Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. | June 22, 2022 | Car Accidents
A car accident in New York can result in numerous injuries. A victim may sustain back and neck injuries, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries. They may require surgeries and other medical treatments for their injuries.
Many car accident victims undergo physical therapy as part of their treatment plan. Unfortunately, physical therapy can be expensive. Dealing with physical therapy bills after a car crash can be stressful and frustrating, especially when you did not cause the car wreck.
Who Pays for Physical Therapy Treatment After a Car Accident?
You could require weeks or months of physical therapy, depending on the type and severity of your car accident injury. Your health insurance coverage might cover the cost of physical therapy. If you have no-fault car insurance, the physical injury bills should be covered by your no-fault insurance provider.
However, if another driver caused your injuries, that driver could be liable for the damages caused by the accident, including medical bills.
New York is a no-fault state for car accident claims, though it does require drivers to purchase at-fault coverage as well. This means that you can only pursue a lawsuit against the other driver in limited circumstances.
If you can file a lawsuit, you’ll have the burden of proving the other driver caused the car accident. If you do not have evidence proving causation, fault, and damages, you cannot establish liability for medical bills and other damages.
Filing Insurance Claims for Physical Therapy After a Car Accident in New York City
New York drivers must purchase no-fault car insurance as part of their automobile insurance policy. Personal Injury Protection or PIP is a form of no-fault insurance. It pays benefits even if you cause a car accident.
Therefore, you file a claim with your car insurance company for PIP benefits to cover the physical therapy costs. PIP benefits should apply unless:
- You intentionally caused your injuries
- Own an uninsured motor vehicle
- Were intoxicated when the accident happened
- Riding a motorcycle or ATV
- Were injured while committing a felony
- You were driving a stolen vehicle
If you exhaust your PIP benefits, you can also file the physical therapy bills with your health insurance provider. When another driver causes a car accident, that driver could be liable for your economic damages, including physical therapy bills.
What Happens When the Other Driver Causes the Accident?
All drives in New York must have minimum amounts of liability insurance coverage. Liability insurance compensates victims for damages when the insured driver causes a car accident.
The damages may include economic damages, such as physical injury bills. However, it may also include non-economic damages, which no-fault insurance does not cover.
However, before pursuing a liability claim against the other driver, you must meet the serious injury threshold. New York Insurance Code §5102 defines serious injuries. If your injuries do not meet this threshold, you cannot sue the at-fault driver for damages.
Subrogation Claims for Physical Therapy Bills
If your health insurance provider pays the bills for physical therapy after a car accident, you might be required to reimburse the company. A subrogation claim gives the health insurance company a lien against your personal injury settlement or jury verdict.
The lien represents the money the health insurance company paid to treat injuries caused by the car crash. Your car accident lawyer negotiates the payoff of subrogation claims. That puts more money in your pocket from a personal injury settlement.
How to Protect Your Right to Compensation for Damages After a Car Accident in New York
The steps you take after a car crash can help protect your right to fair and just compensation for accident injuries and damages. Things you can do to improve your chance of recovering money for your claim include:
- Take photos and make a video of the accident scene
- Do not admit fault, say you are sorry, or otherwise apologize for the accident
- Ask eyewitnesses for their contact information
- Seek prompt medical treatment for your injuries
- Keep careful records and evidence of financial losses to receive reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses and other economic damages
- Refer insurance adjusters to your personal injury attorney
- Avoid making statements and answering questions for the insurance company without consulting a lawyer
You are not required to hire a car accident lawyer to handle your claim. However, having an attorney on your side can change the direction of a personal injury claim in your favor.
Attorneys understand the law. They know how insurance companies operate and the best way to fight insurance companies for fair settlement amounts. Furthermore, having a lawyer evens the playing field by giving you access to resources, expert witnesses, and legal counsel to fight the insurance money you deserve.
You may need physical therapy after a car accident. However, physical therapy can be expensive. Learn about ways to pay for physical therapy bills after an incident.