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¿Quién cubre los gastos médicos tras un accidente de peatón?

Abogado de accidentes de peatones en OrlandoEn 6,500 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents in a recent year. These fatalities rose four percent from the previous year and were 17 percent of all crash fatalities. Pedestrian traffic deaths were 13 percent less than 30 years ago, but they have risen nearly 60 percent since their lowest point. Despite public awareness campaigns, increased vehicle safety features, and laws, pedestrians continue to sustain injuries or lose their lives while sharing the roads with motorists in America.

Sadly, these accidents often leave pedestrians with severe and sometimes even catastrophic injuries: spinal cord injuries (SCI), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), leg or pelvic injuries, severely broken or even shattered bones, and road rash severe enough to appear like burns on delicate skin. Most serious pedestrian injuries result from hitting vehicle hoods, bumpers, or windshields. With these severe injuries come considerable medical bills. Someone will need to pay for them, but who?

Unfortunately, the injured person in an accident is ultimately responsible for paying their medical bills. If a minor child suffers injuries in such an accident, the parents will likely bear responsibility for any medical bills they incur. This does not mean the funds to cover these costs must come out of your pocket, however. Injured victims (or their parents) have some options for seeking compensation for their medical expenses from other parties.

How Much Will Medical Treatment Cost After a Pedestrian Accident?

Pedestrians who sustain severe injuries in an accident should anticipate high medical bills. For example, non-surgical treatment of only one broken bone might come with a price tag of $2,500 or more. However, most pedestrian accidents result in much more severe injuries since the victim usually doesn’t have any protection from the vehicle that strikes them or the ground. Here’s what they might anticipate when it comes to the cost of their medical care.

Asistencia de emergencia

Many times, injured pedestrians go straight to the hospital via ambulance. This ride without medical insurance can cost $1,200 or more plus mileage. Emergency medical costs only continue to rise with bills for the emergency department, emergency physicians, and possibly emergency surgery for internal bleeding or other problems.

Injured pedestrians will also incur costs for diagnostic tests like x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and lab work. All of these needs can add up to one hefty emergency care bill, and this is just the beginning for many pedestrian accident victims.

Tratamiento de lesiones

Severely broken bones may require surgical care, such as those that frequently happen to the pelvis, hips, arms, or legs. The fractures may require pins, plates, screws, or wires to help hold the bone together as it heals. Some severe injuries, such as an SCI or internal injuries, might need multiple surgeries to heal completely and properly.

Even if surgery isn’t necessary to recover from an injury, the victim may need multiple follow-up appointments with the doctor or other treatments such as physical therapy to ensure that healing progresses properly. Over time, each of these visits or treatments can add up to one large bill.

Rehabilitación

Dislocations or broken bones may need minor rehabilitation, such as several visits to a physical therapist. This might be necessary to help pedestrian accident victims recover as much mobility and function as possible. Of course, serious injuries may require more intense rehabilitation with more frequent and/or longer appointments.

Some injured pedestrians, including amputees and those with an SCI or a TBI, often need the expertise of an occupational therapist to relearn how to complete everyday tasks like brushing their teeth or increase their ability to perform these types of tasks independently.

In some cases, rehabilitation may need to be an inpatient endeavor at a rehabilitation facility where they can focus several hours per day on their recovery. Other pedestrian victims might require an in-home caregiver to help with care tasks while they work towards the best recovery possible. Pedestrians may also require psychological therapy to help cope with their injury limitations or work through the trauma of the accident.

Each of these substantial medical costs can add up, placing substantial financial strain on the injured pedestrian. Many pedestrian accident victims fear that they cannot afford the high quality of care they need.

Who Pays for Pedestrian Accident Medical Expenses?

After a pedestrian accident, the victim must figure out how they will pay for any medical expenses they incurred due to their accident injuries. Even though this is the last thing an injured victim should be worried about or focused on, ultimately, the person receiving the treatment is legally liable for their medical and other related bills. The good news is that several options exist to help cover these bills following a pedestrian traffic accident.

Seguro PIP

A handful of states, including Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York, require all motorists to maintain personal injury protection insurance (PIP insurance) and liability insurance on their vehicles. PIP insurance provides the necessary initial insurance coverage, typically a minimum of 80 percent of up to $10,000, for any medical expenses incurred due to an auto accident.

If you have PIP insurance, even if you suffered injuries as a pedestrian, it may help pay for your medical expenses and make those bills less of a burden on your budget. Therefore, it’s imperative to contact your auto insurance company as soon as possible after sustaining your injuries to find out if you can use your PIP coverage and how much coverage it provides for your injuries under these circumstances.

Una reclamación por accidente de peatón

The reality for many pedestrian traffic accidents is that the driver is the one liable for an accident.

For instance, a driver who does any of the following or takes other actions can face full financial responsibility for the accident:

  • Ignores the rules of the road-including failing to yield right of way to a pedestrian
  • Drives distracted
  • Chooses to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Examine the accident report. It will likely identify the person or party found liable at the accident scene. The report may also identify other factors that the responding law enforcement officer thought might have contributed to the cause of the accident, depending on the specifics of the accident.

A pedestrian accident claim against the liable person or party might garner compensation for:

  • Gastos médicos
  • Lost wages arising from time off of work to recover or attend medical appointments/treatments
  • Dolor y sufrimiento

Through a pedestrian accident injury claim, you may obtain the necessary compensation to help take care of your medical bills. If you can’t afford to pay your bills upfront and need to wait for your personal injury claim to resolve to pay them, don’t worry.

Your pedestrian accident attorney can file a letter of protection stating your intent to pay for your medical bills once you receive the money from your pedestrian accident claim. They may also work out a medical lien, which is an agreement between you and your medical providers. They agree not to pursue further collection actions, and you and your attorney agree that as soon as you receive compensation for your claim, pay your medical bills.

For pedestrian accident claims against an average Florida driver, pedestrians may receive as much as $10,000, although some motorists might carry higher-limit policies. For instance, rideshare drivers like Uber and Lyft have significant insurance coverage provided by the companies they drive for.

Additionally, taxi drivers in Florida must have at least $125,000 in coverage for anyone injured in an accident in which the taxi driver is at fault.

Commercial drivers, including truck drivers, must also purchase considerably higher-limit coverage than the average Florida driver. This might also help you receive more compensation for your injuries if you were involved in an accident with one.

Whom Should Your Pedestrian Accident Claim Be Against?

You might file a pedestrian accident claim against several people or parties. Always get in touch with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney who can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your accident. In doing this, they can determine who might be liable for your accident and whom you should file a claim against.

When you hire an attorney, they can gather evidence and investigate how the accident occurred, and ultimately hold the right parties accountable for your medical bills and other damages.

For example, if a driver experiences a tire blowout, they may have serious problems controlling a vehicle, leading to a collision with a pedestrian. While the driver will likely be liable for the accident, if the tire’s manufacturer made a tire more prone to blowouts, the manufacturer can also have some liability for the tire blowout accident.

Suppose a driver was working when they caused an accident, such as a delivery or commercial truck driver. In that case, the driver’s company likely shares liability for the accident. In some cases, a driver informs their company that they can’t drive safely due to intoxication, fatigue, or illness.

Still, the company tells them that if they fail to complete work responsibilities, including driving at this time, they might lose their job. If this happens, the company might also share liability for the accident and your pedestrian injuries.

Another potentially at-fault party to consider is the vehicle’s owner when that person isn’t the same as the motorist. The owner can be a corporate owner, rental car company, or an individual who lets the driver borrow their car. If the owner didn’t properly maintain their vehicle, causing an accident, the owner can have some liability for the accident.

It’s crucial to speak with an attorney who can help you determine all the potential parties who share liability for your pedestrian accident and injuries. When your lawyer identifies all liable parties, they can increase the compensation you might receive for your injuries.

Speaking with a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible helps preserve some of the evidence necessary to maximize your compensation claim.

Su seguro de salud

If you have health insurance, it can provide significant assistance in handling the medical expenses that come with pedestrian accident injuries. You will want to reach out to your health insurance company as soon as possible once you know about your injuries.

This will help you understand what your insurance policy might or might not cover. It’s also a good idea to notify them about your injuries. This can also help streamline the approval of your medical bills.

Questions you might want to ask your insurance company-or have your lawyer ask-include:

  • When will they pay your claims? Some companies might not pay right away if they know someone else might be responsible for your bills. Others will pay right away but may be entitled to receive a portion of your injury compensation when you receive it, known as subrogation.
  • Will you have copays or deductibles? This way, you know what to expect.
  • Does my policy cover durable medical equipment? Some policies do, and some don’t.
  • How many physical therapy sessions will you cover? Some only cover a specific number of physical therapy sessions every year.
  • Does my policy cover an inpatient rehabilitation facility stay? They may cover only a certain number of days.
  • Will your insurance company cover in-home care? Unfortunately, not every health insurance policy does.

Injured in a Pedestrian Accident? Get Legal Help Today

The extreme and sudden expense of medical bills after a pedestrian accident can create a severe financial burden for injured individuals and their families. The last thing you need to worry about during your recovery is how you will pay these bills.

If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, an experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation from liable parties. Then, they can stand up for those rights and pursue those options for you.

Contact a skilled pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your legal rights.

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