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Medical Treatment After a Car Accident: Legal Implications and Insurance Coverage

Doctors performing surgery on patient after car accident.

After a New Hampshire car accident, your attention should be on getting better. Yet, medical treatment comes with economic consequences and legal implications.

Receiving financial compensation for your accident losses is important but can be challenging. The steps you take after your New Hampshire car accident can impact whether you can recover money or not and how much you finally get.

At Kiley Law Group, our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to guiding our clients through the complex legal system. This guide is designed to let you know how your wise decisions lay the foundation for a strong car accident claim.

Why Seek Medical Treatment Promptly

Over 5 million motor vehicle crashes in the United States resulted in medically consulted injuries in 2021. Yet, some accident survivors hesitate to go to an emergency room after a crash.

Some New Hampshire accident victims might be in shock or feel their injuries are not severe enough to merit the trouble. In other cases, people simply do not have health insurance coverage.

Getting attention from a healthcare professional immediately after a car accident is critical. Let’s examine some important reasons why you should seek help without delay.

To prioritize your physical health

Did you know that the signs of serious injuries can begin to show hours or even days after a car accident? Yet, the longer you go without treatment, the worse your health can become in the meantime. Sadly, for some New Hampshire victims, doctors learn of the health condition too late to save their lives.

Diagnostic tests like those listed below can reveal hidden medical conditions with invisible or hard-to-detect symptoms:

  • X-rays detect problems affecting bones, like fractures and loose teeth
  • Computer tomography (CT) scans are used to investigate internal bleeding and organ damage
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) collects pictures of soft tissues, revealing damaged ligaments, joint and spinal injuries, and internal organ damage
  • Ultrasounds create real-time images of internal organs and soft tissues, helping healthcare providers diagnose blood clots, enlarged organs, and infections

Besides protecting your health, there is another reason to see a doctor after a New Hampshire car accident. You will need evidence of your injuries to claim medical expenses on your insurance claim. Since proof forms the basis of any New Hampshire personal injury claim, medical documentation clarifies the extent of your injuries and their connection to the collision you experienced.

To protect your emotional and psychological well-being

Stressful events like car accidents can trigger emotional, mental, and psychological issues such as these, reported in one research study:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can cause victims to have troubling dreams, mood disorders, and distress and physical responses to reminders of the accident
  • Generalized anxiety results in uneasy feelings like worry, fear, and restlessness; or physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat and dizziness
  • Phobic travel anxiety can manifest as nervous anticipation of a car ride, feelings of doom, extreme anxiety responses (e.g., sweating, nausea, chest pain), and unpleasant reactions even after the sufferer is safe at home
  • Symptoms of depression are sadness, flat moods, irritability, disinterest, poor concentration, fatigue, insomnia, weight changes, and feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness

The study concludes that these outcomes can overlap and persist long after the car accident is over. Recognizing “psychiatric consequences of motor vehicle accidents… would enable early intervention.”

New Hampshire law allows you to seek fair compensation for emotional distress and pain after a car accident. The sooner you get medical and legal help, the better you can safeguard your health and substantiate your New Hampshire pain and suffering claim. An experienced personal injury attorney can help document your psychological struggles to ensure your personal injury claim is supported by concrete evidence.

Paying Medical Bills With Auto Insurance

In New Hampshire, drivers must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to meet the financial responsibilities of a car accident. Otherwise, they must carry auto insurance.

In New Hampshire, the at-fault driver is liable for bodily injury and property damage expenses. The coverage provided by insurance companies for accident costs varies depending on the type of policy.

Auto liability coverage

Auto liability insurance covers liability for car accidents caused by the policyholder. It also covers legal expenses if you need a New Hampshire car accident lawyer to protect your rights. There are two types of liability coverage: bodily injury and property damage.

Bodily injury coverage compensates for medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages caused to others in the event of the policyholder having an accident. Property damage coverage takes care of the repair and replacement of motor vehicles and perhaps other items damaged in the collision.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage

Your liability coverage pays for qualifying accident expenses in the case you cause an accident. What if someone hits you but is not covered by an insurance company?

Uninsured motorist insurance covers claims where the at-fault driver did not have insurance when the accident occurred or fled the scene without providing identification. Meanwhile, underinsured or bodily injury coverage kicks in when the policy limits of the insured at-fault driver are less than the cost of the injured person’s damages.

Dealing with a New Hampshire car accident can be nerve-racking, especially when either party lacks insurance. A consultation with a personal injury lawyer may show you how to benefit from your uninsured motorist coverage.

Other common types of coverage

The following accident coverage plans might be part of a stand-alone insurance policy or appear as features of your standard liability coverage:

  • Medical payments (MedPay): For medical bills associated with injuries, irrespective of fault, for a limited amount of years after the date of the injury
  • Collision: For repair costs of your own vehicle
  • Comprehensive: For damage or complete loss of a vehicle from causes other than a car crash (for example, hail, vandalism, fire, theft)
  • Towing and labor costs if your vehicle requires roadside assistance
  • Rental reimbursement or transportation expenses pay specific amounts to cover rental fees while your vehicle is being repaired

New Hampshire law requires a minimum liability coverage limit of at least $25,000 for an injured person, $50,000 if two or more persons were hurt, and $25,000 for property damage. However, collecting from an auto insurance company is not the only way to recover your losses.

Why Involve Your Health Insurance Company

A New Hampshire personal injury lawyer can explain your legal options if you sustained injuries in an auto accident. For example, you can use your health insurance company to cover your medical expenses. Consider the following benefits.

To avoid credit problems

Insurance companies do not always act quickly. They might ask for additional evidence to support your accident claim. Therefore, the time between when a car crash occurs and when a compensation award is paid can vary greatly.

In the meantime, your medical expenses can generate late fees and interest. Your debt can accrue, even going to collections. Your credit rating can fall, making getting loans, credit cards, and low interest rates difficult.

On the other hand, your health insurance can clear your medical debt while you wait on the resolution of your car accident lawsuit.

To seek compensation without paying out-of-pocket

How can you save as much of your money, and upcoming compensation, as possible? If you pay your medical bills on your own, you might have to pay the whole amount. But you have options to reduce the amount owed.

Suppose your health insurance covers your medical expenses; the insurance company pays a discounted rate. Later, a New Hampshire attorney is successful in obtaining compensation for the harm caused by the other driver. He or she negotiates further reductions in your bills, resulting in more compensation going directly to your pocket.

How Personal Injury Claims Recover Compensation

New Hampshire laws allow victims of car accidents to recover damages. Yet, there are some rules you must follow to get your due compensation.

Meet the statute of limitations

In New Hampshire, there is a deadline on how long you have to recover compensation. In general, the countdown begins on the date the accident happened, or was discovered, and ends 3 years later.

The same statute of limitations applies to most personal injury cases in New Hampshire, but there are a few exceptions for medical malpractice and other special cases.

Establish the other party’s negligence

Many accidents result when the at-fault driver does not show reasonable care on the road. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, an attorney can help you collect evidence of fault, perhaps including witness statements and a police report.

Each case is unique to itself, so make sure to speak with an experienced attorney to receive suitable advice. Our law firm offers free consultations so that you can get answers without pressure or obligation. For pressing concerns, click the chat button at the bottom of your screen to contact a live representative now.

Achieve Results You Can Be Proud of With Kiley Law Group

The vast majority of New Hampshire car accidents cause trauma and pain. Many of the injured need medical treatment, but the self-preserving efforts of insurance companies and other drivers can make it stressful and challenging to cover victim expenses.

After an accident, an injured person needs to focus on recovery. By relying on an experienced attorney, you can give yourself a chance to rest, heal, and win.

At Kiley Law Group, you can find a lawyer dedicated to helping you win the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Request your free consultation today at (978) 965-3228.