If you were hurt by another driver’s negligence, you can seek compensation for your losses – including your medical expenses – by filing a car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance provider.
The most important part of the process is obtaining the medical care you need as soon after the accident as possible – very serious injuries can be slow to become symptomatic. Early diagnosis and treatment can significantly reduce the risk of developing dangerous complications or experiencing a secondary healthcare concern.
If this is the difficult position you find yourself in, it’s time to consult with an experienced California car accident attorney.
How Are Medical Bills Paid after a Car Accident?
If you’re harmed by another driver’s negligence, you’ll be responsible for covering your related medical bills until your car accident claim filed with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider either settles or receives a court award. The bills you cover upfront will proceed through your medical insurance, your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, your medical payments coverage, or a combination of the three.
Once your claim is settled, the insurance company will require that you compensate it for the amount it paid on your claims, which excludes your deductibles and copays and includes only the actual amounts paid – not the amounts billed, which are often higher.
Does Health Insurance Cover Car Accident Bills?
Generally, health insurance does cover car accident bills – in one way or another. Consider the following:
- If you are injured in a car accident where no one else’s liability is involved, your medical insurance will cover your medical bills. If you purchased medical payments coverage with your car insurance – which is optional coverage – it can also assist.
- If you are injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you will file your claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance provider, and your settlement or court award will ultimately cover your medical bills. In the meantime, however, either your medical insurance, your medical payments coverage, or both will cover these bills.
- If the at-fault driver is underinsured or uninsured, you will look to your underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, your healthcare coverage, or both to pay your medical bills.
What Makes Up Your Car Accident Medical Bills
Your car accident medical bills can become exceptionally high from the different types of care you receive and may include all the following:
- Emergency care
- Surgery and follow-up care
- Hospitalization and in-hospital care
- Chiropractic care
- Prescription medications
- Pain management
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Adaptive physical devices
- Home health care
Following your doctor’s advice and instructions is essential for your health and car accident claim. And including your complete range of medical expenses in your claim is critical to your ability to address this loss fully.
Additional Categories of Loss
If you are injured by another driver’s negligence, you can seek compensation in your car accident claim for the following forms of loss in addition to your medical expenses:
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Lost earnings related to lost hours on the job
- Your physical and emotional pain and suffering
Protecting Your Claim
If you’ve been injured by another driver’s negligence in a car accident, it’s important to protect your claim and your health. Toward this end, there are several important steps you can take, including:
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully
- Consult with a dedicated car accident attorney as soon after the accident as you can
- Allow your attorney to make a statement to the insurance company on your behalf – insurance agents are trained to coax damaging statements out of claimants
- Refrain from posting on social media until your claim is resolved – the insurance company is waiting for you to post something it can render damaging
- Don’t accept a settlement offer before you’ve discussed it with your car accident attorney – insurance companies are notorious for offering lowball settlements that claimants sign off on out of desperation
Your Car Accident Attorney’s Role
Having a dedicated car accident attorney in your corner can help in all the following ways:
- Your attorney will gather all the relevant evidence and compile it into your strongest claim.
- Your attorney will take eyewitness testimony, hire expert witnesses, and create accident models to support your claim.
- Your attorney will help you navigate the claims process and make the best decisions for you along the way.
- Your attorney will be well prepared to file a lawsuit and proceed to court if the insurance company refuses to address your claim fairly.
Discuss Your Claim with an Experienced California Car Accident Attorney Today
The committed California car accident attorneys at One Law Group understand the gravity of your situation. They are well prepared to skillfully advocate for your legal rights – in pursuit of compensation that allows you to reach your most complete recovery.
Car Accident Case FAQs
Who pays medical bills in a car accident in California?
If another driver leaves you injured in a California car accident, you will seek just compensation that covers your medical bills – in addition to other losses – through a car accident claim that you file with the at-fault motorist’s car insurance provider.
Will my claim go to trial?
Your car accident claim is unlikely to go to trial. The vast majority of claims settle before a lawsuit is filed, and even in those cases in which a lawsuit against the insurance company is filed, only about 5 percent proceed to trial.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
In California, you have two years from the date of the car accident to file a lawsuit, and this is called the statute of limitations.