How much does a serious injury cost an injured motorist? What can motorists do to ensure their next trip down the road doesn't become a trip to the emergency room or result in a "surprise" medical bill that puts them in the poor house? CDC reports show that as recently as 2012, crash injuries in the US resulted in nearly $18 billion in lifetime medical expenses. Of these, roughly 75% occurred in the first 18 months after the accident. Motorists who don't want to pay this should pay close attention on the road to reduce their potential for an accident. With an estimated 3 million people injured in car accidents each year, it creates a significant cost burden on individuals and the overall economy.
Lifetime Costs of Medical Care Add Up
Loss of income and lost earning capacity are significant. Estimates from 2012 showed that the lifetime cost of lost work was in the range of $33 billion. In 2019, Americans spent roughly $1.3 trillion dollars on hospital care, including care for traumatic injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident. By 2028, it's estimated that figure will rise to more than $6.2 trillion.
In Kansas, residents spent roughly $22 billion on healthcare expenses in 2014, with an average annual growth in expenditures of 5.6%. Kansans also spent a further $400 million on home health care expenses, which has grown by a rate of 6.9% since 1991. They spent a further $3.24 billion on home healthcare aids such as walkers, beds, railings, etc. Since 1991, these costs have risen by 7.2%.
The bottom line is that when pursuing a settlement for personal injuries. Specifically, a serious injury suffered in a motor vehicle accident, individuals need to take these costs into account. Failing to account for inflation and long-term care costs can leave accident victims paying these expenses out of pocket and from a reduced income.
"Surprise" Medical Bills Are Going Away (Maybe!)
One of the biggest challenges motorists injured in a motor vehicle accident face is "surprise" medical bills. These bills occur when individuals receive medical care from an in-network healthcare provider but are provided medical treatment from an out-of-network physician, anesthesiologist, surgeon, nurse, etc. It is estimated this type of billing affects around 20% of patients in the United States.
Several attempts have been made and failed, in the Kansas legislature to end surprise medical bills. Currently, only residents in 31 states have such protections against his nefarious practice. However, within the 2020 Coronavirus Relief Bill currently before Congress is language that would end this practice once and for all. If the legislation passes, balance-billing will be a thing of the past. If passed, the law would require healthcare providers to provide a full cost estimate and receive the patient's consent for balance billing no later than 72 hours before the procedure.
Contact Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. Brad Pistotnik is a serious injury lawyer in Kansas who represents individuals who suffer personal injuries and wrongful deaths in motorcycle accidents in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas. We can schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim. If you can't come to us, we will come to you. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.