When a plaintiff in a truck or car crash case incurs the cost of a medical bill, they have incurred economic damages.  So the next question is, what happens with that medical bill?  Does the defendant pay it?  Does the defendant’s liability insurance pay it?  The answers here are no and no.  At least not yet.  

Here is an example:  A person is driving on Broad Street in New London heading north.  They will travel on Rt. 85 past the Crystal Mall and their ultimate destination is Hartford.  While on Broad Steet they are t-boned by someone coming out of the Dunkin Donuts on Broad Street and they suffer a neck injury from the that eventually requires a cervical fusion.  The operation is performe at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, and the procedure costs $70,000.00.

Remember, at this stage in the case even if the defendant concedes that the truck or car crash was their fault, there is no court ruling saying that the defendant is legally responsible to pay the bills.  Until the case is fully resolved with either a settlement or a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, the defendant does not have to pay anything. 

Therefore, while the claim or case is pending neither the defendant nor their insurance company has to pay the medical bills.  The plaintiff is left to fend for themself. 

            So, what happens with the plaintiff’s medical bills?  Does the plaintiff just pay the medical bills?  Does the plaintiff have health insurance?  Does the plaintiff’s health insurance pay?  What if there is no health insurance?  If not, does the plaintiff have the funds to pay the bill?  What if they don’t have the funds to pay the bills?  Assuming that there is health insurance, does their health insurance cover that particular medical bill?  Does the health insurance have a high deductible or a high co-pay?  Does the plaintiff have medical payments coverage on their automobile insurance policy?  There are many questions to answer to determine how the medical bills get paid while the claim or case is still pending.   

            After the plaintiff evaluates these questions, the plaintiff can determine how to get their medical bills paid during the time the claim or case is pending.  Generally, the options are as follows: 

1.  Pay through the plaintiff’s health insurance.

2.  Pay the bills with cash or credit out of the plaintiff’s pocket.

3.  Don’t pay the bills now, be in debt to the doctor and pay them later.  

Because medical bills frequently rise to the tens of thousands of dollars or even more, you can see that the options of paying out of pocket or on credit are not very appealing.  Very few people have the financial means to pay their own medical bills and very few doctors will treat the plaintiff based solely on a promise to pay in the future.  Therefore, the best option in 99% of cases will be for the plaintiff to submit their medical bills to their health insurance to get the bills paid.

If you or anyone you know has been in a serious accident in New London or in any other town in Connecticut contact the car accident lawyers at The Bartinik Law Firm, PC. 100 Fort Hill Road, Groton, Connecticut at 860-445-8521 or toll free at 888-717-4211.


Peter J. Bartinik, Jr.
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Civil Trial Attorney, Practicing Law in Connecticut