If you were injured in a car accident, one of your biggest worries may be to figure out how your medical bills will be paid. Serious injuries often result in very high medical expenses, and you may face very high medical expenses once your treatment is completed. In many cases, you may be concerned that you will have to cover these expenses yourself. However, there are opportunities for your auto insurance or the at-fault driver to cover the bills. In the worst-case scenario, you may need to pay out of pocket for expenses, but your medical insurance should also work to help you with these bills. Miami car accident lawyer Prosper Shaked explains:
Does Insurance Pay My Medical Bills After a Car Crash?
If you were injured in a car crash, you should always seek medical treatment. Go to the emergency room if you suffered serious injuries and talk to your doctor if you were cleared at the scene but suffer pain the next morning. Many of the symptoms of whiplash and spinal cord injury, as well as the effects of traumatic brain injury, may not be immediately obvious, and you should always seek medical help if you notice the injury in the days following an accident.
If you go to the hospital or to your doctor, your medical expenses may initially be billed as usual. That means your medical insurance may cover your expenses, just as they would any other medical bills. This could mean you need to pay some amount out-of-pocket, such as a deductible or a copay.
Your auto insurance may also cover some of these expenses, whether or not your medical insurance will. Car insurance in Florida is required to carry at least $10,000 toward “Personal Injury Protection” (PIP). This portion of your insurance coverage is designed to pay for your medical expenses regardless of who was at-fault for the crash (hence the name “no-fault insurance”). This means that even if you were at fault for the accident, your auto insurance may still have money they can pay you to cover some medical expenses. However, $10,000 is not necessarily enough to cover severe or permanent injuries.
In many cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance can also cover additional damages. If your injuries are too expensive for your PIP to cover, you can file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance. This can take money from their PIP coverage (if they have not used their $10,000), as well as any liability coverage they have.
However, it is important to understand that auto insurance may not cover your full needs. While medical payments are usually covered as damages that insurance companies pay, they may pay only a percentage of the full bill. In addition, there may be other damages, beyond the medical expenses, that they do not cover.
Should I File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident or File Through Insurance?
Since Florida is a no-fault car insurance state with mandatory PIP coverage, you may be legally required to file with insurance rather than taking your case to court. In cases where the injuries are mild or moderate and the $10,000 PIP coverage can fully cover your expenses, you may not be able to sue. However, if your injuries are categorized as sufficiently severe or permanent, you may be able to sue. Additionally, if the PIP limit of $10,000 doesn’t cover your needs, you can usually sue.
When you sue for a car accident injury, you may be entitled to any damages that stem from the at-fault party’s negligence. When another driver violates traffic laws, speeds, runs a red light, or fails to yield, they can be held liable for any financial and physical harms that result from their mistakes. That means covering not only your medical bills but also any lost wages and pain and suffering you face.
When you sue for a car accident injury, your attorney will frame the case such that any damages that came as a consequence of the accident should be paid. That may include current expenses you face as well as projected costs of ongoing care. If you missed work or will continue to miss work in the future, you may be entitled to recover the lost wages you face. Lastly, the court is authorized to order damages to pay you directly for your pain and suffering. In many cases, your auto insurance will not pay for pain and suffering, and you can only receive these damages by pursuing a legal claim.
Miami Car Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was severely injured in a car accident, you may be able to file for a lawsuit to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. While your auto insurance and medical insurance may cover some of your medical expenses, the best way to get your hospital bills, X-Rays, surgeries, medical devices, and rehabilitation covered may be to file a lawsuit. For a free consultation on your case, contact Miami personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676.