I was a passenger in a car accident where our car was rear-ended. The driver driving our car was fine, and the driver who rear-ended us was fine, however, I suffered some tension in my neck and back, and I had to go to the ER to get it looked over. I was wondering who would be responsible for paying my ER medical bills? How does the claim process work for this kind of situation?
Sorry to hear about your injuries. The answer to your first question is the insurance company of the driver that rear-ended you, and if need be, the insurance company of the driver whose car you were a passenger in. Now, as for how the claims process in this kind of a situation, the best thing you can do is call a personal injury attorney ASAP to assist you with it. Hope this helps.
Your question perfectly highlights how it all works together.
First of all, you may have a claim for "Medical Payments" coverage under your driver's policy. This is like "no fault" medical insurance. In addition, you may be entitled to Medical Payments coverage under your own auto insurance policy! Usually, multiple policies will cooperate or pro-rate the coverage.
I always recommend to my clients that they go through their own health insurance first. Not only does this maximize out the recovery, but even if you are within your deductible, this will go towards satisfying your deductible. Further, most---but not all---Medical Payment coverage require that you present the medical bills to the health insurer first before they are required to pay under that coverage.
Finally, your instinct is correct, the party that caused the accident by rear-ending you is ultimately responsible. So, if that driver is insured his insurance company will basically be reimbursing your health insurer and any med pay insurer for money "advanced" on your behalf.
Trust me---it is a longer subject than this response allows--- but it is always better to go through all of the sources of insurance on a claim rather than be "lazy" and just get paid from the adverse driver's insurance policy!
Best of luck!
If the owner of the car you were in carries medical payments insurance (aka "med pay"), that policy should cover your bills. If you carry med pay coverage on your auto insurance, there is a possibility that your auto insurer will pick up the tab even though you were in another person's car. And ultimately, the person who rear-ended you is liable for your medical bills, but that payment will be a lump sum that also includes your other bodily injury damages (wage loss, pain and suffering, etc.).
If there is no applicable med pay insurance, and if you do not have health insurance that will pay the bill, you are ultimately responsible. But there are ways to defer payment until your claims against the person who caused the accident have resolved.
A personal injury lawyer can help you review your options and decide the best way to proceed. Most of us offer free initial consultations, and work on a contingency basis so that you're not out of pocket for attorney fees. You should contact a qualified lawyer in your area to learn more.
I live and work in California and deal with accidents like yours all the time, so I am happy to answer your question. The answer to your question is your gut instinct is right in that you are not certain about your rights. You can make a claim against either the person who rear ended the vehicle you are in or you can make a claim against the driver of the car you were a passenger in. You may need to hire a new lawyer and would likely get a better result if you hired one. You are entitled to future medical expenses but you are going to need to see a specliast to even get a shot at getting future medical treatment from the Defenedant. Determining the amount for pain and suffering is tough to do at the beginning of the case unless someone has a catastrophic injury, like a lossed limb. For something like what you have described you will need to wait until you have finished treating. Moreover it sounds like the accident is completely the other persons fault so you don't want this case to become a difficult one because of lack of inattention. Our firm does not usually settle cases until the client is 100%. We look at the case as a whole and attempt to figure out what the settlement should be. The insurance company will make you believe that your case is worth very little... Regarding pain and suffering, you need to speak to an experienced attorney that can strategize your case. Just because you were in an accident doesn't mean you have pain and suffering, at least thats what the insurance companies think. Make no doubt about it you have a great case, but you need help from a professional. You are entitled to your medical bills being covered as well.
Do you feel that you are at the same medical condition that you were before the accident? As a basic premise I wouldn't handle your claim by yourself. The attorney you hired can likely refer you to a doctor, if you ask for one, who will see you with no upfront payment! I've done this many times to help my clients out. You should not wait a single day to hire a lawyer, we will advise you on the strategy of your case. There is no upfront cost to hire an attorney.
With a case like yours it seems like you have some good facts in order to get a high settlement, but your case definitely needs to be developed further to corroborate your story. The most important thing when building your case are: liability (were you at fault); how bad are your injuries to your body. A lot of these things sound like they are not complete yet in your case so its something that is worth hiring an attorney for in order to get a sense of whether you have a case and what the strategy would be for you to build a strong case! I've handled cases and/or spoken to clients in the Elk Grove, CA area.
Its very possible that your case is worth more than the $$$ that the insurance company will offer you by yourself. Make your life easier and call an attorney today, you won't regret it.
In addition to "Med Pay" of the owner of the car you were in (if they have it) if you have insurance on your own car, you may have available "Med Pay" on your own policy. Also, if you have health insurance, that is another source of payment of medical bills. Ultimately, the person who rearended the car you were in is responsible for your medical bills.
You may want to consider getting a local area (Elk Grove) personal injury attorney to help you. Most personal injury attorneys provide a free initial consultation and then, if retained, offer a contingency fee agreement that indicates that you do not have to pay any attorney fees until there is a recovery. That is a good deal for you. Talk to a couple of attorneys in your area and then select one that is experienced in personal injury and auto accidents and you feel comfortable with. Sorry to hear about your injuries and I hope that you have a speedy recovery. Best of luck.
I recommend contacting an attorney for some guidance. You will need to file a claim with the insurance company of the party who rear-ended you. Please do not give them a recorded statement without the advice of an attorney. If the vehicle that hit you does not have insurance, the vehicle you were in may have uninsured motorist coverage which would cover you as well. If all else fails, your own uninsured motorist coverage for your vehicle may cover you. Definitely, get treatment for the injuries. Speedy recovery to you.
First of all, I hope you are feeling better. Next, the driver who rear-ended the vehicle is likely the at-fault driver liable for your injuries and responsible for compensation for your financial losses including medical bills, lost time off work and other costs. Your insurance and the insurance of the driver could be supplemental if the responsible driver has insufficient coverage to pay your losses.
For example, if the responsible driver's insurance is $15,000 and your bills are $50,000, the remaining loss could be covered by the driver's policy and yours if needed. I hope this is helpful. Make sure you choose an experienced attorney who is licensed in California to assist you and make sure the insurance company doesn't try to downplay your losses.
First off, I hope that you are recovering well from your injuries. You should file a claim with the insurance company of the car that rear-ended the car in which you were a passenger. The person who is at fault is responsible for your medical bills. However, if that person was uninsured it may be difficult to collect on your bills. There is also the possibility that the owner of the car that you were in may have uninsured motorist coverage which is another option to recover costs for your medical bills from the accident. Another option is your own vehicle insurance, which may provide coverage under an uninsured motorist. Keep in mind that you are entitled to future medical expenses that arise out of the automobile accident. I would advise you to continue seeking medical care, if needed, and I would highly suggest that you contact a local personal injury attorney to assist you throughout this process as it is complex and time consuming.
The party responsible for the accident is legally obligated to compensate you for injuries sustained in the accident. Additionally, you have the right to receive compensation for pain and suffering caused by the accident. I offer free consultations to help victims of car accidents understand their legal rights throughout the claim filing process. I wish you the best of luck.
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