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Are Medical Expenses Included in Personal Injury Settlements?

Michael Ehline, the Blogging AttorneyThe most significant expense an injured person experiences after an accident are medical bills, if they are included and who pays for them. Fortunately, those injured due to another’s negligence can file claims or a lawsuit against the negligent party’s insurance company to recover the damages.

Here, our personal injury attorney will answer the question that most of you may have, which is, “are medical expenses included in personal injury settlements?”

What Kind of Medical Expenses Are Recoverable in a Lawsuit?

In cases where an injured victim suffers serious injuries, they may need to stay at the hospital much longer and require rehabilitation.

Video Transcript

” 0:00 our medical bills included in a bodily

0:02 injury award medical bills are always

0:05 included in a bodily injury award that’s

0:08 awarded as a result of negligence of

0:10 another the bodily injury claim is in

0:13 fact the the framework of the personal

0:16 injury claim if you weren’t bodily

0:18 injured you probably don’t have a case

0:20 unless it fell under a defamation type

0:23 cause of action “

Bodily injury claims and “personal injury claims” and “PI awards” are usually used synonymous. Medical bills are often aggregated into the settlement amount with the lost earnings, the loss of consortium if appropriate and any other incidental expenses like purchasing wheel chair accessible vehicles, etc.

Chances are if you settle your personal injury claim, your settlement may include all or only one of these kinds of damages. It is usually a good idea to attempt to determine what recovery is provided for what in the interest of tax reasons, repayment, and determining the rights to recovery on other expenses incurred.

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Any medical bills arising due to another’s negligence can be compensated, and these may include the following:

  • Emergency room visits
  • Transportation to and from the hospital, if required
  • Hospital fees for stays
  • Surgery costs and other medical procedures fees
  • Fee for diagnostic including CT scan, MRI, and other imaging tests
  • Lab tests fee
  • Follow-up visitations
  • Visitations to medical specialists
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Prescription medications
  • In-home medical care
  • Future medical care
  • Equipment to cope with your injuries, such as a wheelchair
  • Hospice care.

The expenses mentioned above are not the only types of medical bills an injured victim may be able to obtain. They can recover any cost arising from the medical treatment of their injuries due to another’s negligence, which may include future medical expenses.

How Can I Prove My Injuries to the Insurance Company?

When a person suffers injuries due to someone else’s fault, they must prove all the damages arising from the other person’s negligence. 

It is crucial to keep all the medical bills, and hospital documentation safe following every visit as these are often used to prove that the medical care was necessary and the expense resulted from the original injury.

Can My Insurance Company Pay My Medical Bills Prior to Receiving a Settlement?

Since it can take a long time (months or, in some cases, years) to receive a settlement from a personal injury claim, paying medical bills is one of the major concerns injured victims have following an accident.

Depending on the severity of the injuries, personal injury medical expenses can cause a financial strain on the victim and their family. Those who cannot pay for their medical treatments have three ways they can prolong or finance their medical bills following their accident.

Med Pay

Medical Payments coverage, also known as Med Pay, is additional coverage on your auto insurance and pays the medical costs for your injuries resulting from any vehicle accident.

Regardless of who is at fault, this insurance coverage will cover your and your passenger’s injuries. Med Pay coverage will also be responsible for paying reasonable and necessary medical bills if you’re a passenger or a pedestrian injured in an auto-vehicle accident.

In no-fault states, including Florida, Hawaii, New York, Utah, and others, drivers must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) added to their car insurance. PIP pays for medical costs arising from a car accident, but unlike Med Pay, PIP also covers lost wages and funeral costs.

Since Med Pay is not mandatory insurance coverage in fault-based states like California, you may not have it added to your insurance policy.

If that is the case, you may want to use your health insurance to pay your medical bills.

Health Insurance

If you have health insurance, your health insurer will cover your medical expenses up to your policy limit, regardless of who is responsible for your injuries. You will have to pay the deductible and copays from your pocket.

In accidents resulting in injuries due to another’s negligence, the at-fault party’s insurance company is responsible for paying the damages. Since the process can take time, your health insurance provider may pay for the treatment and, through the process of subrogation, receive reimbursement from the negligent party’s insurer or request you for payment once you receive your settlement check.

Medical Liens

In case you don’t have any Med Pay and health insurance, there is a third option to delay medical bills until you’ve recovered a settlement in your personal injury lawsuit, known as a medical lien.

Some medical providers and doctors may provide you with a medical lien, meaning you will receive medical treatment without any upfront payments.

However, when you receive your settlement, you must first clear your dues with the medical provider.

If you require medical treatment on a lien basis, our personal injury attorneys can help locate world-class medical providers who may work with you.

Do I Have to Pay Medical Bills from My Settlement?

When you receive medical treatment, and an insurance company settles the payment with the medical provider for you, whether it is your car insurance coverage, health insurance, or Medicare, you will most likely have to pay them back for the medical lien.

Your Car or Health Insurance Company Receives Priority after a Settlement

Once you’re injured due to another’s negligence, your auto insurance or health insurance company has a contractual obligation to pay your medical bills or a portion of them. This obligation would’ve not happened if someone else’s negligence didn’t result in your injuries. 

Your insurer has the right to recover money following your personal injury settlement for their “injuries”; otherwise, you would be unfairly compensated twice.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help Negotiate Your Repayment

Depending on your insurance type and your personal injury settlement, you might need to pay back your insurer from the personal injury settlement amount. 

It can be complicated to wrap your head around this, and an experienced personal injury lawyer can help determine whether you have to pay the insurer. They can also negotiate with the insurer on the repayable amount if you have to pay them back.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law

If you suffered injuries from an accident that was not your fault, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation on your personal injury case, as you may qualify for compensation.

Handling personal injury cases can be challenging, but our experienced personal injury attorney can maximize your settlement by properly assessing the economic and non-economic damages arising from your personal injury accident. 

We will also handle the settlement check process and clear your outstanding medical bills so that you don’t have to worry about any dues.

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