Why are You Stuck with Bills When a Drunk Driver Caused Your Wreck?

April 12, 2020

You get in a crash. It’s a blur of a Saturday night, and what happens? Possibly you wake up in a hospital bed, or perhaps you go about your business and get checked out at a care center the next day. The issue is that injuries from drunk driving accidents often require a treatment plan, surgery, and recovery periods, which means bills and missing work. 

So how could you possibly afford to manage these new bills without an income? The idea that insurance should cover everything is a laughable matter when it comes to drunk drivers. Victims are put in terrible situations that demand extensive effort on their part. 

Insurance Company is Refusing to Honor Their Policy 

Supposing that the drunk driver that hit you had insurance, you would go through the process of filing a claim. Now the insurance policy from the at-fault driver may choose to no longer cover that driver. You’ll still get some compensation, but it’s likely that they’ll fight you extensively on it. 

The result is that as the victim, you should expect compensation but know that the insurance provider will do the bare minimum. The other driver may also inform you that their coverage won’t stay intact if you report the incident as a drunk driving incident. Always be honest about DUI situations. If it has gotten to the point that their insurance will drop them, it’s likely because they have past DUIs. 

If the driver is trying to convince you to keep the alcohol presence quiet, then excuse yourself to the vehicle and alert the police of the wreck if you haven’t already. 

Your Medical Bill Collectors Want Payment Before The Claim Closes

Medical billing networks try to automate everything, and removing the human element from bill collecting has made it even less enjoyable. So you would probably receive a few days or a week after your ER visit or urgent care trip. Then you may have surgeries, longer hospital stays, and more to handle in terms of bills. 

Now, you don’t have to pay for these yet. Yes, you received medical care, but the at-fault driver’s insurance should cover your medical bills. What you can do for now until you have a resolution on the case is to submit a medical lien. That should stop all collection processes until your claim closes. 

What a medical lien does is it tells your collectors that you have an open case which should cover bodily injury. Given the common nature of car accidents, billing centers see this come up often. It’s not something that they’re not aware of, but most people don’t’ know how to do it on their own without an attorney. 

An Open Physical Rehabilitation Plan is Delaying Your Claim 

You may see the bills piling up because your case is still open. Cases may stay open for much longer than intended because of an ongoing physical rehab plan. Your medical team or the doctor overseeing your recovery may want to ensure that you make a full recovery. As part of that, they’ll likely set up physical rehabilitation with ongoing checkup appointments. 

The goal of a rehabilitation plan is often to get you returning to work at full capacity. Not only will you have to go through the elements of getting back to your previously healthy, but you may need to relearn daily elements. For example, you may need to rebuild your fine motor skills before returning to work. 

How to Get in Contact with a Car Accident Lawyer in Columbia, SC 

Car accidents happen daily, that doesn’t mean that you should get stuck with the tab. The medical bills that come on with any claim quickly become overwhelming, and you might feel as though you’re drowning in debt. A drunk driver doesn’t think about these things, usually before or after the wreck. They’re selfish and worried first about doing what they want when they get behind the wheel, then worried about what will happen to them with this charge and accident. 

The result is that the only person who cares about your position in this is you, and potentially an attorney if you bring in the right people. At Connell Law in Columbia, we’re interested in understanding how you can take charge of your claim and manage the expenses of the accident while holding the drunk driver accountable. Calling our office is the first step, then schedule a consultation. Connell Law Firm is the local Columbia car accident lawyer’s office. 

View these other frequently asked questions pages:

What Types of Injuries are Caused by Drunk Driving Accidents in South Carolina?

What Should You Look for When Researching a Nursing Home in South Carolina?

Evidence You Need When Filing a Wrongful Death Claim