When you are injured in a car crash in New York, your insurance provider will cover your basic economic losses in accordance with the state’s “No Fault” insurance law. If you sustained serious injuries (e.g., fractures or permanent loss of a body part) or your medical bills exceed $50,000, then you can sue the other driver for compensation.
To ensure that your settlement or jury award accurately reflects your financial losses, you need to document your medical expenses. Having an accurate idea of these costs will help you and your personal injury attorney determine the following:
- The monetary value of your claim
- Whether the offer from an auto insurance company reflects the actual costs of your injuries
Why you should track your own expenses
Some auto accident victims assume that the hospital or insurance company have access to their medical records, so there is no need for them to follow suit. While this may be true in theory, the practice can be different. For example:
- Any treatment at medical facilities outside your network may not be billed to your insurer.
- Some treating physicians work at hospitals under contract and their billings will not appear in the hospital system.
If any bill associated with your medical care is not entered into the records that your insurance company will be reviewing, then the settlement offer you receive will not include those treatment costs and your compensation will be less than what you need and deserve. This is why you should keep your own record of your medical expenses such as:
- Ambulance rides
- Visits to the emergency room
- Diagnostic tests, which include X-rays, CT scans, blood tests, and MRIs
- Treatment by doctors and specialists, such as physical therapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists
- Surgical procedures
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Assistive devices and modifications to your home, such as a ramp
- Mental health treatment to cope with residual trauma
Other costs that you may incur after a car accident include lost wages, repairs to your damaged vehicle, and even nonrefundable vacation plans.
How to keep track of expenses
Below are some tips to help you stay organized. They can help you and your attorney to prove your claim if the insurance company does not offer you a fair settlement.
- Keep copies of invoices and receipts. Each time you fill a prescription, see your doctor, receive treatment from a specialist, or incur any other expenses related to the accident, save the invoice or receipt.
- Maintain a journal. Putting things in writing is one of the best ways to stay organized. Document all doctor visits, medical treatments, and other events involved in your treatment or losses.
When you suffer serious injuries after a car crash, you need to collect all of the damages you are entitled to. Tracking medical expenses and other costs arising from the accident will make it easier to do so.
Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, New York car accident and personal injury attorney. Call 718-329-9500 to set up a free no obligation in-person consultation to learn more about your options. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com for more information.