You might have to wait a number of years after you file a lawsuit to collect damages for your injuries from an NYC slip and fall accident. While you are waiting, your medical bills will pile up, and if you do not have insurance that covers those bills, hospitals and doctors’ offices might put your accounts into collection.
A New York City slip and fall lawyer from Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C. can help you to manage the payment of your medical bills– and to negotiate with hospitals and doctors. We will also help you recover the full amount of your damages, including reimbursement for your lost wages as well as pain and suffering.
A property owner and its insurance company are offering to pay my medical bills. Should I accept that payment?
NYC property owners and their insurers have every incentive to settle slip and fall cases quickly– and in some cases, they might offer almost immediate reimbursement of your medical bills. However, payments from insurance companies are often accompanied by liability releases that preclude injured parties from seeking greater compensation.
You should always consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting any payments from a property owner or insurer. This is to ensure that you are not forfeiting your right to recover for pain and suffering and replacement payments for any wages and salary you lost while you were unable to work. Also, there might be additional, unforeseen expenses associated with rehabilitation and occupational therapy.
Will My Out-of-Pocket Expenses Be Covered?
Out-of-pocket expenses are typically covered in the economic damages package you’ll receive if you win your case. Three types of damages may be awarded to victims: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages are the most common form of compensation that is awarded and is intended to reimburse victims for actual, quantifiable costs they incurred due to the defendant’s negligence, such as:
- Medical bills
- Necessary medical devices, like wheelchairs, crutches, or respirators
- Medical visit-related travel
- Costs of replacing lost or destroyed property
- Household or childcare services
- Accessibility modifications to your home that were made necessary by the accident
Essentially, any cost you incurred due to the incident can be considered. However, the opposing counsel or insurance company may challenge some of your economic damages. Therefore, to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, it is vital to keep documentation and receipts of all your expenses.
Also included under economic damages are work-related costs, such as lost wages and lowered earning potential. While some of these damages– for example, lost wages–can be proven through documentation, others will need to be proven through other means, such as expert witnesses. Your lawyer will fight to earn maximum compensation for all your economic damages.
Should I still file a lawsuit if my own health insurance pays my medical bills?
If another party’s negligence caused your slip-and-fall accident, your health insurance company would seek to recover any payments that it makes to you for your medical treatment. You will still be obligated to pay any deductibles and copayments required by your coverage.
More importantly, your health insurance will only pay for your medical bills. The damages you suffer in an NYC slip-and-fall accident typically include far more than just your medical bills. A personal injury lawsuit will give you leverage to recover the largest available damages award to make you whole.
How are my medical bills paid when my lawsuit is settled or resolved?
Hospitals and doctors’ offices in New York can file a medical lien against any settlement funds that an insurer pays out in a slip-and-fall personal injury lawsuit. That lien gives them assurances that they will receive payment as soon as an insurance company releases the settlement funds.
A knowledgeable and experienced lawyer will negotiate the terms of medical liens and verify that the amounts claimed in the lien are fair and accurate. That lawyer will also make sure that liens are extinguished when the health care providers receive payment from settlement funds. This ensures that an injured accident victim does not have to deal with collection actions or other claims to recover payment for outstanding bills.
Finally, a slip-and-fall accident victim might not realize the severity of their injuries immediately after an accident or might assume that these damages are limited to their medical bills to treat injuries. Under these incorrect assumptions, the injured party might be tempted to accept quick settlement offers from insurers and forfeit any right to recover a complete damages award.
Contact us for a no-fee consultation
At Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, Green & Bagley, P.C., we represent victims who suffer injuries in slip and fall accidents in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, or anywhere else in New York City. Please see our website or call our Manhattan offices directly for a no-fee consultation with us. We can help you manage and pay your medical bills through legal action after you suffer injuries in a slip-and-fall accident.