No one anticipates when they will be in an auto accident and because of that, it can be a jarring experience. If you don’t suffer any injuries, the moments after an accident can be confusing and scary. If you do sustain injuries, the fear and confusion are even worse! How do you deal with the aftermath of an accident and knowing what to do next? Depending on your circumstance, there are a few things to consider but Sacramento automobile accident lawyers are always the best line of defense in any type of accident.
Calling an ambulance after a car accident isn’t always necessary and it’s difficult to always be sure whether to call or not. When you call 911 after an accident, the dispatcher will ask you several questions to get an understanding of the accident. Try to stay calm and concentrate on what the 911 operator is telling or asking you. Do not hang up until the operator tells you to. Since the scene is a car accident, it’s important to determine where you are and to explain that as clearly as possible to the 911 dispatcher. This isn’t always an easy feat, especially in the moment of panic and chaos so always remember to stay calm and consult with Sacramento automobile accident lawyers if you need to.
Do You Need an Ambulance?
Even if you aren’t hurt, it is a good idea to call 911 depending on the situation. A 911 operator will send you help and assist you through what to do next. The 911 operator will automatically dispatch the police to your location and will ask you if you require an ambulance.
When in doubt, say yes! It is hard to determine how injured you or another party is, especially if you are experiencing shock from the accident. Even minor collisions have the potential of causing serious injury and many accident injuries seem minor but turn out to be serious in the long run. No one is required to take the ambulance once it arrives and medical personnel is much better equipped to assess injuries than a layman directly after a car crash!
It is important to remember that if you are in an accident with other vehicles and you do not request an ambulance, it will not automatically make you negligent or liable. Some injuries seem minor at first and can develop into something serious (especially with head and neck injuries). If you think it is at all possible that someone will require medical help, it’s a safe bet to just request an ambulance. Sacramento accident lawyers have years of experience dealing with tricky situations like this. If you are ever in doubt, call an ambulance and consult a lawyer.
Sometimes you definitely should request an ambulance and describe the injuries. If an individual has sustained injuries that are serious and require immediate attention, definitely request an ambulance. Some injuries that definitely require an injury include:
- Large cuts or open wounds
- Broken bones
Your health and the health of anyone else involved is the top priority after an accident. If in doubt, call an ambulance to the scene.
How Does It Work?
While each city and county in California has its own way of dealing with emergencies, most local areas operate under similar principles.
A 911 call is sent to the nearest 911 dispatcher, who then contacts an ambulance from one of the nearby ambulance sources, private source or otherwise. An ambulance is required to reach whatever destination in under 9 minutes. If you have been in an accident and the ambulance took longer than 9 minutes, talk to one of the many Sacramento accident lawyers for legal advice.
Normally, there will be one paramedic and one emergency technician, or EMT in the ambulance. If there is critical damage to any individual, two paramedics will come.
- EMTs are trained in what is called “Basic Life Services,” which includes CPR, providing oxygen, resuscitating drowning victims, etc. These are usually enough to keep a patient stable until they reach the hospital.
- Paramedics can insert an IV, open a patient’s airway, and administer a limited range of medications, such as those that treat pain and allergic reactions or to save an individual from an overdose to drugs.
How Do They Decide Which Hospital Is Best Equipped?
Paramedics communicate with hospitals in and near their area of service before an emergency so they know what each hospital is capable of. Not all hospitals or emergency rooms are created equally.
There are four categories of care into which paramedics categorize an injury and hospital’s capabilities:
- Heart attack
EMTs take patients to whichever hospital is closest and best suited to their symptoms. Patient safety is the number one concern for the EMT, so when a patient requests a specifical hospital, an EMT can deny that request if they believe it is not in the patient’s best interest. It is also important for the ambulance to stay within range of the area they service so they aren’t too far in case of another emergency.
A basic ambulance ride costs upwards of $1,000 with additional fees for additional services. Since 911 operators pool from a variety of ambulance sources, their charges will often vary and can sometimes include mileage, gas, supplies, etc.
If you are being taken to a hospital and are conscious and communicating, you can request for the ambulance to take you to a hospital that is in-network. As mentioned above, ambulance personnel have the authority and obligation to take you to the nearest hospital that is capable of treating your injuries.
Medicare and private insurance companies usually cover the cost of an ambulance, but there are exceptions. Private health insurance is required to cover emergency care, including ambulance transportation. The exact amount of coverage, however, depends on the exact plan and policies. Medicare pays 80% of an approved amount with the remaining 20% covered by the patient. Dealing with cost and insurance companies is a rather complicated task. Speaking to knowledgeable Sacramento accident lawyers is the best course of action you can take after you have received the proper medical attention. If you are ever in a car accident, remember to always seek medical attention first if necessary. Your safety is of utmost concern to leave the legal battle to the lawyers.
Speak with Our Sacramento Automobile Accident Lawyers Now
The aftermaths of car accidents are traumatizing, stressful and expensive. Sacramento car accident lawyers at The Weinberger Law Firm know how scared and worried you could be feeling after an accident. If you are injured, call an ambulance immediately to seek proper medical treatment and then call us at (916) 915-0446 for a free consultation on what to do next.
Medical Bill Payments After Car Accident
Getting in a car accident affects your life in many altering ways. From the immediate rush of emotions to the possible lifelong injuries, getting in a car accident is very traumatizing and overwhelming. So many unknown variables such as medical assistance and bill payments can cause an increase in stress and emotion. Never let that prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve. Speak with a car accident lawyer in Sacramento who can help you on the speedy road to recovery.
If you get hurt in an accident, the question of who will end up paying for your medical bills is definitely one to keep knocking at your mind and your wallet. The help of an injury trial is fantastic, but there are costs that incur before the settlement that need to be covered and the question of how to pay for those presents itself over and over again. Here, we will discuss how your bills get paid on an ongoing basis. The answer to this question is highly contingent on what kind of accident you have, what state you live in, and what type of insurance you’re dealing with.
Rule of Thumb
When you get into an accident, you are generally responsible for the payment of your medical bills as you incur them. The only exception is car accidents in “no-fault” states. Even if the person who injured you is clearly at fault, the law does not require him or her to pay your medical bills on an ongoing basis. The person at fault must pay your damages to resolve a lawsuit, and that number often includes medical expenses. But, this doesn’t alleviate medical costs as they come in.
After your car accident, medical treatment is the first priority if you are hurt. The bills for an ambulance, emergency room, visits to your GP, physical therapy, and chiropractic start piling up. Before you know it, thousands of dollars in bills are sitting on your counter.
As we discussed above, the person at fault will ultimately be liable for these faults, but the case has to end before they pay up, typically. These cases can take months, even years.
The question remains, then. How do I pay for this? How am I not going to let this ruin my credit? Below, we’ll go through some options, which a car accident lawyer in Sacramento can review with you as well:
- Medical Payments/No-Fault Coverage: This option is referred to most commonly as “med pay.” This is optional coverage contained within your auto policy. It will pay out benefits to you no matter who is at fault. The amounts range, and normally, the company will ask to be reimbursed at the end of the case.
- Health insurance: If you have health insurance, you can look into having them cover the costs and reimbursing them once the case ends.
- Signing a lien: Many doctors in private practice will allow treatment on a lien, meaning you will pay them back after the case has been settled.
- Out of pocket: Unfortunately, if the rest of these options do not pan out, you will have to pay out of pocket and hope for a speedy settlement.
There are so many unknown variables when it comes to car accidents and because each case is unique, speaking with a car accident lawyer in Sacramento can help bring your case to justice and get you compensated for any medical bills you have incurred.
Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer in Sacramento About Your Accident
While you are responsible for your bills until settlement, a talented car accident lawyer in Sacramento can help you get your life back on track as soon as possible. Give The Weinberger Law Firm a call at (916) 915-0446 to discuss your legal needs.
Determine Liability in Auto Accidents
In all car accidents, it’s important to prove who was liable or responsible for the accident. Liability is determined under local, state and federal laws. Everyone on the road has a responsibility of reasonable care for others on the road, such as driving within the speed limit, not texting and driving and other things that ensure the safety of others. If they do not act within reasonable care of others they are acting negligently. If you were found to be negligent, you will be liable for accident-related damages.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you need to contact a Sacramento auto accident attorney to prove liability so you get the compensation you deserve. To make your argument stronger, there are certain tactics you can take. For one, obtaining police reports. Police don’t always come to the scene of the accident but if they do, they will file a report. Make sure to obtain the police report and check over all facts to confirm they are true. If there is a mistake, it can be fixed.
When more than one person is at fault, finding liability becomes more tricky. In these cases, comparative or contributory negligence is used to make decisions about the fault.
- Comparative negligence means that both parties were somewhat at fault and the judge will hold each party responsible for a portion of the damages. Every state has its own comparative negligence laws. California follows a “pure” comparative negligence standard which means that the plaintiff will still recover damages after his or her percentage of a fault has been deducted, even if the plaintiff was 99% at fault.
- Contributory negligence means a plaintiff is completely barred from recovering any compensation if they were found to be at fault at all. Most states have abolished contributory negligence but California allows a defendant to claim comparative negligence. For example, if a defendant is only 20% at fault, they will only be liable for that portion. If you’ve been in an accident, contact an experienced attorney for help on your specific case.
If you were injured due to the negligence of another, regardless of the nature of the underlying auto accident, it is important to contact an experienced auto accident attorney to discuss your legal options.
Additional Auto Accident Tips
It is always best to consult with an experienced attorney immediately after the car accident. Here are some tips to consider after an auto accident: The insurance company is not your friend.
The insurance adjusters are trained to save insurance companies money. They take special classes, attend seminars, and learn how to trick you into hurting your case. The insurance adjusters are also trained to be very nice to you to make you believe that they are your friends. They are not your friend. Even if you think your case is clear cut, the insurance company doesn’t think so.
Some cases are absolutely clear that the other driver was at fault. Cases where there were witnesses that blame the other driver. But the insurance company can still claim that their driver was not responsible for the accident. Or they claim that you are completely responsible or partially responsible for the accident.
Get Medical Care as Soon as You Can
Sometimes, people are involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident and don’t immediately have significant pain problems. So they don’t go to the doctor immediately. They wait a few days. Well, after a few days the pain gets severe and the person needs medical treatment and finally goes to see a doctor. The insurance companies use this delay against you and try to make it seem like you weren’t hurt in the accident.
Evidence and Memories Fade with Time
The longer you wait to make a claim, the more likely it is that the evidence that will support your claim will be gone. Witnesses will forget, the cars will be repaired, and the insurance company will surely have begun trying to twist the claim around to help them and not you.
Honesty Is the Most Important Part of Any Case
You must be honest and tell the truth all the time. Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but if you don’t, you will seriously affect your case. You need to tell the truth to your attorney, to your doctors, and if you give a deposition, in your deposition.