Accidents and insurance tend to go hand-in-hand. Before insurance covers any costs after an accident, you likely have to pay a deductible and a co-pay. Not only can you claim the costs of the co-pay and deductible, but you can claim the costs covered by insurance.
After an accident, your insurance company might not pay anything unless your expenses meet the deductible limit of your policy. You might also pay a co-pay. While these do not represent the full extent of your costs, they might still be expensive, and you should include them in your damages calculations when you file a lawsuit. While you are responsible for these costs at first, an attorney can help you get fair compensation for them from the person who injured you. After insurance covers your major expenses, you can claim the full value of these costs even though you did not pay them out of your pockets. Your attorney can help you evaluate other damages you should include to make sure you get the most compensation possible.
For help assessing damages after insurance, call our Tennessee car accident attorneys at Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 and arrange a free case review.
Paying Insurance Co-Pays and Deductibles After a Car Accident in Tennessee
Insurance is complicated, even at the best of times. After an accident, you might rely on your health insurance to cover your medical costs, but there might be a couple of hoops to jump through first. You might have to pay a co-pay at the hospital, and your insurance might not cover anything unless your costs meet your policy’s deductible.
A co-pay is very common when people use insurance to cover medical expenses. The co-pay is a relatively small fee that you must pay upfront. Co-pays help insurance companies keep costs down. Generally, the co-pay is fixed according to the terms of your policy. It does not matter what kind of medical care you receive; your co-pay is likely the same. The co-pay is often relatively minor, at least compared to the rest of your medical expenses.
Your deductible is the amount of money you must pay for medical services before your insurance company steps in and covers the rest. People usually want low deductibles, as that means they pay less money before insurance kicks in. A high deductible means you have to pay more out of pocket before your insurance applies. Deductibles vary based on policy terms. Deductibles might be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a thousand dollars or more.
Even if your co-pay and deductible are small and affordable, our Tennessee car accident lawyers can help you sue for damages and include these costs in your lawsuit. People often mistakenly assume you cannot claim medical bills if an insurance company pays them. As detailed below, this is not true.
Who is Responsible for My Co-Pays and Deductibles After a Tennessee Car Accident?
You are likely responsible for paying your co-pay and deductible, at least initially. Often, insurance companies will not cover any costs if these expenses are not paid first, so injured accident victims usually have no choice but to pay. Even so, our Tennessee personal injury lawyers can help you sue the person who caused your injuries and make them cover these costs and more.
The defendant should have to cover these costs since they caused the accident. People often overlook co-pays and deductibles when assessing damages. They are often much smaller than the remaining expenses. Even so, they can be expensive, and many people have to drain their savings to pay for them. As such, they should be included in your damages in a lawsuit.
Your lawsuit can help you recover these expenses and other damages from the accident. Your Nashville car accident attorneys can help you obtain an itemized list of expenses from the hospital to include in your complaint. Having as much evidence backing up your claims for damages will help you maximize compensation.
Claiming Damages for Co-Pays and Deductibles After a Tennessee Car Accident
Once co-pays and deductibles are paid, insurance companies may cover the remaining expenses for medical care. For example, your copay and deductible might amount to $500, but your insurance company pays for $25,000 in medical care. Even though the costs of medical care did not come out of your pocket, you may still claim these expenses as part of your damages.
According to Tennessee’s Collateral Source Rule, a defendant cannot introduce evidence of benefits or payments from third parties to reduce the plaintiff’s damages. Put another way, the fact that an insurance company covered your medical expenses does not prevent you from claiming the full extent of those costs as part of your damages.
What’s more, under Tenn. Code Ann. § 24-5-113(a), if we introduce an itemized list of your medical costs, these costs are presumed reasonably necessary. They will be included in your case unless the defendant can show why they should not.
Many of your expenses might not be covered by your insurance. In some cases, medical care is so extensive that costs exceed policy limits. When this happens, injured victims have to pay excess costs themselves. This is just another excellent reason why you should talk to a lawyer and file a lawsuit to cover these costs.
Other Damages in Addition to Insurance Deductibles and Co-Pays in Tennessee Car Accident Lawsuits
You might have costs beyond medical care, depending on how you were injured. Many people encounter significant property damage. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, you can claim the cost of your damaged vehicle, which your health insurance would not cover. If you have auto insurance that covers repair costs, you may claim those costs even though you did not pay them yourself.
You should also consider your ability to work after the accident. If you need to take a significant amount of time off work to recover, you may claim lost income. If you cannot return to work indefinitely, we can help you assess future lost income and include that, too.
Talk to Our Tennessee Car Accident Attorneys About Your Damages
For assistance evaluating damages after insurance, call our Lebanon, TN car accident lawyers at Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 and schedule a free case review.