Injury expenses after a serious truck accident can be overwhelming to deal with, even for families with high-quality health insurance policies. While a private plan could provide limited reimbursement for some out-of-pocket medical expenses, it typically doesn’t compensate survivors for lost income, emotional pain and suffering, and other necessary damages.
Here’s what our legal team recommends you do if health insurance doesn’t cover all costs of a semi-truck accident.
Health Insurance Only Provides Limited Benefits to Semi-Truck Accident Victims
When fully loaded, the average commercial trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. When tractor-trailers collide with passenger cars, occupants of the smaller vehicles often suffer devastating consequences, including catastrophic and potentially disabling injuries. After such physical and emotional trauma, it can be difficult to return to work, perform routine tasks, and enjoy an independent life.
Most victims first ask their health insurance provider for benefits, as their policy may offer compensation for some injury-related costs. However, while some insurance coverage might reimburse basic medical costs, it might not compensate for or consider the totality of your damages.
So it may be time to arrange a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney about the potential to file a semi-truck crash lawsuit. They’ll be able to assess the scope of your circumstances and potentially identify other strategies for reimbursement. Here’s what may be discussed.
Your Health Insurance Company Won’t Cover Additional Costs
If your health insurance provider offers primary coverage after an accident, they should compensate you for your out-of-pocket expenses, including the costs of accident-related care. Additionally, Washington state law entitles semi-truck crash victims to a wider range of damages. Depending on the circumstances of your Seattle-area collision, you could be entitled to damages for the following:
- Past, present, and anticipated medical expenses
- Prescription medication
- Reconstructive surgery
- Paid co-pays and deductibles
- Lost income from work
- Diminished earning potential
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Wrongful death
However, even the best health insurance policies don’t usually offer any benefits for damages such as emotional pain and suffering or diminished earning potential. A personal injury lawsuit could help you assert your legal rights to a comprehensive recovery, including the necessary compensation to begin rebuilding your life.
You Have High Co-Pays or Deductibles
While your health insurance plan may compensate for some medical expenses, you might still be expected to pay for a percentage of the costs. Out-of-pocket costs would include payments toward either of the following:
This is a set amount of money that health insurance recipients pay to receive certain services. Co-pays tend to be fairly low. You might, for instance, be asked to pay $25 or $50 to schedule an appointment with your primary health provider, or $100 to $200 to receive emergency medical treatment. While the occasional co-pay isn’t likely to threaten a beneficiary’s financial well-being, repeated visits to specialists add up quickly.
This is the amount of money you must pay for covered health care services before your insurance plan issues benefits. Deductibles vary significantly between individual plans and easily range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. Because of the severe nature of their injuries, semi-truck accident survivors often accrue significant debt before their primary health insurance provider is even willing to begin contributing.
You Wish to Hold a Wrongdoer Accountable for Their Misconduct
Washington state law allows semi-truck accident victims the right to file a claim for compensation against the negligent person or party that caused their accident-related injuries. This also provides an opportunity to hold a wrongdoer accountable for their misconduct.
Under many circumstances, semi-truck drivers aren’t prosecuted for reckless, distracted, or otherwise negligent driving, even if they caused an accident. Even when criminal charges are filed, the court may be unable to order sufficient restitution. A civil lawsuit lets survivors recover damages and receive an official, court-ordered decision of liability.
In situations where a trucking company’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident, a settlement could include promises to revise or overhaul its employment policies, making Washington’s roads safer for your friends, family, and neighbors.