4 Things You Need to Know about Compensation for Medical Expenses
Learn what factors affect your compensation in a personal injury claim.
Unfortunately, securing compensation for your medical costs following an accident is seldom as easy as simply submitting your medical bills to the liable party’s insurance company. To make sure you do not miss out on deserved compensation, you need to hire a skilled attorney who understands medical compensation.
You may also find it helpful to learn a bit about this topic yourself. Here are 4 important facts to get you started.
Your Medical Bills May Be Contested
In a personal injury case, the defense is going to try everything they can think of to try to reduce the amount of compensation they have to provide. They may try to argue that the medical bills you have presented stem from an old injury and are not actually related to the accident you have just suffered. They may also explore the possibility that the extent of the injury and the cost of treatment have been exaggerated (by you or your doctor) as part of an insurance fraud scheme. Finally, they may try to argue that the billed amount is not “reasonable” by calling in their own experts like doctors and medical billing specialists.
You Are Entitled to Compensation for Future Medical Expenses
In a personal injury case, medical expenses are not limited to care you have already received, been billed for and/or paid. You are also entitled to seek compensation for any future care that you may need. For example, victims of catastrophic brain injuries may be entitled to lifetime nursing care if the injury has left them in a vegetative state. It is essential to work with an experienced medical specialist who can accurately project the course of your recovery and estimate the medical expenses you will incur in the future.
Your Medical Expenses are the Basis of Pain and Suffering
A lot of case law has been dedicated to argument over whether individuals with medical insurance should receive the full value of billed medical care or only their out of pocket costs. At first, you may wonder why it matters as long as the victim’s bills get paid. The reason it matters is that pain and suffering is calculated as a multiple of the medical expenses.
If the defense tries to bring up the fact that you have insurance and that your insurance company paid less than the market value for your care (due to a negotiated rate) as reason to reduce your medical expenses, your attorney can invoke California’s collateral source rule. This rule says that evidence of insurance coverage and negotiated rates cannot be presented, so invoking this rule will help preserve your right to ample pain and suffering compensation.
Your Compensation May Be Limited by Your Share of Liability
It is important to realize that if you have been found partially liable for your accident, your total compensation will be reduced accordingly. This may mean that you end up having to pay for a portion of your medical costs yourself.
Need Help Maximizing Medical Compensation?
Call The Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 to request a free initial consultation about your case and learn how much you might stand to recover.