After any sort of accident, especially car accidents, you could be left with expensive medical bills. If you weren’t the one who caused the accident, you shouldn’t have to be responsible for those bills – so how do you get compensation for your medical bills?
Generally, insurance is the first place to turn for coverage for medical expenses. Your health insurance can pay for some expenses, but filing a claim with an insurance company might result in a settlement offer from the at-fault party to reimburse you for those payments. However, you should always have a lawyer review this claim. Ultimately, you might be able to best get your medical bills paid through a lawsuit.
For a free review of your accident case, call our South Carolina car accident lawyers today at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers. Our phone number is (803) 451-4000.
Getting Medical Payments from Insurance for an Accident in South Carolina
When you are initially injured and go to the hospital to seek treatment, they are going to ask the normal questions about your health insurance regarding what coverage provider you have and what your policy number is. When you are hurt in an accident, though, getting payments for medical care can be more complex, and it should not fall to you to pay out of pocket or through your own health insurance without compensation.
Using Health Insurance
At the time of the accident, you might have no choice but to present your health insurance card and get the care billed to your insurance in order to get treatment. This will often leave you with substantial out-of-pocket payments related to deductibles and out-of-pocket minimums. Still, it will typically result in lower bills than if you got healthcare as a “self-pay” patient.
If you’ve already used your health insurance and paid for things like co-pays, then our South Carolina personal injury lawyers can seek compensation for your medical bills. From here, we will take all insurance statements and hospital bills and use them as evidence of your damages when we file an auto insurance claim or a lawsuit.
Using Auto Insurance (or Other Liability Insurance)
After a car crash, you may be able to file an insurance claim against the other driver. If you were hurt in any other type of accident, the process is similar, but you might file your claim with a business liability insurance or a homeowners insurance policy, depending on what type of accident you faced.
Either way, this process essentially looks like this: you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance, you submit proof that you need damages, and their policy covers your expenses. If you haven’t gotten treatment yet, it’s possible that you might be able to work with a doctor who will accept payment directly from the insurance company, allowing you to get all the treatments you need without worrying about billing. However, you should work with a South Carolina personal injury lawyer before taking any such steps. These doctors might be persuaded to reduce the care you receive to save the insurance company money. Instead, your attorney might recommend getting treatment from a doctor you trust and then getting the bills reimbursed by the insurance company.
At the end of the day, your Columbia car accident lawyers can negotiate with the car insurance companies to get your medical bills compensated.
Using First-Party Benefits
Some drivers might have “med pay” insurance or other coverage that pays them benefits after an accident. South Carolina isn’t a no-fault state, but these first-party benefits are similar to those used in a no-fault state, where each driver has insurance to cover their own injuries.
When you plan to use first-party benefits to cover your medical expenses, you might have to take more steps to choose the right doctor and work with your insurance company from the beginning, so you should consider working with a South Carolina car accident attorney right away.
Filing a Lawsuit for Medical Bills After an Accident in South Carolina
Whenever you are injured in an accident, you could be entitled to file a lawsuit to get your damages covered. This includes coverage for your medical bills, which can be claimed in any injury case. Your South Carolina personal injury attorneys can give you more details about the specifics of your case, but these claims generally work in the following manner.
To get medical bills paid, you will need evidence that the defendant was indeed at fault for your accident, and you will need proof of the damages you faced. To prove fault, you typically need to show four elements:
- The defendant owed you a legal duty.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The breach of duty caused your accident and injuries.
- The accident resulted in damages.
What you need to prove, specifically, varies from case to case. For example, most car accidents involve proof that the defendant violated some traffic rule and caused your accident because of it.
To prove your damages, you will need proof that the accident caused injuries, proof of what those injuries are, and proof of how much they cost. Getting medical attention right away after an accident helps prove that the injuries appeared on the same day as the accident and helps pin down the specifics of what injuries you faced. Your testimony and other evidence will also help prove that these injuries were from the accident. From there, your Sumter personal injury lawyer can prove the cost of your injuries through medical bills, financial statements, and other records.
Call Our South Carolina Injury Attorneys Today
If you were hurt in an accident and need help getting medical bills paid, call Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers today at (803) 451-4000. We offer free case reviews.