If you’ve been involved in a Colorado accident, you may wonder who will be responsible for paying your medical bills stemming from your accident injuries. The answer to this question lies squarely on what is known as liability.
Liability generally refers to legal responsibility for an accident. Under personal injury laws, establishing liability is crucial to determining who is responsible for financial losses associated with the accident. Establishing that liability involves the determination of whether negligence on the part of an individual or entity caused the accident.
So, if the accident was caused by your own negligence, you (or your insurer) may be responsible for paying your own medical bills (in the case of a car accident) as well as those of the other driver.
If another person is injured on your property, if negligence can be shown, then you will be responsible for the injured party’s medical bills.
However, medical bills must be paid on an ongoing basis regardless of who may ultimately be found liable for these expenses. This initial payment for medical bills will depend on the type of accident you have, your state, and the type of insurance coverage involved.
Generally speaking, you are required to pay your medical bills as they are incurred unless you happen to live in a “no-fault” state or have an accident that involves med-pay insurance coverage.
There are 12 no-fault states in the U.S. No-fault states require each party (or their insurer) to pay for their own medical bills following an accident. Some no-fault states require Personal Injury Protection that will pay up to a certain amount on medical bills as well as some health insurance deductibles and lost wages. Once medical expenses exceed the state’s no-fault limit, you are responsible for them.
Colorado is an “at-fault” state, meaning that following an accident you are allowed to file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and certain other damages. Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning negligence is portioned according to the percentage of fault on the part of each party.
This means your recovery for your medical expenses will diminish according to the percentage of negligence you are found to be responsible for. As an example, if you slip and fall in a grocery store because someone spilled a drink and it was not cleaned up, the store owner is liable. However, if you were reading a text and failed to see the caution sign, you will also bear some responsibility for the accident, your injuries, and your medical expenses.
If your accident occurs at work, then you will make a workers’ compensation claim and your medical bills will be paid through Colorado workers’ compensation insurance. In any accident, if your health insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid paid your medical expenses related to the accident, they are entitled to reimbursement for what they paid your health care providers once you receive a settlement. As you can see, the question of medical expense payment varies considerably according to the facts surrounding your accident.
Contact Our Colorado Springs Car Accident Law Firm Today
If you or someone you love suffered an injury in an accident and you are not sure who will pay your medical bills – give us a call. Let us evaluate your claim and explore all your legal options. Contact the Green Law Firm, P.C. today by calling (719) 694-8515, or by filling out the contact form on this page, to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and discuss your case.