- February 11, 2020
Trips to the hospital and doctor come with a high price tag. Medical bills add up quickly, and if you’ve needed treatment for your injuries following a car accident, you’ll want to pay these off as soon as possible. You should never pay for treatment out-of-pocket when you did not cause the accident. When you receive your personal injury settlement, however, paying these medical expenses should be one of the first things you do.
What Are “Special Damages” Considered in Your Settlement?
Medical bills, along with lost wages, fall into a category of compensation called special damages. When negotiating your settlement with the insurance company, these special damages are significant factors in determining the settlement amount. Damages fall into the following two categories:
- Special damages
- General damages
One way to think about these two types of damages is to consider special damages as “economic” and general damages as “non-economic.” Since medical treatments and wages lost are easily documented, special damages are often easier to put a dollar amount on to make up for these costs than general damages. Special damages will encompass any financial loss that you incurred because of the car accident. That includes:
- Medical treatments
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- and any economic loss.
General damages encompass losses that are not so easily quantifiable, like loss of enjoyment of life, lost companionship, and pain and suffering. An attorney could help you understand what you might recover for general damages based on prior settlements for cases like yours.
How to Pay Your Medical Bills Before You’ve Reached a Settlement
Some states, like New York, are considered a no-fault accident state, and you’ll first use your no-fault coverage under your auto insurance policy to pay for your medical bills. This insurance is a requirement for drivers in New York State and will cover medical treatments, whether you were at fault or not. No-fault insurance will cover up to $50,000 of your necessary expenses for medical treatment. Examples of these expenses include:
- Costs for an ambulance
- Emergency medical care
- Diagnosis and initial medical treatment
- X-rays, MRIs, and other tests or scans
- Surgery costs
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
Other states, like California, do not have no-fault laws, and no-fault insurance is not a requirement. In these cases, it’s wise to review your coverage with an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles to understand all that you’re entitled to under your policy.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help with Your Medical Bills
Working with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney helps to ensure that you won’t get stuck paying for medical expenses for injuries stemming from an accident that wasn’t your fault. A personal injury attorney can help in many ways, including by:
- Ensuring that your medical claims are sent to your No-Fault insurer on time
- Reconciling disputes with your No-Fault insurer
- Negotiating a fair and full settlement with the negligent party’s insurer.
Having a personal injury attorney on your side ensures that your medical treatments and bills are paid for and resolved so you can focus on your recovery.
Get Help Today from The Barnes Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that requires medical treatment and care, contact an experienced personal injury attorneys at The Barnes Firm. With decades of combined experience helping clients with their personal injury claims, we will fight to negotiate the best possible outcome for you. Trust our auto accident lawyers to get the best possible result. Call today for your free consultation or book an appointment online. Until we win your case, we will not take a fee from you.
The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000