How Personal Injury Attorneys Help with Medical Bills

shot of medical bill and stethoscope

If you have been injured due to the negligence or misconduct of someone else, you should not be responsible for the medical costs that arise from the injury. Medical bills can be high, and in some cases can cause financial ruin. Whether you were injured in a car crash, fall, or other types of accident, the person or entity that caused the accident should be held responsible. A personal injury lawyer can help you obtain compensation for medical expenses by either negotiating a settlement or by proving your case at trial.

Who Pays Medical Bills in a Personal Injury Case?

The person who is at fault should pay for the medical bills in a personal injury case. This person, or his or her insurance company, should pay for all medical expenses resulting from the injury. This includes hospital stays, doctor visits, and ambulance rides. The person responsible should also cover future medical expenses resulting from your injury.

To prove that the other party is at fault in a personal injury case, you will need to establish the four elements of negligence. These elements include:

  1. The other party had a duty of care
  2. The other party breached this duty
  3. The breach caused your injury
  4. You suffered damages or losses from the injury

A duty of care simply refers to the obligation to exercise reasonable care in a given situation. For example, when driving a car, you have a duty to follow the rules of the road and not drive when drunk or distracted. For a personal injury claim to be successful, you must also show that the other party breached that duty by failing to behave in the way a reasonable person would.

The third element is often referred to as causation. Causation means that the action of the other party caused your injury. Finally, you must prove that you suffered damages. This can be the most difficult element to prove, but it is critical to recovering compensation for your medical bills.   

How Personal Injury Attorneys Help with Medical Bills

Being injured in an accident is stressful enough without the added worry of how you will pay your medical bills. You may be wondering if you have a personal injury claim and when to hire a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury attorney can help you get compensation for medical bills in several ways. An attorney can help you:

  • Deal with the insurance companies
  • Negotiate your settlement
  • Argue your case at trial

Depending on the type of accident you were injured in, there may be car insurance companies, workers’ comp insurance, and medical insurance involved. A personal injury lawyer understands how to deal with insurance companies and make sure you get full compensation. A personal injury attorney can also investigate the accident and gather evidence that can help you prove your claim. Evidence might include collecting statements from witnesses to the accident, getting photos or videos of the accident, and consulting with expert witnesses.

A personal injury attorney can help to lessen the financial burden of medical bills by negotiating with your medical providers. Your attorney may argue that certain charges have been improperly billed or billed too high. You can attempt to negotiate medical bills on your own, but this is often difficult.

While most personal injury cases settle without going to court, in some cases it is necessary to proceed with a trial. If settlement negotiations fail to result in a fair amount, the next step is to take the case to trial. A trial involves both parties presenting their cases before a judge or jury. The judge or jury will make the final decision. If you go to trial, it can take significantly longer to resolve your case and there is no guarantee you will win. Hiring a personal injury attorney, however, can increase your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit. It is possible that by going to trial you could receive additional compensation for legal fees, pain and suffering, or punitive damages.

 
How Do I Pay for Medical Bills While My Personal Injury Claim is Pending?

It may be a relief to know that the person at fault for your injuries will have to compensate you for medical expenses, but this process takes time. When you are injured in an accident, the medical bills begin right away. You may be able to pay these bills through your medical insurance or medical pay coverage, or you may be able to work with your medical provider to make an arrangement where you do not have to pay upfront. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine the best way to pay your medical bills.

One option may be to use your own medical insurance to pay your bills while you are waiting for a claim to settle. If going through your own medical insurance is not an option, you may be able to get medical care without any upfront charge by providing your medical provider with a letter of promise. A letter of promise states that you are going to pay your medical bills out of the proceeds of your settlement or court-awarded compensation. In some cases, the medical provider may place a lien on your settlement. By placing a lien on your settlement, the medical provider has a legal claim to the settlement proceeds.

A third option for paying medical bills after being in an accident in Illinois is to use medical pay coverage. Medical pay coverage is often included as part of an auto insurance policy. This is no-fault coverage that is limited to a certain amount. The limit on medical pay coverage may be low and may not cover all of your medical bills.

The financial impact of an injury accident may be overwhelming, but there is hope. An attorney can help you put the pieces back together and pursue fair compensation for your expenses.

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