Posts

How Do I Handle My Medical Bills after a Car Accident?

If you are involved in an accident in Connecticut and suffer injuries, there is a strong possibility that you will incur medical bills. However, if the accident was not your fault, you may have questions about who will pay for your bills, and how you should handle the pursuit of a medical claim. Here’s an overview about what you need to know about recovering compensation for medical expenses after an accident in CT.

  1. Seek Medical Care

Before we delve into the how of recovering compensation for your medical expenses, the importance of seeking medical care should be touched upon. If you do not seek medical care and then later require care, you may have a more difficult time proving to an insurance adjuster that the need is legitimate. What’s more, failing to seek medical care could result in a worsening of your condition. If you do not have health insurance and are worried about billing, contact our law firm immediately.

  1. Understand Liability

In addition to getting medical care, it is very important that you understand CT’s fault, or tort, system, and understand who is liable for medical bills when an accident occurs. In a nutshell, those who cause accidents through reckless or negligent conduct are responsible for paying for damages incurred by others. This means that whether you suffered a slip or fall on someone else’s property due to a dangerous condition or were involved in a car accident with a speeding driver, the at-fault party is responsible for ensuring your medical bills are paid.

  1. Keep a Tab

While an at-fault party will be responsible for paying for your medical bills, they are typically not responsible for paying your bills on an ongoing basis. Instead, once you reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), you will ask for a lump sum payment from the defendant (or, more likely, the defendant’s liability insurer) for the total value of your medical expenses (past and future). This means that you need to keep a thorough record of all the bills you incur, and should work with a professional who can help you to determine what future costs you may face.

  1. Know that You Cannot Be Paid Twice

If you do have health insurance, there is a very good chance that as you heal from your injuries and seek medical treatment, your health insurance company will foot the bill. When it is time to issue a demand letter for the value of damages you have suffered, you will naturally include the costs of your medical expenses. That being said, you cannot be paid twice. This means that if you paid your medical costs out of pocket, you can pocket a settlement from the defendant. However, if your insurance paid damages, you will need to hand over that percentage of your settlement to your health insurance company. Other damages, on the other hand, like pain and suffering or the value of your lost wages, will be yours to keep.

  1. Work with an Attorney

Working with an attorney after being involved in an accident in Connecticut is strongly suggested, especially if your injuries are severe and your medical bills total into the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Understanding who pays for expenses can be confusing, and you may have more questions about whether you should send a bill to your health insurance company, pay it outright, or hold onto it until you demand damages from the party who caused your accident.

At the Apex Law Firm, LLC, our personal injury attorneys have years’ worth of experience behind our name and have handled multiple cases where plaintiffs have questions about medical bills. To learn more, or to schedule a free consultation with our legal team today, please call us at 860-893-558. You can also visit our Hartford County office in person, or send us a message at your convenience using the online form on our website.

Child Pedestrian Accidents in the Autumn in Connecticut

Children are often the victims of pedestrian accidents. On 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention reported that one in every five children under the age of 15 who were killed in a traffic accident were pedestrians. In the fall, as children enjoy the end of warm weather and maximize “playtime” after school, the risk of pedestrian accidents is higher. If you are a licensed driver or a parent in Connecticut, here is what you need to know about child pedestrian accidents and how to reduce the risk of an accident:

Why The Fall Is So Dangerous for Child Pedestrians

In the fall, just after kids head back to school, it is not uncommon to see children outside in nearly every neighborhood one drives through. From playing catch to tag, riding bikes or kicking balls, children love the outdoors in the fall, and are found in yards, playgrounds, sidewalks, driveways, and even the street as such. This is a major part of the reason why the fall is so dangerous for children; there are simply a lot of children outside.

In addition to an increase in numbers, children often do not pay attention to their surroundings, or understand risks and dangers, as do adults. Some common child pedestrian accident types include:

  • Driveway accidents. One of the most tragic vehicle accident types that involve children are driveway accidents. These types of crashes occur when a child is within a driveway, and a vehicle backs into/over the child without seeing them.
  • Neighborhood accidents. The driveway accident often involves very young children. A type of pedestrian crash that may affect older children are accidents that occur on neighborhood streets, typically as a combination of the child being within the street for a game, to chase a ball, etc., and the driver not paying attention or not expecting to see the kid. When this happens, it is often referred to as “the darting child,” explaining that children often dart into the road with little regard for traffic.
  • Intersection and crossing accidents. Children aren’t always killed while they are playing; sometimes, they are hit when they are walking and exercising their pedestrian rights. Intersection and crossing accidents occur when a child fails to look both ways for vehicles or yield to vehicles, or when the negligence of a driver is involved.

Preventing Child Pedestrian Accidents This Fall

Child pedestrian accidents don’t have to happen; when they do, negligence–the failure to exercise a reasonable degree of care–is almost always involved. Here are some things that you can do to reduce the risk of a child pedestrian crash:

For parents…

If you are a parent, talk to your child about safe playing and walking. Remind them to:

  • Never play around parked or moving vehicles;
  • Never run into the road to retrieve a ball or toy – if a toy goes into the road, ask an adult for help;
  • Always bike on the sidewalk, not the road;
  • Always cross at the crossing walk, and with an adult (depending upon the child’s age);
  • Stop, look, and listen before crossing; and
  • Walk, don’t run, when crossing the street.

For drivers…

If you are a driver in Connecticut, then you already know that there are a number of things that you can do to exercise safe driving techniques. Especially around areas where there may be children, always:

  • Slow your speed, and never driver at an unsafe speed or an illegal speed;
  • Yield to children, and don’t always assume that they will wait for your car to pass even if you have the right of way;
  • Never, ever operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol;
  • Never text and drive; and
  • Familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods you drive – if you are driving in an area where you know that children live and play, exercise extra caution.

Representing Child Pedestrian Accident Victims and Their Families in Connecticut

We hope that you and your family get through the summer with nothing but sun-touched skin and a lot of fun, and that your child being involved in a pedestrian accident is something you never have to deal with. If your child is involved in a crash in Connecticut, we want to reassure you that our experienced Connecticut pedestrian accident attorneys at The APEX Law Firm, LLC are here to protect your rights and advocate for you. If your child is hit by a negligent driver, do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the recovery options available to you. We can be reached at (860) 900-0900 or by using our convenient website contact form.