Guide to Navigating Compensation for Medical Bills After an Accident_ Know Your Rights and Options

Sustaining injuries due to the actions or carelessness of another party can result in both short-term and long-term challenges, not the least of which could be costly medical treatment. The financial pain you experience after an accident may be as great as your physical pain. It’s important to be aware of your rights in these circumstances.

When someone else injures you in Chicago, Illinois, you can file an insurance claim with the responsible party’s insurance company seeking compensation for your accident-related medical bills.

Securing proper medical expense compensation requires gathering documentation of your losses. Depending on the severity of your injuries, it may also require estimating the cost of future losses.

Claiming Medical Expenses After an Accident in Chicago: Tips to Keep in Mind

Seeking medical bill reimbursement after an accident is among the most common reasons injured parties file claims. Strategies that claimants can leverage to maximize the compensation they receive from insurance claims for medical bills include:

Seeing a Doctor Right Away

Seeking medical care on the day of an accident is vital. Some injury victims don’t notice any symptoms immediately. Factors such as adrenaline can prevent people from realizing they’ve been injured. In addition, some victims sustain injuries like concussions. They might not notice the symptoms of such injuries until hours or even days after sustaining them.

Thus, they might fail to receive necessary medical treatment in a timely manner. Delayed treatment can result in a longer recovery period than necessary.

It can also negatively affect their compensation for medical bills after an accident. Waiting too long to see a doctor results in a weak link between the accident and your injuries. If you don’t see a doctor on the day of your accident, an insurer might argue it’s possible you sustained injuries in a separate incident or had them before the accident occurred.

Don’t let an insurer deprive you of your accident medical bill rights. After any potentially harmful accident, seek medical care as soon as possible.

Understanding Health Insurance and Accident Compensation

You might assume you don’t need to worry about filing a claim after an accident that resulted in injuries. If you have health insurance, you may think your insurance will cover all your expenses.

That’s not always so. Sometimes, health insurance is sufficient to cover all medical bills after an accident. However, that’s often not the case. Additionally, if you didn’t cause the injury, you or your insurance carrier should not be on the hook to pay for the treatment you need to recover. Unless you file a claim or lawsuit with the responsible party’s insurer, you’ll be on the hook for any expenses your health insurance doesn’t cover.

Saving Documentation of All Medical Expenses

Save copies of your medical records and bills every time you see a doctor after an accident. You may need to submit copies of these documents when filing a personal injury claim. Maintaining a file that contains copies of these records from the start will prevent you from having to track them down later.

Sometimes, when submitting insurance claims for medical bills, claimants can seek compensation for other related losses. For example, maybe a claimant needs to travel far to see a specialist for treatment. They might be entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses. Keep track of the mileage to and from any medical appointments that are outside your immediate living area.

If you find that you must purchase home medical equipment to use during your recovery, keep copies of those bills, too. This is another expense you can add to the compensation you claim for medical bills after an accident.

Keep documentation of all expenses related to your medical care when you know you’ll be filing a claim. During the negotiation process, you can sort out what types of losses you do and don’t deserve compensation for.

Following a Doctor’s Advice

Claims adjusters often look for reasons to justify denying claims or offering lowball settlements. This may be partially due to the fact that their employers are profit-centric businesses. An adjuster’s job includes limiting how much money their employer pays out to claimants. They will look for any possible grounds to deny or de-value a claim.

One tool they can use to reduce the value of your claim is to argue that you’re not following medical advice, so you must not be seriously injured. Make sure that throughout the course of your treatment, you always heed the advice of medical professionals. Ensure that a claims adjuster can see you’re doing your part to optimize your recovery.

Calculating Future Losses

a compensation for medical bills on a table

Don’t deprive yourself of the compensation you deserve by only seeking compensation for past medical bills. Your injuries may leave you in need of ongoing care. You can account for the cost of future care when negotiating for a settlement.

To prove the value of the care you will need, your treating doctor will create a report outlining your future course of treatment or care. Such a document should include all parts of your future care, including in-home care, doctor visits, prescriptions, screening, diagnostic testing, and more. A professional offering legal advice on medical bills after an accident may also help you estimate your future losses.

Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

Don’t delay in seeking compensation for medical bills after an accident. The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Illinois allows two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the party who caused your injuries. You’ll waive your right to pursue compensation in court if you miss the deadline. If you miss the deadline and have no lawsuit to pursue, you also lose your best bargaining leverage with the insurance company.

Luckily, you don’t have to navigate the process of seeking compensation alone. Documenting your medical bills and calculating future losses is much easier when a skilled attorney does it for you.

At JJ Legal, a Chicago personal injury lawyer is available to offer the representation you need right now. Learn more about how our team can help by contacting us online or calling us at 312-200-2000 for a free case review.

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