Who Will Pay My Medical Bills After an Accident?
Feb. 25, 2022
Being injured in an accident entails many hurdles and legal issues, including questions regarding liability and uncertainty about the payment of medical bills. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), accidents in Kansas and Missouri account for nearly 1,300 combined traffic fatalities per year.
Medical bills are usually the primary cause of concern for accident victims, especially if their injury prevents them from working. However, there may be options for getting your medical bills covered after an accident to ensure that you receive the medical care you need without any interruptions.
At Biesterveld & Crook, LLC, we represent accident victims in Overland Park, Kansas, as well as Jackson County, Missouri, and surrounding areas in both states. We are dedicated to helping accident victims fight for the compensation they need and seek reimbursement for their medical bills and vehicle damage.
Liability in Missouri Car Accidents
Many states, including Missouri, follow a fault-based system. This means that injured victims can pursue compensation for their medical bills through the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, if the injured victim was partially at fault for the accident, the compensation will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.
Missouri is also a pure comparative negligence state, which means accident victims are entitled to compensation for their medical bills and other expenses and losses even if they were mostly at fault for the accident.
In Missouri, if you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, there are three options for seeking compensation:
Filing a claim with your own insurance company
Filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company
Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party to obtain compensation for your losses and damage
If you were involved in an accident, you need legal counsel to help you determine liability and explore your options for seeking compensation.
Kansas is a “No-Fault” Insurance State
Unlike many other states, Kansas follows a “no-fault” insurance system, which means accident victims can pursue financial compensation through their own insurance company regardless of fault.
In other words, if you were injured in an accident in Kansas, you can file a first-party claim with your own insurance company to obtain compensation for your losses. However, one of the requirements under the no-fault system in Kansas is that all motorists must purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which covers medical bills up to the policy limit.
If you suffered severe injuries and your PIP coverage does not fully cover your medical bills and other losses, you may be eligible for additional compensation by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
What to Do When You Receive a Medical Bill
When you get injured, you may face the financial burden associated with paying your medical bills. Many accident victims pay for their medical treatment out of pocket and then later obtain reimbursement from the insurance company.
Whether you are injured in a fault or no-fault state, paying medical bills will initially be your responsibility. In fault-based states, insurance companies wait until the fault is determined before paying for the injured victim’s medical treatment. Depending on the complexity and the circumstances of the accident, the process of determining fault can take weeks or even months.
Seeking compensation in a no-fault state, on the other hand, is usually more straightforward, which means accident victims can obtain compensation for their medical bills and other losses more quickly. Once your medical bills exceed your policy limit, you are responsible for paying for your treatment from your pocket or seeking coverage through your health insurance. If the other party was at fault, you have the option of filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party to seek additional compensation.
What Happens if You Don’t Have Insurance?
Motorists in Missouri and Kansas are legally required to purchase auto insurance. Not having insurance can limit your ability to seek compensation in the event of an accident. Both Missouri and Kansas have a “no pay, no play” doctrine.
Under this doctrine, if you do not have the legally required auto insurance at the time of your accident and the collision was the other party’s fault, your compensation is limited to economic damages, including medical bills and property damage. Uninsured motorists are not entitled to seek compensation for non-economic damages.
Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Serving Missouri & Kansas
After an accident, you can pursue a settlement out of court or take your case to trial to pursue compensation for your medical bills. Your best option is to get legal counsel from a skilled personal injury attorney to protect your rights and ensure that you get the compensation you need. At Biesterveld & Crook, LLC, we assist accident victims in Overland Park, Kansas, and Jackson County, Missouri, as well as surrounding areas. Reach out to us today to schedule a case review.