No one wants to think about getting injured due to someone else’s actions. Will your insurance policy cover your injuries if you get in an accident? Should someone else be held responsible for paying your medical bills?
If you have mounting medical bills from an injury in the Altamonte Springs, Florida area, you’re not alone. According to the Florida Department of Health, there were 281 motor vehicle accidents that led to hospitalizations in 2019.
It may feel overwhelming when medical bills after an accident start piling up. If you’re not sure what to do, an experienced personal injury law firm can help you navigate the twists and turns of Florida law. At the Law Office of Mark A. Cornelius, P.A., I’ve been advising clients like you for over 26 years. Call me for a free consultation today.
Your insurance company may be responsible for paying your own medical expenses — even if the accident was caused by another driver — because Florida PIP is “no-fault” coverage.
These payments can take place through a combination of your own auto insurance policy’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, your health insurance coverage, and any supplemental accident policies you may have.
If the expenses exceed the amount covered by your insurance, you may have to pay the rest of your expenses out of pocket if you cannot collect from the person who caused the crash.
Under certain circumstances, you may be allowed to file a personal injury claim for pain and suffering against the other driver if your injuries (or those of a family member) fall under one or more of the following categories, per Florida Statutes §627.737:
“Significant and permanent loss” of an “important” bodily function
Permanent injury within a “reasonable degree” of medical certainty
“Significant and permanent” scarring or disfigurement
In these situations, you can ask the court for damages related to pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience due to injuries you suffered in the accident. If you don't have one of those you can only seek lost medical bills and wages (what lawyers call economic damages).
Car accidents aren’t the only way to be injured, and it’s important to understand who can be held accountable for your medical bills in other situations.
If you were injured after falling on a business’s property, you (or your insurance provider) may be responsible for your own medical bills unless you can prove one of the following:
The hazardous condition of the property existed for a long enough period of time that the business should have been aware of it
The hazardous condition occurred on such a regular basis that the business should have foreseen it
These factors can be difficult to prove without getting help from someone who understands the complex laws related to premises liability.
If you’re bitten by a dog, the dog owner is responsible for any damages resulting from that injury, unless:
You’re partially responsible for the dog’s behavior, in which case, you’ll be assigned a percentage of the liability
You were not on the premises lawfully; or
the owner had the statutorily permitted "Bad Dog" warning signs posted (does not apply if under 6 years old)
It may be difficult to determine whether or not you were partially responsible for being bitten, but an attorney with experience in dog bite cases can help you understand whether you have a valid claim in this situation.
Most Florida employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance, which covers medical expenses directly related to a workplace injury. You are required, however, to let your employer know you were injured within 30 days of the incident.
You will also need to file a worker’s compensation claim within two years of the incident in order to be eligible to receive financial assistance with medical expenses.
In most cases, worker’s compensation should cover your medical bills, but it is possible that your medical expense claims could be denied. If that occurs, you may wish to contact an attorney with experience in worker’s compensation matters to help you file an appeal of the denial.
Personal injury law in Florida is complicated, and if you don’t understand your rights under the law, you could end up paying for medical bills that shouldn’t be your responsibility.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you work through the complex paperwork required to file a personal injury claim, and determine whether you have grounds for filing a personal injury case in court.
At the Law Office of Mark A. Cornelius, P.A., I can lead you through the personal injury claim process, and help you understand your rights and legal options. If you live in the areas of Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Volusia, Polk County, Lake County, or throughout Central Florida, call my office today for a free consultation to discuss your case.