If you’ve had a recent car accident in Evansville, the first thing you should do is see a doctor. Even in cases where you mostly feel “shaken up,” making a preventative trip to the doctor could save you money and reveal hidden health effects from the car accident. For insurance reasons, this checkup is important in two ways:
- Waiting will make it more difficult to prove your injuries were caused by the car accident, and you may end up paying for medical bills insurance could have handled.
- Some serious injuries don’t appear right away, so avoiding the doctor may put your health at risk.
It’s especially important to have children examined after a car accident, because they may not be able to explain physical symptoms or express their feelings like adults can. Any passengers who are pregnant should also seek medical attention, as even mild car accidents can induce labor or cause miscarriages.
Once affected parties have received medical treatment, gather all documents together that detail your medical expenses and keep them in a safe place. Track physicals, x-rays, MRIs, CT scans and even dental work to make sure you get reimbursed for what you deserve.
Paying for Treatment
Because you live in Indiana, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying victims’ medical and repair bills. Unfortunately, determining who was at fault can take a long time, so how are you going to pay for treatment until insurance companies come to an agreement?
Medical Payments Coverage
Part of your insurance plan should include Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay) for you and your passengers, regardless of who was at fault. MedPay benefits vary according to your specific policy, but may cover:
- Health insurance deductibles and co-payments
- Treatments not covered by health insurance
- Medical bills (if you don’t have health insurance)
Your Health Insurance
The difference between MedPay and your health insurance is that MedPay specifically covers injuries related to car accidents, whereas health insurance pays for illness-related expenses. Some health insurance companies may initially pay for treatment you received after an accident, but they can always demand that money back from a settlement you might receive. This is called subrogation.
This means when there’s a long delay between receiving treatment and collecting the at-fault driver’s insurance — or even MedPay — you can use health insurance to cover costs temporarily. Temporary cost coverage can come from employer-sponsored group health insurance, an individually purchased plan, Medicare, or Medicaid.
Determining Comparative Fault
As a fault state, Indiana enforces the Comparative Fault Act when handling car accident cases. This law compares the at-fault percentage of each driver, and distributes damages accordingly. On the other hand, in no-fault states, victims are required to use their own insurance policy regardless of who is at fault.
Let’s say you’re the plaintiff in a motor vehicle accident case, and you have $100,000 in damages. Meanwhile, the jury determined you were 15 percent at fault for the accident. Because of this, you receive 15 percent less from the awarded damages: $85,000.
However, if you sued another driver and the jury found you at fault for 51 percent or more, you are not entitled to recover any damages at all except through your own insurance.
Taking Care of Your Health
No matter who pays or how much, you should prioritize your well-being by seeing a doctor after having a car accident. He or she will best prescribe any treatment for injuries you sustained from the accident. In addition, a few simple steps will go a long way in helping you recover after a car accident:
- Immediately after the accident, go home and rest
- Drink 6 cups of fluid every day — water, not soda or alcohol
- Eat nutritious meals
- Pay careful attention to any injured areas and see your doctor if your symptoms get worse
On the other hand, avoid activities that can cause even greater damage to your shocked body:
- Refrain from strenuous exercise for a week after the accident
- Don’t lift heavy objects
- Avoid twisting your body in uncomfortable ways
- Try not to sit for long periods of time
Help from an Evansville Car Accident Attorney
Have you been injured in a car accident? Do you worry about being unable to pay for medical bills? The first settlement the insurance company offers may be much less than you deserve, but what can you do about it?
Hensley Legal Group’s personal injury lawyers are here to help. They know what to do after Evansville car accidents and can help you get the most from your case. Call us or contact us online today for your free consultation.