When you are injured, the last thing you want to think about is how much your injury is going to cost. In Washington D.C., and the rest of the country, medical costs are skyrocketing. Even minor injuries can land you with tremendous bills from the hospital or doctor's office. If you have been injured as a result of someone else's actions, isn't it a little unfair that you should have to shoulder the costs of injuries that could have been prevented if they had been a little more careful? Unfortunately, when it comes time for medical bills to be paid, the initial costs may fall on you.
Who Will Cover My Initial Medical Expenses?
The short answer: you. Even though another party may be responsible for your injuries, you were the one who had to receive the medical services, so the hospital or doctor's office will come to you first. If you are insured, your medical insurance should cover a majority of the expenses, but you may be left with some large out of pocket costs, depending on the severity of your injuries, the co-payment structure of your medical insurance, and what your policy is able to cover. Depending on how you were injured, you may actually have more options at your disposal than you initially believe.
Subrogation is the term used for the act of your insurer seeking reimbursement from the another insurance company based upon a determination of responsibility for an incident. This is typically handled at by your insurance company at an agent-to-agent level, and it is probably best to avoid getting involved if you plan on seeking legal compensation, as you may end up receiving a settlement which will negatively impact a civil claim.
Like any other state, the District of Columbia has specific requirements on the car insurance policy a resident must carry. Drivers must obtain car insurance that has liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. These are the two requirements. Liability coverage refers to the portion of your insurance policy which will pay for damages to another person or vehicle which result from an accident that you cause. Uninsured motorist coverage is a portion of your insurance policy which will protect you if you are in an accident caused by a driver who does not carry liability insurance.
Washington D.C. car insurance may also include "Personal Injury Protection" or "PIP" which will help cover any costs that come up in relation to a car accident (such as medical bills or lost wages). However, it is very important to note that making use of your PIP coverage will render you unable to bring a lawsuit against the other driver. Typically, following an accident you have 60 days to decide between bringing a lawsuit against the other driver or making use of your PIP coverage.
What If I Don't Have Medical Insurance?
If you do not have medical insurance, or if you have sparse coverage, it is likely that the full brunt of the costs will be on you. When this happens, you will likely encounter insurmountable medical bills that you may not even be able to conceive of having the funds to pay for. It may seem like you have no options, and no one to turn to. One option available to you is always legal action. While the bills will initially come to you, if you pursue legal action against the one responsible for your injuries, you can recover damages that will compensate for your past and future medical costs related to the incident.
No matter what your medical insurance coverage situation is, when you or a loved one is injured, you will want the best help you can get. At Gilman & Bedigian we have years of experience and are prepared to work hard for you to get the best possible outcome from you personal injury case. There is no reason to hesitate. If you feel as though you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries contact us today.