Insight

How to Handle Your Medical Bills After a Car Accident

Receiving medical attention after a car accident can be expensive. One personal injury lawyer details the steps to take when seeking medical attention after the accident.

Car Accident
CR

Craig D. Rosenbaum

December 16, 2020 08:00 AM

Seeking medical attention after being injured in a car accident is essential for your health and a personal injury claim. Aches and pains could be indications of a severe car accident injury. Prompt medical care can reduce the risk of your condition worsening.

Immediate medical attention also increases the chance that you receive maximum compensation for an accident claim. Delays in medical care give insurance companies a reason to argue that the motor vehicle accident did not cause your injuries.

However, medical care is expensive.

Medical bills from a car accident can include:

  • Ambulance services
  • Emergency room fees
  • X-rays, blood tests, MRIs, and other diagnostic tests
  • Radiology and lab bills
  • Physician’s bills
  • Hospital costs
  • Therapy bills
  • Medication and medical equipment
  • In-home health care and personal care costs

Even a minor injury can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills. A brain injury or spinal cord injury could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Who pays for your medical care after a car accident?

Paying for Medical Expenses After a Car Accident

Dealing with the medical costs that result from a car accident can be overwhelming. If you did not cause the collision, the other driver or another at-fault party could be responsible for paying your medical bills.

However, you must first prove that the person caused the accident and either settle the personal injury claim or take the matter to court. If the party responsible for the car accident does not pay for your medical bills until after the case settles, what happens until then?

There are several ways that you can handle medical bills after a car accident.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage

New York requires that all drivers carry no-fault insurance or PIP coverage in the amount of $50,000. PIP insurance pays medical bills and other damages, regardless of who caused the automobile accident. PIP coverage applies to you and the passengers in your vehicle.

Therefore, regardless of who caused the car crash, you file a claim with your automobile insurance carrier for medical bills. Under a general PIP policy, your insurance company pays for reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the car accident up to the policy limits.

However, if you were intoxicated at the time of the crash or impaired by drugs, your PIP coverage might not apply. There may also be other exclusions for PIP coverage, such as intentionally causing a car accident or committing a felony at the time of the accident.

Health Insurance Coverage

If you exhaust your PIP coverage for medical bills, you may also use your health insurance to pay for car accident medical care. You may have co-pays, and your health insurance might not cover all procedures or treatment.

Suppose you file a personal injury claim and recover compensation for your damages. In that case, your health insurance company will demand repayment of any money it paid for treatment related to the car accident. The claim is called a subrogation claim, and it is a lien against any settlement you receive related to the car accident.

Your car accident lawyer might be able to negotiate a lower payment for the subrogation claim, depending on the circumstances of your case.

Medical Liens

If you do not have health insurance coverage, your medical providers might be willing to continue treatment under a medical lien. A medical lien is a document you sign promising to pay the medical bills from any proceeds you receive from a car accident settlement. Your attorney is legally required to pay the medical liens from the settlement proceeds before you receive any money for your damages.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Even though New York is a no-fault insurance state, car accident victims might have a claim against the other driver. The other driver must have caused the accident, and your injuries must meet the serious injury threshold before you can recover compensation from the other driver.

New York State Insurance Code §5102(d) defines serious injury as:

  • Loss of a fetus
  • Death
  • Permanent loss of a body member, organ, system, or function
  • Dismemberment
  • Fracture
  • Significant disfigurement

There may be other cases that meet the serious injury threshold. Cases involving significant limitations of body functions or organs can sometimes rise to the serious injury threshold level. Also, injuries that seriously restrict the person’s ability to perform daily activities could meet the serious injury threshold.

It can be challenging to determine whether an injury meets the serious injury threshold if it does not involve one of the first six conditions. It is advisable to consult with a car accident lawyer after a car accident to discuss your legal rights and your options for recovering compensation for medical bills, loss of income, and other damages.

About the Author: Craig Rosenbaum is a personal injury lawyer in New York City and the co-founder of Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, PC. His office handles all personal injury matters and is located on Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, NY.

Headline Image: aydinmutlu

Related Articles

Leading Cause of Car Accidents in Alabama? Failing to Yield the Right of Way


by Mitchel Lattof

Failing to yield the right of way was the leading cause of car accidents in Alabama in 2018. According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, failing to yield the right of way resulted in 23,832 crashes. Ninety-six of those crashes resulted in fatalities.

Shards of car glass on the street

Why Expert Help Is Essential After a Car Accident


by Ted Lorenz

An Attorney Can Help Investigate After an Accident

A Legal Expert Can Help After A Car Accident

Car Accident Compensation in Florida


by Peter Catania

Are you curious about how to maximize your compensation after a car accident? These steps can help. Learn more here.

Car Accident Compensation in Florida

What Will a Car Accident Lawyer Actually Do for You?


by David Muñoz

Find out what you can expect after hiring a personal injury attorney. Learn about your legal rights to help you decide if you should hire an attorney after suffering injuries in a car accident.

What to Expect from A Personal Injury Lawyer

When Do You Need To Hire a Car Accident Attorney


by Jay S. Knispel

Injured in a car accident? Here are seven major signs you need to hire a car accident lawyer for your case.

Seven Signs To Hire a Car Accident Attorney

Crash Avoidance Technologies and the Litigation Landscape


by Jaime D. Jackson

Crash Avoidance Technology is now becoming widely implemented in production vehicles.

Crash Avoidance Technologies and the Litigati

A Potentially Precedent-Shifting Verdict


by Sean Stonefield

Preeminent trial lawyer Benedict Morelli on achieving one of the highest pain-and-suffering awards in New York State history.

Benedict Morelli

Overcoming Obstacles


by Sean Stonefield

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, personal injury firm Block O’Toole & Murphy is on track for its most successful year.

Block O'Toole & Murphy

The Winning Edge


by Justin Smulison

In its 40th year, Frantz Law Group finalized history-making settlements for clients in California and nationally.

Frantz Law Group

What to Do If You Become a Victim of Police Brutality?


by Edson Legal and Grillo Law

Two Toronto firms, one focusing on police brutality and the other on personal injury, give advice on what are the next steps you should take if you find yourself the victim of police brutality or abuse.

What Can You Do If You Are a Victim of Police

Trial Law Leadership


by Justin Smulison

Daniel J.T. Sciano, twice-named Best Lawyers® San Antonio “Lawyer of the Year” for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs (2010, 2012), discusses how his record of success impacts clients and Texas’ legal community

Daniel Sciano Best Lawyers 2020

Big Case Warriors


by Best Lawyers

The co-founders of Lyons & Simmons, LLP discuss their relentless dedication to pursuing justice for clients while also invoking change.

Lyons & Simmons Best Lawyers 2020

Are Teenage Drivers More Likely to be in a Car Accident?


by Jason Stephens

Teenagers are more likely to be in car accidents due to driving inexperience. But what are the other factors, and what can be done to help?

Teenage Drivers and Car Accidents

Wearing a Hard Hat Significantly Reduces Risk of Injury, Death on NYC Construction Sites


by Michele Mirman

Construction Injury Prevention From Hard Hats

Why You Should Never Admit Fault After a Car Accident in Philadelphia


by Ryan Zavodnick

It Will Hurt Your Insurance Claims

Never Admit Fault After a Car Accident

Are Cell Phones to Blame for a Rise in Rear-End Car Accidents?


by Michele Mirman

Distracted Driving Is Causing More Accidents

Cell Phones and Rear-End Car Accidents?

Trending Articles

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in America Honorees


by Best Lawyers

Only the top 5.3% of all practicing lawyers in the U.S. were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Gold strings and dots connecting to form US map

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2023


by Best Lawyers

The third edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ highlights the legal talent of lawyers who have been in practice less than 10 years.

Three arrows made of lines and dots on blue background

The Best Lawyers in South Africa™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers proudly announces lawyers recognized in South Africa for 2023.

South African flag

Could Reign Supreme End with the Queen?


by Sara Collin

Canada is revisiting the notion of abolishing the monarchy after Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, but many Canadians and lawmakers are questioning if Canada could, should and would follow through.

Teacup on saucer over image of Queen's eye

Famous Songs Unprotected by Copyright Could Mean Royalties for Some


by Michael B. Fein

A guide to navigating copyright claims on famous songs.

Can I Sing "Happy Birthday" in Public?

IN PARTNERSHIP

2022: Another Banner Year


by John Fields

Block O’Toole & Murphy continues to secure some of New York’s highest results for personal injury matters.

Three men in business suits standing in office

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in Canada Honorees


by Best Lawyers

The Best Lawyers in Canada™ is entering its 17th edition for 2023. We highlight the elite lawyers awarded this year.

Red map of Canada with white lines and dots

Wage and Overtime Laws for Truck Drivers


by Greg Mansell

For truck drivers nationwide, underpayment and overtime violations are just the beginning of a long list of problems. Below we explore the wages you are entitled to but may not be receiving.

Truck Driver Wage and Overtime Laws in the US

What the Courts Say About Recording in the Classroom


by Christina Henagen Peer and Peter Zawadski

Students and parents are increasingly asking to use audio devices to record what's being said in the classroom. But is it legal? A recent ruling offer gives the answer to a question confusing parents and administrators alike.

Is It Legal for Students to Record Teachers?

The Upcycle Conundrum


by Karen Kreider Gaunt

Laudable or litigious? What you need to know about potential copyright and trademark infringement when repurposing products.

Repurposed Products and Copyright Infringemen

Thirteen Years of Excellence


by Best Lawyers

For the 13th consecutive year, “Best Law Firms” has awarded the most elite and talented law firms across the country through a thorough and trusted data review process.

Red, white and blue pipes and writing on black background

Caffeine Overload and DUI Tests


by Daniel Taylor

While it might come as a surprise, the over-consumption of caffeine could trigger a false positive on a breathalyzer test.

Can Caffeine Cause You to Fail DUI Test?

Choosing a Title Company: What a Seller Should Expect


by Roy D. Oppenheim

When it comes to choosing a title company, how much power exactly does a seller have?

Choosing the Title Company As Seller

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers® in the United States


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and in the 2nd Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2022.

2022 Best Lawyers Listings for United States

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Australia™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from Australia.

The Best Lawyers in Australia™ 2023

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Germany™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from Germany.

Black, red and yellow stripes