- August 28, 2019
LOS ANGELES — After any car accident, you may be wondering what to do. A car accident lawyer in Los Angeles says your first priority should always be to seek immediate medical care. Unfortunately, the costs of this care can quickly accumulate, especially the accident caused serious injuries. So, how do you pay for all of these medical bills and expenses?
Know that there’s help available, and that you have options!
Costs of Emergency Care
A recent study in the United States found that the anticipated costs of medical care can be a large deterrent in receiving timely and appropriate treatment. The survey polled 2,000 adults in the U.S. and found that half of them had delayed or ignored medical treatment because of costs.
The study also found that on average, a trip to a U.S. emergency room will result in a bill totaling more than $12,000. Wow!
Even with insurance coverage and deductions, most patients still end up having to pay about half of that bill (almost $6,000) out of their own pockets.
When faced with bills of that size, many patients spend years trying to eliminate the debt. More than 30 percent of the survey participants said they had to delay payments or hadn’t been able to make payments. A quarter of participants said they were using crowdfunding sites to raise money for their medical bills.
While payment plans and crowdfunding are some options to take, a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles says it doesn’t always have to come to that!
California Laws on Car Accident Medical Expenses
Car accidents are some of the more common causes of emergency room visits and trauma care. Accident victims might have one large ER bill, or they might have several bills, including surgery costs, hospital room fees, physical therapy, and prescriptions. Who is responsible for paying these bills after a car accident in LA?
Let’s clear this up: the only person responsible for paying your medical expenses after a car accident is you. However, there are a number of processes that allow you to recover medical expense reimbursement. In most cases, you may have to file a personal injury claim to be able to recover these financial expenses. Unfortunately, these take time to process.
In California, car accident law is fault-based. That means you can seek compensation for your medical care from the at-fault driver in your accident. Typically, you will do this in one of two ways:
- By submitting a claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company; or
- By filing a claim for damages in court against the at-fault driver.
You also have the option in California of seeking compensation from your own auto insurance carrier, if you have a policy that covers you for accidents that were not your fault. This is not required in the state, but California drivers are required to carry a liability policy of at least $15,000.
With the average one-time emergency room bill totaling more than $12,000, car accident victims often find that their medical bills exceed the policy limits carried by at-fault drivers. In these circumstances, victims can explore opportunities by contacting a qualified Los Angeles car accident lawyer who can tailor a personal injury claim to fit your specific needs.
However, it’s important to act quickly!
California Car Accident Statute of Limitations
All lawsuits in California have filing deadlines called statutes of limitations. If a claim is not filed in the appropriate court by the statute of limitations date, the courts are likely to deny your claim.
In car accident cases, an injured driver or passenger must file their claim(s) within two years of the date of the accident. However, many factors go into calculating the correct statute of limitations date, so all potential claimants need to consult with an experienced car accident attorney in Los Angeles to ensure the deadline does not pass.
What To Do If You’ve Been Injured By Another Driver
So, how do you find the right car accident lawyer for your case? At The Barnes Firm, our team focuses exclusively on accident cases. We’ve seen almost every possible scenario play-out in court, and that experience allows us to help our clients get the best possible results from their claims.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, you’re going to want an experienced legal team on your side. The Los Angeles car accident attorneys at The Barnes Firm can help — and they don’t get paid until you’re compensated for your injuries. Call us or contact a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles online for a FREE case evaluation.
The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000