Car accident victims in Maryland often experience two sources of fear and stress. One source is the injury that is causing them pain, discomfort, and physical limitation. the other is the money that they need (and potentially don’t have) to help them pay for the care that will help them deal with that injury.
Until you obtain an insurance settlement or a court verdict on your case against the driver that caused the accident, you are likely stuck bearing the brunt of these bills. However, if you have medical insurance, you can use that without harming your chances of a recovery. If you don’t have medical insurance, your car insurance policy may help in this effort, depending on the language within the policy.
Fortunately, you can obtain sound legal counsel without costing yourself the money that you need for your care. When you place a call to Rice, Murtha & Psoras today, our diligent Maryland car accident lawyers can provide you with a free case assessment so that you can do what is right for you. To hear more, reach out to us at (410) 694-7291.
Who Pays for Medical Bills After an Accident in Maryland?
Maryland is one of many states that use an “at-fault” system for determining who pays for a car accident victim’s medical bills. Under the at-fault system, a victim gets the cost of their subsequent medical care and certain other expenses covered through the insurance coverage of the driver that caused the accident. This system is different from the no-fault system, which is used in other states and forces accident victims to pursue compensation from their own insurer first unless their injuries meet certain thresholds of severity.
While you can and should inform your insurance company of the accident, your official claim that will get your medical bills paid should be through the other driver’s insurance company. However, the other driver’s insurance policy may not be enough to cover your substantial medical bills. In these cases, you should consider filing a lawsuit against the other driver.
A lawsuit may recover additional damages on top of what you pay in medical bills. Car accident injury lawsuit damages in Maryland also account for the non-economic consequences of the accident and your resulting injuries, such as the pain and suffering that you are likely to endure while recovering. If your injuries or the procedures necessary to treat them cause disfiguration or chronic pain, a Maryland court will award additional damages based on the harm to your personal relationships, enjoyment of life, or any of the psychological conditions that commonly accompany these injuries, such as depression or anxiety.
Do You Sue the Driver or Their Insurance Company for a Car Accident in Maryland?
Many car accident victims are confused about who they would actually be suing for compensation for their injuries. the answer here is that you are suing the driver, through their insurance company will likely be involved in the lawsuit and end up paying for the vast majority of the damages.
In the policy that dictates an insurance company’s coverage of their client drivers, there is almost always language that indicates how lawsuits will be handled. This language typically includes the limits of the policy’s coverage for damages in lawsuits and that the insurance company will provide legal services for the defense.
Therefore, while the money that you are seeking will come from the insurance company and the attorneys arguing against you will be working for the insurance company, your case is technically against the other driver. When you file your lawsuit in a Maryland court, you will name the other driver in your complaint, not their insurer.
Does the Other Driver or Their Insurance Company Have to Pay Your Ongoing Medical Bills Before a Settlement or Verdict?
Even if the other driver’s negligence was clearly the cause of the accident that injured you, Maryland law does not require them to cover your ongoing medical bills prior to an official, legally binding decision. This means that, for the most part, you are responsible for contributing to your own medical costs until the point at which a court determines that someone else is.
If you wait too long to pay your end of your hospital costs, the hospital may institute an action against you to recover the debt that you owe. If this happens to you, we urge you to contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras as soon as possible to help remedy a situation that can get out of control fast.
Should You Hold Off on Medical Treatment After an Accident in Maryland?
If you are struggling with injuries sustained in a car accident but unsure of how you will be able to pay for the medical care that your injuries require, you may be worried about making that doctor’s appointment or going to the emergency room. However, putting off medical treatment for your injuries can make your situation much worse than it already is.
For one, your health should be your first priority. Certain injuries that commonly arise as a result of car accidents, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and internal bleeding, may worsen over time if gone untreated and may potentially become life-threatening. Many of these conditions can exist without symptoms, meaning that the only way to discover them is with a thorough, professional medical assessment. Other common conditions such as whiplash may resolve on their own but may take much longer to heal without treatment. This can cause physical limitations that may lead to chronic pain or missing time at work.
Additionally, you cannot hope to recover for the cost of your medical care if you don’t receive any. Any insurance claim or lawsuit that you file will fall on deaf ears if you didn’t seek medical care for your injuries. If you put off your assessment and treatment too long, it may raise questions about whether the car accident was the actual cause of your injuries. If your injuries get worse while you wait, you might not be able to recover the full amount of compensation required to pay for your care, as the other side could argue that your failure to have your injuries tended to could be viewed as a contributing factor in your damages that wasn’t caused by the accident itself.
If Your Medical Insurance Covers Your Treatment Costs, What Happens with Your Compensation?
If you are in the fortunate situation to have health insurance coverage when you are injured in a car accident, you can use that coverage to your benefit without harming your ability to recover damages for your injuries. Whether you are covered by a private insurer or through government programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, the insurer will cover the immediate costs of your care, aside from any out-of-pocket expenses that you must pay yourself.
However, if you obtain an insurance settlement or win a personal injury verdict in court, the insurance company will want repayment on what it spent on your care. the insurer, whether public or private, may place a lien on your settlement after you receive it. the lien serves as a tool to secure the insurer’s rightful interest in your settlement. Liens are a complicated legal business, so you should consult one of the seasoned Baltimore car accident attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras if you find that your settlement has been subjected to a lien.
What If You Do Not Have Medical Insurance to Cover Your Treatment for Car Accident Injuries in Maryland?
Unfortunately, if you don’t have medical insurance to pay for your immediate care while you wait for your insurance claim or lawsuit to resolve, you may be stuck paying your medical bills out of pocket. However, there may be a program available to you that can help. Even if the other driver’s insurance provider won’t cooperate, you may have access to “med pay” coverage through your own insurance plan. Med pay coverage provides a limited amount of coverage for injuries sustained in car accidents. the limit is typically somewhere around $10,000. Therefore, you can get up to this amount to cover your initial costs so that you get the care that you require while your case is pending.
Do You Have to Pay for a Lawyer While Dealing with Medical Bills in Maryland?
Car accident victims often concern themselves with paying both their medical bills and legal fees while waiting for a settlement or verdict on their pending court case. Fortunately, you rarely have to make sacrifices to your care or your daily life to get sound, competent legal attention for your ongoing case.
Many lawyers, including the Ocean City car accident attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras, may work on a contingency fee structure. Contingency fees are paid only when the case resolves and are dependent on the case’s outcome. In other words, if your lawyer is working on contingency, you don’t have to pay for their help until you win your case, and if you lose your case, you don’t owe them anything at all. Call us today to hear more about how our flexible payment structures can benefit you right now while getting you the legal assistance that your case deserves.
How to Evaluate Settlement Offers from the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Once the other side’s insurance provider becomes aware of the accident, they will likely have one of their representatives reach out to you. This representative, also known as an insurance claims adjuster, will request information about the collision. They may ask you to confirm the story that they already have. They may even offer you an up-front settlement of your claim.
Despite how it may feel, these efforts are not meant to serve you. the claims adjuster’s goal is to limit the exposure for their employer, meaning that they are trying to get you to give up on value that you deserve and would likely otherwise receive from your case.
Insurance claims adjusters ask for your side of the story because they are hoping that you will slip up and admit partial fault for the accident. They ask you to confirm their version because theirs is a version under which they might be able to deny coverage. and they make settlement offers because they hope that you won’t think too closely about what you deserve with guaranteed money staring you in the face.
Settlements are a valuable and useful tool for claimants who want to avoid a costly trial process that can drag on for a while. However, insurance companies prey on victim’s fear and tight financial circumstances to get them to accept settlement offers that are less than optimal. You are under no obligation to accept the first settlement agreement that you are offered, nor are you obligated to accept a settlement at all. You have the right to pursue your claim all the way through to the court system as intended. You can take the full amount of this time to negotiate the terms of a fair and reasonable settlement.
We strongly urge you to speak with an experienced Towson car accident attorney at Rice, Murtha & Psoras before signing anything or agreeing to speak with a representative for the insurance company. You can designate your attorney to handle the communication and negotiations with the insurance claims adjuster so that you can avoid the extra stress and spend that extra time tending to your injuries.
Get the Money That You Deserve with the Help of Rice, Murtha & Psoras
Recovering compensation for a car accident that injured you from the party responsible is serious business. You can benefit from the help of the serious Columbia car accident attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras. Call today at (410) 694-7291 for a free case assessment.