Paying Medical Bills After a Kansas City Truck Accident
Accidents involving commercial trucks (semi-trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers) and passenger cars are the most serious and deadly crashes that can occur on our roadways in Kansas City and throughout Missouri and Kansas. Truck crash survivors are often left with severe, life-changing injuries, such as neck, back and spine injuries (including paralysis), head or brain injuries, loss of limbs, bone fractures, and lacerations.
After a truck crash, the cost of medical treatment can be very expensive. These injuries can be debilitating and disabling for those who experience them. This may make it difficult – if not impossible – to continue working to pay for such treatment.
In this article, our Kansas City truck accident lawyer answers one of the most common questions we hear from truck crash victims: who is responsible for paying my medical bills after a truck accident in Kansas or Missouri? Of course, if you need immediate assistance, please contact our truck accident law firm in Kansas City at 816-203-0143 for a free, no obligation consultation.
Types of Medical Bills After a Truck Crash
Depending on the severity and type of injuries you suffered in a truck crash, you may have required medical treatment and incurred bills from a variety of providers, including the cost of:
- emergency room visits and physicians,
- overnight hospitalization and/or intensive care,
- surgeries and related charges,
- medical equipment or devices,
- pain medication and muscle relaxers,
- physical, vocational or rehabilitation therapy,
- ongoing pain management,
- follow-up treatment with your primary care physician and specialists, such as orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, neurosurgeons, and pain management doctors.
Sources for Payment After a Truck Accident
The potential sources available to pay medical bills incurred from a truck accident depend upon the insurance available and the facts of your case. Below are some common sources that may be used to pay your medical bills after a truck accident in Kansas City.
Your Own Health Insurance
The first and most obvious source of payment of your medical bills is your own medical insurance coverage. You may have purchased private health insurance through your employer or your spouse's employer. Alternatively, you may obtain your health insurance through a government sponsored program, such as Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE or the VA. Regardless of where you obtained health insurance coverage, your health insurance will pay your medical bills as they're incurred and as your policy allows. You will still be responsible for co-pays or co-insurance amounts as well as your premiums.
WARNING: You need to watch out for the right of subrogation or reimbursement that may exist with your health insurance policy. In some medical health insurance policies, your health insurance company may have the right to recover amounts it expended for your medical bills as a result of the accident. This right exists with private policies that are governed by a federal law known as ERISA and with government sponsored policies.
“No Fault” Coverage (A/k/a “Med Pay” or “PIP”)
Medical payments (Med Pay) or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage may be included in your own car insurance policy and may cover your medical expenses. These coverages are considered “no fault” insurance because they pay your medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the truck accident.
In Kansas, all auto policies are required to contain PIP coverage in the amount of $4,500. In Missouri, Med Pay is not required, but you may add it to your car insurance policy.
Both PIP and Med Pay will pay your medical bills, including out of pocket charges or co-insurance amounts, up to the amount of the coverage you purchased. The benefit of Med-Pay or PIP coverage is that your insurance company will pay those amounts immediately and you do not have to wait until your case is settled. However, one drawback for these types of coverages, is that these payments are limited usually to a relatively small dollar amount.
The Insurance Company for the At-Fault Party
If another party caused or is responsible for the truck crash, that party may be legally responsible for paying your medical bills and other damages. Truck accidents are more complicated accident cases for many reasons. One reason is that there are many different potential parties who may be responsible for causing the accident and paying your bills.
For instance, some of the potential parties who may have been negligent and contributed to causing a truck crash include:
- the trucking company,
- truck driver especially if the driver was drowsy, drugged or drunk or failed to brake in time,
- truck manufacturer,
- the cargo loader,
- the company responsible for inspecting or maintaining the vehicle.
Depending on the circumstances of the crash, any of these parties may be responsible for paying your medical bills and any other damages you sustained from the truck crash.
An Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
To recover damages for a truck accident, you must prove that the party both was negligent or reckless in its conduct and that such conduct caused your injuries and damages. When multiple parties may be responsible for your damages, it can become complicated and more difficult to assign fault.
An experienced truck accident attorney can assist you in both investigating your truck accident claim, and determining which parties may be responsible.
Contact Our Truck Accident Attorney in Kansas City
Truck accident claims can result in serious injuries and complicated legal issues. While a personal injury attorney is not needed for every injury case, we recommend that you at least consult with an experienced truck accident attorney regarding your truck accident claim in Kansas or Missouri.
Our Kansas City truck accident attorney is ready to assist you to answer your questions and help guide you through the process. If you still have questions about how to pay your medical bills or any other issue related to your truck accident, please contact our law firm in Kansas City at 816-203-0143 for a free, no obligation consultation. Please contact us today and we would be happy to assist you.