One of the first questions that often comes up after a pedestrian accident is: Who will pay for the medical expenses and how a Boston pedestrian accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve? Let’s answer that question for you.
Understanding Insurance Coverage
When you’re in a pedestrian accident, you start with the auto insurance of the driver who hit you. In most places, drivers must purchase liability insurance. This insurance covers costs for damages or injuries that the driver causes in an accident. So, if a driver hits you while you’re walking, their liability insurance typically pays for your medical treatment.
Insurance policies can differ depending on the driver and the state where the accident happened. Each state has its own laws about auto insurance.
For example, the minimum liability coverage that drivers must carry can vary from one state to another. This means that the amount available to cover your medical expenses might differ based on where the accident occurred.
Also, the details of the accident can affect what the insurance covers. For instance, if the driver was clearly liable for hitting you, their insurance should cover more of your expenses. But if questions arise about fault, you may need to fight the insurance company to pay your bills.
Sometimes, the driver’s insurance might not cover all your medical costs, especially if your injuries are serious. In that case, there are a few other places you can look for coverage.
One is your own auto insurance policy. If you have a policy with uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, it might help pay for your medical expenses even though you weren’t in your car when the accident happened.
Another possibility is your health insurance. If you have health insurance, it can cover your medical treatment after an accident. But you’ll likely have to pay your usual deductibles and copays, and there might be limits on the types of treatment covered.
Dealing with insurance after a pedestrian accident can be complicated. You might have to talk to several different insurance companies, fill out a lot of paperwork, and try to figure out how much coverage you can actually get. This is where having a lawyer can be helpful.
A lawyer can explain the insurance policies involved and deal with the insurance companies for you. They can also help you look for other ways to cover your expenses if the insurance isn’t enough.
What If the Driver is Uninsured or Underinsured?
When you’re in a pedestrian accident, and the driver responsible doesn’t have insurance, or their insurance isn’t enough to cover your costs, it can feel like you’re stuck in a tough spot.
This situation is, unfortunately, more common than you might think. Drivers are required to have auto insurance in most states. Still, some people drive without it, and others might not have enough coverage to handle the expenses of an accident, especially if the injuries are serious.
If you find yourself in this situation and you have your own auto insurance, you might have a safety net called uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This part of your insurance is there for exactly these kinds of situations. It’s designed to step in and cover your costs when the at-fault driver can’t.
Uninsured motorist coverage helps if the driver who hit you has no insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage kicks in when the driver’s insurance isn’t enough to cover all of your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. It’s like having a backup plan when the other driver’s insurance falls short.
However, the amount of coverage you can get from your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy depends on your insurance policy’s limits. Each policy has a maximum amount it will pay. If your damages exceed that limit, you might still have some expenses that aren’t covered.
In some cases, you might also be able to turn to your health insurance to cover your medical expenses after an accident. But, like with auto insurance, you’ll probably have to pay your usual deductibles and copays, and there might be limits on what kinds of treatment are covered.
If the driver is uninsured or underinsured, and your insurance doesn’t fully cover your expenses, you might wonder what other options you have. This is another situation where having a lawyer can help. A lawyer can help you understand what your insurance covers and what it doesn’t. They can also determine whether you have other options for covering the rest of your expenses.
For instance, a lawyer can help you figure out if you can make a claim against any other insurance policy, like a family member’s policy. They can also talk to the driver’s insurance company to get the most coverage possible from that policy. And if needed, they can help you file a lawsuit against the driver to get compensation directly from them.
Dealing with an uninsured or underinsured driver after a pedestrian accident can make an already tough situation even harder. But knowing what your insurance covers and getting help from a lawyer can make it easier to handle. A lawyer can guide you through the process, deal with the insurance companies, and help you explore all your options to get your expenses covered.
Your Health Insurance
When you’re involved in a pedestrian accident, your health insurance can be a crucial resource for covering your medical expenses.
If you have health insurance, whether it’s through your employer, a family member, or a plan you’ve purchased yourself, it can help pay for the medical treatment you need after the accident.
This can include hospital stays, doctor visits, surgeries, medications, and other medical care related to your injuries.
It’s important to understand how your health insurance works in these situations. Most health insurance plans have deductibles and copays. A deductible is the amount you have to pay each year before your insurance starts paying.
For example, if your deductible is $1,000, you need to pay that amount toward your medical care before your insurance covers the costs. Co-pays are the amounts you pay each time you visit a doctor or get a prescription filled.
There might also be limits on what your health insurance will cover. Some plans have maximum amounts they’ll pay for certain types of treatment. Others might not cover certain services or treatments at all. You should check your health insurance policy to see what’s covered and what isn’t. This can help you understand how much of your medical expenses you’ll need to pay yourself.
Another thing to remember is that health insurance usually doesn’t cover things like lost wages or pain and suffering. These damages can be covered by auto insurance or a personal injury claim but not usually by health insurance.
If you have health insurance, you’ll need to let your medical providers know so they can bill it. You might need to fill out some forms or give them your insurance card.
Sometimes, you’ll get bills you must submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Keeping track of all these bills and forms can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re also dealing with injuries from the pedestrian accident.
This is another area where having a lawyer can be helpful. A lawyer can help you understand your health insurance coverage and what it means for your accident. They can also help you keep track of your medical bills and insurance claims. If disputes arise with your health insurance company about what it covers, a lawyer can help you deal with those.
The Role of a Lawyer
Figuring out insurance and getting the coverage you need can be complex, especially when recovering from an accident. This is where a lawyer can be a big help. A lawyer can:
Review Insurance Policies
One of the first steps a lawyer can take in your case is to review all the relevant insurance policies. This includes the driver’s auto insurance policy, your own auto or health insurance, and any other applicable coverage like PIP if you live in a state where it’s available.
By reviewing these policies, a lawyer can help you understand what kind of coverage is available for your medical expenses, lost wages, and any other damages you might have.
Insurance policies often contain a lot of technical language and can be hard to interpret if you’re unfamiliar with them.
A lawyer can cut through this complexity and explain in simple terms what your coverage includes. This helps you know what to expect regarding financial support and can be a relief during a stressful time.
Handle Insurance Companies
Dealing with insurance companies after an accident can be overwhelming. Insurance companies often have their interests in mind and may try settling your claim for as little as possible.
A lawyer can take on the task of communicating with these companies on your behalf. They know how to talk to insurance adjusters, what information to give, and what to hold back. They can also handle any paperwork or requests for information from the insurance company.
Having a lawyer handle these conversations can protect you from saying something that could be used against your claim. It also means you have someone on your side who knows how to negotiate with these companies, which can help you get a fair deal.
If the insurance company offers you a settlement, a lawyer can help you decide if it’s fair. Sometimes, insurance companies offer quick settlements that might not fully cover all your expenses and damages. A lawyer can assess the offer and compare it with the damages you’ve suffered. If the offer is too low, they can negotiate with the insurance company to try to get a better one.
A lawyer knows what a fair settlement should look like in cases like yours. They’ll consider your medical expenses, any lost income if you couldn’t work because of your injuries, and other damages like pain and suffering. With their help, you can make an informed decision about whether to accept a settlement or keep negotiating.
File a Lawsuit
If negotiations with the insurance company don’t lead to a fair settlement, a lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf. This step involves taking your claim to court to seek the compensation you deserve. In a lawsuit, your lawyer will present your case, showing how the accident happened, who was at fault, and what damages you’ve suffered.
A lawyer will handle all the details for you. They’ll prepare the necessary documents, gather evidence, and represent you in court. While going to court can be intimidating, having a lawyer by your side means you have someone who knows the legal system and can fight for your rights.
Contact a New York Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Dealing with medical expenses after a pedestrian accident can be overwhelming. Understanding the sources of insurance coverage and seeking legal assistance can make a significant difference.
Our firm is committed to helping people like you handle the aftermath of pedestrian accidents. We can review your case, advise you on the best course of action, and work to ensure that your medical expenses are covered to the fullest extent possible.
Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone; contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today. We’re here to help you every step of the way.