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Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Car Accident?

Published on Mar 20, 2024 at 9:01 pm in Car Accidents.

Who pays my medical bills after a car accident

After an accident, many people will start to accrue a massive amount of health expenses. If the car crash resulted from someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior, why should you have to pay for these costs?

Unfortunately, getting your health care costs paid in Kentucky can be a confusing process, especially when you are already dealing with the stress of the accident. If you are wondering who pays my medical bills after a car accident, here are a few points to keep in mind.

Kentucky Has a No-Fault System

Several states have a no-fault system to handle these car accident claims. What does that mean for you? Each person’s insurance will be responsible for paying their medical expenses, lost wages, and other health-related costs.

If you have limited or no coverage, you might have to pay for all those costs out of your own pocket.

These insurance payouts occur no matter who was at fault for the accident. Kentucky follows a no-fault system that requires drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Under the law, all drivers must have a mandatory $10,000 PIP coverage per person per accident.

When you are injured, this coverage allows you to be paid for expenses related to the accident. PIP is a type of auto insurance coverage that provides medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages coverage for the policyholder and passengers, no matter who is at fault for the crash.

These policies are designed to cover immediate and necessary health costs resulting from a car accident, such as:

  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Other related costs

One of the advantages of PIP is that you will have quick access to funds. Those with immediate concerns about bills piling up can get reimbursed without waiting for a lawsuit to proceed through the court system or a settlement to be finalized.

But PIP coverage has limits. Once you have exhausted the PIP, you can turn over your remaining bills to your health insurance. Sometimes, these insurers will not pay for injury related to a car accident. What happens in that situation?

Since Kentucky is a no-fault state, does that mean you cannot sue someone for the accident? Absolutely not. Anyone who acted recklessly on the road can still be held accountable for their actions. Kentucky has a monetary threshold that you have to meet to take legal action.

Under Kentucky law, affected parties can file a lawsuit if they (or a loved one) have experienced:

  • $1,000 in medical expenses
  • A broken bone
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Permanent injury
  • Death

Legal Options Beyond the No-Fault System

If your injuries meet the “serious injury threshold,” you can file a lawsuit. With this course of action, you can even pursue compensation for issues not covered by PIP, such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other non-monetary losses. Generally, you can only be reimbursed for economic damages with PIP.

Also, keep in mind that Kentucky does not require all drivers to abide by no-fault limitations. Residents can opt out of these no-fault limitations according to KRS 304.39-060. When you do that, it allows drivers and passengers to file a claim, no matter if the expense or injury threshold was met.

But don’t worry; even if you keep no-fault coverage, you can still file a legal claim against the responsible party.

How Do You File a Car Crash Lawsuit in Kentucky?

If you have met all the criteria, it could be time to take legal action. These cases proceed through the system like any other claim. First, you will want to consult with an attorney. Circumstances can become tricky when navigating between your PIP insurance, medical bills, and legal action. You want to make sure that your claim meets all the eligibility requirements in the Commonwealth.

When you reach out to an attorney, they can determine the viability of your claim. If you have met all the thresholds, then you will need to prepare the case. During this time, you will want to gather all the medical records, witness statements, police reports, and other documentation. Thai evidence will be the basis for your lawsuit.

After that, the attorney will draft a complaint that outlines the specifics of your case. While the state may abide by the no-fault principles, you still need to determine fault in a legal liability case. All your evidence can still be used to outline the other party’s liability (or responsibility).

A person can be considered at fault in a car accident if their actions led to the accident, such as:

  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Reckless driving
  • Disobeying traffic laws

This individual will be served with a copy of the complaint and allowed to respond. Once that happens, your attorney will negotiate for a settlement with the insurance company or prepare to go to trial. Keep in mind that most cases are settled out of court. If your legal team cannot reach an agreement, the case will proceed to the courtroom.

During the trial phase, your legal team will present your case and evidence to a judge or jury for a decision. If you win the lawsuit, then you can receive a payout for your damages.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

If you have been injured, you should speak with a Lexington attorney who handles car crash cases. By consulting with a legal professional, you can determine if you can file a lawsuit to recover your injuries, property damage, and other losses stemming from the accident.

At Golden Law Office, we have helped recover compensation, such as ensuring someone pays medical bills, for a wide range of accident victims in Lexington and the surrounding areas. Find out how we can assist with your case. Schedule a consultation today.

Golden Law is a local, Kentucky Law Firm, attorneys/lawyers in Fayette County, Kentucky, working in the fields of personal injury, auto accidents, car and truck wrecks; medical malpractice: doctors, hospitals & nursing homes; senior living abuse: neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, dehydration, bedsores, catastrophic injuries, and broken bones. If you are considering a lawsuit, call us at 859.469.5000 for a free consultation. We are located at 771 Corporate Dr. Suite 800/ Lexington, Kentucky 40503. We handle cases all over the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We have represented and trained people in major insurance companies & major trucking companies. We have first hand experience and know the ‘inside of the insurance business’ … that’s a distinction that no other law firm can make. We’re Your Advocate. Dale Golden, Laraclay Parker.

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