Question

Who is responsible for my medical bills after an Ohio car crash?

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Answered by: David E. Nager

Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A.
Euclid, OH
Phone: 216-289-4740
Fax: 216-289-4743

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Answer

Who pays for medical bills after a car accident is a question without a single right answer. Ohio is an at-fault state when it comes to car insurance, which means that the driver responsible for the collision can be asked to pay for property damages and physical injuries, including those that result in substantial medical bills. If their insurance cannot cover the entire claim, the driver is legally responsible for paying the amount left over.

It is also legal for you to make a claim with your own insurance provider first for damages, and then approach the at-fault driver’s insurer once your policy limits have been exhausted. In either case, be aware that insurance companies are for-profit enterprises and rarely make offers for settlements that meet your medical or other needs.

An experienced personal injury attorney can communicate with the insurance companies and review the evidence of your medical expenses to ensure your settlement, if it is successfully negotiated, will pay all of your medical bills, both current and ongoing as it relates to your injuries. They will work with other professionals to accurately assess the severity of your injuries, the maximum medical improvement you can expect to experience after treatment, and what kind of ongoing care needs you will have to maintain your quality of life as it was before the accident. Some of the ongoing care needs for serious or catastrophic injuries could include: 

  • Surgical procedures
  • Psychotherapy to deal with mental health issues caused by the accident and your injuries
  • Physical, speech or occupational therapy
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Home/visiting nurse care
  • Respite care for family caregivers 

If you are not able to reach a settlement with the insurance companies, your personal injury lawyer can help prepare your case for court, in the form of a civil lawsuit. Ohio allows the injured party in a car accident to ask for economic losses such as medical bills and lost wages. You can also ask for noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering, or emotional distress. The state imposes a limit on noneconomic loss claims that is $250,000 or three times the amount of economic loss claims.

Medical bills from a car accident can pile up quickly. Personal injury attorneys can analyze your situation and provide advice on the best strategies for recovering compensation that can keep you out of overwhelming medical debt.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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