Who is going to Pay?

So you have been in an accident and it was someone else’s fault.  You are injured and required not only a hospital stay, but months of physical therapy following a serious surgery.  Who is going to pay for all these bills, and who is going to pay you for all that you have been through?  The answer isn’t always quite as simple as one might think.

Obviously the driver of a car who causes an accident is generally liable for the damages that he causes.  If the driver has insurance, it will in all likelihood be the insurance company writing the checks. So what happens in the mean time before the case can be resolved?  What if the driver has no insurance?  What if more than one person is responsible?  These questions are very important and only an experienced personal injury attorney will recognize all potential defendants, and (hopefully) each defendant’s insurance company.

The Accident Claims Process

So you were in an accident and are racking up all these medical charges?  You have been correctly advised by your attorney that the claims process could take months or longer, depending on your injuries.  Well who is going to pay in the mean time, while the bills are racking up, and maybe, you can’t even work to provide for your family?  The answer, as is too often the case in the legal world, is “it varies.”

Here are some possibilities:

The Defendant’s (at-fault driver) insurance company

Sometimes, after an accident, an insurance company will actually take responsibility for its insured.  It doesn’t happen in the majority of cases, but it does happen, sometimes.  This is only one reason that it is important for a potential defendant to be notified early on in the process.

The at-fault driver’s employer

If the at-fault party is working at the time, somtimes the employer or company he works for will begin paying interim costs such as medical bills.  It also may be the insurance company of the employer but you get the idea.

Your insurance company

It may seem strange at first, but in some instances, like for example if the other driver doesn’t have any insurance, or doesn’t have enough insurance, your insurance company will begin to make payments on the bills.

Worker’s comp carrier

If you are employed at the time you are injured, it is important to that you inform your employer as they will often supply medical treatment or take care of expenses for medical treatment under the employer’s worker’s compensation plan.

Your health insurance company

In some instances, if you are at a hospital and inform them that you were in a car accident, your own health care will initially decline coverage by claiming it is someone else’s fault.  While this may or may not be true, if the cause of the accident is in dispute (and heck, if it wasn’t wouldn’t the case be over by now???) oftentimes your health insurance will cover your medical expenses until the claim is resolved.

There are certainly other sources of medical care and other pre-resolution financial resources.   These are merely some of the more common sources of payment for medical expenses while a claim is pending.

Lastly, sometimes the health care bills will not be paid until the claim is finally resolved.  Even if this is the case, a competent accident attorney may be able to get the hospital or other care provider to wait to collect on their bills merely by assuring them they will be taken care of when the claim settles.

What if the Driver has no Insurance?

Even if the driver has no insurance, or not enough to cover your injuries in an accident, there still may be ways to get your bills paid.  First, if the driver is uninsured or underinsured, your automobile policy likely will have at least some coverage called uninsured or underinsured coverage for just such an occurrence.  Even if you do not have care insurance or such insurance is not enough to cover your medical bills, your health insurance will.  This is yet another reason that it is so important for all Americans to have health insurance but even if it is a result of a car accident, if insurance is not available to cover it, your health insurance should.  Should you not have either type of insurance, meidcare or Medicaid may be available to you.

As a last resort, should a diver have insufficient insurance but have significant personal assets or resources, sometimes money can be obtained directly form the at fault party.  This is rare though as individuals of means often are well-insured.

So Ultimately Who Pays?

Getting back to the original question, who pays if you are involved in an accident?  The answer is, depends on the accident.  The important thing to understand and take from this article is the importance of having an effective injury attorney on your side.  Due to the vast number of potential defendants and sources of compensation, only an experienced accident litigator is going to ensure that all avenues of obtaining funds are exhausted.  AS food for thought though, here is a list of potential defendants and sources of compensation:

  • The At-fault driver
  • One or more additional drivers
  • Owner of the car
  • The parent or guardian of the driver
  • The parent of the owner of the car
  • The employer of the driver
  • The company that owns the car
  • The Manufacturer of the car
  • A body shop that did repairs on the car
  • A service department that worked on the vehicle
  • The tire company
  • The manufacturer of a child safety seat
  • The owner or municipality responsible for repair of the road driving surface
  • The insurance company of any of the above individuals or entities

This is only an example of the parties that can be potentially responsible if you or a family member is injured in an accident.  Please remember, only an attorney experienced in car accident cases will recognize all of the potential defendants, sources of money, and theories of liability.

The Spokane, Washington Law Firm of Robert Hahn is one of the leading firms in the area of Personal Injury Law. Our personal Injury clients have the peace of mind in knowing that their case is being handled by an experienced Plaintiffs injury attorney. Our aggressive representation and extensive experience has earned the firm of Robert C. Hahn, III, a stellar reputation for excellence in the representation of injured people.  Robert Hahn’s goal is to provide excellent service by a highly experienced lawyer and legal professionals at an affordable fee.

After helping hundreds of injured people ranging from complex litigation to simple settlement of claims in Spokane and surrounding areas, Spokane Attorney Robert Hahn has the background to explain your alternatives and suggest a solution to your injury difficulties.If you are considering hiring a personal injury attorney, make sure that the attorneys you are considering practice in personal injury law because you need a law firm that deals with these issues on a daily basis.

Let’s Talk About How We Can Help

Our office is located in the Spokane Valley, with easy access off I-90. Our clients know us and our staff by first names — in fact, some clients stop by to visit even after their case is over. We want to get to know you, in order to better serve you, so call us for your first consultation with a personal injury attorney.

Please call us today at our Spokane office at 509.921.9500 or send an email. Your initial consultation in Spokane with a personal injury attorney is free.

Our attorneys represent clients in Western Washington, Spokane, Washington and other Eastern Washington communities, including Cheney, Clarkston, Colfax, Colville, Davenport, Ephrata, Moses Lake, Newport, Odessa, Pullman, Ritzville, Republic, Ione, Chewelah, Newport, Metaline Falls Wenatchee, Seattle, Spokane, Yakima and Walla Walla. Our attorneys also represent clients in North Idaho, including Bonners Ferry, Coeur d Alene, Hayden, Lewiston, Moscow, Post Falls, Sandpoint, Wallace, Priest River, Plummer, St. Maries and Potlatch. Our lawyers work in all Spokane County, and surrounding Spokane areas, including Downtown Spokane, North Spokane, South Spokane, East Spokane and West Spokane court systems. Our laywers practice in the Spokane Superior Court, Spokane District Court, Spokane Municipal Court, and the Spokane Valley Municipal Court systems.

For those in need of an injury attorney in Spokane, Robert Hahn represents clients for personal injury, spinal injury, traumatic brain injury, whiplash injury, wrongful death, soft tissue injury, workplace injury, construction injury, injuries to children, serious catastrophic injuries, burn injuries, dog bite injury, animal injuries. Many accidents cause undiagnosed long term permanent damages like, ear injuries, eye injuries, head injury, ankle injury, foot injury, leg injury, hip injury, shoulder injuries, arm injury, elbow injuries, knee injury, fractured pelvis injury, fractures hip injury, broken hip injury, paraplegia, paralysis, burst fracture, herniated disc injury, back injury, spinal fusion, laminectomy injury, head injury, skull fracture, concussions injury. If you are in the need a lawyer in Spokane for a permanent injury, playground injuries, daycare injuries, nursing home injury or abuse, medical malpractice, negligence, insurance claims or insurance disputes contact a lawyer at our Spokane law firm by using the contact us button above. Spokane attorney Robert Hahn represents clients injured in an auto accident, truck accident, construction accident, pedestrian accident, fatal accident, accident caused by cell phone use, commercial truck accident, semi-truck accident, and 18-wheeler accidents. Our lawyers focus on rear-end car collisions, intersection car collision, t-bone car collision, motorcycle collision, drunk driving auto accident, teen car driving accident, boating accident, slip and fall accident, school bus accident, car or truck roll over accident, accident cause by a negligent driver, interstate accident, highway accident, multiple car accidents. If you are in need of a lawyer in Spokane for a side impact car collision, garbage truck accident, commercial bus accident, long haul truck collision, railroad crossing accidents, train accident, mining accident, lumber mill accident, logging accident, improperly marked crossing accident, design defect caused accidents, car malfunction, auto malfunction, motorcycle malfunction, single vehicle crash, multiple vehicle crash, driver error crash, employer negligence accident, third party liability claims, or insurance claims or insurance disputes, contact a lawyer at our Spokane law firm by using the contact us button above.