Getting Medical Care After an Accident – What You Need to Know Now!
If you feel any pain or discomfort after an accident – you need to immediately seek medical care. Not only to document your injuries – but most importantly to take care of yourself. Who pays medical bills in a car accident should not be a factor in your decision.
The first thing to know about getting medical care is that without medical attention there’s very little chance of proving you were injured. Without proof of your injuries, it’s very hard to get paid any money for your losses. You don’t want to fall into the trap of delaying your medical care.
Here’s the deal:
Injured people often delay getting medical care because it is expensive, and they don’t know how their bills are going to be paid. Common questions are:
- Does medical insurance cover car accidents?
- Does the person who caused the car accident pay my bills?
- Does car insurance pay my bills?
- Since I didn’t cause the car accident, I shouldn’t have to pay the medical bills – right?
These and many other questions are perfectly understandable following an accident. You may have gone to the hospital by ambulance, received care in the Emergency Room, may have had x-rays or other diagnostic tests performed, and perhaps been given medications. You may have gone to your primary care physician or been referred to see a specialist (e.g. neurologist or orthopedist).
Just after an accident, whether you were released from the hospital, saw an urgent care provider, or other emergency services, your injuries require immediate follow up medical care with a doctor. A Chiropractor is well suited to treat non-fracture “soft tissue” type injuries. No other medical provider has the same ability that a Chiropractor does to treat these kinds of injuries. If you see your Primary Care Doctor, perhaps you are given prescription medication and referred to a Physical Therapist or recommended to continue your chiropractic care.
So who pays for medical bills in a car accident? Ultimately, you are responsible for seeing to it that your medical bills are paid. But – the benefit of working with an experienced and well known Personal Injury Attorney is that he or she is trusted within the medical community, and can therefore get you medical services and treatment right away – with payment being made only after your case has finished. This likely means that all of your medical bills are paid from your injury case. You generally pay nothing at all out of pocket for the care you receive! That’s pretty awesome.
Who Pays For Medical Bills in a Car Accident? And How Much?
This is the big question – who pays for your injuries, lost time from work, pain and suffering – and how much? Although you’ll want to know this answer right away, any attorney giving you that answer right away is not being honest with you – because that’s an answer that’s going to have to wait. How much you get paid is tied to the extent of your injuries, the total cost of your medical care, the time it takes for you to complete your medical care, any ongoing injuries or permanent conditions, the costs of future medical care, any lost time from work or lost opportunities to earn income – and then your full pain and suffering (e.g. How your injuries affect your ability to engage in the every activities of daily living you otherwise would have enjoyed, your actual pain, your actual discomfort, your actual suffering, your physical limitations, and how long these conditions last.)
How much do you get for pain and suffering in a car accident?
No attorney can know this at the beginning stages of your injury case; unless this attorney also claims to have a crystal ball! Often people claim there is a multiplier used to calculate pain and suffering – this is not the case in Arizona. Pain and suffering is unique to each case and thus cannot be determined until after treatment is complete and medical records and billing are obtained.
Because you cannot know the actual value of your injury case right away, and how much you can anticipate being paid for your case – this is a main reason for not signing any settlement papers or making any verbal agreement to accept an offer made to you by the “other party” or his or her insurance company. A check for $10,000 may sound fair or even generous until you realize your case value is much more than you originally thought. Remember, once you settle your injury case, you have settled it forever, and nothing more will ever be paid to you. So resist the temptation to take the money that the insurance company will likely waive in front of you early on in your case.
Your focus should solely be on getting yourself better.
You are the injured one here. You have every right to get yourself better. This should be your focus. It’s important that you see competent medical professionals, so that you get the treatment and services you need, and so that your injury case is being properly documented. Without the proper documentation, it becomes very difficult (if not impossible), to prove what your injuries were and what treatment was necessary as a result of you being injured.
Fortunately, a competent medical professional is trained to document your injuries and the necessity of the medical care provided, as this training is part of their education and practice. This is another important reason for getting prompt, and continued as directed, medical treatment and services. If you are following the treatment plan, you are likely to maximize your case value and see better results from your treatment.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Another reason to hire an attorney is to move ahead quickly. Delays only serve to lower the value of your injury case. Most often in an injury case, the insurance company only pays one time for the full value of your case – at the end of your case. (However property damage, a rental car, and proven lost income is generally paid sooner – so that you are made whole from these losses upfront.) That aside, it is unusual for there to be any payments made until the very end of your case. Again, it’s important to you that you don’t have to pay your medical bills until the end of your case – and because delays negatively impact your case and injury improvement, it’s important that your attorney can put you in contact with the medical professionals who will see you right away, without any delay.
Remember that the driver who caused the accident, and their insurance company wants to pay you as little as possible! No matter what their insurance company does, or tells you, this insurance company and their representative are working against you! Don’t tell them anything! Nothing at all! Hire your attorney right away, without any delay, and let your attorney do the talking for you. This way, you are protecting your rights – instead of weakening your position by talking to their insurance company. Don’t make the mistake of speaking with any insurance company’s representatives, not even your own insurance company’s representatives (or your Agent), until you have hired an attorney and been told by your attorney to do so. (A smart attorney will generally not permit you to speak with any insurance representative. Your attorney should do the talking for you.) So don’t wait, hire an attorney now!
[This article is not intended to, nor does it, provide legal advice. If you would like legal advice on an injury matter, please call us and speak with one of our experienced attorneys. Please note that we only represent you if agreed to in a signed writing. Thank you.]