How Do You Collect Payment for Medical Bills After an Accident in MA?
Personal injuries in the Commonwealth have the potential to cause staggering medical bills, putting victims in a difficult position. If you have found yourself in such a position as a result of someone else’s conduct, you may be curious about how to get the assistance you deserve in paying your bills.
Personal injury victims should start by filing a claim through their own insurer, which will cover at least the initial costs of care. Depending on the nature of the accident, victims may be able to step outside the insurance system and file a lawsuit against another party.
To get help assessing your options for recovering compensation for medical bills and other harms, reach out to the dedicated personal injury law firm of Massachusetts at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan. Call us at (617) 925-6407 to get a free initial case evaluation.
How to Get Compensation for Medical Bills After a Personal Injury in MA
If you sustained injury in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you may have the ability to pursue a lawsuit to obtain monetary damages for your harms. However, this will likely not come into play until after you have incurred at least some initial medical expenses.
To pay your immediate medical bills before your case has had a chance to develop, you will want to go through your own insurance. Depending on the nature of the accident, various forms of insurance coverage may apply.
For instance, if you were injured in a car accident, you should first file a claim with your own auto insurance company. All auto insurance policies in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are required to provide Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
Your PIP will cover the first $8,000 of your medical costs stemming from car accident injuries, no matter who caused the accident. If you have private health insurance, PIP will cover the first $2,000 and leave the rest to the health insurance company. However, PIP coverage often will cover any reasonable medical expenses that the health insurer fails or refuses to pay up to the $8,000 threshold.
When Should You Seek Compensation for Medical Bills from the At-Fault Party?
Massachusetts’ “no-fault” insurance rules generally dictate that a personal injury victim must go through their own insurance provider first to get compensation for medical expenses related to their injury rather than the insurance provider for the party that actually caused the accident. However, there are options available to you if your injuries meet certain criteria set forth by state law.
Personal injury victims may step outside the no-fault system and file a lawsuit against the responsible party if their injuries sustained in the accident include permanent or serious disfigurement, bone fractures, damage to bodily systems, or the substantial loss of hearing or eyesight. Discuss whether your injuries meet the criteria for a lawsuit with a seasoned Boston personal injury attorney.
Identifying whether you can file a lawsuit in your case is important for a few reasons. Lawsuits are not bound by insurance limits, so you can recover the full value of what you are forced to spend on your medical needs. You can also recover compensation for damages related to other harms that you suffered, such as pain and suffering, that are not available through insurance claims.
Which Medical Bills Are Compensable After an Accident in MA?
Any medical expenses that are reasonably related to the injuries suffered in the accident will be compensable in Massachusetts. In other words, you could recover for any costs that you incur as a result of your injuries.
This of course includes the bills for any hospital or specialist treatment of your injuries, including ambulance fees, emergency procedures and surgeries, medications, and hospital stays. You can also recover for the cost of continued treatment that may include rehabilitative physical therapy services.
But this list is not exhaustive. Your condition may force you to make accessibility modifications to your home. You may require the use of artificial aids, such as wheelchairs, crutches, or prosthetics. Some may even require assisted live-in care or placement in an assisted living facility.
All of these and more that are reasonably related to your injuries create substantial costs for which you can recover through an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Even hospital parking costs will go into a calculation of damages.
You may not realize on your own how much you stand to recover through legal action after an accident in Massachusetts. We recommend that you get a full accounting of what you are owed with the help of an experienced Cambridge personal injury attorney.
Never Wait to Get Medical Care Before Filing a Lawsuit in MA
Protecting your physical well-being is the most important step after an accident that results in injury. You should never put off getting medical assessment and treatment after an accident while evaluating your legal options.
Accepting insurance coverage after an accident will not harm your ability to recover in a lawsuit later. You can still file a lawsuit to recover for the full cost of your past and future medical care, amongst other harms. If you do use insurance to pay for some of the earlier costs of your medical care before winning or settling a lawsuit, the insurance company will use what is called a medical lien.
A medical lien is a demand for repayment for any medical bills that the insurance company picked up that the at-fault party ultimately repaid. Liens are commonly used in the context of personal injury lawsuits in Massachusetts, so they should not scare you. However, if you fail to pay off the lien for the balance that you owe your insurer, they could end up bringing you to court to recover the balance or even denying you insurance coverage in the future.
The Law Office of John J. Sheehan Can Help You Collect Payment for Medical Bills in Massachusetts
To get your free initial case evaluation with the Law Office of John J. Sheehan, call our Danver personal injury attorneys today at (617) 925-6407.