After an auto accident in Pennsylvania, the single issue that worries accident victims the most is how their medical bills will get paid.
It’s a valid concern. These days, most families no longer have a large budget cushion to absorb the cost of extraordinary expenses, such as the enormous hospital bills that can follow a Cumberland County traffic collision. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation—a health care advocacy group—reports that the average cost of a Pennsylvania hospital stay is around $1,960 per day. Even if you’re fortunate enough to be covered by generous medical insurance, copayments and deductibles can quickly eat up your life savings.
As we explain in our informative brochure, Who Pays The Bills When You Are Injured In An Automobile Accident?, Pennsylvania’s no-fault law means your own auto insurance carrier can bear the primary burden of paying for your medical care. However, the system can be wildly complicated because no-fault insurance is optional in the Commonwealth.
What costs are covered—and who signs the checks?
You should receive payment for all reasonable and appropriate forms of medical care after a Pennsylvania car crash. That can include expenses for:
- Paramedic care and other bills from emergency responders
- The ambulance ride and emergency room costs
- Hospitalization stays, including stays in intensive care wards, respirator wards, monitored telemedicine wards, and other premium-priced areas
- Medical imaging and other tests
- Surgery costs, including anesthesia
- Prescription and over-the-counter medicines authorized by one of your treating physicians
- Medical devices and appliances ranging from prosthetic limbs to walkers, wheelchairs, and canes
- Home health care visits
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Reasonable transportation expenses to follow-up appointments
Drivers in Pennsylvania have the option to choose no-fault or traditional auto insurance. If you or your spouse is covered by a no-fault policy, or if you were the passenger in a car driven by someone covered by a no-fault policy, then that policy will be responsible for paying your medical bills after a Pennsylvania traffic accident.
If you are instead covered by traditional insurance, you will have the option to sue the driver whose negligence caused your injury. That driver or his insurance company will be responsible for paying medical bills incurred by you and by other passengers in your car. In some cases where serious injuries are involved, even drivers covered by no-fault insurance can sue for a financial recovery from a negligent driver.
The big question: Will the insurance company open its wallet for you?
Of course, just because you’re due to receive compensation doesn’t mean that the insurance company will pay you generously. Insurance companies are rich, and they want to stay that way. Giving out money is not something they do cheerfully or generously.
Our Harrisburg car crash attorneys are standing by to give the insurance company a little shove when your compensation is delayed. We can negotiate with insurance claims agents to get you every dollar you deserve from your central Pennsylvania motor vehicle accident—and we’re not afraid to take the case to the courtroom if we can get a fair settlement offer.