A car accident can cause an abundance of anxiety for the victim and their loved ones. There is often emotional or psychological trauma in addition to physical injuries. When injuries require surgery or hospitalization, the financial stress can be overwhelming for the victim. Hospital stays can cost thousands of dollars each day. However, there are no standard rates for services because costs depend on many factors. This makes it virtually impossible for patients to know their actual costs until they get the final bill. Hospital costs will depend on the following factors:
- Type of hospital or medical provider used
- Location of the hospital
- Use of the emergency room
- Use of an ambulance
- Need for intensive care
- Health of the patient
- Type of insurance
- Medical equipment
- Bloodwork and lab tests
- Imaging scans
- Doctor and specialist visits
- Social worker services
- Surgery costs
- Per-hour operating room costs
- Pre-surgery hospitalization
- Pre-surgery treatment
- Special medications and fluids
Patients will also need to factor in other expenses when looking at their total cost of care, such as:
- Insurance deductibles, co-pays, and premiums
- Non-medical expenses, such as child care, travel, and lodging
- Costs for psychological and emotional care for the patient and their family
- Lost wages, current and future
The United States has some of the highest medical costs in the world. For this reason, it is critical for anyone involved in a car accident to contact a lawyer. A car accident lawyer will work diligently to ensure that the victim gets needed compensation to cover astronomical surgery and hospital costs.
What are Common Car Accident Injuries That Require Surgery?
Depending on the nature of the accident and the vehicles involved, injuries can range from minor to life-threatening. Both the driver and vehicle occupants may sustain serious harm in the car accident. The following are common car accident injuries that often require surgery and overnight hospital stays:
Spinal and Neck Injuries: The sheer force of an accident and the body’s violent jerking can damage the neck and spine, including the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries almost always require immediate surgery to repair vertebrae, discs, and other parts of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.
Brain and Head Injuries: In an accident, a person has no control over their body, including their head. The head may forcefully hit the car’s roof, a window, the car’s frame, or another object in the vehicle. Any head injury can result in brain trauma. Surgery is often needed quickly to reduce brain swelling, fluid build-up, bleeds, and other injuries. Skull fractures will also require urgent medical attention.
Knee Injuries: Knee injuries are common in a car accident because of where the knees are positioned in the vehicle. Ligaments and other soft tissues can easily get injured, while damage to the kneecap and surrounding bones will almost always require surgery to repair.
Back Injuries: Back injuries are common in car accidents. Like spinal cord and neck injuries, back wounds include fractures, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries. These injuries almost always require surgery, therapy, and rehabilitation.
Facial and Dental Injuries: The face and mouth are particularly vulnerable in an accident. Often, a person’s face will hit the steering wheel or dashboard or go through the windshield. They may need urgent surgery on the mouth, eyes, teeth, and nose.
Limb Injuries: Every limb is vulnerable in an accident. Arms, legs, hands, and feet can be broken, crushed, or even severed. Surgery can help save a limb or restore function.
Burns, Cuts, and Lacerations: A car accident can seriously harm a person’s skin. The result is often severe scarring or disfigurement that requires plastic surgery to repair.
Anyone involved in a car accident should contact a lawyer after seeking medical attention. Some injuries do not appear until later, and insurers will often not pay for future medical needs and other needed services.
How can I Pay for Hospital Costs After My Car Accident?
Virginia is an at-fault state. This means that when a driver acts negligently and causes an accident, they are financially responsible for injuries or damages sustained by others. The at-fault driver will generally hold liability insurance to cover some or all these damages, so an accident victim can sue them to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. If the driver was uninsured or underinsured, the victim can file a claim with their own insurance company.
Virginia also allows drivers to carry a form of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This insurance covers certain of the victim’s or passenger’s medical expenses and lost wages, regardless if they file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Virginia does not require drivers to purchase vehicle insurance at all as long as they pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee to the state. For all other drivers, Virginia requires these minimum insurance amounts:
- Bodily Injury: $25,000 per person for bodily injury and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury if more than one person is hurt.
- Property Damage: $20,000 per accident for property damage.
It is important to note that Virginia is a contributive negligence state, which means that if a car accident victim is proven to be even partially responsible for the accident, they may not be able to collect any compensation at all. For this reason, a car accident victim will benefit from hiring an experienced lawyer to help them prove that the other driver was 100 percent responsible for the accident. A lawyer can also negotiate a fair and just settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or take the case to court if an agreement cannot be reached.
What Damages can I Sue the Responsible Driver for in Virginia?
Injured drivers and passengers can sue the at-fault driver for compensation for the following:
- Medical care costs and related expenses
- Ongoing and future care costs, such as physical therapy sessions and rehabilitation services
- Lost wages and benefits and loss of or diminished earning capacity
- Miscellaneous costs and out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering, scars and disfigurement, inconvenience
- Wrongful death damages
After a car accident, it is advisable to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. It is necessary that the car accident victim proves that they bear no responsibility for the collision, and a lawyer can fight by their side and help them prove their innocence.
Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC Help Crash Victims Get Compensation for Hospital Costs
Insurance laws in Virginia are stringent, and proving liability and navigating the various insurance procedures and companies can be difficult, especially when someone is recovering from surgery or a hospital stay. The experienced Virginia Beach car accident lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC have negotiated fair and just settlements for numerous drivers and passengers. We will help you get the compensation that you are entitled to. Contact us online or call us at 757-LAW-0000 for a free consultation and more information about your case. We have an office conveniently located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, and Eastern Shore. We also serve our clients throughout the United States through our network of associated attorneys.