Rear-end car accidents are very common, and if you experience one unexpectedly, you may wonder how you will pay the medical bills for any injuries you may have sustained.
Our experienced Cincinnati car accident lawyers at O’Connor Acciani & Levy are available to discuss what your options for seeking compensation may be during a free, confidential consultation.
At-Fault Drivers Are Usually Liable
Ohio is a fault state, so the driver who causes the collision is liable for damages resulting from the accident, including medical bills. However, these costs are not covered until and unless your insurance claim is resolved in your favor.
So what do you do while your claim is being processed?
If you have health insurance, you may be able to use to cover your costs while your settlement is pending, but you may be required to reimburse your health insurer with proceeds of your settlement in a process called subrogation. Medicare or Medicaid may be another option, if you qualify for it. You may also be able to negotiate with the hospital to wait until you settle your claim to bill you.
If the driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may be able to either pursue a claim against the liable party’s personal assets or through the uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) portion of your own insurance policy.
Proving The Value Of Medical Bills
There are several steps you can take to help protect the full value of your claim for compensation:
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
This not only protects your future health, it may also strengthen your claim by creating an official medical record that will help link your injuries to the accident.
Save Medical Bills
Even though the hospital is required to retain all medical records, it is important to try to obtain copies as they are created.
Inquire About Future Care
In addition to payment for the expenses you have already incurred, you may also receive compensation for medical expenses that you may have in the future. Your physician and your attorney can help you estimate an accurate value of these costs.
Keep A Pain Journal
It can be helpful to keep a pain journal to record the details about the accident after it happens and throughout your recovery. Some of these details may include:
- Details describing the accident, including the weather, road conditions and how it happened
- Pictures and notes about your injuries, including the severity, how they limit your activities and enjoyment of life activities, and pain levels during treatment
- Details about doctor visits, physical therapy, prescribed medication and diagnostic tests
Why Rear-End Accidents Happen
Rear-end car crashes typically happen because the driver behind you is following too closely. The Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws recommends allowing at least three seconds between you and each vehicle. In wet, snowy or other types of inclement weather, that recommended distance increases to five seconds to allow more time for stopping, giving you a greater chance of avoiding a collision.
Common driver errors or reckless driving behaviors that may lead to a rear-end accident:
- Reckless driving, such as tailgating, speeding or driving impaired
- Driving too fast in bad weather conditions
- Accelerating too quickly
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Sudden lane changes
- Brake malfunction
- Road rage
Contact Oal For Assistance With Your Claim
If you were rear-ended by a careless driver, it can be stressful watching the costs for medical care pile up.
Our dedicated legal team may be able to pursue compensation for those and other expenses related to your injuries. We are also prepared to handle communication with the insurance company on your behalf.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if we first obtain compensation for your damages.