Medical expenses are easily one of the most cumbersome problems when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. After all, the doctor and hospital bills could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars rather quickly. What are you actually allowed to recover in a personal injury lawsuit?
The Simple Answer
When you go to trial with a personal injury case, you’ll be allowed to recover the amount you actually spent on medical bills. When a doctor treats you, he or she submits a bill to your health insurance company. The company then pays the doctor at a certain rate that they’ve already set up in a contract with that health system.
You pay your co-pay or co-insurance costs. For example, your total bill may be $400 for a specialist’s office visit. Say the insurance company was able to knock off half of that bill, bringing it down to $200. You can only recover the $200, even if the insurance company paid part of that.
Wondering why you can’t recover the portion paid by the insurance company? You’re actually contractually obligated to pay that money back to the insurance company. You’ll only ever see the portion of it that you paid to the doctor’s office.
A part of every single verdict in a case like this is set aside for those medical expenses. It falls under compensatory damages. Much of that money is shuttled to other people, like insurance companies and doctors. Only a tiny part of it actually goes to the injured person.
If You Don’t Have Insurance
There are cases where plaintiffs don’t have health insurance, and in those cases, medical expenses can be a serious problem. If you’ve been injured in St. Petersburg or anywhere in the State of Florida, your best bet is to find a doctor who is willing to accept payment once the lawsuit is settled. Unfortunately, this can be more difficult than ever. Few doctors are willing to take those kinds of cases today, but often a personal injury attorney in Saint Petersburg can help you find the right medical resources, even if you’ve been injured without insurance.
How Much is Pain and Suffering Worth?
In some cases, part of your settlement may cover pain and suffering costs. In most cases, this number will depend on your actual injuries. The permanence of the injuries, as well as the time you had to take off from work, can all factor in. Your physical location can also play a role in the settlement you can expect to receive, as can your age. The younger you are, the higher the settlement amount that can be expected. The same is true for your level of health before the accident. Healthier people tend to get higher settlements.
Medical expenses certainly factor into a personal injury settlement, but to get the best possible settlement and make certain all of your medical expenses are covered, contacting a qualified personal injury attorney is an absolute must.