Arizona

How To Get Your Medical Bills Paid After a Car Accident

February 12, 2021

How To Get Your Medical Bills Paid After a Car Accident

Car accidents are not uncommon throughout Arizona, but victims often struggle to secure the compensation they need after these incidents occur. In general, Arizona car accident victims should be able to secure compensation through the insurance carrier of the at-fault party. Unfortunately, insurance carriers are notoriously difficult to deal with, and they can throw up roadblocks when it comes to paying medical bills. Here, our Phoenix car accident lawyers want to discuss how car accident victims can get their medical bills paid after a crash occurs.

Medical Bills Immediately Following a Crash

Unfortunately, if you are injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you will not be able to secure compensation from the other party immediately. This often leaves a gap between when a crash occurs and when an insurance settlement is reached where the victim has to pay for their own medical expenses. There are a few ways the victims can go about paying these expenses. They may have to pay out-of-pocket. However, if a victim has health insurance, they may be able to use this coverage until they receive a settlement. The health insurance carrier will likely retain the right to recuperate their costs from any eventual car accident settlement.

Determining Liability of the Other Party

Arizona is a fault-based car accident state, meaning that the insurance carrier of the other party will be responsible for paying for expenses. However, it is crucial to determine fault in these cases. This can be done by obtaining the evidence necessary to prove the liability of the other party, which can include the following:

  • Photos taken at the accident
  • Video surveillance of the incident
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • The police report
  • Mobile device or vehicle “black box” data

Shared Liability Can Affect Medical Bill Compensation

The state of Arizona operates under a pure comparative negligence system. This means that car accident victims can receive compensation even if they share liability for the incident (up to 99% of liability). However, the total amount of compensation a victim receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.

For example, if Driver A changes lanes quickly and without using a turn signal and causes a crash with Driver B, they would typically be held responsible for the incident. However, if Driver B was looking at their phone when the incident occurred and failed to take steps to mitigate the incident, they could be held partially responsible.

Suppose, in this theoretical scenario, that Driver B sustains $100,000 worth of medical bills because of the accident. If a jury determines that Driver B was 20% responsible for the incident because they were looking at their phone, they would receive only $80,000 in total compensation to account for their percentage of fault.

Medical Bills Need to be Calculated Appropriately

It is important to point out that no car accident settlement should be reached until the victim has reached maximum medical improvement. There is no way to adequately compensate the total expected expenses until all medical treatment has concluded. Additionally, a personal injury attorney will work with a trusted medical expert to fully evaluate the injury victim and help calculate their total expected expenses. This will include the initial emergency medical bills, any follow-up medical visits, as well as ongoing physical therapy and rehabilitation, prescription medications, and medical equipment needed.