According to the Federal Carrier Motor Safety Administration, 4,440 large trucks or buses were involved in accidents that resulted in death in 2016. In that same year, trucks were involved in 119,000 injury crashes. The numbers have remained more or less the same throughout the years, with some years proving to be more dangerous than others.
Truck accidents are often much more serious than typical car accidents, and often result in much more serious injuries. Some common injuries sustained in trucking accidents include neck injuries, brain injuries, back injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis. These types of injuries often result in extensive and ongoing medical bills, inability to work, PTSD, and other life altering consequences. Because of the severity of injuries and consequences alike, it is crucial for accident victims to pursue compensation from the negligent truck driver, his or her employer, or both. The Chicago truck accident lawyers at Saks, Robinson, & Rittenberg, Ltd. can help you explore your options and ensure that you both get the treatment you need and have the funds to stay afloat. This post details some of those options.
Most Illinois truck accident victims file a personal injury claim for one main reason – to collect medical expenses. Post-accident, many victims find themselves severely injured, unable to work, and saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. They want to know who is responsible for those expenses – them, their insurance company, or the opposing party. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is nuanced.
Typically, if the truck driver was responsible for the accident, the driver is responsible for paying for reasonable and necessary medical treatment for injuries sustained in the crash. If the driver worked for a company, the company’s insurance policy would cover the expenses. Of course, medical expenses include both past and future, right?
In a personal injury case, the negligent party’s insurance company will only pay a victim’s bills as a result of a settlement verdict. While some personal injury claims take mere months to settle, others can take years, especially if a victim has yet to reach the point of maximum medical improvement. For victims whose cases take years, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to stay financially stable in the meantime. If you are a victim whose case has taken years to settle, and if you are struggling to pay your medical expenses, you may want to know what your options are for paying off your medical bills.
Health insurance is designed to cover the cost of medical expenses regardless of the reason for them. It is highly unlikely that your insurance company will see “broken ribs, concussion, fractured vertebrae as a result of trucking accident,” and say, “Oh, no, we do not cover accident injuries.” If they did, you would have a whole different type of lawsuit on your hands – an insurance bad faith lawsuit.
That said, your health insurance should cover all injuries and expenses outlined in your policy. Upon arrival at the hospital, just present your insurance information and have the health center bill your insurance company.
Keep in mind that your insurance company is likely going to want its money back once you receive your settlement. To collect, it may place a healthcare lien on your settlement proceeds. If it does, the courts are required to reimburse your health insurance company the amount it paid toward your medical expenses before distributing the remainder of the settlement to you.
Some health insurance policies only cover expenses related to one’s health and do not cover the cost of injuries sustained in truck accidents, which could leave victims with high out-of-pocket expenses. These policies are typically the Bronze Level policies and some Silver Level policies that have low monthly premiums.
If your health insurance policy will not cover the cost of truck accident injuries, use your MedPay coverage if you have it. MedPay is a car insurance add on and only costs an additional $2 to $37 more per month to have. It covers $1,000 to $25,000 in medical expenses per incident, regardless of who was at fault for the crash. MedPay coverage is especially beneficial in situations in which the accident victim has medical bills coming in the mail but has not been cleared to go back to work.
A large part of proving fault in a Chicago truck accident involves gathering evidence. At the start of your case, your Chicago truck accident attorney will order a thorough investigation in which investigators will search for the following evidence:
Our investigators will also refer to the truck’s black box, which record a driver’s actions before a collision. We will also hire an expert to reconstruct the accident scene.
If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident in Chicago, you may be feeling frustrated and hopeless as you watch your medical expenses pile up because you have no real way to pay for them. While those feelings are normal, know that you are not without hope. Our Chicago truck accident lawyers at Saks, Robinson, & Rittenberg, Ltd. can help you explore your options and figure out a way out of your financial dilemma. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation.