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How Are Medical Bills Paid After A Car Accident?

A stethoscope on top of several fanned out twenty dollar bills.

How are medical bills paid after a car accident? Victims of car accidents are typically responsible for funding their medical expenses directly after these incidents, even if another party caused the victim’s vehicle to crash. If a party other than the injured person can be shown to have been at fault in the accident, in some cases it may be possible to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance, or file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party themselves, in order to obtain compensation for damages such as medical bills and lost wages. Meanwhile, the car accident victim might rely on their health insurance, if they have a health insurance policy, or Medicaid to cover their accumulating medical costs. Discover how a New Hampshire personal injury attorney may be able to assist those involved in vehicle collisions by getting in touch with Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC at (603) 707-4800.

Car Accidents and Medical Bills Explained

Vehicle collisions take place when a car or other motor vehicle crashes into another stationary or moving object. Examples include animals, pedestrians, road debris, buildings, poles, trees, and of course other vehicles. Property damage, individual and societal financial implications, injuries, disabilities, and fatalities are among the many common and painful consequences of car accidents. More than 40,000 people died in the United States in 2022 as a result of traffic collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The following factors can make car accidents more likely to occur:

  • Vehicle or road design flaws
  • Excessive speeding
  • Lack of driving skills
  • Alcohol or drug impairment
  • Distracted driving
  • Aggressive driving
  • Street racing
  • Poor weather or road conditions

Medical bills following a car collision can vary widely in total cost. Injuries requiring hospitalization, rehabilitation, and surgery could cost tens of thousands of dollars and might end up in the hundreds of thousands for severe injuries, like spinal cord or brain injuries, needing long-term rehabilitation and medical treatment, whereas minor injuries can cost as little as a few hundred. Per the Insurance Information Institute (III), average bodily injury auto liability insurance payouts were just short of $25,000 in 2022. Some examples of post-accident procedures that frequently result in substantial medical bills include: 

  • Surgeries
  • Ambulance trips
  • Prescription medications
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Rehabilitation and therapy services
  • Visits to hospitals, outpatient clinics, specialists, and doctors’ offices
  • Accessibility modifications to offices, homes, or vehicles

Do I Have To Pay Medical Bills out of My Settlement?

If a car accident victim incurs substantial medical bills as a result of their injuries and they use their health or car insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, workers’ compensation, or a medical lien (a claim by an insurer, government agency, or medical provider issued to enforce debt repayments), they will likely need to repay these expenses to the party that covered the cost of these bills if they obtain a settlement. If the individual used their car and health insurance, whether the victim has to repay medical bills from their settlement depends on what those policies stipulate. Acquire a more detailed response to “How are medical bills paid after a car accident?” and see how a New Hampshire personal injury attorney may be of assistance by arranging a consultation with Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC.

Who Pays for Bodily Injury?

The State of New Hampshire Insurance Department does not require drivers to have vehicle insurance. However, the state does have motor vehicle financial responsibility requirements that drivers must meet. Most drivers opt for auto insurance as it is the easiest and least expensive way to meet the state’s financial responsibility requirements. When someone is liable for a vehicle collision, that party’s bodily injury liability coverage funds the medical expenses of the people injured in the crash, apart from the at-fault party’s medical bills. This type of coverage is typically included in the majority of vehicle insurance policies, and many states require motorists to have it. 

Bodily injury liability coverage reimburses the following:

  • Medical costs, including hospital fees, emergency care, and ongoing treatment
  • Loss of earnings from missing work, being unable to perform work duties, or receiving ongoing care
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral costs
  • Legal and court fees of the insured party

Who Pays the Deductible in a Car Accident?

A deductible refers to the amount of money that an insurance policy’s holder must spend toward their bills before submitting a claim. Individuals who choose to file a claim with their own auto insurance provider in order to get coverage for their expenses more rapidly than might be possible if they waited for the at-fault party’s insurance to deliver a payment are responsible for paying the deductible outlined in their policy for any claim they make, irrespective of who was at fault.

Following payment of the deductible, the insurer provides the remaining funds for the vehicle’s repair. If a car accident victim’s vehicle has $5,000 worth of damage and the deductible is $1,000, the victim pays $1,000 and then the insurer covers the remaining $4,000. Worth noting, however, is that a claimant could potentially recover the deductible by suing the responsible party and seeking either a settlement or an award of damages in court to cover the cost of the deductible payment.

How Are Medical Bills Paid After a Car Accident?

In answer to “Who pays my medical bills after a car accident?” it is important to note that individuals seeking medical care immediately after an accident are usually responsible for the initial payment of their own medical expenses, regardless of who was liable for the crash. Personal injury claims are frequently filed precisely to recover the costs of those out-of-pocket expenses, even if some or all of the total was initially paid by the accident victim’s own health insurance coverage. 

Each policy differs slightly and will specify the type and extent of coverage provided, including when these payments occur and how. The at-fault party only reimburses the injured person if they are found liable, either because a court determines this or the at-fault driver’s insurance company settles; since reaching a settlement with an insurance company or finding a verdict in a court case could take several months or years following the incident, it can place severe financial pressure on the injured person, who might be accruing substantial medical bills in the meantime.

Consider Contacting a New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorney Today

The party liable for a vehicle accident is ultimately responsible for covering the victim’s medical bills and other losses; however, recovering these costs can take time, which means the person involved in the incident may have to find other methods of funding their medical expenses and the costs of vehicle repairs or replacements, as well as the costs associated with any other property damage, in the short term. If you have been involved in a car accident in New Hampshire, consider contacting a seasoned lawyer to learn about your available legal options and discuss the details of your case. Gain a more comprehensive answer to “How are medical bills paid after a car accident?” and find out how a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer from Friedman & Bresaw, PLLC may be able to help car accident victims by calling (603) 707-4800.

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About the Attorney
Jesse Friedman

Jesse has personally represented thousands of clients throughout the State - from juvenile delinquency offenses through homicides. He has extensive trial and litigation experience and has obtained favorable outcomes for thousands of clients throughout the years.

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