insurance coverage, the insurance company may negotiate a settlement for damages. Damages in a car accident case include your financial losses (economic damages) and the pain and suffering you experienced (non-economic damages). If settlement is not possible, you can proceed with a personal injury lawsuit for damages.
Seek Legal Advice About Car Accident Claims
Knowing what you should do about damages and medical bills after a car accident can be confusing and difficult. However, seeking legal advice from an experienced car accident lawyer helps. Personal injury lawyers offer free consultations, so it does not cost you anything to learn about your legal options to make an informed decision on what to do after a car crash.
This post brought to you by Kristina Rodopska.