You might incur various expenses and costs after an accident or personal injury. These financial losses are part of what is referred to as your economic damages. Medical expenses often make up a significant portion of the demand for compensation in a personal injury case.
You are responsible for paying your medical bills as they are incurred. However, you can include those amounts in your personal injury claim.
What Are Medical Expenses in a Personal Injury Case?
Medical expenses are generally defined as any cost associated with diagnosing and treating your injuries. Medical bills are considered economic damages because they are financial losses. They are also regarded as a type of compensatory damages because a settlement or jury verdict “compensates” the injured party for the expenses related to their medical care.
The cost of diagnosing and treating accident injuries can be expensive. Common examples of medical expenses for a personal injury claim include:
- Hospital bills
- Ambulance charges
- Emergency room bills
- Physician bills
- Laboratory fees
- Diagnostic tests
- Pain management treatment
- Physical therapy bills
- In-home nursing care
- Surgery costs
- Cost of prescription medications
- Medical equipment
You might incur additional medical expenses depending on your injuries and medical treatment. Your personal injury lawyer may include all medical bills and expenses you incurred from the injury date through the settlement date as part of your claim. However, you could also be entitled to compensation for future medical bills and expenses.
If you sustain permanent impairments or disabilities, you might require ongoing medical care and treatment. You could receive compensation for future medical expenses. In that instance, it might require hiring an expert witness to provide testimony and opinions regarding the type of care required and the cost of that care.
Who Is Responsible for Medical Bills Caused by Accidents or Other Personal Injuries?
Missouri is an at-fault state for personal injury cases. You must prove that the other party caused your injuries before you can recover compensation for damages. Once you prove fault, you can demand compensation for damages, including reimbursement for medical expenses.
For example, suppose your injuries were caused by a car accident. You would need to prove that the other driver caused the car wreck to hold them liable for the medical expenses you incurred because of the car crash. Evidence proving liability for a personal injury claim can include the following:
- Copies of accident reports
- Photographs and videos of the accident scene
- Statements from witnesses
- Physical evidence from the accident scene
- Statements made by the parties after the accident
- Videos of the accident happening
- Opinions and evidence from expert witnesses
Once you prove that the other party caused your damages, you can file a claim with the party’s liability insurance provider. You could also file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damages.
Who pays your medical bills while you pursue a legal claim against the at-fault party? Unfortunately, the medical providers look to you for payment of the bills because you are the patient.
Your health insurance company might pay the medical bills incurred because of a personal injury or accident. However, your health insurance company will demand reimbursement for the bills it pays from any personal injury settlement or verdict you receive. Most health insurance policies contain subrogation clauses to recover medical expenses related to a personal injury claim.
No-fault car insurance can help pay for medical expenses after a car accident. In some cases, a person might have disability insurance coverage and other insurance that covers expenses for an injury, regardless of fault.
Some medical providers might accept a medical lien. A medical lien allows you to receive treatment in exchange for a promise to pay the medical provider from the proceeds of a personal injury settlement. The lien must be paid before you receive any money for your personal injury case.
It is crucial that you seek prompt medical care after an accident or injury. Medical records provide crucial evidence that supports your claim for damages. If you have questions about medical expenses after an accident, contact our St. Louis personal injury lawyer for more information.
What Steps Should I Take To Document Medical Expenses for a Personal Injury Case?
Keep detailed records of all medical expenses related to your injuries. It can help to keep a list of all medical providers, including dates of treatment. The list helps your lawyer obtain copies of medical records, including statements and bills for services.
Also, keep copies of out-of-pocket medical expenses you pay after an injury or accident. Examples of out-of-pocket medical expenses that you can include in a personal injury claim are:
- Over-the-counter medications
- Bandages and other medical supplies
- Medical equipment includes bedside toilets, crutches, wheelchairs, slings, etc.
- Supplies like personal hygiene wipes, antibiotic ointments, alcohol swabs, etc.
Any medical supplies you purchase at a store to treat your injuries can be included in a personal injury claim. If you would not have purchased the items had you not been injured, include the items in your list of medical supplies.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyers
You deserve compensation for all damages. Our legal team at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers diligently documents your medical expenses to maximize the amount of your recovery. Contact our law firm today to request a free consultation with one of our experienced St. Louis personal injury attorneys at (314) 444-4444.