Bodily injury claim more than the medical bills claim in a car accident?

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Question:

In an auto accident is the bodily injury claim different from the medical bills claim...

Answer:

The claim for medical bills resulting from an auto accident is a separate claim from the claim for "bodily injury". A party injured in an auto accident has a "contract" accident claim against his own insurance company under their state’s "No Fault" auto insurance law for reasonable and necessary medical bills. "Reasonable and necessary" medical bills are required to be paid without undue delay. If the "No fault" carrier doesn’t make these payments promptly, he may be liable for "sanctions".

The underlying purpose of "No fault" auto insurance is to remove the medical bills from the claim for bodily injury, as the "bodily injury" claim often may take years to resolve; present treatment often depends on the medical bills being paid as incurred.

The injured party may also have a claim against the other driver for "bodily injury" damages--non-financial damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish and a diminution in the quality of life. Under "No fault" automobile insurance laws, whether or not a claim can be brought for bodily injury damages will generally depend on the seriousness of the injuries and the extent of the other drivers' negligence in causing the accident. “No fault” laws generally require a certain “threshold of injury” before suit can be brought against the negligent driver for bodily injury damages.

If the injured party’s own "No fault" carrier delays payments to the medical providers and/or a bodily injury claim is contemplated, it is highly recommended that the injured party contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. Early preparation in a personal injury claim can make all the difference.

LA-NOLO1:DRU.1.6.3.6.20141124.29342