Car crashes can cause a wide variety of injuries to drivers and other vehicle occupants.
If the crash was caused by driver negligence, victims may reach out to attorneys to explore legal options. If a lawyer determines you have a case, one of your first questions may be: how much is my case worth?
This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many variables to consider.
One of the most important variables is the cost of your medical treatment. Most people who have suffered a car crash injury will tell you that the expenses can add up.
This is particularly true if the injury affects them for more than a few days.
These costs are discussed in more detail below. Crash victims who have questions about the potential cost of their medical treatment should consider discussing the issue with an experienced Fort Worth car accident lawyer.
Common Medical Expenses for Car Accident Injuries
Some injuries are more expensive to treat than others. Some require a wider variety of treatment and medical interventions.
For example, some crash victims can get to the hospital on their own, but some will need to be transported from the scene in an ambulance.
The cost of an ambulance ride could range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. The cost varies based on how far you traveled and the care you received during the trip.
Some of the other medical expenses crash victims may incur include:
Treatment In The Emergency Room
Getting medical treatment in an emergency room can be costly, even if you do not have a catastrophic injury. There are costs for seeing doctors, medical testing and the use of medications.
There are a variety of medications that could be used for treatment of a car crash injury, both in the emergency room and afterward.
Doctors may prescribe medications to help you manage pain, prevent infection or manage other symptoms of your injury.
The cost can vary widely, and it partly depends on whether generic medications are available.
Visits With Medical Specialists
It is often necessary to visit specialists during your recovery. They can run tests and evaluate patients to determine if treatment is working and if the treatment plan needs to be changed.
Surgery can be particularly expensive, considering all that is involved. For example, during the procedure multiple doctors may need to be involved.
There are also costs for medications and the equipment doctors must use.
Other factors that can affect the cost of surgery include the length of the procedure, how long you must stay in the hospital once the procedure is done, and complications you may suffer.
Some examples of surgeries that may be necessary after a car crash include knee surgery, brain surgery, back surgery and surgery to deal with internal bleeding or organ damage.
Surgery may also be necessary for some broken bones, as doctors may need to implant screw or plates to keep bone fragments together.
Crash victims often need to attend follow-up appointments so doctors can monitor treatment and ensure it is working.
Patients can report improvement or worsening of symptoms. Doctors may need to schedule more testing or another surgical procedure to determine the next steps.
Testing is a vital aspect of the diagnostic process and monitoring of the patient’s recovery. Tests can include blood tests, CT scans, X-rays and MRIs.
The cost of testing could range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Physical Therapy And Rehabilitation
Appointments with physical therapists can be even more expensive than appointments with doctors.
The cost of all a victim’s physical therapy will vary depending on the number of appointments, and the types of therapists the victim needs to see.
Some people need occupational therapy, in addition to therapy to deal with the physical problems caused by the injury.
Mental Health Counseling
Car crashes are traumatic experiences that can be emotionally damaging for victims.
Some victims may experience post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. They may seek counseling to work through these issues.
Durable Medical Equipment
Crash victims may need to use a variety of medical devices during their recovery, such a cane, crutches or wheelchair.
Sometimes crash victims can include the cost of transportation to and from medical treatment in their claim for compensation.
While the cost of one trip to treatment may not be extremely expensive, these costs add up over time.
How Can Crash Victims Pay Their Medical Expenses?
In no-fault states, drivers are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. PIP covers medical expenses and other damages suffered by the policyholder.
Texas does not require drivers to purchase this type of coverage, but if drivers choose to buy this coverage, they may be able to use it after a crash.
However, if you do not have first-party coverage, you will need to find another way to cover your medical bills.
You may be able to use your health insurance if it will cover injuries suffered in a car accident.
It is also important to note that once you exceed the limits of your first-party coverage, you are responsible for additional expenses.
If you cannot use your health insurance, or it runs out, you may be able to work out a payment plan with the medical facility.
The problem with this is that you need to be able to make the payments. If you miss one payment, you may be required to pay the full balance to prevent the debt from being sent to collections.
Another option is to have your attorney reach out to hospitals or medical facilities and request that they hold off on collecting payment until the conclusion of your claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
The agreement will state that medical facilities collect payment before the victim receives compensation.
Sometimes attorneys can work out agreements that save crash victims money on their medical bills.