Slip and fall accident victims who suffer serious injuries will need medical treatment and in some cases, have to take time off from work. The most common injuries from slip and fall accidents include broken arms or legs, major knee or back injuries and head trauma, all of which can cause temporary or permanent disability.
Our slip and fall accident law firm helps accident victims recover fair compensation for medical bills and lost pay or wages. The article below is for legal info only. Please contact our law firm for help in your case.
Slip & Fall Accidents in Pennsylvania – Financial Losses
In serious slip and fall accident cases, the medical bills will pile up. Emergency room visits, x-rays, surgery and follow up care often lead to thousands of dollars of medical bills. During the recovery period, slip and fall accident victims often have to take weeks or months off from work. The financial losses are often staggering.
Recovery for Medical Bills – Past & Future Bills
Under Pennsylvania Slip & Fall Accident Law, victims can seek compensation for any past medical bills for treatment of injuries sustained in the accident. In a typical slip and fall accident lawsuit, the claim for medical bills includes ER treatment, surgery, physical therapy, etc.
In cases with severe injuries, where the medical treatment is reasonably expected to continue in the future, PA law also allows claims for future medical expenses. A medical expert must testify that specific, future medical treatment is necessary and reasonable. Then, a second expert will give a cost projection of the specific treatment.
For instance, a Philadelphia resident suffers a serious knee injury as a result of a slip and fall on concrete. Even after surgery and physical therapy, there are ongoing symptoms, which will require treatment by an orthopedic specialist. The treatment includes follow up visits, steroid shots and physical therapy. A life care planner would then project the cost of the treatment. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff can ask to be compensated for these future medical bills.
Other Medical Expenses
In addition to compensation for past and future medical bills, PA law allows claims for out of pocket expenses. This can include medical supplies, over the counter medications, prescription costs, etc. In addition, travel to and from medical appointments, parking fees and tolls may also be included. In serious injury cases, these other expenses can easily add up to thousands of dollars.
Immediately after a slip and fall accident happens, most people will get medical treatment and use their health insurance to pay the bills. Can the plaintiff get compensated even though their health insurance paid the bills? Usually, the answer is a qualified yes.
In Pennsylvania, the plaintiff in a slip and fall accident case is required to prove their damages. This includes medical bills, coinsurance, deductibles, etc. In the vast majority of accident lawsuits, the medical claim will include what the health insurance company paid out, whether it’s a private health insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid.
In nearly all fall accident cases, health insurance companies and the government (Medicare or Medicaid) will assert a legal right to add their payments to the lawsuit. The insurance companies/government is basically piggy backing off of the plaintiff’s lawsuit. If the plaintiff gets a financial recovery, the insurance company/government gets their fair share, based on the medical bills. This right is usually laid out in the health insurance contract or by law.
Let’s use the same example above to demonstrate. The Philly resident has $20,000 of medical bills which were paid by her private health insurance company (HIC); she also has $5,000 of copays and out of pocket expenses. Her insurance contract with HIC allows HIC to seek reimbursement from her lawsuit. So, her medical bill claim totals $25,000. If she succeeds in her lawsuit, she will be required to pay HIC back. However, how much she has to pay back to HIC is subject to negotiation. She may be able to negotiate with HIC, depending on the law and the circumstances of the case.