Car Crash Injuries Requiring Surgery
There are several types of vehicle accident injuries that could require surgery immediately or shortly after your wreck:
- Fractured or shattered bones
- Dislocated joints
- Torn ligaments, tendons, or muscles
- Nerve damage
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Severe burns
- Lacerations that might result in scars or disfigurement
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
For these and all other injuries resulting from your accident, you must seek treatment right away, both for the sake of your health and to get documentation of the injuries you sustained in the accident.
Do not delay getting medical attention because you’re not sure how you’ll pay your bills. Doing so can only worsen your medical and financial problems, our personal injury lawyer says.
Collecting Damages Takes Time
The process of filing an insurance claim, demanding reasonable compensation, negotiating with the insurer for a fair settlement, and collecting your money generally takes months.
If the insurer offers you a quick settlement, it’s going to be a lowball offer that might not even cover your medical bills, so you don’t want to settle until your treatment is more or less complete and you know what your present and future healthcare expenses will be.
If the insurer is uncooperative and you have to file a lawsuit, it will take even longer to receive compensation for your damages. Meanwhile, you cannot wait until your claim is paid to get medical care, especially if surgery is required.
The bills for all your medical treatments will start to pile up soon, and paying them is your responsibility until your claim is settled. Fortunately, you have some options.
Your Own Auto Insurance
If your auto insurance policy includes personal injury protection (PIP), you may file a claim with your own insurer for your medical bills while you wait for your damage claim to be resolved. If the driver who hit you is uninsured or has coverage limits lower than the amount of your medical expenses, you may file a claim against your own uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.
In either case, your insurer should pay your bills up to your coverage limits and may then recoup their money through a subrogation claim against your settlement. If you’re injured in a hit-and-run accident, your UM insurance should pay your bills up to your coverage limits and then take action against the at-fault driver if/when that party is identified.
Your Health Insurance
If you have health insurance, you may submit your medical bills to your insurer, but you might have to pay a deductible amount as specified in your policy. Your health insurer, like your own auto insurer, would then have a subrogation claim against the settlement when your claim is resolved.
A Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the at-fault driver’s coverage limits and/or your own coverage limits are not high enough to pay all your medical expenses, you may have to file a lawsuit for the outstanding balance that you owe.
In some cases, healthcare providers might allow you to delay payment until your case is resolved, especially if you have an attorney who can provide them with proof that you’re in the process of seeking compensation for your damages.