Victims of a North Carolina car accident who’ve sustained severe injuries will undoubtedly have many medical appointments, treatments, and even maybe multiple surgeries as a part of their necessary treatment plans. Some may not be able to work and earn a living while undergoing the recovery process, or worse, face life with a permanent disability that will not permit them to work at all. Unfortunately, these factors don’t stop the medical bills from pouring in.
Pitt County residents who are uncertain about what to do next after a car accident should consult with a Greenville car accident lawyer. Over a free consultation appointment, one of their car accident specialists can determine what you should do next.
Car Accident Injuries and Medical Bills
Although it may be assumed that the negligent driver in a North Carolina car crash would be responsible for the victim’s medical expenses, this isn’t something that happens immediately. One of the long-term goals of filing a personal injury lawsuit after an accident is to recover any financial losses incurred. But until there’s a pretrial settlement or a courtroom judgment, the defendant isn’t under any legal obligation to fork over a penny towards your medical bills. So what do you as the accident victim do?
Initial Medical Expenses
Most of the time, the accident victim’s initial medical expenses will be covered by either their car insurance policy or their medical insurance. They’ll be responsible for paying all medical expenses up to their policy’s deductible. If their car insurance policy doesn’t cover personal injury protection or they don’t have medical insurance or are underinsured, they’re still responsible for their medical bills.
As a part of their personal injury lawsuit, they have the right to seek repayment for any out-of-pocket medical expenses along with many other types of damages that can be added to the lawsuit.
Who Pays for Continued Medical Treatment Costs?
Unfortunately for the victim, they will technically be held liable for any and all medical expenses. Personal injury claims can be incredibly time-consuming and slow to move forward. Even during the discovery phase when both legal teams meet to share evidence and discuss a settlement can take months. If they can’t come to an agreement and the case goes to trial, it could be well over a year before a judgment is reached.
Options for Medical Expenses Payments
Most medical treatment facilities will continue medical care despite nonpayment. To ensure continued care, your lawyer must contact all of your treatment providers and inform them that you are currently seeking a settlement and that they’ll be paid in full once you’ve received compensation.
Another option is to seek a lawsuit settlement loan. Some lending institutions will agree to loan an amount a bit less than your expected personal injury settlement amount. If your lawsuit is strong, many lending institutions will agree to lend you the money even if you don’t win your case. After evaluating your case, some may even cut you a check within 24 hours.
There are pros and cons to a lawsuit settlement loan that should first be discussed with your personal injury attorney before applying for one. Although they do provide the funds rather quickly which can be of great relief for victims with mounting medical debt, many do charge high sky-high interest rates on the loan. Sometimes the rates can be so high that it doesn’t make financial sense to apply.
The Importance of Documentation
To ensure that accident victims are compensated properly for all of their medical expenses, they must maintain an accurate and up-to-date list of all medical bills and injury-related expenses. Other than accountability, the main reason for filing a personal injury lawsuit is to seek monetary compensation for all damages. This can be achieved by keeping accurate records.
A big part of every personal injury case is the burden of proving damages. Victims who have long-term treatment plans could benefit from keeping an injury journal. Writing down each and every medical procedure, treatment, and appointment is a smart way to ensure that they have a medical receipt or bill for all injury-related treatments. Every out-of-pocket penny should be a part of your compensation package.
How To Handle Medical Bills After a North Carolina Car Accident: Final Thoughts
Just because you’ve been injured in a car wreck that was no fault of your own doesn’t mean that the neglectful driver will immediately begin paying your medical expenses. Typically, until you’ve filed a lawsuit or have begun negotiations with the at-fault party’s legal team, your medical expenses are your responsibility.
To ensure that every penny of your medical expenses is covered, you’ll need to work with an experienced car crash attorney. Negotiating for the best possible settlement requires the savvy of an experienced legal team and should never be attempted without legal guidance.