If you’ve been in a car accident, the last thing you want to worry about is who is going to foot the bill for the medical costs you’ve incurred as a result. Unfortunately, determining the “at fault” party in a car accident can be a tricky and lengthy matter. When the dust settles, however, the person who caused the accident and the person’s insurance carrier is generally held responsible for paying the injured party’s medical bills and providing other compensation. However, the wheels of justice turn slowly, and getting the at-fault party to pony up the cash for medical expenses can take several months. In the interim, you can cover your medical expenses with:
- Use your own health insurance. If you have private health insurance, you can use it to cover medical costs. Once you are reimbursed by the at-fault party, you will reimburse your insurance company.
- Give medical providers a lien on your potential settlement. Many healthcare facilities offer this service. Once your claim is approved, they receive their payment. This can be a good option if you want to see a specialist that your insurance doesn’t cover, such as a chiropractic doctor or an acupuncturist.
- Use California Med Pay, if you purchased it. You can seek medical coverage up to your California Med Pay limit with no deductible and regardless of fault.
Once the fault is determined in your case, you can begin the process of submitting your medical bills to the at-fault party’s insurer. Typically, you’ll also be asked for medical records to rule out previous injuries that may have a bearing on injuries sustained during the accident. For example, if your back was injured during your car accident, the insurer will look at your records going back several years to see if you were treated for a back injury in the past. If you do have a pre-existing condition, and the accident made it worse, you can still collect damages.
Working with a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney
It is important to remember that part of the settlement process in any car accident case generally entails the at-fault party’s insurer giving you a few lowball offers in an attempt to settle your case for the smallest amount possible. Keep in mind that you may still be responsible for paying your medical bills out of such a settlement, leaving you with even less compensation. Always consult with a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles before talking to the at-fault party’s lawyer. A seasoned attorney can usually negotiate on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve, including additional reimbursement for medical expenses.
As soon as possible after your car accident, discuss your particular situation with a competent Los Angeles personal injury attorney. Your attorney can help you understand your rights, evaluate your case, determine the appropriate compensation for your level of injury, and begin the process of filing a claim on your behalf. Contact the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg to begin the free evaluation of your case and find out what remedies you have under California law.