Who Pays my Medical Bills After I’ve been Injured in a Car Accident?

who pays my hospital bills after an accident

You remember that last moment before the crash. It is frozen forever in your brain. You will never forget. You are not alone. According to state statistics, in his lifetime, the typical Alabama driver has a greater than one-in-three chance of being in a crash that involves injury or death.
 

And now comes the sobering realization that you will have bills – lots of them. And because you were injured, you cannot go right back to work and you don’t have a car for transportation.

Who is going to cover these costs so you can get back to some semblance of life as you knew it?

Take a deep breath. There are solutions once you understand your options.  

First of all, we need to help you file a claim against the at-fault diver. Alabama is a “fault” car accident state which means the person who caused the accident is responsible for compensating you. Their bodily injury liability coverage should cover your medical bills and lost wages. 

Alabama’s mandatory liability insurance law requires drivers to have a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury coverage and $50,000 for total bodily injury liability for two or more people. 

This basic coverage is extended to losses that the at-fault driver caused, and you must file a claim within two years of the accident under Alabama law.

Additionally, the minimum is $25,000 coverage for property damage which includes your automobile.

It is always advised that you carry above these minimum amounts to cover extensive medical bills and property damage from a serious crash. If you don’t, once the insurance is exhausted, the rest falls on your shoulders.

  • Alabama does not require PIP (personal injury protection) coverage but PIP or MedPay coverage will pay your medical bills and the repairs to your car. These are no-fault claims that will pay no matter who is at fault for the car accident. When you alert your insurance company, ask them to send you a PIP claim form.

Even while you are still being treated, you can send your bills in to be paid. PIP coverage will not cover property damage that you caused.

  • We can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court naming the at-fault driver and his insurer.
  • If a bar overserved the at-fault driver who caused the accident, you may have a dram stop negligence claim against that bar. We will explore any other possible negligence by the driver, his employer, or product liability claims that may apply.

Many people say they do not want to sue, but understand you are not suing the person who caused the accident, but rather their insurer. That is the very reason we all carry auto insurance.

Understand, if we are talking about a car accident that results in an injury or fatality, we have two years under Alabama law within which to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash. 

The two-year clock starts ticking the day of the accident. You obviously do not want to let that deadline pass, because if it does, there is no incentive for the insurance company to pay you fair compensation for your losses.

Often, the injured parties will attempt to have their insurance companies work it out, but just as often, they fail to resolve the situation to your satisfaction. That is when you need to engage an experienced lawyer to get involved in the negotiation with the insurance company, and if necessary, to file a lawsuit.

Keep in mind the pending time constraints and do not hesitate.


Unfortunately, in Alabama, we have something called the “contributory negligence” rule, which means if you contributed even a small amount to the accident, you can be barred from recovering damages. 

It is very likely that the other side’s insurance company will try to blame you for the accident. And the insurance adjuster also will follow the contributory negligence guideline when evaluating your case. 

This is when you need the assistance of an experienced auto accident attorney who will argue that the fault for the car accident rests with the party who actually caused it.

Chip Nix is the Montgomery, Alabama attorney who will aggressively fight for your rights during this difficult time. Please do not hesitate to call him for a consultation at 334-203-6669.

Sources:

NOLO Law
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/alabama-car-insurance-laws.html Alabama code for recovery
https://codes.findlaw.com/al/title-6-civil-practice/al-code-sect-6-2-34.html

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