A common question that comes up when you are involved in an accident is, “are my medical bills going to be paid in an injury settlement?”
Under Virginia law, when injured in an accident through the negligence of another the starting point for recovery is the medical bills you incurred as a result of that negligence.
If you are the victim of someone else's negligence, you deserve to be compensated for all medical treatment necessitated by the accident. Let's break this down a little further. What does this payment actually cover? It can cover a variety of things including medications, surgery, adaptive medical devices, physical therapy, and even anticipated future medical bills. These should be 100% covered for you by the at fault party.
In our office, we spend a lot of time while a client in treating getting together all relavant medical bills, putting them into demands for the at fault party's insurance carrier, and even sometimes negotiating with medical providers to hold off on collecting bills while we handle your case. We never tell people to get medical treatment they don't need, but always emphasize to get all the treatment you need for two reasons. First, you need to get better, or as close to 100% as medically possible, so that you can live your life as well as possible. This would be the case whether you had a claim or not, because what is most important is that you get better. Second, the simple truth is that insurance companies, and sometimes even judges and juries, look at your medical bills to determine your damages. This doesn't mean you should inflate them, but it does mean you should not play Mr. Tough Guy/Gal and allow the insurance company to minimize your injuries.
This is also why it is so important not to settle your case immediately after an accident. You just can't know within a couple weeks of an injury how serious it is, whether it will get worse in the future, and whether you will require more care in the future. It's incredibly important to work with your doctors to figure out your future medical needs costs. The insurance company may try to persuade you to agree to only having your current bills covered but not paying for your future medical bills that will incur due to your accident. Before agreeing to anything, if you've been injured in an accident its so important to speak with an experienced attorney. We, like most offices who practice in this area, offer free consultations to discuss these matters, and whether its us or some other law office, please speak with someone before making any final and permanent decisions with regards to your injuries.
If you find yourself the victim of another's negligence in Virginia and would like to speak with us for a free consultation, we'd happy to set something up at 434-471-4339!