After a car accident, debt can pile up fast, and many parties find that they are unable to manage escalating bills. In many cases, the thousands of dollars a driver pours into coverage does not always cover everything they would expect.
The monetary impact of an auto accident
Auto accident bills easily creep into tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. The severity of injuries can require emergency surgery, follow-up procedures, and physical therapy. There may also be monetary losses if you take time off from work. Ongoing medication and medical equipment like wheelchairs could be possible in the event of a physically debilitating accident.
How does the system work?
The state of Connecticut uses a fault-based auto insurance system. This system means that the party responsible for the accident is the at-fault driver, and they are legally responsible for paying any subsequent medical bills. In other words, if you are in an accident someone else causes, they should be liable for your expenses.
Unfortunately, the system does not work as smoothly as it should. Insurance providers must first agree to the terms of the policy. Your insurer may offer you a check first and then attempt to recover the funds from the other driver’s insurance company, but the amount is not always sufficient and does not take long-term monetary repercussions into account. Typically, bills linked to a motor vehicle accident get paid via one of the following:
- You file a claim with your insurer.
- You file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- You take the at-fault driver to court.
It is important to get the process started as soon as possible, as insurance companies are known for stalling the process. Many other things can get impede settlement payments, including:
- The at-fault driver is underinsured or uninsured
- The accident was a hit-and-run
- You are found to be at fault
- It’s determined that your injury preexisted the accident
What you need to do
To get rightfully compensated, follow these steps:
- When an accident occurs, call the police so they may investigate and file a report. This report outlines who caused the accident, and insurance companies use this information when settling a claim.
- Get medical attention right away. Follow through on all suggested treatments and procedures by medical professionals.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Let them know the accident was not your fault. File your claim and send copies of any bills you incur to the company.
- Keep copies of all related expenses, including medical expenses, associated with the accident.
- If you’re not getting what you need to cover your expenses, try to negotiate.
In many car accident cases, these steps will be sufficient for receiving financial compensation. If not, your last resource is to file a lawsuit against at-fault parties.