Who Pays Your Truck Accident Medical Bills in Utah
Truck accidents can result in devastating injuries that require costly medical treatment and long-term health care. However, few people can afford to pay their medical bills out of pocket. In Utah, you have several potential sources of compensation to help with these expenses after a tractor-trailer crash. Let an experienced truck accident lawyer from Swenson & Shelley help you demand maximum compensation from the responsible parties.
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Who Pays for My Medical Bills After a Truck Accident in Utah?
If you or a passenger suffers an injury in a Utah truck accident, your first resource for medical coverage will be your own auto insurance provider. Utah is a no-fault auto insurance state.
This means motorists turn to their own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to pay for their reasonable and necessary medical expenses after a wreck, no matter who caused it. PIP benefits also cover a portion of your lost wages and provide a limited daily allowance for in-home assistance if you need help with household tasks due to your injuries.
Under the state’s no-fault insurance laws, Utah motorists must maintain at least $3,000 in PIP coverage for all passenger vehicles registered in the state. However, if you’re like many people injured in 18-wheeler accidents, a $3,000 policy limit will simply not be enough to cover your expenses. Commercial vehicle collisions commonly result in severe injuries that require ongoing medical care and extensive rehabilitation. Once you exhaust your PIP benefits, you will likely need to explore other options to avoid being on the hook for remaining medical expenses.
Can My Health Insurance Pay for Medical Treatment?
If you have health insurance and suffer injuries in a truck accident, your health insurance policy should pay for your accident-related medical treatment. But there may be several critical limitations to your health insurance policy, including:
- Out-of-network restrictions – Depending on your specific policy, certain physicians or facilities may be considered “out of network,” meaning their services may not be covered by your insurer.
- Secondary coverage restrictions – Some health insurance policies specify that the available coverage must be secondary if another primary insurance policy applies. If this is the case for you, you may not be entitled to health insurance coverage until you have exhausted the primary policy, which could be your auto insurance or the truck company’s liability insurance.
- Treatment restrictions – Many health insurance policies pay for only certain types of treatment. For example, some health insurance companies do not cover alternative therapies such as acupuncture or homeopathy after a semi-truck accident.
Does Fault Matter in a No-Fault State?
Fault still matters when truck accidents occur in no-fault states. Lawmakers recognize some accidents have extraordinary consequences and have adopted laws that allow crash victims to step outside the no-fault system in certain circumstances. In these situations, injury victims can seek compensation from at-fault parties by filing third-party insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits.
Specifically, truck accident victims in Utah can step outside the no-fault system if they incur at least $3,000 in medical bills or meet certain severity thresholds. Threshold injuries include death, permanent disability, permanent impairment, disfigurement, a bone fracture, or dismemberment.
If your truck accident injuries meet one or both criteria, you are no longer limited to seeking compensation solely from your auto insurance policy or health insurer. In a truck accident insurance claim or injury lawsuit, you can hold the at-fault truck driver, trucking company, or another party responsible for your losses.
Who Determines Liability for a Truck Wreck?
Several parties may be involved in determining liability after a Utah truck accident. The first parties to investigate after many truck accidents are law enforcement officers. Police officers and state troopers respond to crash scenes to render aid, manage traffic, and record preliminary crash findings in official accident reports. These accident reports are essential pieces of evidence in many truck injury cases. However, they do not establish who is at fault for an accident.
Next, the insurance company(s) who could be responsible for paying out claims will likely send adjusters to investigate the truck accident. In addition to reviewing police reports, adjusters will visit crash scenes, survey vehicle damage, review medical records, and interview experts or eyewitnesses. Adjusters use the available evidence to determine whether their policyholder — and, by extension, the insurance company — is liable for an injury claim.
Finally, a truck accident lawyer (if you choose to hire one) will conduct a thorough, independent investigation to uncover evidence for your case. In many truck accident claims, more than one party could be at fault for the crash. An attorney will identify every liable party and pursue compensation from each of their insurers.
At Swenson & Shelley, we know a truck accident can turn your life upside down. That’s why we dig deep to hold trucking companies and other negligent parties accountable for what our clients have been through. Our legal team will gather the most compelling evidence to support your case and make persuasive arguments for maximum compensation for you.
What About Medical or Hospital Liens?
If you suffer severe injuries in a Utah truck accident, it may be months or years until you complete your treatment and your injury case settles. In the meantime, you may still be responsible for your medical bills despite having little means to pay them. You may receive notice of a medical or hospital lien if this occurs.
Hospital liens allow certain Utah healthcare providers to render medical care to truck accident victims and ask for repayment once a legal claim resolves. This arrangement means you get the care you need while your case is pending. However, you must consider any outstanding lien amounts during settlement negotiations. A skilled truck accident lawyer can determine these expenses in advance and demand a fair payment that settles your debts which will then increase the ultimate amount you take home.
Contact a Top Truck Accident Attorney in Utah
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in a truck accident in Utah? The accomplished legal team at Swenson & Shelley is ready to put you on the path to justice. Contact us today for a free consultation with a proven truck accident lawyer.
Learn about why it’s important to conduct a truck accident scene investigation in this video. Then, call our truck accident attorneys in Utah.