road rage

Who Pays Medical Bills After A Crash?

If you were injured in a car crash, you likely have medicals bills. And, given the high cost of healthcare in California, these bills are sometimes very high. For some, the cost of medical expenses can be daunting, and the unknown as to how and when they will be paid can be paralyzing. Understanding who pays and how can be helpful for those trying to figure out how to proceed after an injury accident.

What About Car Insurance?

In an ideal world, the driver who causes an accident has car insurance. If he injures someone, eventually his auto insurance will ideally pay for the medical expenses of the injured person. But what if his insurance only covers him for the California state minimum of $15,000 and the injured person's bills exceed $15,000? In that scenario, the injured person's insurance may come into play, if he or she is insured for more than the state minimum. Additionally, if there are other insurance policies that might cover the at-fault driver, such as a business or umbrella insurance policy, those insurance policies might also pay for the injured person's medical expenses.

And If Car Insurance Won't Pay?

It sounds unfair and unlawful, but car insurance companies are notorious for trying to avoid paying medical bills. For example, they may state that the car accident did not cause the injuries, and so they do not have to pay the bills. There's a sliver of truth to this, but the extent to which insurance agencies use this excuse is often ridiculous. Or, the insurance adjusters may state that the amount billed is too much, and so they will offer you the minimum amount for the medical treatment billed. Or, they may simply decide that some medical treatment is not necessary, was not properly prescribed, or the date of treatment was too far after the car accident and therefore not related. 

How To Get Your Bills Paid For

An experience car accident or injury attorney may be able to help you. The insurance companies are likely to deal more fairly with you if you are represented by an attorney, as politically incorrect as that sounds. An injury attorney knows the rules of the insurance code. Also, a good injury attorney in California will have heard the excuses for not paying before. Therefore, he or she will be in a much better position to fight back on your behalf. Also, consulting an injury attorney shortly after your car accident will likely benefit you by learning more about the claim and litigation process before you finish your medical treatment. You may be able to avoid falling into the traps the insurance companies expect you to fall into.

The Lions Injury Lawyers represent injured persons throughout California, including claimants living in San Bernardino County, Riverside County, San Diego County, Orange County, San Joaquin County, and Los Angeles County. Speak with an attorney, not a salesman.

Documenting Your Expenses For Your Personal Injury Claim

The cost of an auto accident can quickly spiral out of control. When you face the potential for large medical bills due to someone else's negligence, it is understandable that many people become distraught and frustrated. Add to the mix the cost of childcare, time off work, transportation costs to and from treatment, and prescription medications, and your out-of-pocket expenses may become substantial. With the help of a good injury attorney you can be reimbursed for these expenses, but not without receipts. Insurance companies are notorious for refusing to pay for any expense without a receipt. 

Keep All Receipts

The best thing you can do is to keep all of your receipts. Most smartphones are able to scan receipts easy. Give these to your personal injury attorney. In the hands of an experienced injury lawyer, the at-fault party's insurance company will likely eventually pay up. Unfortunately, some costs can be impossible to recover without a receipt. For example, if you have young children and you have to pay someone to watch them when you go to your doctor appointment, you must have some documentation of this in order to get your money back.

Keep A Diary

The better you keep track of your expenses and physical recovery, the stronger your case is likely to be. Detail your progress physically, and of course record all out-of-pocket expenses. Remember, if the accident was not your fault, you should not have to pay for your recovery. The cost of transportation adds up. After a few months, that ten mile drive (one way) to your doctor cost you a lot more than a few dollars! Don't just pay for it - keep track of it!

Provide Your Injury Lawyer Your Bills

Billing departments commonly send out frequent reminders of outstanding bills. Your attorney should have these, as they make your case stronger. Your attorney should be the first point of contact for medical billing departments, but if this is not the case, you want to make sure your lawyers have the most accurate cost of your medical expenses. 

"I Don't Want To Sue Anyone"

If someone hit you and injured you, that person's auto insurance policy will pay for your injuries eventually. Of course, most people who try to reach a settlement on their own either settle for a small amount, or become so frustrated that a good injury attorney is needed to get a realistic and fair settlement worked out. Don't feel bad about filing a claim - this is what auto insurance is for. Most of us do not keep tens of thousands of dollars in our bank accounts, just in case we injure someone. This is what insurance companies do, and they make enormous amounts of money. You are only hurting yourself by not filing a claim if you were hurt by the negligence of an insured driver.

When To Call An Injury Lawyer

If keeping track of all your medical expenses becomes too much, a good injury law firm will have an experienced staff ready to help you. Also, if you're trying to get your medical bills reimbursed but the driver's insurance company is not playing fair, you need a lawyer. Unfortunately, often the only way to get the insurance company's attention is for a lawyer to call on you behalf. When this happens, their review process automatically changes. This works in your favor, and most of the time it means you will walk away with more money in your pocket. 

For more information about California Personal Injury claims, contact The Lions Injury Lawyers, P.C. today. 

Dealing With Road Rage

Safety First

If you're driving in Southern California, you've likely experienced the immense frustration that comes from sitting in traffic. Although congested roadways are a way of life, unfortunately road rage is an increasingly dangerous and sometimes fatal reality of our society. Sometimes road rage incidents are the result of a narrowly-avoided traffic accident. Often times, however, there is o explanation for what set off the aggressive party. The disturbing details of road rage incidents should give every driver pause. A few points of advice may help you avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

  • Get out of the way of aggressive drivers. It may be tempting to some to try to block or slow the progress of an out of control driver, especially when they are driving recklessly in slow traffic. The best thing to do is get out of the way, or stay in your lane where you are. 
  • Call 911 if possible. If you're traveling with a passenger, have the passenger make the call. The more information you are able to give the 911 operator, the better.
  • If the angry driver is upset with you, stay in your vehicle and do not do anything to escalate the situation. Lock your car doors.
  • If you are in a car accident with an angry or reckless driver, try to stay in your vehicle until the police arrive.
  • Keep communication with the aggressive party to a minimum: explaining your side of the story is unlikely to help. Wait for the police to arrive.
  • If you are being followed or harrassed by an aggressive driver, drive towards a public area. Avoid deserted roads and seek a public place where there will be many other drivers. 
  • Never try to detain or stop an aggressive driver, even if they have caused a collision. Do not follow a fleeing driver. Record information, but do not try to right the wrong yourself: aggressive drivers are unpredictable and can be very dangerous.

If you were involved in a road rage accident, the lawyers at The Lions Injury Lawyers, P.C. may be able to help. Contact us today for a free, no-risk case consultation about your car accident case.