Get It In Writing: Protecting Your Claim for Medical Expenses

If you have recently been injured in an accident caused by another individual, one of your biggest stressors and worries may be the pending medical bills that you have received for your time in the hospital. Recovering for these types of expenses can be a very important part of any personal injury lawsuit, but the burden is on you to prove to the court exactly what bills you are entitled to recover.

What Kind of Medical Expenses Can You Recover?

In a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover medical expenses that were the result of your accident. You must be able to show that the accident caused the medical expenses to be incurred. For instance, if you are hit by a car while crossing the road and break your leg, any medical bills you paid for the care of your leg would be recoverable.

You may also be able to recover for existing conditions that were aggravated or worsened by your accident. However, you must be able to show that your accident made the condition worse or re-injured you. For example, if you have an old back injury from sports in college and injured your back again in an accident, you will need to show that it is your accident, not the old injury, that is causing your pain.

Establishing Your Medical Injuries

In Iowa, a defendant can be required to pay all reasonable medical expenses. In determining reasonable expenses, juries can look to what was actually paid for a medical bill versus what was charged, since hospital charges may sometimes be inflated. To prove your medical expenses, you may need to show:

  • Copies of bills you received
  • Statements of payments you made
  • Letters from physicians or other treatment providers about the necessity of your treatment
  • Evidence from your medical records about how your accident caused a specific injury

As with most legal matters, the more documentation that you can provide the better. If you have a medical injury that is not clearly related to your accident, you may ask your doctor to clearly document the connection to your accident or opine on the cause of the injury. If you are receiving new or questionable treatments, you should make sure the reason for such treatment is clearly documented in your medical records.

Insurance Companies and Medical Expenses

One thing all personal injury victims should be aware of is that when you recover for medical expenses that were paid by an insurer rather than by you personally, the insurance company will be reimbursed from the money that you receive. This is known as subrogation.

In Iowa, accident victims are usually entitled to be fully compensated for all of their damages before the insurer is allowed to seek subrogation for payments it has made, but it is important to remember that you may be on the hook to reimburse an insurer in some form.

Let Personal Injury Attorney Jonathan D. Schmidt Help You Recover For Your Pain And Suffering

The medical expenses that come from severe injuries after an accident can feel crushing at times. Thankfully, recovery for such expenses is possible with the help of an aggressive and committed personal injury attorney. To speak with Jonathan D. Schmidt about his experience and find out more about how he can help, contact us online or at (319) 423-3031.