Are You Planning to Sue for Medical Expenses? Learn What You Need to Know About Compensation
If you have been involved in an accident in which someone else was at fault, then you might have the legal right to sue for your medical costs and damages. However, it is not generally as simple as just submitting the costs to the insurance company of the at-fault party. It is important to have a personal injury attorney who can help ensure you get what you deserve. In the meantime, read on to learn some important facts you should know before you get started.
It is Likely That Your Medical Bills Will Be Contested
The defense is likely to do what they can to reduce or deny your compensation. One common tactic is to argue that medical bills are actually from an old injury, or that they are exaggerated. They might even argue that the amounts billed are not “reasonable” and call in their experts to “prove” their case. Your attorney will be building a strong case to prove the validity of your bills, but it is wise to expect that your initial claim will be contested.
You Are Entitled to Request Compensation for Future Medical Costs
It is important to remember that when you sue someone for the medical costs related to your injuries, you are not only entitled to compensation for past medical costs but also for future medical costs. For example, if you suffered a spinal cord injury, then you are likely to have ongoing medical bills, perhaps indefinitely. If you need specialized equipment, ongoing therapy, and other medical costs, those should be included in your compensation.
Pain and Suffering is Generally Decided Based on Your Medical Expenses
The defense may work to pay you less by bringing up how much your health insurance covered in the accident. They might say that your health insurance paid less than market value for your health care, and therefore, your compensation should be reduced. You do not want to let them do this because your total medical costs are the basis for how much you will be awarded for pain and suffering.
If they try this, talk to your personal injury attorney so that we can remind them of the California Collateral Source Rule. It states that any evidence of insurance coverage and the amount of negotiated rates cannot be present in a personal injury case.
You Are Likely to Receive Less Compensation if You Were Partially at Fault
In the event that you were partially at fault for your accident, your compensation is likely to be reduced by that amount of fault. This might sound unfair but consider that in some states, if you are found to be at fault at all, you cannot sue. In California, you have the right to sue but only recover the amount of fault that actually belonged to someone else.
If you have questions about how to move forward, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 to request a free legal consultation.