Medical bills may constitute the most substantial portion of all the expenses a victim has to bear after a car accident. These accidents occur unexpectedly and getting quality medical treatment on time is crucial to a complete and speedy recovery. In 2020, there were 4.8 million medically consulted injuries that resulted from motor vehicle accidents and the cost of these injuries was estimated at $473.2 billion. If you have been injured in a car accident in Arizona and what to know who will pay for your medical bills, contact the experienced car accident attorney Chuck Franklin directly at Chuck Franklin Law to know about your legal options. Call today at 480-545-0700 to learn more.
At-Fault Rule in Arizona
Arizona is an ‘at-fault’ state. This implies that the at-fault party or driver is not required to pay the medical bills immediately after the crash or on an ongoing basis. The cost of medical treatment can be recovered only after an insurance claim is concluded or if a case goes to trial, then after a settlement or favorable verdict has been obtained. Thus, the victim has to either pay these expenses out-of –pocket or rely on other options such as health insurance or public health plans.
Establishing Liability In a Car Accident Claim
To establish liability in a car accident claim in Arizona, it must be shown that the other driver was at-fault. It is essential to establish negligence on part of the driver who the victim claims caused the accident. The three important requirements for proving negligence on the other driver’s part are:
Duty of Care
The other driver must be under a duty of care to the victim. For example, all vehicles on the road must observe the traffic rules as they have a duty of care towards other vehicles on the road. This includes driving on the correct side and stopping at red lights.
Breach of Duty of Care
The victim must be able to show that the driver breached such duty of care. For example, not following the traffic rules, crossing the speed limits, or not stopping at a red light are examples of breach of duty of care.
Link Between Breach and Damages
Lastly, the victim must be able to show that the breach of duty by the other driver directly caused the accident. Further, Arizona is a comparative fault state. This implies that if the victim was also partly at fault, then the damages awarded may be proportionately reduced under law. For example, if the victim was using his or her phone while the other driver did not stop at a red light, then both the parties may be considered at fault.
The following evidence is typically considered while determining liability in a car accident:
- Photos or videos of the place of the accident.
- Police report of the car accident.
- Statements from eye witnesses who were at the spot while the accident occurred.
- Vehicle “black box” data.
Visiting with Chuck Franklin can help you understand all of your legal rights and how you may have the ability to receive compensation for your losses and suffering after a car accident.
Who Will Pay for The Victim’s Medical Bills?
Eventually, the medical bills will be paid by the other driver’s insurance company. However, dealing with the insurance carriers is difficult and expert negotiation skills are required to obtain a fair settlement. If a personal injury lawsuit is filed, then depending upon the decision of the jury, the medical bills are paid to the victim. Further, there is often a gap between the time an accident occurs and the time when an insurance settlement is made.
However, until these settlements or verdicts are made, the victim may consider the following options:
If the victim has a health insurance, either through a private plan or through an employer, then he or she may be able to recover the medical costs from such insurance carrier by submitting a claim. Although, this will handle the major medical expenses, the victim may still be required to bear some out-of –pocket expenses.
Typically, these health insurers will have what is known as “subrogation rights.” These rights allow them to recover the medical expenses paid to the victim from the settlement made with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Medical Payments Coverage
Generally, insured drivers also have medical payments coverage, also known as med-pay. It is an optional coverage offered through the victim’s car insurance policy. These payments cover the medical expenses in accordance with the policy limits chosen by the victim. Subrogation applies to such payments as well.
Public Health Plans
The victim may also resort to Medicaid or Medicare coverage to cover the cost of medical expenses. Just like private insurance plans, they also have subrogation rights against the settlement award.
Sometimes, medical providers may offer the treatment upfront and then later recover the cost from the settlement money received. However, it is important to read and understand the terms of such agreements carefully.
Types of Medical Costs Covered
In the United States, road accidents are one of the leading causes of death for people aged 1-54. It is imperative to get proper medical treatment on time. Generally, the payment for the medical costs will cover all or most medical expenses made by the victim as a result of the accident. These include expenses for medical transportation, emergency medical treatment, ongoing therapies and rehabilitation, follow-up doctor visits, medical equipments, and medicines. The victim should also preserve all the bills and invoices related to out-of-pocket medical expenses. These bills form a crucial part of the claim made to the insurance companies.
Contact An Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
Recovering the cost of medical expenses in a car accident claim in Arizona is a daunting task. To receive the payments immediately, the victim only has limited options. Expert negotiation skills and thorough analysis of the evidence are required to recover the maximum settlement possible from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Contact the experienced Arizona car accident attorney Chuck Franklin directly at Chuck Franklin Law at 480-545-0700 to learn more about your legal rights and options to receive medical payments.