Hamilton & Antonsen
How to Get Your Medical Bills Paid by the at-fault party
Illinois Personal Injury Attorney Representing Plaintiffs in Will County
When another party’s negligent or careless behavior causes another person’s injuries, that injury victim should not have to pay the price. Instead, the at-fault party should be responsible for compensating the injury victim for his or her losses. Accidents can result in serious and life-threatening injuries, and plaintiffs often incur significant medical bills in seeking care and treatment for injuries. In some cases, an injured plaintiff may require multiple surgeries, extended hospital stays, rehabilitative therapy, and multiple follow-up appointments with various specialists. A Will County personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Auto Insurance Compensation Through the At-Fault Party’s Insurer
If you were injured in a motor vehicle crash, your first option for getting your medical bills paid by the at-fault party is to file a third-party auto insurance claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Illinois auto insurance law is a fault-based system, which means that injury victims can file a first-party claim through their own insurance company, or they can file a third-party claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
In a third-party auto insurance claim, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may offer a reasonable settlement that includes compensation for your medical bills. If the insurer will not make a reasonable offer, you can work with a Joliet personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party in order to seek compensation.
Damages in a Will County Personal Injury Lawsuit
Medical bills and other healthcare costs fall into a category of damages known as compensatory damages. There are two types of compensatory damages available in Illinois, both of which are aimed at compensating a plaintiff for losses:
- Economic damages, which are designed to compensate a plaintiff for objective, financial losses; and
- Non-economic damages, which are designed to compensate a plaintiff for more subjective losses that are difficult to quantify, such as pain and suffering.
Medical bills are a type of economic damages. There are no caps on this type of damages in an Illinois personal lawsuit, which means that a plaintiff can obtain full compensation for any and all medical bills incurred as a result of the defendant’s negligent or reckless actions.
Comparative Fault and Limitations on Damages Under Illinois Law
A plaintiff should know that his or her compensation for medical bills could be reduced if a defendant can successfully prove that the plaintiff was partially at fault for those losses. Will County law follows a “modified” comparative fault model in which a plaintiff’s damages award will be diminished by his or her percentage of fault if that plaintiff is 50% or less at fault. Once a plaintiff is 51% or more at fault, Illinois law bars that plaintiff’s recovery.
If you have any concerns that the defendant will try to raise the issue of comparative fault, you should make sure to have an aggressive Will County personal injury attorney on your side who can prove that you are not at fault and deserve full compensation for your losses.